Monday, 23 July 2012

As we sort and appraise papers in the archive for cataloguing, occasionally information comes to light that saves us a considerable amount of work. Here is an item level list of volume E11 which we think was prepared by Elizabeth Poyser who was diocesan archivist from 1969 to 1980. This is a bound volume of letters which appear to have belonged to Henry Stuart, Cardinal Duke of York. Here is a part of her description of the whole collection:

"The whole set appear to have belonged to the Cardinal York, and
fall into two lots, pp.1-148 and 149-506.

The latter are letters from Lady H Webb at Paris to the Cardinal,
from 12 Nov. 1764 to 27 Oct. 1766, mostly written once a
week. At the beginning are some letters to her, sent on to
Rome, including some which appear to be from the Young Pretender
or some servant. Clearly many enclosures do not now
survive. Till 1766 they deal with efforts to reconcile the
Pretender to his father and brother, also news of French
Court, etc. From July 1766 (thereis a gap between Jan. and
July 1766) there are copies of the Cardinal's replies alternating
with Lady Webb's letters, detailing efforts to reform
the Pretender's drinking habits, etc. At p. 503 there is
reference to a Webb letter of 20 Oct. which is missing and
probably corresponds to the four missing pages; clearly an
important letter referring to an impertinent query, possibly
on matrimonial affairs.

The former are a mixed set, the bulk falling between autumn 1765
and summer 1766, but five documents date from 1763, 1767 (2),
1769 and 1771. There are some letters of the Young Pretender
to Cardinal York on their reconciliation, and others
dealing with the Cardinal's efforts to obtain recognition
for his brother from the Vatican."

We can't make any guarantees as to the complete accuracy of the list and we hope that it will eventually be improved and become part of our online catalogue.