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…’
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.
Institution: Victoria & Albert Museum, Dept of Theatre & Performance
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Institution: SW Heritage Trust: Somerset Archives and Local Studies
The Coker Court manuscripts consist of the family and estate archives of the Helyar family of East Coker, in south Somerset, and of the Walker, Heneage and Button families of Somerset, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire. The collection extends to 4.6 cubic metres and is an outstanding example of a family archive, containing materials dating from the Middle Ages to the 20th century. The collection is significant not only for the study of Somerset and the West Country, but also for the light it throws on aspects of national and international history.
This letter was written by Walter Adolphus Dunne, a Sub-Assistant Commissary attached to the 24th Regiment. Dunne was one of the defenders of Rorke’s Drift, and wrote the letter only hours after the battle finished in the early hours of 24 January 1879. It is a vivid document and must be the earliest account of the defence.
Michael Faraday is best known for his scientific work and teaching undertaken at the Royal Institution from 1812 until his death in 1867. Comparatively little is known about his personal life and religious beliefs, and a large part of what is known lies within this correspondence with his nieces.The Milton collection of correspondence was the largest collection of Faraday letters still to remain in private hands. Most of the 31 letters are concerned with matters relating to the Sandemanian church, of which Faraday and most of his relations were members.