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MSS. IN THE LIBRARY OF THE MARQUESS OF SALISBURY AT HATFIELD HOUSE.
IN our review of the volume of State Papers, recently published pursuant to Royal commission (see our number for May, p. 440), it was noticed that the imperfect state of the collections in the State Paper Office arose from the prevalent omission, in former times, on the death or retirement of ministers and secretaries of state, of that demand for the documents connected with their administration, the propriety of which will be apparent on the slightest reflection. Left in the custody of private families, these valuable records have been too often abandoned to all the accidents of fire, damp, and vermin, the base uses of the kitchen, or the cupidity of better informed peculators.
We are happy now to announce that Mr. C. J. Stewart, late of the firm of Howell and Stewart, booksellers, has been employed by the present Marquess of Salisbury in arranging and analysing "the vast treasures of state relics at Hatfield House," as they were justly termed by Mr. Lodge. Mr. Stewart has read and classed the whole of the collection, in which there are no fewer than 13,000 letters from the reign of Henry the Eighth to that of James the First. He has formed his catalogue in two portions: Vol. I. Miscellaneous MSS. and State Papers; Vol. II. Letters, Privy Seals. A column is introduced, showing the heads of the principal contents of each document, by the assistance of which the enquiries of those who have the good fortune to obtain access to the catalogue will be materially facilitated. Wherever any letter or paper has been found to be published, it has carefully been so specified.
Cordially thanking the Marquess of Salisbury for having caused a collection of MSS. so truly valuable to be set in order, we should most sincerely rejoice to witness the publication of a third volume of Cecil Papers, or that at least the world was obliged with the excellent catalogue which has elicited these remarks; in order that the collection may be hereafter made readily available to the purposes of historical writers. In the mean time, by the obliging permission of Mr. Stewart, we shall endeavour to furnish a synoptical view of the contents of these historical treasures, hoping to retrace our steps, and give some further specimens on a future occasion.
The State Papers in Hatfield House chiefly extend through the successive administrations of those two eminent statesmen, Lord Burleigh and his son the first Earl of Salisbury. The papers relating to the preceding periods appear to be but unconnected portions which may have accidentally fallen into Lord Burleigh's hand from his connection with the Court during these periods, and his well-known spirit of universal enquiry.
Of the portion relative to Lord Burleigh's time, two selections have been published, edited by the Rev. S. Haynes and the Rev. Wm. Murdin;* and a few that got astray from the present col. lection fell into Mr. Lodge's hands, were inserted by him in his Illustrations, and then honourably returned to the late Marquess of Salisbury. A large quantity, however, is still wanting, and must have been abstracted or destroyed previously to the two first mentioned gentlemen having examined the collection.
These form two uniform folio volumes, printed in 1740 and 1759; a description of their contents will be found in the Retrospective Review, 1827, vol. i. pp. 204-230,
Among the early MSS. there is a copy of William of Malmesbury, &c.'s English History, one of Roger de Hovedon's, and others relative to the same subject; various rentals, cartularies, &c. &c. There is also a very splendid manuscript on vellum of the Acts and the Apocalypse, on
the first page of which is a beautifully executed miniature of Henry VII.; a translation from the French of the Pilgrimage of the Soul 1413, on which there is the autograph of Henry VI.; and a curious work on heraldry of the fifteenth century.
MSS. at Hatfield House.
Of Henry VIII.'s time there is a Treatise on General Councils, by Archbishop Cranmer. 'The Oryginal Depositions subscribyd wth th'andys of such as here foloyth:" touching the Divorce of Anne of Cleves; copies of various Treaties, some of which are not in Rymer; documents relative to the expenses of the wars during that reign, &c. &c. Of Edward VI.'s there is a proclamation on his ascending the throne, which, if actually made public, is not noticed by historians; a copy of the Liturgy of St. James, apparently translated by Roger Ascham; the particulars of the expenses incurred during the wars in the preceding and this reign; treaties; historical documents, &c. Of the reign of Mary, the original Council Book, as published in Haynes's selection, is a most curious record; Lord Clinton's reasons for his being sent for by Philip II. to Brussels, &c. &c.
regarding its internal state, and its relations with England; and others respecting the proceedings against Mary Queen of Scots. Several works on the subject of the succession to the crown, &c. &c.
Among the Theological and Ecclesiastical papers, there are some by the Jesuits Arrowsmith and Parsons; many relative to the Puritans, Recusants, Revenues of the Church, the question of the right of the Prince to seize Church Property, &c. &c. The historical portion contains memoranda in Lord Burleigh's hand, some of which are published in Murdin; the Norfolk Book of Entries, or copies of the Duke's Letters on the subject of Mary Queen of Scots' examination; opinions of Ministers on the proposed marriage of Elizabeth with the Duke of Alençon (Anjou); a copious official account of the Earl of Northumberland's conspiracies, the proceedings against him, his suicide in the Tower; numerous examinations of individuals respecting their knowledge of suspected persons, designs of foreign powers, &c. &c.; accounts and examinations touching the various conspiracies against the Queen, including Essex's; border matters; drafts of acts of Parliament, treaties, &c. ; many curious papers relative to the internal government of Ireland, proceedings against rebels, their submissions, &c. Of Scottish affairs, there are many
The papers relative to Military and Naval affairs are both numerous and curious, exhibiting all varieties, from the expense of equipping a fleet or army, to the freight of provisions for their use. They also contain the expenses of erecting or repairing fortifications, &c. With these may likewise be mentioned a quantity of curious plans, maps, charts, &c. from Henry VIII. to this reign, and generally illustrating this branch.
Of the Public Revenue, its produce, the sources of it, means of collection, application, &c. there are also many illustrative papers; and connected with this head, others relative to the commercial affairs of these times.
Under the heads of Local and Individual matters, will be found many curious papers illustrating the branches of county history, transfer of lands, rentals, genealogy, &c. &c.; but, besides what are contained in them on the latter subject, there are a number of regular genealogies, separately described.
The head of Foreign Affairs exhibits negociations, intelligence from spies and open residents at foreign courts; what respects the various intentions against England, or what refers to passing domestic events.
Under the last head of this reign, Miscellanies, are many original works and papers. Among these we find "a Booke of the auncient orders of the Knights of the Garter," &c. "The Peregrination of one Anthony Jenkinson in the landes of Persia," &c. dedicated to the Queen;
Sir John Stanley's Travels in Spain and Portugal, 1592;" Particulars of the Presents sent by the Turkey Company to the Grand Seigneur in 1594 and 98, amounting to 11,0147. 188. 4d.; "The unexpected accidentes of my casuall destinye discovered,” by John Daniel; this gives the author's account of his affair touching the Essex Papers, for which he was at this time suffering imprisonment; various unpublished poems of Ægidius Fletcher's; addresses of the Westminster and Eton scholars to her Majesty, in Greek and Latin, beautifully written and subscribed by their various au
thors; a few papers relative to her Majesty's stud, whilst the Earl of Essex was Master of the Horse, &c. JAMES'S REIGN.
MSS. at Hatfield House.
ter of the Proclamations, printed in 1608, &c. &c.
The Catholics and Puritans again occupy their share of the ecclesiastical papers of this reign. The rentals of the Bishopric of St. Andrew's, the Abbey of Kelso, and the Bishopric of Glasgow, as resigned in 1605 by the Duke of Lennox, on having the Cobham and other lands in England given to him, may be cited for their curiosity.
The Historical portion opens with the actual draft of the proclamation declaring James King of England, in the hand of Sir R. Cecil, and bearing numerous marks of his careful composition; there is also a warrant addressed to the Lieutenant of the Tower, signed by the principal nobility, as well as the council, that his Majesty may be proclaimed by him within his precincts; this, it may be here stated, is signed by both Lord Cobham and Lord Grey, who are represented by Hume to have been tardy in their recognition of the title of the new Sovereign. The various transactions of the early part of this reign, including Raleigh's and the Powder Plot, are here more or less illustrated. There are also copies of papers sent to the second Earl of Salisbury, touching the proposed marriage of the Prince (Charles I.) with the Infanta of Spain, differing in some cases with the received history of that matter.
The Military and Naval matters in this reign of less interest, afford some papers; but the branch of the Revenue and Expenditure, as may be expected, is more voluminous. The local and individual history contains also many papers of interest and value.
The head of Foreign Affairs exhibits, as in the last reign, negotiations, advertisements, or the intelligence communicated of the state of foreign courts, by spies, residents, &c.
Among the Miscellaneous may be mentioned a paper, attributed to Lord Chancellor Ellesmere, on the King's prerogative; the Privileges of the Baronage of England," wrote, as is supposed, by John Selden;" the original of the Compendium of the Records, by Arthur Agarde, as prepared by the author, and presented and dedicated to the first Earl of Salisbury; a regis
The first head, or Royal Letters, includes specimens of most of the reigning Princes of that period, and a quantity of James's letters to Elizabeth, and to the Earl of Salisbury after his accession. The second contains a number of letters from Queen Elizabeth to the Duke of Anjou. The third contains the Secret Correspondence of James with Sir R. Cecil during Elizabeth's life. This commences with James's communication opening the correspondence, which appears to have been brought about by Mar and Kinloss, James's ambassadors to Elizabeth on Essex's death. By it, it also appears that Essex had represented Cecil to James as favourable to the Spanish interest, and opposed to his. This Cecil disproves, but reserves himself entirely to the will of his present sovereign. Cecil's first letter is an open and honourable statement of the terms of this his countenance to James. There are also copies of letters sent to James by the Earl of Northumberland and forwarded by him to Cecil. The whole is perfectly unconnected with the volume published by Lord Hailes under this title, which, on examination, will be found to consist of Lord Henry Howard's ingratiating epistles to Mar and Kinloss; and certainly its contents warrant the conclusions of historians hitherto, had they only distinctly distinguished him to whom the honour of the production was due. The fourth contains the correspondence of Arabella Stuart, on her attempting to marry Mr. W. Seymour in 1602, of those connected with her, and those appointed by Elizabeth privately to examine into the matter, nothing of which is so early noticed by historians. The fifth contains a number of letters, partly in cypher, addressed to the Earl of Essex by the Duc de Bouillon, father of the famous Marshal Turenne from 1589 to 1599.
The sixth, or general division, extends from 1540 downwards, in one chronological series, and to the end of Elizabeth's reign; an abstract of each
Original Account of the Fire of London.
letter is given, or, if printed, where it
Bridewell Dock, so to make a broad
Lea-Hall, Yardley, near Mr. URBAN, Birmingham, July 18. AS your Magazine has lately been the medium of much information respecting the origin and obliteration of the inscriptions on the Monument; it may probably suit you to insert at your own convenience the inclosed original letter of an eye-witness to the dreadful calamity which that noble column commemorates. Yours, &c.
Sept. 6, 1666. I suppose your Lordship may have heard of this sad judgment that has been upon us, by some flying report, though not the particulars, and this goes by the first post. Being constant with the Duke, I presume to believe none has seen more of it then I have, he being so active and stirring in this business, he being all the day long, from 5 in the morning till 11 or 12 at night, using all means possible to save the rest of the city and suburbs. On Tuesday our only hope was to save Fleet-street, and so to Whitehall, by pulling down houses both sides
All orders signified nothing; had not the Duke been present, and forced all people to submit to his orders, by this time I am confident there had not been a house standing near Whitehall. The city, for the first rank, they minded only their own preservation; the middle sort so distracted and amazed that they knew not what they did; the poorer, they minded nothing but pilfering; so the city abandoned to the fire, and thousands believing in Mother Shipton's prophecy, "That London in sixty-six should be in ashes." Sir Kenelm Digby's son,d who pretends to prophecy, has said the same thing, and others-a judgment upon the city for their former sins.
The Duke, on Tuesday about 12 o'clock, was environed with fire; the wind high, blowed such great flakes, and so far, that they fired Salisbury Court, and several of the houses between that and Bridewell Dock, so the Duke was
• The Duke of York. Evelyn gives his unprejudiced testimony to his Royal Highness's great exertions: "It is not indeed imaginable how extraordinary the vigilance and activity of the King and the Duke was, even labouring in person, and being present to command, order, reward, or encourage workmen, by which he showed his affection to his people, and gained theirs." Diary, Sept. 6.-"The King and the Duke, who rode from one place to another, and put themselves into great dangers amongst the burning and falling houses, to give advice and direction what was to be done, underwent as much fatigue as the meanest, and had as little sleep or rest." Lord Clarendon.
b Commonly called Fleet-ditch, now covered by Farringdon-street and Bridge-street, Blackfriars.
"We have now (as it is usual in all extraordinary accidents), several prophecies started up: none more remarkable than that of Nostredame, a Frenchman who wrote a book of prophecies above a hundred years since, and therein (cent. ix. stanza 49) exactly predicted the Parliament's putting our King to death, and in his book (cent. ii, stanza 51) hath this: sang du just a Londres sera faute Bruslé par foudres de vingt trois les six. La Dame Antique cherra de place haute; De mesme sect pleusieurs serront occis
[It will be noticed here that Nostradamus had merely religious persecution in his mind.] Most of our last year's Almanacks talked of fire in London, and one named the month, but it was expunged by l'Estrange (who licensed them) for fear of the consequence."-Letter written in 1666, printed in Malcolm's Londinium, vol. iv. p. 80.
Many strange things are recorded of the Digbys; but the gift of prophecy in a son of Sir Kenelm is a new feature in this history.
forced to fly for it, and had almost been stifled with the heat. The next hopes there was, to stop it at Somerset house, it raged so extreme in Fleet street on both sides, and got between us, and at six of the clock to the King's Bench office at the Temple. Night coming on, the flames encreased by the wind rising, which appeared to us so terrible to see, from the very ditch [Fleet-ditch] the shore quite up to the Temple all in flame, and a very great breadth. At ten of the clock at night we left Somerset House, where they began to pull down some in hopes to save, but did despair, and fled to our last hopes to save Whitehall, by pulling down Sir John Denham's buildings, and so up to Charing-Cross. The Queen and Duchess resolved to be gone by six o'clock on Wednesday morning for Hampton Court. Nothing can be like unto the distraction we were in, but the Day of Judgment.
About 11 of the clock on Tuesday night came several messengers to the Duke for help, and for the engines, and said that there was some hopes of stopping it; that the wind was got to the south, and had blown the fire upon those houses from the street between
Original Account of the Fire of London.
the side of the Temple Church; by
"Sept. 5. It pleased his Majesty to command me," says Evelyn, "among the rest, to look after the quenching of Fetter Lane, and to preserve, if possible, that part of Holborn, whilst the rest of the gentlemen took their several posts, some at one part, some at another (for now they began to bestir themselves, and not till now, who hitherto had stood as men intoxicated, with their hands acrosse), and began to consider that nothing was likely to put a stop but the blowing up of so many houses as might make a wider gap than any had yet been made by the ordinary method of pulling them down with engines. This some stout seamen proposed early enough to have saved near the whole city, but this some tenacious and avaritious men, aldermen, &c. would not permit, because their houses must have been of the first.”—Pepys mentions some instances of this parsimony, particularly of one Alderman Starling, whose house had been saved by "our men," the very same seamen of whom Evelyn speaks.
The Clerk of the Privy Council; and father-in-law of Mr. Evelyn.
Sir Thomas Bludworth. It may be conjectured that the censure of being "a weak man" belongs rather to this functionary, than Sir Richard Browne; since several of the accounts notice his inefficiency. Mr. Pepys was sent to him on the first day (Sunday Sept. 2), with the King's command "to spare no houses, but to pull down before the fire every way." He found him in Cannon-street, “like a man spent, with a handkercher about his neck. To the King's message he cried, like a fainting woman, Lord, what can I do? I am spent; people will not obey me. I have been pulling down houses, but the fire overtakes us faster than we can do it.' That he needed no more soldiers; and that, for himself, he must go and refresh himself, having been up all night. So he left me, and I him, and walked home, seeing people all almost distracted, and no manner of means used to quench the fire."-"The Lord Mayor," says Lord Clarendon, "though a very honest man, was much blamed for want of sagacity on the first night of the fire, before the wind gave it much advancement, for though he came with great diligence as soon as he had notice of it, and was present with the first, yet having never been used to such spectacles, his consternation was equal to that of other men, nor did he know how to apply his authority to the remedying the present distress; and when men who were less terrified with the object pressed him very earnestly that he would give order for the present pulling down those