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Author: John Locke
Item date: 1699
Date acquired: 2015
Grant Value: £1,003
Item cost: £2,006
Institution: Bodleian Library
Town/City: Oxford
County: Oxfordshire

This is an ‘office copy’ of the letter, written by one of Locke’s amanuenses, Locke being careful to keep a record of both sides of his correspondence. Locke's correspondent was Thomas Molyneux (1661-1733), one of the most prominent doctors in Ireland, and a fellow of both the Royal Society and the Dublin Philosophical Society, whom Locke had known since they met in Leiden in 1684. The letter laments the death of Molyneux’s brother, William Molyneux (1656-98), a natural philosopher who, as founder of the Dublin Philosophical Society, is regarded as the founder of modern science in Ireland.

Item date: 15th century
Date acquired: 2015
Grant Value: £10,000
Item cost: £62,889
Institution: Bodleian Library
Town/City: Oxford
County: Oxfordshire

This 15th-century Latin manuscript Psalter (with some added German vernacular prayers) from the convent of Medingen is a new addition to the corpus of surviving manuscripts from the Cistercian convent of Medingen in Lower Saxony, and joins the two examples (an Easter prayer book and a Manual for the Provost) already in the Bodleian.

Author: Sir Edward Burne-Jones
Item date: 1892-1898
Date acquired: 2015
Grant Value: £10,000
Item cost: £200,000
Institution: Ashmolean Museum
Town/City: Oxford
County: Oxfordshire

This important record of the Pre-Raphaelite artists has remained with May Gaskell’s descendants, consists of more than 200 letters dating from 1892 up to the year of Burne-Jones’s death: three albums of intimate letters from the artist to Mrs Gaskell; two albums of illustrated letters to Mrs Gaskell and her daughter, Daphne; and other ephemera such as the artist’s brushes which he used when painting the portrait of Amy Gaskell. The letters are one of the most endearing records of all Burne-Jones’s friendships. They recount both his innermost thoughts and feelings and feature a cast of humorous characters, fictitious and real.

Item date: 19th and early 20th centuries
Date acquired: 2014
Grant Value: £460
Item cost: £920
Institution: Wiltshire & Swindon Archives
Town/City: Chippenham
County: Wiltshire

A small but varied collection mostly relating to Miss Moyra Goff (1897-1990) and her family, of The Courts, Holt, near Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire. The Courts is an eighteenth-century mansion which was donated to the National Trust, together with its grounds, in 1943. The archive includes a quantity of letters from the period of the First World War, including a letter from Victor Tait Perowne to Moyra Goff, containing a detailed description of the poet Siegfried Sassoon upon his arrival at Craiglockhart War Hospital, Scotland. Perowne describes Sassoon as ‘nice looking in a Greek way’, but ‘talks a lot about himself in a bashful, modest, way and lives for hunting…’

Item date: 1747-1767
Date acquired: 2014
Grant Value: £945
Item cost: £945
Institution: Wallace Collection
Town/City: London

Two volumes, containing 7 rare printed works relating to 18th century French art, from the stock of the late antiquarian bookseller Diana Parikian. The first contains six short works on the visual arts in Paris in the 1750s and 1760s, bound together. The second volume is M. Michel, La Peinture: Poëme, Lyon 1767.

Author: Dame Gwen Ffrangcon-Davie
Item date: 1891-1990
Date acquired: 2014
Grant Value: £8,000
Item cost: £20,000
Institution: Victoria & Albert Museum, Dept of Theatre & Performance
Town/City: London

The collection offers a compelling insight into Gwen Ffrangcon-Davies’ professional and personal life, as well as the performing arts scene of her time. There is correspondence with most of the leading performers and writers, including John Gielgud, Vivien Leigh, Ellen Terry, Edward Gordon Craig, Ian McKellen and Peggy Ashcroft. Photograph and press cutting albums further illustrate the career of this remarkable British actress. Her diaries, address books and memorabilia including some belonging to her father, the baritone David Ffrangcon-Davies, provide further insight into her life.

Item date: 1682-1839
Date acquired: 2014
Institution: London Borough of Sutton Archives Service

The first (Lot 30) acquired at auction was a Court Baron for Carshalton dating from 1682 to 1833. This volume had been absent from our records for more than fifty years, before they came into our custody, so we were very keen to acquire it.

Author: William Donaldson
Item date: 1838-1849
Date acquired: 2012
Grant Value: £1,650
Item cost: £3,750
Institution: Surrey History Centre
Town/City: Woking
County: Surrey

Superintendent William Donaldson, commanded the Dorking Police Force from its foundation in 1838 to its amalgamation into the newly formed Surrey County Constabulary in 1851. These notebooks appear to be the only surviving record of the force and they provide a very interesting and unusual picture of crime in Dorking before the creation of a countywide police service, and stand as a unique record of a small Surrey town’s initiative in tackling disorder in an era of considerable social and political change and economic dislocation.

Item date: 1734
Date acquired: 2014
Grant Value: £992
Item cost: £992
Institution: Spalding Gentlemen's Society
Town/City: Spalding
County: Lincolnshire

This poll-book, which was owned by Maurice Johnson (founder of the Society) illustrates a most interesting episode in England’s history and further illumates the friendship between Johnson and William Stukeley, Vicar of All Saints’ in Stamford. The 1734 general election took place in the wake of a crisis in Sir Robert Walpole’s administration. Stamford was a pocket borough under the control of the Earls of Exeter of nearby Burghley House. The poll book, listing voters and the way they voted, was printed after the election, in answer to the cries of corruption from the defeated Whigs, to show that the Tory candidates had won the election fairly.

Author: Maurice Johnson
Item date: 1720-1747
Date acquired: 2014
Grant Value: £5,000
Item cost: £7,440
Institution: Spalding Gentlemen's Society
Town/City: Spalding
County: Lincolnshire

Maurice Johnson’s 'Armes & Memoires of ffamilies in Lincolnshire’ is an exceptional example of early eighteenth-century antiquarian practice. The manuscript volume bears a bookplate dated 1735, but was probably begun by Johnson c. 1720 and continued by him at least until 1747. It contains genealogical and historical materials relating to the families in his wide circle of antiquarian, professional and social acquaintance. Johnson was founder of the Society.