The Manuscripts of the Earl of Lonsdale

The Manuscripts of the Earl of Lonsdale

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The Manuscripts of the Earl of Lonsdale

The Manuscripts of the Earl of Lonsdale

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Excerpt

Two collections of historical letters and papers belonging to the Earl of Lonsdale are calendared in the following pages. The larger and more important is that preserved in Lowther Castle, in the neighbourhood of which the possessions of the Lowther family have lain from a very early period of English history. In the reign ofEdward I. Hugo de Louthre, miles, was sitting in Parliament for the county of Westmorland; and from that date down to the present the family name appears constantly in the returns of members from that county or from Cumberland. The other collection is in the Castle at Whitehaven, with which town a branch of the family became connected in the seventeenth century.

At Lowther Castle are two manuscript note-books of proceedings in two of the parliaments of Charles I. The first of these extends from 24th April to 12th June 1626, when Charles's second parliament was hastily dissolved, on its determination not to proceed with the question of subsidy until the charges against the Duke of Buckingham, and other grievances, had been properly considered. The greater portion of the notes appear to have been made during the time the debates were going on--the handwriting is therefore somewhat cramped, and the meaning of the entries at times rather vague, but a careful transcript of the whole has been made, which will be found a very important addition to the printed Journals of the House of Commons and to the other known sources of our information about parliament at that period. The subjects mainly under discussion during the six or seven weeks that this record was kept were the proceedings of the select committee on the charge against the Duke of Buckingham and the doctors' evidence before that committee touching the alleged poisoning of King James; the terms of the remonstrance to Charles on his imprisonment of two of the members, and of the representation to be made to him of the abuses which had crept into the government. A comparison of one entry under June 1, 1626, with an entry of the same date in the printed Commons' Journal . . .

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