DERING, Sir EDWARD (1598-1644, antiquary, politician, manuscript collector, of Surrenden)
'bind this booke in vell[um] & pastbards guilte with double ffilletts & an ovell in the midest sprinkled one the edges With vermillian Cut as little as may be one the fore edge' -- manuscript instruction to the binder [not entirely adhered to for want of an oval tool] written on the first page after stitching (now forming the recto of the front pastedown). Binding instructions of this date rarely survive.
Sir Edward Dering, sometime Lieutenant of Dover Castle and Member of Parliament for Kent in the Long Parliament, when he moved the first reading of the Root and Branch Bill. 'Distinctly Protestant without being Puritan', he defected from the Parliamentary cause, opposed the Grand Remonstrance, and, after raising a regiment of horse on behalf of the King, was at the siege of Coventry. 'He collected charters and other documents on a vast scale, and compiled careful and elegant records of Kentish arms and monuments. As an antiquary he worked with Hatton, Shirley and Dugdale, and Dugdale spoke with enthusiasm of Dering - 'a most compleate gentleman in all respects, and an excellent Antiquarye.'
In this manuscript Dering augmented and to some extent corrected throughout the list of knights made by James I from the creations during his progress from Scotland in 1603 before the coronation to September 1622 [see note below for possible significance of this date]. Dering himself was knighted at Newmarket in 1619 [see pencil foliation 64b for 22 January 1618/19] and created a baronet in 1627. Dering often added their county to the names of knights, the occasions, dates and places where they were knighted, their offices, status and aliases, and once refers to another source. Occasionally he provided additional specific information: when John Spilman, the King's Jeweller and founder of the first successful commercial papermill in England, was knighted at Dartford on 25 May 1605, Dering notes - 'at ye paper mill there'.
In addition to Dering's annotations there are a few in another editing hand, some in red ink e.g. 'place these after ye next 6 leaves and before Sr Tho. Bennet'
By the time of his coronation, James I created more knights than Elizabeth had in her more than fifty-year reign, and most of those had been made not by her but by military commanders, like Essex. It was said that James 'scant left an esquire to uphold the race'. By the end of his first year he had added 837 new knights and it was then treated, at £30 a head, as an impost on any subject who could afford it, namely anyone possessing land yielding £40 a year or more. If they did not wish the title, they had to make a payment in lieu of taking it. One sidelight of James's profligacy was the admission in a royal proclamation of April 1623 [NB this manuscript ends in September 1622] that the College of Arms had lost track of James's new creations, resulting in the order that future knights submit a certificate to the Earl of Arundel, the Earl Marshal, within three months of their creation or lose their precedence. Dering, knighted in 1619, went on to provide the King with additional income in 1627 when he joined the new rank in the aristocracy established by James, the Baronets. The 'project of baronets' yielded the King, according to a contemporary estimate, the sum of £120,000 (Jacobean value). Next to the name of Sir Roger Aston, Dering perhaps indicates his displeasure at the down-grading of knighthood when he notes 'his maj[est]ys servant viz barber' (See G.P.V. Akrigg, Jacobean Pageant).