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Lieut.-Colonel King has some original MSS. of Dr. William King (Archbishop of Dublin) towards the end of the 17th century (App., p. 416).
Mr. Lee, of Redbrook House, forwarded his Papers to Your Commissioners for inspection: they include Reports of Law Cases before the Justices of the Common Pleas at Westminster (Year Hooks), temp. Edward III., and before the Justices in Eyre in the same reign. (App., p. 267.)
Mr. Legh, of Lyme, possesses an original Papal Bull, dated 1437, annexing certain revenues to Magdalen College, Oxford; an early copy in a vellum roll of the alliterative poem called the Scottish Field, printed for the second time by the Early English Text Society from the Percy folio; Newsletters, temp. Charles II., including three by Richard Sterne, probabty a son of the Archbishop of York. There are notices of the Duke of Monmouth's rebellion in 1682, and of his invasion in 1685. The poem on the Duke of Monmouth, is printed in The State Poems. Mr. Horwood's Report is printed at p. 268 of the Appendix.
In the muniment room of Mr. Le Strange, of Hunstanton, arc valuable household accounts of the 14th, 16th, and 17th centuries, some churchwarden's accounts for the 15th, 16th, and 17th centuries; and letters from the 15th to 18th century; the letters of 1714 are particularly interesting as relating to a notorious book then published, intituled "The Hereditary Right of the Crown of England." It is supposed that the Rev. Mr. Harbin was the author of the work, and that Bedford suffered rather than betray his friend. In this collection there is a letter by King Henry VII.; and a letter describing how the King(Edw. IV.) "restored the Countess of Warwick to her "inheritance, which she gave to my Lord of Gloucester, with whom she was, and of that "divers folk marvel greatly." From another letter here it seems that Sir Cloudesley Shovel was drowned in the sands where he had gone with some friends in a pinnace to view some curiosity. (App., p. 271.) •
The Marquis of Northampton's magnificent volume of the Genealogy of the Family of Howard, which was kindly brought to the notice of Your Commissioners by Mr. J. E. Martin, Librarian of the Inner Temple, is described at p. 209 of the Appendix. It was executed in 1638 for Thomas, Earl of Arundel, by Lilly, Rouge Dragon. More than a hundred shields with quarterings in their proper colours, heightened with gold of the finest execution, illustrate a pedigree then covering between 600 and 700 years.
The Neville Charter Chest (App., p. 277) has contributed some letters containing foreign and domestic news by Count Gastaldi, an agent in England of the Genoese Republic in 1743 and the following years; nearly all were written from London. The Roll of Charges, in English, against the Duke of Suffolk, temp. King Henry VI., was referred to in a previous Report, and is now printed at length in the Appendix, p. 279It states facts, and shows the popular opinion with regard to the Duke's moral and political character.
. The Rev. Walter Sneyd's collection, which was examined by Mr. Horwood (App., p. 287), contributes holograph letters by Queen Elizabeth and Mary Queen of Scots, James I., and Charles I. and his Queen, Charles II., James II., and his son James, William III., the Duke of Marlborough, and other remarkable persons. It has besides letters of foreign Sovereigns; early English and French MSS.; and Italian relazioni d'lnghilterra. Mr. Sneyd possesses a 15th century copy of Sir John Mandeville's travels: also a treatise on Respiration and one on the Preservation of the Eyesight, both of the 16th century. In the'early part of the reign of Elizabeth a Venetian gentleman, named Alessandro Magno, came to England in the course of his travels; Mr. Sneyd has the diary of his travels, where his visit to England is noticed; he went to Windsor, and among the sketches which he made in the volume is one of St. Paul's Cathedral.
Mr. Egerton Warburton's collection (App., p. 290) comprises letters by many celebrated literary men of the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries; specially noticeable are those by Hobbes, Cowper, and Coleridge.
Among Mr. Marsh's documents (App., p. 274) are papers and deeds which will be found useful for the history of the Manor of Theydon Gernon, co. Essex. Papers in the Chancery suit, temp. Henry VI.; a specimen (not common) of a grant in 1477 of Confraternity in the Order of Trinitarians lor the Redemption of Christian Captives in the Holy Land; and an interesting letter, temp. Henry VII.
Mr. G. F. Wilbraham (App., p. 292) has, amongst other items, an account of a Tour in France in 1614, by one who accompanied our Ambassador; and an account of another journey in France made apparently in the early part of the reign of King Charles I.
The numerous volumes belonging to Mr. Wilson, of Eshton-Hall, were nearly all compiled by Mr. Hopkinson, in the 17th century; and notes of the contents of these volumes are given at p. 293 of the Appendix. They contain valuable collections for Yorkshire, transcripts of many of the old Talbot Letters found at Sheffield Castle (now in the College of Arms), and many genealogies of Northern families. There are also poems, letters, and treatises, relating to the history of England in the 15th, 16th, and 17th centuries; among them is an elegant poem on Secretary Davison, numerous Carols and Cavalier songs, and a poem on the burning of the Globe Theatre, where mention is made of Heminges. Another poem i3 by James I., on the Prince and Buckingham going to Spain, and another on the death of his Queen. Among the letters are upwards of twenty by the celebrated Roger Ascham; and some by Sir Walter Ralegh, one of which seems to be unpublished.
The lew Papers contributed by Miss Othen (App., p. 277) were found in the chimney of an old house at Midhurst, in the county of Sussex. The news letter may be placed in the year 1636, or soon afterwards.
A Calendar of Phelips' MSS. (briefly described at p. 57 of the Appendix to the First Report of Your Majesty's Commissioners) is at p. 281 of the Appendix to the present Report. Copies of all the documents connected with the Powder Plot have been deposited in the Public Record Office. Among the papers on the Low Countries, temp. Elizabeth, are two drafts in Thos. Bodley's handwriting, and an original Council letter to him giving directions for his conduct. The "Spanish Match," for which the Prince and Buckingham made the expedition which King James thought worthy of being put into a "new romanso," is here illustrated by original letters from Sir Robert Phelips, Sir Francis Cottington, and James Wadesworth, and a list of the Prince's attendants (Archie Armstrong among them); and a long essay (but imperfect) on the proposed match by Sir Robert Phelips. There are also drafts and copies of letters and news letters relating to the Palatinate and the wars there in the times of James and Charles I., notes by Sir Robert Phelips of proceedings in the House of Lords against the Earl of Bristol; and of the evidence against Lord Bacon; and an original letter which states that the King said if the charges were proved he would hang him, and that the Prince exasperated the King against him, besides other interesting matters.
Sir Charles Isham's collection (p. 252) is rich in Heralds Visitations (originals and copies) for the counties of Berks, Bucks, Leicester, and Northampton, by W. Harvey, Sampson Lennard, Richard Lee, Augustine Vincent, and Gregory King. One of the volumes is by Ralph Brooke. There are collections for the History of Nottingham; copy of part of a Tewkesbury Abbatial Register, containing early historical matters; and a short 17th century Chronicle of events at Worcester from a much earlier time: some early papal bulls to monasteries, a Spanish roll containing a short account of the American discoveries of Columbus; many letters from Venice and Turin in 1623 and 1624, some addressed to Dudley Carleton; copy of a letter by Cromwell, two original letters by Dugdale, (but not on antiquarian matters,) and several letters in 1660 and later by Brian Duppa, Bishop of Winchester. In one of these he mentions the death of Selden; in another he tells of the death of Dr. Harvey, and how he used to fast two days together; how (Sir Theodore) Mayerne, who died at the age of 80, was more than liberal in his diet; and that Listers was not abstemious, and died at the age of 87. Sir Charles Isham also possesses a large 14th century volume of Year Books, containing Reports of Cases in the Common Pleas and before the Justices in Eyre, temp. Edw. III.
Of the manuscripts of Sir Philip de Malpas Grey Egerton (p. 244), those in volumes have been printed. The letters are many, chiefly of local interest. The early deeds are very valuable as supplying the names of Justiciaries, Mayors, Sheriffs and other officers of the county and city of Chester.
Sir Henry Gunning's collection (p. 248), is exclusively diplomatic, consisting of the official correspondence of Walter Titley and Mr. (afterwards Sir) Robert Gunning; the former was Envoy Extraordinary at the Court of Denmark, from 1728 to 1736, and the latter held the same position at the Courts of Denmark, Berlin, and St. Petersburg!), from 1766 to 1774. The names of their respective correspondents are given in the Appendix. In 1772 are two long letters telling of the revolution at Stockholm, and of the Danish King's extraordinary conduct in the Assembly at Copenhagen. "He made "them swear to articles which gave him absolute power; he pulled out a psalm book "and sung the Te Deum, in which the Assembly joined."
Mr. Whitehall Dod has a fine cop}7, on vellum, of Wiclif's translation of the Old Testament and Apocrypha; letters of news by Col. Thos. Davies, temp. Charles I., giving court, home, and foreign news; and an original unpublished letter by Barnaby Fitzpatrick, at Paris, to Edward VI., in answer to one of the letters by the King to that gentleman, printed by Horace Walpole; an estimate of weapons at the Camp at West Tilbury in 1588; a letter, dated in 1630, showing how the Earl of Bridgewater nominated a Member of Parliament for the borough of Flint. On the 18th of February 1636, Sir Marmaduke Lloyd was made Chief Justice of the Counties of Glamorgan, Brecknock, and Radnor: in this collection is a letter, dated May 9, in the same year, in which he complains of his predecessor, Sir Walter Pye, keeping the judicial seal, thereby causing delay of justice. There is a long letter in 1659, by W. Holland to Mr. Broughton, in answer to questions on Ritualistic points. Mr. Dod has a grant,' dated in 1491, of confraternity to John Dod and Matilda his wife, by the minister of the Trinitarian Order of St. Robert, near Knaresborough. Mr. Horwood's Report is printed at p. 258 of the Appendix.
Mr. Orlebar's manuscripts show a Cartulary of the Monastery of Canons Ashby (described at p. 274 of the Appendix); and a letter, temp. Henry VIII., by a late Canon of the Monastery; an account of all the offices in England in the Queen's (Elizabeth) gift, and their fees; a singular collection of supposititious Law Cases in French, curious charges in the Commissaries Court, temp. James I., by churchwardens against their parson, and counter charges by him; and a series of letters to the Constables of Harrold and other places to execute their authority in getting men to join the rebel troops. On March 1711 is a letter telling of the attempt on that night of Count Guiscard to assassinate Mr. Harley, also another in 1788, narrating of the Trial of Warren Hastings.
A manuscript account of the Parliament of 1625, in the possession of Sir Rainald Knightley, gives a considerable addition to our knowledge of that important Session from which the breach between Charles and his Parliament dates. Mr. S. Rawson Gardiner kindly brought this volume to the notice of the Commissioners, and he has furnished an account of it, which will be found in the Appendix, p. 254.
Among the documents in the possession of the Dean and Chapter of Wells (App., p. 351), which have now, for the second time, been subjected to Mr. H. T. Riley's inspection, the following may be mentioned as deserving more especial notice (the County Records of Somerset (App., p. 333), it must be premised, yield nothing worthy of remark):—A number of deeds belonging to the reigns of the first three Edwards, in which numerous members of the now noble family of Welleslegh are named, either as parties thereto, or witnesses. One deed only will, however, be found indicating in any degree their early connexion with Ireland; the use therein by Roesia, widow of John de Welleslegh, of the seal of the Archbishop of Dublin, 25 Edward III. Several other deeds also, in which various ancestors of the family of Rodney are named. A Latin charter, in Saxon characters, wherein Eadgar, as "King of the Mercians, "Northumbrians, and Britons," makes grant to Ealhstane. A deed, from which it appears that Hugh de Welles, Bishop of Lincoln, was the elder brother of Jocelyn, Bishop of Wells, and not the younger, as has hitherto been supposed. It discloses the fact also, hitherto unknown, that their father was Edward, in another deed mentioned as "De "Welles." A conveyance proving that Henry Beaufort, for a time, was Dean of Wells; a fact which by some authorities has been denied. The original copy of the sentence fulminated by the Bishops of England against those who should violate the liberties contained in the Charters of England, 37 Henry III., sent to be deposited in the Church of Wells; not improbably the only original copy that has survived. Exemplification of the Charter " De Prisis bonorum," 10 Edward I. Two letters, written by Edward II. and Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, shortly after the Battle of Bannockburn, requesting Bishop John de Drokenesford to forward certain moneys, with all speed. The families of Luttrell and Oldmixon are also frequently mentioned in these documents, and kinsmen of Bishops Buttone, Haselshaw, Drokenesford, and Ergom, incidentally come under notice.
In the description (App., p. 364) of the few remaining Rolls of Account, belonging to the Vicars Choral of Wells Cathedral, allusion is made to the "Altar of John "Welleslegh" in the Cathedral: and the cultivation of strawberries, at Compton; in Somerset, as early as the year 1438, is mentioned. The only ancient deed now in the possession of the Vicars Choral, is one of a grant to William de Bracton, A.d. 1316.
The Report upon the Earlier Sessions' Books in the possession of the Corporation of Wells, calls for comparatively little notice. It will be found in the Appendix, p. 350.
From the Churchwardens' Accounts of the Parish of Chedder, in Somerset, during the 17th century, several particulars are to be gained in reference to the relief of thr; poor at that period, and the general distress entailed upon the community during the time of the Civil Wars ( App., p. 329).
A second and closer inspection by Mr. Riley of the records in the possession of the Corporation of Bridgwater, has brought to light a considerable number of documents, the existence of which had been forgotten; and impressions of what was probably the earliest seal used by ihe Corporation have been recovered. Among the extracts made from these documents will be found a Welch-English religious poem of the 15th century, and a lease written in the Somersetshire English, of that date. Mention is made, in reference to several deeds still existing, of Robert Blake, the grandfather of the celebrated Admiral, Humphrey, his father, and Benjamin, his brother, who was Mayor of Bridgwater in 1658. Two documents arc also noticed, in which occurs mention of the property held in Bridgwater by Cecily, Duchess of York, mother of King Edward the Fourth. A communication made by the Mayor of Youghal to the Mayor and burgesses of Bridgwater, deserves notice as furnishing a specimen of Irish-English, in A.d. 14/5. Here is also, a Letter of Protection, or safe-conduct, given by the Earls of March, Salisbury, and Warwick, in the time of the Wars of the Roses, to John Davy of Bridgwater. A notice of Bampfyld Moore Carew will be found alluded to among these extracts; and a:i Information against John Oldmixon (the well-known historian) for frequenting "Presbyterian and Anabaptist Conventicles." Among the documents at Bridgwater more than* a hundred papers and parchments refer to the town and University of Oxford, mostly in the reigns of Edward the Fourth and Henry the Seventh. They are of considerable interest, and deserve a thorough examination. Of a much earlier date, is a Coroner's Roll for Oxford, 25-29 Edward I., and a Roll of the Mill-Court of the Castle of Oxford, 11th and 12th Edward III. Mr. Riley's Report of his operations at Bridgwater is printed in the Appendix, p. 310.
The numerous deeds and miscellaneous documents that are in the possession of the Corporation of Axbridge, in Somerset (App., p. 300), are chiefly valuable as preserving the memories of its localities and town worthies, especially in the 14th century. Among its records will be found a short Latin Chronicle, which there seems reason to believe was compiled by some one connected with the Cathedral Church of St. Paul's, London. There is a contemporary copy also of a grant by Edward I. to Anselm de Gouruay and his tenants at Netherweare, and two deeds, of the 39th of Edward III., deserving remark as being written with a light blue ink. Tanning and weaving seem to have formed, in the Middle Ages, the staple trades of the town. From the Book of Ordinances, it appears that Axbridge supplied its quota of adherents to the Duke of Monmouth, on the occasion of his rebellion.
The leading feature that characterizes the more ancient records of the Corporation of Totnes (App., p. 341) is the preservation of several Rolls of its Merchants' Guild, beginning at A.d. 1260, and coming down to the 17th year of Edward III. (a.d. 1343). From the entries in these Rolls, it would seem that great care was taken to award to each member of the Guild, male or female, a particular seat in the open market, and probably in the body of the Parish Church. The Rolls of the Mayor's Law Court, in the 15th century, disclose many particulars in reference to the building of the tower of the present Parish Church. Numerous extracts of letters, written to the authorities at - Totnes by the ministers of Elizabeth and James the First, are also preserved.
The oldest records now in the possession of the Corporation of Kingston-on-Thames (App., p. 331) are not of earlier date than the reign of Henry the Seventh. Among the hundreds of ancient deeds and conveyances still in their possession, and which have escaped decay, there are several that bear reference to the family of Pakington in the time of Henry the Eighth. The second Charter granted to the town by King John is still in existence, and is the most ancient document in the possession of the Corporation (for the first is lost). In the Churchwardens' Accounts of the time of Henry the Seventh, which are kept among the Corporation records, notices occur of the minstrels upon May Day, Morris dances, and the "Robin Hood Games." As at Cambridge, the town was burdenfcd in the way of finding gifts, whether of " wyen and pypins" for the Bishop, or gloves for the Queen; while, on her progress through the town, heavy fees were exacted by her " officers," even down to the litter-bearers, or " lyter men."
In his limited examination, for the present Report (App., p. 327), of records preserved in the University of Cambridge, the Admission Books of Sidney Sussex College, by the kind favour of Dr. Phelps, the Master, came under Mr. Riley's notice. Without entering into further details, it will suffice to say that the names of Lord Goring, Henry Napier, William Waller, Oliver Cromwell, Thomas Fuller, Theophilus Dillingham, and Nathaniel Hooke, occur among the extracts. Mention is also made of the families of Montagu, Lucy, Berty, Roper, Quarles, Pett, Calamy, Kettlewell, and Manley.
The chief feature in the Bowtell Collection, now in the Library at Downing College, Cambridge, is the series of Accounts of the Town of Cambridgej beginning in the year 1510, and coming down to 1787. The extracts from them will be found to contain much matter of interest. Mention is made in them of John Thirleby, Town Clerk of Cambridge, and lather of Thomas Thirleby, Bishop of Westminster, Norwich, and Ely, and ultimately deprived. Payments are entered as being made to the King's Minstrels, the Queen's Minstrels, various sets of Players, and to Brandon, the King's " Gugeler." The elaborate work, in the same collection, on the art of Bellringing and Changes, by Dr. Charles Mason, formerly Senior Fellow of Trinity, and Woodwardian Professor, deserves notice. The Common-place Book of J. Wickstede, formerly Mayor (a.d. 1613) of Cambridge, contains many items of interest, in the way of current gossip. The Diary of John Newton, burgess of Cambridge, in the latter part of the seventeenth, and beginning of the eighteenth, century, written somewhat in the Pepysian style, is replete with matters of interest, in connexion with the then history of the University and town. His accounts of the rejoicings in Cambridge on the proclamation of King Charles the Second, and of the funeral of Dr. Matthew Wren, Bishop of Ely, who was buried at Pembroke College, especially deserve notice. Mr. Riley's Report is printed in the Appendix, p. 320.
Of the MSS. preserved at East Hendred, near Wantage, the most important is a transcript of Archdeacon Harpsfield's work on the Divorce of Henry the Eighth. Another copy is in the Library of New College, Oxford, and a third in the British Museum. For topographical and genealogical purposes the early charters, rolls, and other documents belonging to C. J. Eyston, Esq., of East Hendred, are interesting and valuable. The Rev. J. Stevenson's Report on this collection is printed in the Appendix, p. 260.
The MSS. in the custody of the Bishop of Southwark, reported on by the Rev. J. Stevenson (App., p. 233), consist, for the most part, of the collections of the late Rev. M. A. Tierney, the historian of Arundel and editor of a new edition of Dodd's Church History of England. On his death his papers passed into the hands of the late Dr. Grant, and from him they have come into the custody of the present Bishop. The most important, feature in this collection is undoubtedly the series of original letters and papers connected with the history of the English Catholics, from the reign of Elizabeth until a comparatively recent period.
As might, have been expected, the collections deposited in the Library of Dr. Williams, in Queen Square, Bloomsbury, refer chiefly to the history of Protestant Nonconformity in England. (App., p. 365.) They have been catalogued with considerable minuteness by the late Mr. W. H. Black.
The charters and miscellaneous papers connected with the family of Throckmorton, and kept at Coughton Court, the residence of Sir N. W. Throckmorton, have been examined by the Rev. J. Stevenson, and from his Report (App., p. 256) it will be seen that they form a collection both extensive and interesting. . A more detailed catalogue of these documents is to be desired. Their chief value consists in the illustrations which the}r afford of the propert}' held by the family from a very early period. Interspersed with these is a large amount of material of a diversified character. As the correspondence reaches nearly to the present time, a considerable portion of it is not mentioned in the present Report.
The border town of Berwick-upon-Tweed has preserved among its papers a large proportion of its early documents. These go back to the reign of King Edward the Third, and from the accession of Elizabeth the series is tolerably complete. These papers are interesting as illustrating the administration of the affairs of the town. (App., p. 308.)
The Report upon the second and concluding portion of the papers and other documents at Stonyhurst College will be found at App., p. 334. A copy of the Gospel of S. John, said to have belonged to Saint Cuthbert, and to have been found in his coffin when his body was disentombed at Durham, is of the highest value. Of no less importance is the series of original Letters and Papers connected with the affairs of the Society of Jesus, from the reign of Queen Elizabeth to that of King Charles II. In addition to these there is a large mass of papers of a miscellaneous nature, more or less bearing upon the history of the Roman Catholics in England, or the English Colleges and Religious Houses upon the Continent.
A second Report has been made by Mr. Fraser on the Collections of his Grace the Duke of Montrose, at Buchanan. (Appendix, p. 368.) The first division of the Report contains a description of the official correspondence of the first Duke of Montrose, who held the office of Principal Secretary of State for Scotland. For many years his Grace took a prominent part in the management of the public affairs of that country. He was a very influential supporter of the union between England and Scotland, and for his services he received from Queen Anne a holograph letter of thanks, which is quoted in the Report. The Duke's correspondence with John, Earl of Mar, and many leading