Bodleian Library, Eng. hist. MSS

MS Eng. hist. b. 2

A folio composite volume of letters and papers chiefly relating to nonjurors, in various hands, ii + 308 leaves, c.1689-1713.

f. 47r

VaJ 457: Sir John Vanbrugh, Document(s)

Copy of ‘Mr Van-Brugg's Proposals about Building ye new Churches’, [1711]. c.1711.

MS Eng. hist. b. 135

A volume of papers of Dr Bulkeley Bandinel (1781-1861), librarian, editor of Clarendon's History (1826). c.1820s.

ClE 162: Edward Hyde, First Earl of Clarendon, Editorial papers

MS Eng. hist. b. 205

A composite volume of letters and papers relating to John Warner (1581-1666), Bishop of Rochester, 120 leaves.

f. 12r

*TaJ 45: Jeremy Taylor, Letter(s)

Autograph letter signed by Taylor, to John Warner, Bishop of Rochester, 16 February 1655/6. 1656.

MS Eng. hist. c. 9

A folio volume of antiquarian texts, 45 leaves. Compiled by Sir William Dugdale (1605-86), antiquary and herald, who begins with ‘A perfect Index or Repertorie unto twenty-five volumes of Manuscript-Bookes in folio, wch were the Collections of Sr William Le Neve knt...made and composed by me Sr William Dugdale...mense Iunij Ao 1679’. c.1677-9.

Owned in the 18th century by ‘Tho. Skiffington’. Later by James T. Gibson Craig. Sotheby's, 22 March 1888 (Gibson Craig sale Part II), lot 1738.

ff. 33r-41r

LeJ 29: John Leland, Collectanea [Dugdale transcript]

Copy of extracts ‘ex quibusdam Collectionibus Iohannis Lelandi penès Henricum St. George equitem...1677’, transcribed by Dugdale from Leland's autograph MS (LeJ 16). 1677.

This MS recorded in Smith, I, xxx; II, 117.

MS Eng. hist. c. 44

A folio volume comprising copies of letters, 54 leaves. 18th century.

Donated by W. H. Bliss, MA, 18 July 1895.

f. 11v, 12v

ClE 128: Edward Hyde, First Earl of Clarendon, Letters to the Duke of York and the Duchess of York


Letters by Clarendon to his daughter Anne (who died on 31 March 1671 before the letter arrived) and to her husband, the Duke of York (later James II), on the occasion of her conversion to Roman Catholicism. The original letters, which received particular attention by his contemporaries because of their subject matter, are not known to survive.

These were first published in Two Letters written by…Edward Earl of Clarendon…one to His Royal Highness the Duke of York, the other to the Dutchess, occasioned by her Embracing the Roman Catholic Religion (London, [1680?]) and were reprinted in State Tracts (1689), in An Appendix to the History of the Grand Rebellion (Oxford, 1724), pp. 313-24, and elsewhere.

MS Eng. hist. c. 51

A folio composite guard book of political letters and papers, i + 227 leaves.

ff. 8r-18v

CtR 488: Sir Robert Cotton, That the Soveraignes Person is Required in the Great Covncells, or Assemblies of the State, aswell at the Consultations as at the Conclusions

Copy, in a professional hand. c.1620s.

Bought from E. Williams, 13 October 1917.

Tract beginning ‘Since at these Assemblies few Diaries, or exact Iournall Books are remaining...’. First published as A Treatise, shewing that the Soveraignes Person is Required in the great Councells or Assemblies of the State, aswell at the Consultations as at the conclusions, London, 1641. Cottoni posthuma (1651), pp. [41]-57.

MS Eng. hist. c. 121

A folio composite volume of copies of state letters and papers, in several professional hands, i + 23 leaves, in 19th-century half-calf.

The majority of the MS items here once owned by Sir Edward Dering, first Baronet (1598-1644), antiquary and religious controversialist. Portions of this volume once in the library of Sir Thomas Phillipps, Bt (1792-1872), manuscript and book collector: Phillipps MSS 22355 snd 34574. Sotheby's, 6 June 1898 (Phillipps sale), lot 847. Bequeathed in 1816 by Captain C. S. Harris.

ff. 7r-8v

RaW 710.286: Sir Walter Ralegh, Short Apology for his last Actions at Guiana

Copy, in a professional secretary hand, once folded as a letter or packet. c.1618.

Ralegh's letter of 1618 to his cousin George, Lord Carew of Clopton (beginning ‘Because I know not whether I shall live...’). First published in Judicious and Select Essays (London, 1650). Edwards, II, 375 et seq. Youings, No. 222, pp. 364-8.

ff. 12r-17v

EsR 191: Robert Devereux, second Earl of Essex, Essex's Arraignment, 19 February 1600/1

Copy, in a secretary hand. c.1600s.

f. 18r-v

EsR 256: Robert Devereux, second Earl of Essex, Essex's speech at his execution

Copy, in a secretary hand.

Generally incorporated in accounts of Essex's execution and sometimes also of his behaviour the night before.

f. 19r-v

EsR 257: Robert Devereux, second Earl of Essex, Essex's speech at his execution

Copy, in a secretary hand, headed ‘The mannr of the Executio of my L: of Essex’. c.1600s.

Generally incorporated in accounts of Essex's execution and sometimes also of his behaviour the night before.

f. 21r-v

EsR 258: Robert Devereux, second Earl of Essex, Essex's speech at his execution

Copy, in a professional secretary hand, headed ‘The manner of the execution of the sentence of death vppon the Late famous Robert Earlle of Essex wthin her Maties Touer of Londonn and the affecte of his speeches wch he vttered immediately before his death’, on the first two pages of a pair of conjugate folio leaves. c.1600s.

Generally incorporated in accounts of Essex's execution and sometimes also of his behaviour the night before.

MS Eng. hist. c. 199

A volume chiefly of speeches and proceedings in Parliament, 1640, 54 leaves, in modern half-vellum marbled boards. c.1640s.

Later owned by Frederic Morrell, Oxford solicitor. Acquired from the executors of Mrs Morrell in 1925.

ff. 3r-7r

RuB 141: Sir Benjamin Rudyerd, Speech in the House of Commons, ?7 November 1640


Speech (variously dated 4, 7, 9 and 10 November 1640) beginning ‘We are here assembled to do God's business and the King's...’. First published in The Speeches of Sr. Benjamin Rudyer in the high Court of Parliament (London, 1641), pp. 1-10. Manning, pp. 159-65.

ff. 31r-5r

WaE 788: Edmund Waller, Speech in the House of Commons, 22 April 1640


Recorded in Proceedings of the Short Parliament of 1640 (1977), p. 306.

A speech beginning ‘I will use no preface, as they do who prepare men to something to which they would persuade them...’ First published in two variant editions, as A Worthy Speech Made in the house of commons this present Parliament 1641 and as An Honorable and Learned Speech made by Mr Waller in Parliament respectively (both London, 1641). In Proceedings of the Short Parliament of 1640 (1977), pp. 306-8. It is doubted whether Waller actually delivered this speech in Parliament, though ‘He may have prepared and circulated the speech in manuscript to impress contemporaries’.

ff. 50r-1r

RuB 122: Sir Benjamin Rudyerd, Speech in the House of Commons, ?15-25 April 1640


Recorded in Proceedings of the Short Parliament of 1640 (1977), p. 297.

Speech beginning ‘There is a great dore now opened unto us of doing good...’. Variant version in Manning, pp. 148-51.

MS Eng. hist. c. 240

A folio volume containing two tracts (the second a discourse on bishops), in a single secretary hand, 47 leaves (plus blanks), in later calf gilt.

Mostyn Hall MS 155 (formerly MS 63). Bookplate of Thomas Mostyn 1744. G.H. Last's sale catalogue No. 213 (1936), item 672.

HMC, 4th Report (1874), Appendix, p. 353.

ff. 1r-27r

CtR 272: Sir Robert Cotton, The Manner and Meanes how the Kings of England have from time to time Supported and Repaired their Estates. Written...1609.


Tract beginning ‘The Kings of England have supported and repaired their Estates...’. First published, as An Abstract out of the Records of the Tower, touching the Kings Revenue: and how they have supported themselves, London, [1642]. Cottoni posthuma (1651), pp. [161]-‘200’[i.e. 202].

MS Eng. hist. c. 265

Copy, iv + 246 pages, in calf gilt (rebacked).

ClE 97: Edward Hyde, First Earl of Clarendon, Impeachment Proceedings against Clarendon in 1667

Articles of Treason exhibited in Parliament against Clarendon, 14 November 1667 published in London, 1667. The Proceedings in the House of Commons touching the Impeachment of Clarendon 1667 published in London, 1700.

MS Eng. hist. c. 272

A folio composite volume of political tracts, speeches and other papers, many relating to Spain and the Netherlands, v + 138 pages, in 19th-century reversed calf.

Once owned by Sir Henry Spelman (1564?-1641), historian and antiquary. Later owned by Cox Macro (1683-1767), antiquary. Christie's, February 1820 (Macro sale, Part VI), lot 112. Subsequently owned by Hudson Gurney (1775-1864), banker and antiquary, of Keswick Hall, Norfolk (Gurney MS XXX), Vol. 4, pp. 308-75). Sotheby's, 30 March 1936 (Gurney sale), lot 163.

HMC, 1891, Appendix, Pt IX, pp. 144-7.

pp. 1-2

WyT 424: Sir Thomas Wyatt, Sir Thomas Wyatt to his son (15 April 1537)


Letter beginning ‘In as mitch as now ye ar come to sume yeres of vnderstanding...’, dated from Paris 15 April. Muir, Life & Letters, pp. 38-41.

pp. 3-6

WyT 433: Sir Thomas Wyatt, Sir Thomas Wyatt to his son (Autumn 1537)


Letter beginning ‘I doubt not but long ere this time my lettres are come to you...’, subscribed ‘From Valedolide the xxiiith of June’. Muir, Life & Letters, pp. 41-4.

pp. 44-6

RaW 840: Sir Walter Ralegh, Letter(s)

Copy of a letter by Ralegh, to James I.

pp. 49-50

RaW 439: Sir Walter Ralegh, The passionate mans Pilgrimage (‘Giue me my Scallop shell of quiet’)

Copy, headed ‘verses written by Sr walter Raleigh in the gatehouse att westmr the evening before he died’, in a section of material relating to Ralegh (pp. 43-51). c.1630.

This MS recorded in Latham pp. 141-2.

First published with Daiphantvs or The Passions of Loue (London, 1604). Latham, pp. 49-51. Rudick, Nos 54A, 54B and 54C (three versions, pp. 126-33).

This poem rejected from the canon and attributed to an anonymous Catholic poet in Philip Edwards, ‘Who Wrote The Passionate Man's Pilgrimage?’, ELR, 4 (1974), 83-97.

p. 50

RaW 18: Sir Walter Ralegh, ‘Euen such is tyme which takes in trust’

Copy, headed ‘verses written by Sr walter Raleigh but twoe howers before his death’, in a section of material relating to Ralegh (pp. 43-51). c.1630.

This MS recorded in Latham, pp. 143-4, 156.

First published in Richard Brathwayte, Remains after Death (London, 1618). Latham, p. 72 (as ‘These verses following were made by Sir Walter Rauleigh the night before he dyed and left att the Gate howse’). Rudick, Nos 35A, 35B, and part of 55 (three versions, pp. 80, 133).

This poem is ascribed to Ralegh in most MS copies and is often appended to copies of his speech on the scaffold (see RaW 739-822).

See also RaW 302 and RaW 304.

pp. 58-61

BcF 698: Francis Bacon, An Essay of a King

Spedding, VI, 595-7, discussed pp. 592-4.

Essay, beginning ‘A king is a mortal god on earth...’. Spedding, VI, 595-7 (discussed pp. 592-4).

pp. 75-99

RaW 622.5: Sir Walter Ralegh, A Discourse touching a Marriage between Prince Henry and a Daughter of Savoy

Copy, headed ‘A politique dispute aboute the happyest Marriage for the noble P.C.’c.1630.

A tract beginning ‘There is nobody that persuades our prince to match with Savoy, for any love to the person of the duke...’. First published in The Interest of England with regard to Foreign Alliances, explained in two discourses:...2) Touching a Marriage between Prince Henry of England and a Daughter of Savoy (London, 1750). Works (1829), VIII, 237-52. Ralegh's authorship is not certain.

MS Eng. hist. c. 287

A composite volume of historical tracts by Nathaniel Jonston (1629?-1705), political theorist and antiquary.

Later, in 1756, acquired by Richard Frank (c.1698-1762), descending to F. Bacon Frank, of Campsall Hall, Yorkshire.

Recorded as Volume 17 in HMC, 6th Report, Appendix, pp. 448-65 (pp. 452-3).

f. 9r

SeC 119.8: Sir Charles Sedley, Speeches

A report of ‘Sr Charles Sydleys speech in the house of Comons 23 Dec 1690’, beginning ‘Wee have provided for the Army as also for the Navy...’, on a single leaf., docketed ‘Surely he never spoke these last words...’. 1690.

Seven speeches in The Works of Sir Charles Sedley, [London, 1702], pp. 1-21 (second pagination). The Works of the Honourable Sir Charles Sedley, Bat (2 vols, London, 1722), I, 225-38.

MS Eng. hist. c. 304

A folio composite volume of political and historical MSS, 585 leaves, in contemporary calf (rebacked).

Once owned by John Anstis (1669-1744), Garter King of Arms, who has supplied an index. Later owned by Sir Thomas Phillipps (1792-1872) (his MS 3612). Sotheby's, 6 [or 9?] June 1898 (Phillipps sale), lot 623. Given to the Bodleian by F.J. Varley in February 1948.

ff. 10r-73v, 349r-50v

*HaG 64: George Savile, First Marquess of Halifax, Miscellanies

Autograph draft historical notes, comprising an index of royal proclamations issued between 1660 and 1690, alphabetically arranged (in the form of a commonplace book), on 64 folio leaves (plus blanks); together with autograph notes on Samuel Barnardiston's case, partly in double columns, on two folio leaves (adjoining two blank leaves, one dated 27 May 1689).

MS Eng. hist. c. 319

A composite volume of state tracts and speeches, in various hands, folio and quarto sizes, 79 leaves, in modern cloth.

Given to the Bodleian in 1952 by J.C.B. Gamlen via Ruth Waterhouse.

ff. 1r-2v

ElQ 239: Queen Elizabeth I, Queen Elizabeth's Speech at the Closing of Parliament, April 10, 1593

Copy of the English Version 2, in a professional secretary hand, untitled, on the first two pages of two conjugate folio leaves, endorsed ‘A reporte of her Maties speache in the pliament house at the dissolving of the pliament’. c.1593.

Edited from this MS (as Version 2) in Collected Works, pp. 330-2. Cited in Hartley.

First published (Version II) in John Stow, Annales; or a General Chronicle of England (London, 1601), pp. 1272-3.

Version I. Beginning ‘This kingdom hath had many noble and victorious princes...’. Hartley, III, 173-5. Collected Works, Speech 21, pp. 328-30 (Version 1)

Version II. Beginning ‘My Lords and you, my Commons of the Lower House, were it not that I know no speeches presented by any other...’. Hartley, III, 28-9. Collected Works, Speech 21, pp. 330-2.

ff. 19r-21r

RaW 745: Sir Walter Ralegh, Speech on the Scaffold (29 October 1618)

Copy of an account of the speech and execution, in two hands, on five pages of two pairs of conjugate folio leaves (the third leaf, in the second hand, cut to ¾-leaf size), endorsed (f. 22v) ‘Sr walter Raleighe his speech at his death Octob: 29. 1618’. c.1620s.

Transcripts of Ralegh's speech have been printed in his Remains (London, 1657). Works (1829), I, 558-64, 691-6. VIII, 775-80, and elsewhere. Copies range from verbatim transcripts to summaries of the speech, they usually form part of an account of Ralegh's execution, they have various headings, and the texts differ considerably. For a relevant discussion, see Anna Beer, ‘Textual Politics: The Execution of Sir Walter Ralegh’, MP, 94/1 (August 1996), 19-38.

MS Eng. hist c. 474, f. 117r

A portion of Sir William Herrick's autograph account book, recording four payments to his nephew Robert Herrick (totalling £74 8s) between 1 September 1610 and 5 March 1612/13, the last of the payments (for £42 10s) being signed in receipt by the poet himself (‘Robert Hearick’) and the account then cancelled by his uncle with two pen strokes, 19 March 1612/13. 1613.

*HeR 433: Robert Herrick, Document(s)

Among papers of the Herrick family.

Facsimile in Hofmann & Freeman's sale catalogue No. 25 (1968), item 27.

MS Eng. hist. c. 476

A composite volume of papers of the Herrick family of Leicestershire, iv + 170 leaves.

Once owned, and indexed, by J.G. Nichols. Hoffmann and Freeman's sale catalogue No. 25 (1968), part of item 27.

f. 139r-v

JnB 625: Ben Jonson, The Gypsies Metamorphosed, Song (‘Cock-Lorell would needes haue the Diuell his guest’)

Copy of the ballad, headed ‘Ben's Johnsons Cooklorrel’.

Herford & Simpson, lines 1061-1125. Greg, Burley version, lines 821-84. Windsor version, lines 876-939.

MS Eng. hist. c. 477

Composite volume of papers belonging to Sir William Herrick (1562-1653) and his family in Leicestershire, iv + 320 leaves. c.1619-26.

Once owned, and indexed, by J. G. Nichols. Hoffmann and Freeman's sale catalogue No. 25 (1968), part of item 27.

ff. 52r-7r

AndL 17: Lancelot Andrewes, A Discourse against Second Marriage after Divorce


First published in LACT, Minor Works (1854), pp. 106-10.

MS Eng. hist. c. 494

Arguments and opinions (including Bacon's) in the case ‘de commenda’ of Colt and Glover against Richard Neile, Bishop of Lincoln, et al. (1616), in a professional secretary hand, v + 37 folio leaves (including blanks), in contemporary vellum boards. c.1616.

BcF 104: Francis Bacon, Arguments of Law. Arguments in the Case De Commenda

Formerly a Phillipps MS (? MS 29480). Bookplate of the Fairfax family. Christie's, 22 March 1972, lot 306.


MS Eng. hist. d. 134

Copy, as ‘Written By Sr Robert Cotton Knight and Baronet’, in a professional hand, v + 101 folio leaves, in contemporary calf gilt. c.1630.

CtR 7: Sir Robert Cotton, An Answer made by Command of Prince Henry, to Certain Propositions of Warre and Peace

J. & J. Leighton's sale catalogue No. 11 (1928), item 219.

A treatise beginning ‘Frames of Policy, as well as works of Nature, are best preserved from the same grounds...’., written in 1609. First published London, 1655. Also published as Warrs with Forregin Princes Dangerous to oyr Common-Wealth: or, reasons for Forreign Wars Answered (London, 1657); as An Answer to such Motives as were offer'd by certain Military-Men to Prince Henry, inciting him to affect Arms more than Peace... (London, 1665); and as A Discourse of Foreign War (London, 1690).

MS Eng. hist. d. 138

A folio volume of four works by Ralegh, in professional hands, i + 47 leaves, in 19th-century diced russia gilt (rebacked). c.1630.

Inscribed (f. 2r) with the name ‘Watkin Owen’. Formerly Mostyn MS 142, from the library of originally founded by Sir Thomas Mostyn (1535-1617) at Mostyn Hall, near Holywell, Flintshire, and maintained by Sir Roger Mostyn (1567-1642) and his son Sir Roger Mostyn, first Baronet (1625?-90). Sotheby's, 13 July 1920 (Mostyn sale), lot 99, to Edwards. Francis Edwards, sale catalogue No. 519 (1929), item 385.

Recorded in HMC, 4th Report (1874), Appendix, p. 353.

ff. 2r-3v

RaW 710.93: Sir Walter Ralegh, Sir Walter Ralegh unto Prince Henry touching the Model of a Ship

Copy, headed ‘A Letter to Prince Henry <excised >the Modell of a Shipp, written by Sir Walter Raleigh’.

This MS recorded in Latham & Youings.

A letter to Prince Henry, written from the Tower, c.November 1607, beginning ‘If the ship your highness intends to build be bigger than the Victory...’. First published in Judicious and Select Essays (London, 1650), pp. 8-15. Works (1829), VIII, 627-9. Youings, No. 194, pp. 301-4.

ff. 6r-7v, 41r-2v

RaW 841: Sir Walter Ralegh, Letter(s)

Copy of two letters by Ralegh, to James I.

ff. 8r-40v

RaW 545: Sir Walter Ralegh, Apology for his Voyage to Guiana

Copy, headed ‘Sr: Walter Raighley Large Appologie for the ill Successe of his enterprise to Guina’.

Edited from this MS in Harlow, pp. 316-34.

A tract beginning ‘If the ill success of this enterprise of mine had been without example...’. First published in Judicious and Select Essays and Observations (London, 1650). Works (1829), VIII, 477-507. Edited by V. T. Harlow in Ralegh's Last Voyage (London, 1932), pp. 316-34.

MS Eng. hist. e. 1

A folio volume of biographies of old actors, compiled chiefly by John Payne Collier (1789-1883), literary scholar, editor, and forger, ii + 843 leaves. c.1640-80.

Collier sale, 7 August 1884, lot 117.

ff. 8r-11v

CoA 257: Abraham Cowley, Will

An annotated transcript of Cowley's last will and testament drawn up 18 September 1665. c.1665.

MS Eng. hist. e. 28

A quarto composite volume of historical tracts and papers, in various hands, viii + 618 pages, in calf.

Evans, 16 November 1842 (George Chalmers sale), lot 1647. Afterwards owned by James Orchard Halliwell (from 1872 Halliwell-Phillipps) (1820-89), literary scholar and book collector. J.W. Jarvis & Son, sale catalogue No. 59 (July 1889), item 181.

pp. 213-30

CtR 340: Sir Robert Cotton, A Relation of the Proceedings against Ambassadors who have miscarried themselves, etc. ...[27 April 1624]

Copy, in a professional hand. c.1630.

Tract, addressed to George, Duke of Buckingham, beginning ‘In humble obedience to your Grace's Command, I am emboldned to present my poor advice...’. Cottoni posthuma (1651), pp. 1-9.

pp. 436b-436gg

ToC 2.5: Cyril Tourneur, The Character of Robert Earl of Salisbury

Copy, in a neat professional hand, entitled ‘The Character of Robert; late Earle of salisburie lord high Treasurer of England &c’, with a dedication ‘To the most vnderstanding, and the most worthie ladye The ladye Theodosia Cecyll; &c’, and subscribed ‘Cyrill Tourneur’, in the form of a small 16-leaf booklet (4 x 3 inches). c.1620.

Edited from this MS in Pearsall Smith and in Nicoll.

A character, beginning ‘He came of a parent, that counselled the state into piety, honour and power...’, and dedicated to Lady Theodosia Cecil. First published in Logan Pearsall Smith, The Life and Letters of Sir Henry Wotton (Oxford, 1907), II, 487-9. Nicoll, pp. 259-63.

MS Eng e. 237

A guardbook of miscellaneous letters and papers, in various hands, i + 74 leaves.

ff. 65r-6r

ClE 163: Edward Hyde, First Earl of Clarendon, Editorial papers

A ‘statement’ relating to the compilation and printing of the 1759 edition of The Life of Clarendon Written by Himself. c.1759.

MS Eng. hist. f. 8

An octavo volume of tracts and papers relating to France, 180 leaves, in calf. Early 17th century.

Later Phillipps MS 11931. Bookplate of one Robert Steele, Wandsworth Common. Sotheby's, 5 June 1899, lot 505. P.J. and A.E. Dobell's sale catalogue No. 73 (1928), item 455.

fols. 91r-8r

SiP 187: Sir Philip Sidney, A Letter to Queen Elizabeth touching her Marriage with Monsieur

Copy in a single bold hand, headed ‘A Letter written by Sr Phillip Sydny: unto Q ELIZabeth toutching her mariage with Mounseiur’, on fifteen pages.

Beal, In Praise of Scribes, No. 6.

First published in Scrinia Caeciliana: Mysteries of State & Government (London, 1663) and in Cabala: sive Scrinia Sacra (London, 1663). Feuillerat, III, 51-60. Duncan-Jones & Van Dorsten, pp. 46-57.

This work and its textual transmission discussed, with facsimile examples, in Peter Beal, In Praise of Scribes: Manuscripts and their Makers in Seventeenth-Century England (Oxford, 1998), Chapter 4, pp. 109-46 (with most MSS catalogued as Nos 1-37, with comments on their textual tradition, in Appendix IV, pp. 274-80).