Xmera / Dugdale Correspondence / Correspondents / Theophilus Hastings, earl of Huntingdon

William Dugdale Correspondence

Theophilus Hastings, earl of Huntingdon (1650-1701)

© The Trustees of the British Museum

Midlands peer, who commissioned a family history from Dugdale.

Theophilus Hastings, earl of Huntingdon to William Dugdale, 31 July 1673

Offering use of family papers.

HMC, Hastings MS, vol 2, 164


William Dugdale, Blyth Hall to Theophilus Hastings, earl of Huntingdon, Donnington, Leics., 1 August 1673

'My very good Lord,

Considering the excessive depth of the ways at this time, I must humbly intreat your Lordshipps excuse in not now wayting on you; hoping to have fitt oportunity to see your Lordshipp in London the next Terme; presuming that you will be there, in regard of the parliament. But in the meane time I have by this bearer sent you my papers concerning your Lordshipps family; intreating that you will please to peruse them; and in case you can supply some defects which you will finde in some Christian names, and days of Date, to insert them in another paper. I understand by Dr Thoroton that your Lordshipp hath a good affection to things of this nature; therefore upon your own inspection into your antient writings, tis like you may finde something which will be proper for my perusall, you may please to send them to me any time within this month, and then to return those papers, of which I humbly intreat you will be very carefull, in regard I have no other copy of them; so that, should they come to harme or losse, it would be of very ill consequence to me. My Booke is now in the presse, and the printer hath a large proportion of my copie: but this, with much more, which I have here, he will not need till after Christmasse.

In reading over these papers, you must observe those marks with red, which I have made; and so to follow them, in regard that I made some additions upon discovery of what I saw not when I made the first draught.

These notes which derive that branch of the family, whence your Lordshipp is, from the daughter and heir to Alan de Alvestan, I had from a Yorkeshire gentleman, who is a great searcher into the Antiquities of the Families in those parts. But throughout, you will see authority voucht, for every thing. Towards the end of this month I shall expect the return of these papers; and so praying for your Lordshipps good health, do rest Your Lordshipps most humble servant'.

Bodleian, MS Carte 78, 427


William Dugdale, Blyth Hall to Theophilus Hastings, earl of Huntingdon, Donnington, Leics., 15 September 1673

'My very good Lord, I am sorry, considering I now discern the true reason of your Lordshipps delay in the return of my papers, that I caus'd the hastening of them. The truth is, I was doubtfull of your regard to such things, and therefore scared they might be cast aside and lost: for I can discerne but few persons of quality, who have any value for matters of Antiquities; but rather for Plays, Romances, or Lampoones'. He is returning the papers sent by Huntingdon and answering his questions. He will wait on Huntingdon in London about the beginning of the parliament. 'Your Lordshipp need not doubt, that I shall boggle at the largeness of the discourse, provided that we do not stoope to such particulars as are low and meane; wherein I shall make your Lordshipp the sole judge .. As for what Mr Burton prints, unlesse I could vouch some authority to back it, I thinke it better to let it alone'. 'I shall not make use of any Cutts in this Booke, for which I shall give your Lordshipp my reason when I see you'.

Huntingdon had apparently quoted Fuller's Church History, which referenced the Roll of Battle Abbey as evidence of a Conquest origin: 'I do no deny but that the Monks of Battail Abbey had at first a true catalogue .. but as 'tis observ'd of the Shipp which Sir Francis Drake went out with, when he circumpassed the world; that, after the decay of severall parts of it, at length it became so patcht that little of the old skeliton thereof remayned'. Names of powerful men were subsequently 'foysted' on the Roll by the monks. Nor was the list of the monks of Ely of those who defended the Isle any more reliable.

'Touching Earle Henry, who being so great a favourer of the Puritans, and who were such chargeable guests to him as Mr Camden, who lived in that time, says; it is no lesse than the common tradition of the Country, that they consumed him (as I myselfe have heard from many discreet and sober persons, in my youth). It may be, that those two reverend Bishops your Lordshipp mentions, were in their younger days his Chaplains; but what say you to old Hildersham, who was puritanorum antesignamus, in all that part of England, whose son, now living (and not far from hence) is an old Covenanter, and a present Non-conformist .. My Lord you see how free I take the boldnesse to be with you'. Asks him to look for various inquisitions post mortem among his papers and bring them to London with the other documents.

Bodleian, MS Carte 78, 529-30; Huntington Library Quarterly, Vol. 1 (3), 1937, 247-276


William Dugdale, Blyth Hall to Theophilus Hastings, earl of Huntingdon, Donnington, Leics., 19 February 1674

The 'old writings and papers' sent by the earl came safe to his hands the evening before. He hopes they've arrived in time for him to make use of them. For some of the families concerned his copy is already in the printer's hands, 'and, if he make great haste, some of them will be dispatcht by the presse before I returne to London at the beginning of Easter Terme'. Molins, Hungerford and the Earl of Derby will come in the second volume. 'Therefore if your Lordshipp doth thinke fitt, you may please to let those noble Ladyes know; that I desire they will take order, that what may be had, which is memorable, of that great Family, will be time enough to be made use of by me, in that historicall worke, in Easter Terme next. As to that memorable defence of Lathom-House, it may properly enough be taken notice of in my Discourse of that most honourable Lady, you mention'. If the Dean of Salisbury's narrative is very long, it may have to be cut. If the Dean is in London, Dugdale will consult with him, 'no man being more zealous to do that Family all the right that may be, than I am'.

Bodleian, MS Carte 78, 536


William Dugdale, Blyth Hall to Theophilus Hastings, earl of Huntingdon, Donnington, Leics., 2 May 1674

'My most honoured Lord

I have by this Bearer received all the particulars mention'd in your Lordshipps Letter; and do return my very humble thanks to your Lordshipp for the Gratuity inclosed in your Letter: assuring your Lordshipp of my readinesse to serve you in what lyes in my power. I shall not have time to peruse those writings until1 my return from London; being on Munday next to set forward, but resolve (God willing) to be here again by Whitsunday: so that, upon my coming back, purposing to dispatch them; they may be ready to be sent to your Lordshipp towards the end of Whitson weeke, if any one shall call for them.

The pedegree in paper (which is under my old freind Mr Roger Dodsworth's hand) shall be transcribed in faire Parchment, for you, whilst I stay in London; and ready to be return'd to your Lordshipp with the other writings.

There have been two presses at worke upon my first volume ever since before Michaellmasse Terme: yet so slowly do they go on; that I doubt they will not finish it till Hillary Terme next.

If your Lorshipp have any occasion to write to me, direct your letter thus For Willm Dugdale Esqr at Mr Ashmoles Chamber in the Middle-Temple Inne London. And let me know, in case I shall return answere to your Lordshipp, how I shall direct my letter; I meane to what place, for I suppose that some Foot-post comes to Ashby, or some other noted place not far from Donington.

So praying for your Lordshipps good health, & all happinesse, I rest'

HMC, Hastings MS, vol 2, 165; Huntington Library Quarterly, Vol. 1 (3), 1937, 247-276


William Dugdale, Blyth Hall to Theophilus Hastings, earl of Huntingdon, Donnington, Leics., 16 April 1675

Returning the Earl's documents with the copy of the pedigree drawn by Dodsworth. Rejects a suggestion from the Earl concerning the publication of a history of Leicestershire.

HMC, Hastings MS, vol 2, 167-9


William Dugdale, London to Theophilus Hastings, earl of Huntingdon, 4 May 1675

Being now in London, he can more certainly answer the earl's questions. 'Since I came hither imparting to the Marchionesse of Dorchester, what I have done touching the family of Stanley .. I shewed her what I had written of that Tradition concerning the Eagle and childe, which is this (which I had from the late Earle her Brother, and from one William Vernon, a diligent Antiquary, who lived in Cheshire, and hath been dead neere 40 yeares'. Gives 'credible tradition' of Sir Thomas de Lathom passing off his bastard son as a miracle child found in an eagle's nest. 'But, upon reading of this, my Lady told me, that your Lordshipps noble mother, had related this story otherwise to her, which she thought more true' and asked him to write to the earl to procure the narrative from her 'with what speed well may be'.

Postscript: 'My Booke is now dispatcht at the presse, and will be exposed to sale within these ten days. If your Lordshipp do not come up, I will send you one of them, in case I knew by what carryer'.

Bodleian, MS Carte 78, 532


William Dugdale, London to Theophilus Hastings, earl of Huntingdon, Donnington, Leics., 25 May 1675

'My most honoured Lord,

Your Lordshipps Letter of the 17 instant came safe, wherein I finde that Relation concerning the Eagle and Child; which is apparently erroneous, being botcht up of sundry things: For most evident it is, that the first person who first presum'd the cognomen of Stanley was William the son of Adam de Aldithlegh (now called Audley) which Lordshipp was given to him by Adam the son of Lidulph de Aldithlegh his nephew, in exchange for the mannour of Thalke, as by the copy from the originall grant, which I have, doth clearly appeare: therefore I shall stick to that Narrative of this Tradition, which I had from the late Earl of Derby, which concurrs with what I received many years since from Mr William Vernon, a Cheshire gentleman, well verst in Antiquities, who had it from an old Manuscript. As to the Mantle; if it were not made in after times to preserve the memory of the Tradition (as the sword and great pott at Warwick were, in memory of the famous Guy of Warwick) it might as well be the mantle which was taken in the Nest with Oschitel, as of any other.

Touching the Visitation of Leicestershire, and divers other counties, which are in like want I confesse it were fitt they were done; but Sir E. Bish hath performed what he hath done already in some other counties so ill; enttring no more than Grandfather father & son, and neither uncles, Aunts, Brothers or sisters, and not half the Armes (as your Lordshipp may see, when you come to London) that the Earle Marshall hath thought fitt to give a stop to his further going on to wrong the Gentry in that kinde.

I have by the Loughborough Carryer (who went hence yesterday) sent your Lordshipp one of my Bookes; in which you will finde divers faults of the printer, which will be fitt to be corrected before you begin to read; some being very grosse and unlucky.

I have also with the Booke sent your Lordshipp that paper concerning Hungerford and Molins and so praying for your Lordshipps health, do rest Your Lordshipps most obliged servant and honourer'.

Bodleian, MS Carte 78, 423


William Dugdale, London to Theophilus Hastings, earl of Huntingdon, 15 May 1676

'My most honoured Lord

I have herewith sent one of my Bookes, which I hope will come safe to your hands. The seale was called for some few days since, which I hope will please your Lordshipp. It cost just twenty shillings, which the party who had it to convey to your Lordshipp did pay. I thinke I shall stay here till towards the end of this next Trinity Terme. So praying for your Lordshipps good health, I rest'

Postscript: 'I have not had as yet any time to go to the Tower; but within few days I now intend it; and then shall treat with the Clerke about that which your Lorshipp desires'

HMC, Hastings MS, vol 2, 170; Huntington Library Quarterly, Vol. 1 (3), 1937, 247-276


William Dugdale, London to Theophilus Hastings, earl of Huntingdon, 14 June 1676

'My most honoured Lord,

Since my receipt of your Lordshipps Letter dated the 7th instant I went again to the Tower, and have there given directions that what is to be found above K Henry the 3ds time of your name, shall be taken notice of. I thinke your Lordshipp hath great reason to be confident, that Hugh de Hastings, who became the Husband of Helene de Alveston, was a younger son to William, by Erneburga de Flamvill.

I have lookt upon the Record, wherein mention is made that Alan de Valoines obtein'd a grant of the lands of Torphine de Alevestune, by which I see that the transcript whence I tooke my note was ill copied .. so that there is no doubt but that this Helen was the very woman whom Hugh de Hastings married.

That which I say in my second volume pag: 13 of Richard de Hastings his being Brother to William who was Lord Chamberlain to K. Edw: 4. is within a parenthesis, being not proved to be his Brother by the Record, but presum'd to be by me, in regard that Leonard (father to William) had a son called Richard, and that he was of that time with Richard who marryed Joane the sister and heir to Robert de Wells.

I hope to be at home at the end of next weeke; and resolve to wayt on your Lordshipp at Donington parke upon the seaventh of August (in case I do not heare that you are not there (God sparing life and health). So praying for your Lordshipps prosperitie, I rest Your Lordshipps most obliged servant & reall honourer'.

Bodleian, MS Carte 78, 435


William Dugdale, Blyth Hall to Theophilus Hastings, earl of Huntingdon, Donnington, Leics., 8 August 1676

'Having now a prospect that I am like to make a dispatch of the Extracts from your Lordshipps old writings before the end of the weeke; I thought fitt to send this Messenger to give your Lordshipp notice thereof', so that he can send his servant on Friday to take them back on Saturday. 'For on Munday next I resolve (God willing) to wayt on your Lordshipp at Donington, and to stay two or three nights, if need be, to consult with your Lordshipp of the most proper way for the making use of these my Extracts in historifying what is most memorable of your most noble and antient Family'. The servant will need a spare horse with a pack saddle to carry the boxes. If the boxes can't hold all the papers, his man will bring the remainder in a portmanteau. He has filed them chronologically, though the earl may prefer a different arrangement, when he puts them in his evidence house.

Bodleian, MS Carte 78, 534


William Dugdale, London to Theophilus Hastings, earl of Huntingdon, Donnington, Leics., 5 February 1677

'I have striven hard to accomplish this Transcript of those rough papers by this times, the worke proving much more tedious and troublesome than I expected'. He has written the transcript on the same sort of paper as the abstrcts of documents, so that they can be bound up together between boards for ease of handling, 'till you thinke fitt to have them better written into faire, thick, and smooth paper, to be well bound and covered .. If you take them to London, there is one Mr John Mandey (an honest Booke-binder, whom I have long imploy'd) who will do them very handsomely'. He lives in a little court off Old Change, behind St Paul's. He has left every other page blank, for further additions 'on occasion'. 'A Title to the Discourse may be considered at leasure'.

Bodleian, MS Carte 78, 531


William Dugdale, Heralds' Office to Theophilus Hastings, earl of Huntingdon, 8 May 1677

Seeking contributions for the rebuilding of Garter's quarters.

HMC, Hastings MS, vol 2, 171


William Dugdale, Heralds' Office to Theophilus Hastings, earl of Huntingdon, Donnington, Leics., 26 May 1677

He has received the earl's letter of 22nd & accordingly sent the books to Lady Christian, his sister, to be conveyed to him - 'most humbly thanking your Lordshipp for your kind intention for procuring us some further contribution towards aour building here'.

'I have been to Mr Fauconbridge thrice, and by his Notes lookt into divers of their Rolls and Records, wherein mention is made of your Lordshipps name and Family'. He hasn't found anything worth copying - nor at the Rolss, where he's also been. 'Mr Halsted also, who hath the custody of the old Records in the Tower, hath not begun the antient Rolls; so that little is to be expected from him yet'.

'Your Lordshipp may be sure, that I will use all my Interest to further Visitations in those Countries, which are old eldest date unvisitted (whereof Leicestershire is one)'.

'The major part of the House of Commons are for a strict alliance offensive and defensive with the Dutch and their party against the French; but the rest do desire that the king may be trusted to make such Leagues as he shall thinke fittest for the safety of these Realmes. As for my selfe your Lordshipp knows, how uninclinable I was to take upon this Office of Garter, by reason of my great age, and no lesse to undergo the dignity of knighthood by reason of my small estate: yet, neither in the one nor the other can I prevaile; for by the Statutes of the Order Garter is to be of that degree, which his Majestie (together with the Badge of the Order, to weare in a gold chayne, or purple ribben) hath conferred upon me yesterday'.

Bodleian, MS Carte 78, 538


Theophilus Hastings, earl of Huntingdon, London to William Dugdale, 3 March 1685

Concerning the coat of arms to be allowed a Mr Hastings, who was not a member of the earl's family.

Merevale, HT4/7/12


William Dugdale, South Lambeth to Theophilus Hastings, earl of Huntingdon, 21 April 1685

Gives details of ceremony at Charles II's coronation. Apologises for not attending the earl in person, on account of ill health.

HMC, Hastings MS, vol 2, 179