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Victoria, by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Queen, Defender of the Faith.
Co Our right trusty and well-beloved Richard Monckton Baron Houghton, greeting.
323htt*fa2f We did by Warrants under Our Royal Sign Manual, bearing date respectively the second day of April and the thirty-first day of August one thousand eight hundred and sixty-nine, authorize and appoint Our right trusty and well-beloved Councillor John, Baron Romilly, Master or Keeper of the Rolls and Records in Chancery, together with the several Noblemen and Gentlemen therein named in such Warrants, or any three or more of them, to be Our Commissioners to make inquiry into the places in which Documents illustrative of History or general public interest belonging to private persons are deposited, and to consider whether, with the consent of the owners, means might not be taken to render such Documents available for public reference.
^OUJ hnotu »t, that We, reposing great trust and confidence in your zeal, discretion, and ability, have authorized and appointed, and do by these Presents authorize and appoint you the said Richard Monckton Baron Houghton to be a Commissioner for the purposes aforesaid, in addition to and together with the Commissioners whom We have already appointed by the above-mentioned Royal Warrants.
Given at Our Court at St. James's, the Fourth day of May one thousand eight hundred and seventy, in the Thirty-third year of Our Reign.
By Her Majesty's Command.
H. A. BRUCE.
Richard Monckton Baron Houghton, additional
ROYAL COMMISSION ON HISTORICAL MANUSCRIPTS.
TO THE QUEEN'S MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY.
May It I>lease Your Majesty,
We, Your Majesty's Commissioners, appointed by Your Royal Commission to inquire what papers and manuscripts belonging to private families and institutions are extant which would be of utility in the illustration of history, constitutional law, science, and general literature, and to which possessors would be willing to give access, respectfully beg leave to present the following Report to Your Majesty.
In pursuance of a warrant under Your sign manual bearing date 4th May 1870, Lord Houghton was added to the Commissioners whom Your Majesty had previously appointed on 2nd April and 31st August 1869
In the execution of Your Majesty's commands Your-Commissioners have continued their inquiries on the subjects mentioned in Your Commission to the extent of the means placed at their disposal by the Lords Commissioners of Your Majesty's Treasury.
Since their last report Your Commissioners having in view Your Majesty's instructions and the usefulness of the information, which they were collecting, to all classes of Your Majesty's subjects, have confined their attention to those papers which the owners had thrown open to the inspection of Your Commissioners.
The First Report of Your Commissioners, which was issued in March 1870, has created great public interest; not only was the first edition of 875 copies as well as the second edition of 250 copies speedily disposed of, but a third edition of 500 copies has been nearly exhausted. In addition to those supplied through the ordinary channels to the members of the Houses of Lords and Commons, copies were sent to all persons who had in any way assisted in promoting the objects of the Commission.
The fact that 101 collections have been inspected during 1870, being 22 in excess of the preceding year, proves that the public interest in the Commission has not in the least diminished, but, on the contrary, increased, and it is satisfactory to Your Commissioners to report that they have received from the owners of MSS. every encouragement and promises of further assistance.
The Lords Commissioners of Your Majesty's Treasury during the last year placed the sum of 1,000/. at the disposal of Your Commissioners, for the purposes of the Commission, but that amount has been barely sufficient to carry out the objects for which the Commission was issued; the Commissioners, however, fully hope that the Treasury will increase the annual grant in order that the Commissioners may extend their operations and commence the compilation of calendars, pursuant to the terms of the Commission.
Mr. Alfred J. Horwood, Mr. Henry T. Riley, and the Rev. Joseph Stevenson, have continued to act as inspectors for England; Dr. John Stuart, of the General Register House, Edinburgh, and Mr. J. T. Gilbert, of the Public Record Office, Dublin, have also been respectively employed for Scotland and Ireland. In accordance with the recommendations of Your Commissioners the Lords of Your Majesty's Treasury have, by letter dated 19th October 1870, assented to the employment of Mr. William Eraser, of the General Register House, Edinburgh, as an additional inspector for Scotland, and Mr. Fraser has been specially engaged to report upon several important and valuable collections of papers which have been placed in his hands by various noblemen and gentlemen of Scotland.
In the Appendix (pp. 1 to 262) will be found reports on or catalogues of the following collections, which have been examined during the year :—
England and Wales.—Duke of Bedford, Countess Cowper and Baroness Lucas, Earl of Dartmouth, Earl Spencer, Earl of Mount Edgcumbe, Earl Cathcart, Earl of Bradford, Earl Cawdor, Viscount Dillon, Lord Camoys, Lord Arundell of Wardour, Lord Lyttelton, Lord Calthorpe, Lord Wrottesley, Lord Leigh, the Hon. G. M. Fortescue, Sir Charles W. Dilke, Bart., Sir Henry Dryden, Bart., Sir Baldwin Leighton, Bart., Sir Geo. Osborn, Bart., Trustees of the late Sir R. Puleston, Bart., Miss Ainslie, J. C. Antrobus, Esq., W. R. Baker, Esq., C. M. Berington, Esq., Colonel MyddeltonBiddulph, Colonel Carew, Mrs. Collis, Richard Corbet, Esq., W. Bromley-Davenport, Esq., M.P., C. Cottrell Dormer, Esq., J. R. Ormsby Gore, Esq., M.P., John Harvey, Esq., Dr. Hoskins, H. B. Mackeson, Esq., charter chests of the family of Neville of Holt, F. Peake, Esq., Mrs. Prescott, J. J. Rogers, Esq., W. T. McCullagh Torrens, Esq., M.P, W. H. Turner, Esq., Mrs. Willes, W. W. E. Wynne, Esq.; St. Lawrence's College, Ampleforth; Clare College, Gonville and Caius College, Jesus College, and Trinity Hall, Cambridge; Carlisle Cathedral; St. Mary's College, Oscott; Corpus Christi College, Exeter College, Jesus College, Lincoln College, New College, Oriel College, Queen's College, Trinity College, and Worcester College, Oxford; Stoneyhurst College; Monastery of the Dominican Friars at Woodchester; Corporation of Abingdon; Petyt MSS. in Inner Temple Library ; and Chetham Library, Manchester.
Scotland.—Duke of Montrose, Duke of Sutherland, Marquis of Huntly, Earl of Crawford and Balcarres, Earl of Morton, Earl of Strathmore, Earl of Dalhousie, Earl of Airlie, Earl of Stair, Earl of Rosslyn, Earl Cawdor, Lord Forbes, Lord Torphichen, Sir J. H. Burnett, Bart., J. Guthrie, Esq., A. F. Irvine, Esq., and J. F. Leith, Esq.; University of Aberdeen; Catholic College of Blairs; Trinity College, Glenalmond; University of St. Andrew's; and Royal Burgh of Montrose.
Ireland.— Marquis of Ormonde, Earl of Granard, Earl of Rosse, Major-General F. P. Dunne, Robert D. Lyons, Esq., M.D. (Archbishop King's collection), The O'Conor Don, M.P., and Rothe's Register of Kilkenny.
Each report has, in conformity with the circular of the Commission, been submitted to the proprietor of the collection to which it refers, who has assented to its publication and circulation under the authority of the Commissioners.
In addition to these collections several others, including those of the Earl of Seafield, Lord Rollo, Sir Archibald Edmonstone, Bart., Rev. W. Sneyd, Mr. Dundas, of Arniston, Mr. Dundas, of Dundas Castle, Mr. Webster, of Aberdeen, and Mrs. Wemyss, of Wemyss Castle, have been examined; the notices of these are necessarily postponed to the next report of the Commission. The Dukes of Argyll, Buccleuch and Queensberry, Northumberland, and Roxburghe, the Marquis of Salisbury, the Earl of Home, Lord Wharncliffe, the authorities of Trinity College, Dublin, Colonel Carew, Mr. Wilson, of Eshton, Mr. Peake, of Sleaford, Mr. Dymond, of Exeter, the Corporations of Colchester, Haverfordwest, King's Lynn, Pembroke, and Tenby, and the Dean and Chapter of Wells, have also consented to the inspection of their manuscripts.
In the Report which will be issued by Your Commissioners in the ensuing year will be included a notice of the Shelburne papers now at Lansdowne House, in the possession of the present Marquis of Lansdowne. It is believed that these papers may contain many documents of great importance relating to the political history of the latter half of the 18th century, and may throw light on the events which led to the fall of the Shelburne ministry and the Fox-North ministry in 1783, and on those which decided the composition of Mr. Pitt's first ministry. It is also believed that there are many interesting letters from eminent literary characters in this collection.
One result of the operations of Your Majesty's Commissioners has been that some valuable series of papers have either passed or are about to pass from private into public hands. The Trustees of the British Museum are in treaty for some of the collections noticed in the First Report of the Commissioners; Sir George Duckett has presented a portion of his manuscripts to that institution; and the Curators of the Bodleian Library, Oxford, have purchased from Mr. Turner the volume noticed in Mr. Riley's report (Appendix, p. 101). These books and papers by being placed in public libraries will be catalogued and made accessible to the historical student.
The Earl Cawdor on 4th May 1870 placed under the care of Your Commissioners an heraldic and genealogical collection in three volumes, with a fourth containing the indices to the same, relating to the settlers in Wales, and known as "the Golden "Grove Book." These volumes have been deposited in the Public Record Office, under the following conditions:—That the public may have access to the same; that the volumes are to be properly preserved and taken care of; and that his Lordship, or his heirs, may at any time hereafter remove the volumes from the Record Office upon giving a receipt for the same. They will be found described at p. 31 of the Appencnx'
Sir W. Stirling Maxwell, Bart., has presented to Your Commissioners for public use three volumes privately printed relating to the families of " The Stirlings of Keir," and " The Maxwells of Pollok."
The Standish Papers sent to Your Commissioners by F. Peake, Esq., have been sorted and repaired by the Public Record Office. The Montacute Papers belonging to R. Phelips, Esq., are being arranged and bound, and some manuscripts belonging to the Corporation of Abingdon have also been repaired and bound.
Transcripts of the papers relating to the Gunpowder Plot, noticed in the last report, have been made and placed with similar books in the Public Record Office, where they are now available for public use.
The Calendar of the Earl of Macclesfield's letters has been continued; 16 bundles, comprising 1,820 documents, have been calendared.
Dr. Stuart reports that the Earl of Dalhousie has resolved to print the "Registrant "de Pan mure" (noticed in the Commissioners'First Report, A pp., p. 119), and has requested him to undertake the editorship of it. The collection contains numerous charters, many of them of early date. The Early English Text Society has obtained the permission of the Marquis of Lothian to print the Anglo-Saxon Homilies of the 10th century, noticed in the last report of the Commissioners (App., p. 14). That Society has printed a very scarce, if not unique edition of Lyndesay's Minor Poems from Lord Mostyn's collection. The Camden Society has printed, under the editorship of Mr. S. R. Gardiner, a selection of letters and papers from the collection of the Hon. G. M. Fortescue, a catalogue of which is annexed to this report (App., p. 49). One of the manuscripts in a volume belonging to Mr. Harvey, of Ickwell Bury, reported on last year, was found to contain information which proved to be of use to a gentleman who is now occupied on a life of Sir P. Sydney; and other persons have obtained important historical facts (which were previously unknown) from Your Commissioners' First Report.
Your Commissioners have much satisfaction in informing Your Majesty, that, in pursuance of the recommendation made in their report of last year respecting the papers in the House of Lords, Sir John George Shaw Lefevre, Clerk of the Parliaments, has engaged two of his officers to continue the arrangement of the papers in question, and that the Lords of Your Majesty's Treasury, at the instance and recommendation of Your Commissioners, have expressed their willingness to devote an annual sum towards the expenses of arranging and calendaring the same. The two gentlemen chosen by Sir John Shaw Lefevre have already commenced their labours. They state in one of their reports to Your Commissioners that the papers dated between 1629 and 1640, though not very numerous, are very interesting and important. They call attention to the original documents of Archbishop Laud's visitation in 1634, consisting of the articles issued and the answers, joint or separate, from the members of the several chapters. They also refer to the papers respecting J. Dury's mission to the Continent (1630-39), for a reconciliation between the Lutherans and Calvinists, consisting of his letters to the Archbishop, copies of his letters from foreign divines, resolutions of the Synods, &c. These papers will probably add much to the knowledge extant on the subject. Specimen calendars will be found in the Appendix, p. 106.
The Duke of Bedford sent for the information of Your Majesty's Commissioners an inventory of his MSS. at Woburn Abbey, with permission to have any portion of them calendared that the Commissioners might consider of historical importance. The catalogue is printed at p. 1 of the Appendix.
Among the Earl of Bradford's papers is the valuable correspondence of Lord Torrington while Ambassador at Brussels, from 1782 to 1792, giving the threads of European diplomacy during that important period. Mr. Horwood's report on this collection will be found in the Appendix, p. 30.
The collection of Countess Cowper and Baroness Lucas, at Wrest Park, described by Mr. Horwood (App., p. 4), includes a fine copy, written about 1400, of Higden's Polychronicon in Latin; the English Brut Chronicle, 15th century, and a French version of the same; a fine cartulary of Croyland Abbey (14th century), important, because it shows that the compiler did not know of or did not believe in the early charters cited by Ingulphus; the cartulary of the Abbey of St. John the Baptist at Colchester (13th century); four volumes of original works by Wyclif; a portion of Nicholas Trivet's French Chronicle; a curious early Chronicle pedigree of the great house of Mortimer; and interesting political memoranda by Lord Grenville, 1761-1768, and by Lord Grantham, 1766-1769
Earl Spencer's MSS. at Spencer House, St. James's, contain most important materials for the history of the periods to which they relate, as will be seen in Mr. Horwood's report at p. 12 of the Appendix. Among them is a thin volume in the autograph of the Marquis of Halifax, containing notes of his conversations with King William the Third on persons, parties, and politics. Lord Spencer possesses two copies of this interesting paper, but was not seemingly aware that he owned the original. The Journal of the expedition of Robert, first Lord Spencer, who carried the Garter to Frederic, Duke of Wurtemburg in 1603, is curious and interesting. There are many hundred letters which contain ample illustrations for the political and social history of England during the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries. There are several letters from gentlemen in attendance on Queen Catherine (widow of Charles the Second), when she went to Portugal after the death of her husband. There are some volumes which give copies of letters in the 16th and 17th centuries, among them are some from Mary Queen of Scots and Arabella Stuart. Letters from Sir Walter Raleigh, and other persons of note of the 16th and 17th centuries, give notices of raids on the Scottish border, of Court life and entertainments. Among the letters of the 17th century is one giving a notice of the marriage of Carr, Earl of Somerset, and the presents made at his marriage, and one by Archie (the King's fool), in 1616. An original letter by the Prince of Orange (17th December 1688) to the Marquis of Halifax and two other peers, to advise King James to go to Ham, where he would be safe. Among the writers of letters in the 18th century may be named, Sarah Duchess of Marlborough, David Garrick, Sir W. Jones, Sir Sidney Smith, Charlotte Queen of Naples, and Sir W. Hamilton. Some letters by Kent (the artist ?) give curious notices of Alexander Pope.
The collection of the Earl of Mount Edgcumbe contains many letters illustrating the Civil War and the reigns of Charles I. and Charles II.; a document relating to Perkin Warbeck's conspiracy; an unpublished work on Forest Law, by Recorder Fleetwood; and papers about a naval expedition by Sir P. Edgcumbe (temp. Elizabeth), to assist Don Antonio, claimant to the Portuguese throne. Mr. Horwood's report is printed at p. 20 of the Appendix.
Earl Cathcart possesses a most extensive collection, containing numerous letters about the rebellions of 1715 and 1745; the troops abroad under the Duke of Marlborough; Earl Cathcart's embassy to St. Petersburg in 1768; and the English military expeditions to Holland and Bremen at the end of the last century. These papers will all be found fully described in Mr. Horwood's report in the Appendix, p. 24.
The Earl of Dartmouth's MSS., reported on by Mr. Horwood (App., p. 9), are valuable as containing numerous letters to Colonel William Legge, one of the staunchest supporters of Charles I.; many official papers regarding Tangier and it3 abandonment; scores of letters by Samuel Pepys on navy matters; numerous holograph letters by James II.; and several by the Prince of Orange (afterwards William III.). In 1688, Lord Dartmouth was Commander of the Fleet, and the part he took in the Revolution is well known. The correspondence here during 1688 is very extensive, and the letters in November and December, including originals by James II. and the Prince of Orange, arc of high interest and value.
The collection of MSS. of Viscount Dillon at Dytchley (App., p. 31), though small, is certainly very choice; among them may be noticed WyclifTe's translations of the Gospels, with commentaries in English, one of which, that on St. Mark, appears to be unknown. It is not a little remarkable that two circumstances connected with the career of this celebrated man have been brought under public notice by the proceedings of the Historical Manuscripts Commission. Henry Lee's " Discovery and Recovery of Ireland," the letters of Charles II. and James, Duke of York, and letters and papers illustrating the French military operations on the Continent, 1706-1715, may be pointed out as well worthy of attention.
The collection of Lord Wrottesley, reported on by Mr. Horwood (App., p. 46), contains several interesting documents; it includes, among others, an original deed of composition under the Dictum of Kenilworth, and the existence of any other besides that at Wrottesley is not known. Letters relating to John Duddeley, the Duke of Northumberland, who was beheaded in the first year of the reign of Mary. He obtained from Henry VIII. a grant of the lands of the dissolved Priory of Dudley; these lands now belong to Lord Wrottesley, and the title deeds show distinctly the identity between Mr. Duddeley and the subsequent Duke of Northumberland. The deed of 1088, although only a copy, is not in the Monasticon. It is evidently taken from the muniments of Evesham Abbey, as affecting the anterior title of the manor.
The large and valuable collection of manuscripts belonging to Lord Calthorpc has been reported on by Mr. Horwood (App., p. 39). It contains original letters by Henry VIII., Philip, Queen Elizabeth, Mary, Queen of Scots, and some foreign sovereigns j original letters from persons engaged by Henry VIII. in the matter