DERING (SIR EDWARD, first Baronet)
Lot 136
DERING (SIR EDWARD, first Baronet)
Sold for £ 6,600 (US$ 8,764) inc. premium

Lot Details
DERING (SIR EDWARD, first Baronet)
DERING (SIR EDWARD, first Baronet)
Volume of calligraphic transcripts collected by Sir Edward Dering of Surrenden Dering, Kent, probably in the hand of Dering's amanuensis Oliver Marshall with Dering's own marginalia, relating to taxation payable under feudal precedent by the country of Kent, and to the rights of the Cinque Ports, beginning with a transcript (f.1r) of the Act of 20 E.3 (1346) for raising 40 shillings from every knight's fee in the county of Kent, towards making the King's son a knight; followed by (this constituting the bulk of the manuscript) an assessment of knights' fees payable, listed by each hundred in Kent (ff.1v-56v); transcripts of documents and correspondence between Dering and others, concerning composition of knighthood payable by Kent, comprising "A true coppy of the severall Commissions for Knighthood & the Compositions thereby made togeather the whole preceedance therein Annis 1630. et 1631" and the "Instructions yow are to follow in the execucion of this o.r Commission" (annotated throughout by Dering with the differences between the letter accompanying the first commission and that accompanying the second), the King's letter accompanying the first commission to the Earl of Thanet, Sir Edward Hales, Sir Edward Dering and others, 4 August 1630, and that accompanying the second, 25 July 1631; the letter by the Commissioners for Kent for the Composition for the Fine of Knighthood, meeting at Maidstone, to the Lord Treasurer, 15 September 1630, with another form Thanet, Hales and Dering to the Treasurer from Rochester, 17 August 1630, and "A Copy of my Lord T[reasurer's] answere", 8 October 1630, "A Copy of Mr Attorneyes lettre directed to the Lord T[reasurer]", "A Copy of a lettre from the Lords of the Privy Counsell" received with the second commission, 29 July 1631; "A Copy of the Schedule mencioned in the last lettre", followed by letters to Dering and fellow Commissioners and to Sir Thomas Walsingham, seemingly by the Treasurer, 16 August and 1 September 1631, with the Commissioners' letter to the Treasurer of 16 September 1631, ending with "A Copy of a Lettre sent unto my Lord T[reasurer]" by the Commissioners of 18 October 1631 (" regard of a summons that we heare of to call Sr Edward Dering from this worke unto the answere of other causes in the Starchamber: wherein we humbly move your Lo.pp to ioyne with such other of their Lo.ppes as have consented to the respiting his appearance there especially because his assistance wilbe of chiefer use in the rest of the portes which we are to go through with..."); the volume concludes with a transcript of the liberties granted the Cinque Ports by Elizabeth I, headed "Quinque Portus Carta de Libertatibus Quinque Portuum" (breaking off at the end of the second leaf); with loose at the end, in a contemporary but slightly more calligraphic transcribing hand, a list of the 100 Knights of the Bath, as of 17 H.7, with their yearly value, headed "Out of an old booke in Folio marked on the last cover [space] wherein were many severall things registred (late Mr Francis Thynns) now belonging to Sr Egremond Thynne knt Sergeant at lawe – March 10. 1628", bookplates of F. William Cock, S. Graham Brade-Birks and Ernest Bryan Gipps (see note below), approximately 140 pages, many initial letters rubricated (with some of those towards the end of the volume left blank and some later filled in with blue crayon), occasional minor marks, dust-staining near the edges and signs of use, but overall in fine, fresh and attractive condition, half red morocco, marbled boards, spine labelled 'Acd [sic] Made in Kent 20 Edw III For Making Kings Son A Knight', rubbed, spine splitting, folio, [c.1630]


  • A FINE COLLECTION OF ANTIQUARIAN DOCUMENTS WITH CONTEMPORARY POLITICAL RELEVANCE, TRANSCRIBED FOR SIR EDWARD DERING, bearing on the King's power to raise taxation under the feudal practice of scutage payable on knights' fees in the county of Kent, as well as the privileges enjoyed by the Cinque Ports, during the years leading up to the Civil War.

    This compilation nicely illustrates the convergence of constitutional debate and antiquarian study during the early and increasingly revolutionary years of the seventeenth century with, in this instance, antiquarian scholarship serving as handmaid to political expediency. Dering had served as Member of Parliament for the Cinque Port of Hythe in 1625 and in 1627 was the fifth baronet to be created by Charles I, as well as being appointed Gentleman-Extraordinary of the King's Privy Chamber. He was, courtesy of his patron the Duke of Buckingham, able to indulge his antiquarian interests, being allowed by the Duke to consult public records without fees. Between March 1629 and 1634-5 he also served as Lieutenant of Dover Castle, making him, in effect, deputy to the Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports; it being in this capacity that he most probably appropriated the 'Dering Roll', the armorial of the 13th century recently acquired by the British Library (Sotheby's, 4 December 2007, lot 46). In 1638 he was to be one of the four notable 'students of antiquity' (with Dugdale, Hatton and Shirley) who formed Antiquitas Rediviva, with the professed aim of collecting "all memorable notes for historicall illustration of this kingdome", but "especially" those concerning the four counties in which they resided (in Dering's case Kent). The present collection can be seen therefore as being germane not only to Dering's antiquarian interests, but as also having a direct bearing on his political affiliations at this time, as summarised by his recent biographer S.P. Salt: "Dering became notorious in Kent for his zeal in response to the commissions issued in 1630–31 to compound for failure to take up knighthood and he was said to have ensured the success of ship money in the county, probably as a result of his contributions at the initial rating meeting. Yet Dering was not undiscriminating in the implementation of central initiatives in the localities: for example, he appears to have connived at the Cinque Ports' petition for exemption from the knighthood compositions" (ODNB). [contd.]

    A companion volume is held by the British Library, Add.43471. This also consists of records relating to Kent, comprising mainly transcripts of pre-Conquest charters made for Dering in about 1630 by Oliver Marshall, with marginal notes in Dering's autograph. It was given to the library by F. William Cock, the owner of our volume. Comparison of the two shows that the list of Cinque Port liberties in ours is also in Oliver Marshall's hand, and that some of the marginal annotations are probably by dering himself (for example the third entry down on f.10v). Cock has noted in ours: "I have another volume with the Saxon Charters... Given to B.M. 1935". Although (unusually) not marked or annotated as such, our volume can be clearly identified as having belonged to Sir Thomas Phillipps, as MS 21159; the catalogue of his collection quoting the lettering to be found on the spine (Phillipps Manuscripts, edited by A.N.L. Munby, 2001, p.391), Phillips having acquired his Dering manuscripts from Boone the bookseller. It was presumably acquired by Cock at Sotheby's, 15-17 June 1908, where its companion, Phillipps MS 21161, was lot 453.
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