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Lot 42

Sold for £ 2,400 (US$ 3,211) inc. premium
"Original Papers and Documents of various dates from A.D. 1436 to A.D. 1758, formerly belonging to the family of Stiles of Walton co., Northampton now the property of William Courtenay Morland... illustrative of the private life of a Royalist Officer in the time of the Great Rebellion", being a volume of papers bound in the mid 19th century principally relating to the career of Captain Thomas Stiles (or Styles), Royalist Governor of Crowland (Croyland), Spalding, and later member of Sir Gervase Lucas's flying column garrisoned at Belvoir Castle during the first Civil War, comprising:

(i) Pass signed by Sir Gervase Lucas, as Governor of Belvoir Castle, setting Captain Henry Fines [Fiennes Clinton] at liberty "Uppon assurance that Captaine Thomas Stiles prisoner att Colchester should be exchanged and releasd fro him, wch I daily expect" (24 April 1644)
(ii) Contemporary scribal duplicate of the Earl of Manchester's release note for Captain Stiles, addressed to the Mayor of Colchester (12 April 1644)
(iii) Pass signed by Thomas Lawrence, Mayor of Colchester, on behalf of "Thomas Styles, haveinge bin about eighteen monethes a prisoner in Colchester Castle being sent thether by Coronell Cromwell And haveinge bin formerly exchanged for Captaine Henry ffines als Clinton", who is "to repaire to Peterborough & from thence to Belvoyre Castle: & for his more quiet passage hath desired this testimonial... he not doeinge any thinge that shalbe contrary to the laws of this realme, or ordinances of Parliament" (5 September 1644)
(iv) Autograph field orders signed by Sir Gervase Lucas, to Captain Stiles: "Capt. prey give orders to your troope to move to the rendesvous at Grantham By six of the clock to-morrow morning whear will wayt of your servant", folded for delivery as across-over billet with address overleaf (28 October 1644)
(v) Warrant signed by Sir Gervase Lucas, to Colonel William and Captain Thomas "Styles", authorizing them on behalf of the King to collect the sums from listed "Townes in Peterborough Soake", with sums payable entered against each (Belvoir Castle, 15 April 1645)
(vi) Contemporary scribal duplicate of a warrant "To the Constables of Marrham [Marholm] or theire Deputyes", issued by the King and the Commissioners for Raising Horse and Moneys in the Hundred of Nassaborough, Northamptonshire, to levy £18 "by distresse sale of goods or otherwise (Belvoir Castle, 15 April 1645)
(vii) Contemporary transcripts of Charles I's order to Lord Belasyse for the surrender of Newark written after his surrender to the Scots and of his later order for the general surrender of his garrisons (beginning "Not haveing time I desire you to advertise all my severall loyall Governours...") ([6 May] 1646 and 18 June 1646)
(viii) Documents relating to Stiles's life during the Commonwealth and Protectorate, including a summons signed by or on behalf of William Boteler, Cromwell's Major General for Northamptonshire, Bedfordshire, and Huntingdonshire, summoning Stiles and others to appear before him in Northampton to provide a bond for his good conduct (5 November 1655), with Stiles's retained copy of his bond for £1000 (27 October 1655), certified copies of two orders by the Committee for Compounding to the Committee for Sequestrations of Lincolnshire for the restitution of Stiles's lands (21 April and 4 June 1649), drafts by Stiles of petitions to the Commissioners at Spalding, receipts for payment of Commonwealth Sequestrations and for Tenths & Subsidies issued to Stiles (1649 and 1655) [cont.]
(ix) Post Restoration documents including a petition to the Commissioners for the relief of loyal and indigent officers (quoted below) and a bond signed by Stiles ("Thos: Stiles") to the former Royalist Governor of Newark, Lord Belasyse, for £34 (1662)
(x) Stiles's will, in the hand of his widow Lucy, and inventory (1678)
(xi) Other material relating to the Stiles family and their property including the original will of "Henrici Hyrry [Herry or Herris] de Coubyt [Cowbit] in parochia de Spaldyng", on vellum, 31 January 1436/7, with receipts for the will when in the possession of Stiles in 1657; plus topographical prints, engraved portraits and other material; the volume extensively annotated by Henry Ward, Rector of Aldwincle, Thrapston, with transcripts, augmented with extracts from Rushworth, British Museum MSS and the like, in one volume, mid-nineteenth century vellum, arms painted on upper cover, folio, 1437-1857


  • PAPERS OF A ROYALIST OFFICER SERVING WITH SIR GERVASE LUCAS AND HIS FLYING COLUMN BASED AT BELVOIR CASTLE; Lucas being one of the most famous of cavalier commanders, commemorated to this day by the 'Sir Gervase Lucas Company, or Belvoir Cormorants' of the Sealed Knot. Thomas Stiles of Walton in the parish of Paston, Northamptonshire, was according to his petition made at the Restoration (see ix above) "the first Governer of Croyland in Lincolnshire in the year 1642 where he had command of horse & foote". Croyland, or Crowland, was then captured by Cromwell on 9 May 1643 and Stiles was on Cromwell's orders imprisoned at Colchester Castle (see Manchester's release note of 12 April 1644, with its reference to "Coronell Cromwell", Cromwell having been promoted Colonel that January [this order being unknown to Abbott]). On his exchange (see i-iii above) Stiles repaired to Belvoir Castle and served as "Captain of a Troope of horse until the tyme that the garrison of Newark in the County of Nottingham was delivered up in the year 1646". Lucas's field order of 28 October 1644 (see iv above) is evidence that Stiles took part in the sortie made from Belvoir to relieve the royalist garrison at Croyland which was thwarted by the forces of Fleetwood and Fairfax: documents such as this, dating from the Civil War and actually written in the field (as well as showing clear signs of address and delivery) are extremely rare.

    Charles I's surrender note issued to Lord Belasyse at Newark (vii above) is a document both of great importance and considerable poignancy, being the letter that brought the first Civil War to an end: "Bellasyse such is the condition of our affairs at the present, that I can give you no hope of releife, nor of better conditions then what I sent you last night wherefore, the best way for my service will be that you conclude upon them with all expedition, the cheife reason being that according to my designe I am necessitated to march with the Scots army this day Northward, but cannot move till this agreement be consented to by you. I am hartily sorry that my business stands so, that I must impose such conditions upon you; but am yo.r most assured friend/ C.R./ 8 of ye Clock at night". This letter is often mentioned but rarely quoted (the only text we have so far tracked down being the abbreviated version given by William Dickinson in The History and Antiquities of the Town of Newark, 1819, p.100fn; it is not to be found in Petrie's Letters or Gardiner's History). Although ours is a transcript, it shows clear signs from the way it has been folded and the stains received after folding that it was delivered. It seems likely therefore that it was delivered to Stiles while on service, and could well derive from Belasyse or a member of his garrison (being something akin to a carbon copy). From his petition, it is clear that Stiles saw the surrender of Newark as bringing his own war to an end; and the bond drawn up in 1662 (ix above) makes it clear Belasyse was acquainted with his fellow veteran.

    Property of Patrick H.V. Twist Esq., OBE
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