SIR WILLIAM MONSON (1568?-1643). Manuscript on paper, 'Certain observations that are not worthy of the title of history that hapned too [sic] England since the yeare 1558 and before', [England, c.1640?], 156 numbered pages, small folio (283 x 187mm), written in a neat 17th-century secretary hand in brown ink, watermarks (pillars and initials 'IM', similar to Heawood 3486) (a few modern marginal annotations in pencil). 17th-century brown calf, the covers stamped in gilt with the initials 'W M' on either side of four foliate tools, and with the number 'V' at upper edge, with blind-tooled ruled border (some wear, repaired loss to upper cover). Provenance: Sir Robert Throckmorton (1702-1791), 4th Baronet of Coughton, Warwickshire (armorial bookplate pasted inside upper cover, c.1725) -- The property of a religious institution.
A PREVIOUSLY UNIDENTIFIED MANUSCRIPT OF SIR WILLIAM MONSON'S UNPUBLISHED ELIZABETHAN HISTORY. In Book Six of his 'Naval Tracts' (see previous lot), Monson made reference to another of his writings: 'I could follow this subject of the Hollanders, but for making the bulk of this Book too big; and that I would not do Injury to another Book that is written by the same Author, Entituled, Certain Observations that are not worthy the name of History, that happen'd to England since the year of our Lord 1558 and a little before' (see A. & J. Churchill, Sir William Monson's Naval Tracts, London: 1703, p.558). None of the manuscript copies of Monson's works listed and collated by Michael Oppenheim in 1902 include Certain Observations, and although he noted the existence of several copies in the British Library, he neglected to provide their shelfmarks and to date they do not appear to have been identified (see Andrew Thrush, ODNB). Oppenheim mistakenly cited the date '1588' in the title of the work, and furthermore appears to have misidentified the present manuscript, dismissing it as a late copy of Book I of the 'Naval Tracts' (see ed. M. Oppenheim, The Naval Tracts of Sir William Monson, Navy Records Society, 1902, p.lxi, the present lot one volume of Ms S).
The text and arrangement of chapters in the present manuscript accord with Monson's synopsis of his planned work, as laid out in Book Six of the Tracts. It opens with an account of Queen Mary's reign (interspersed with commentaries on the history of religion and faith, references to Cicero and the King of Hungary), followed by 'The favors England have don Holland, & the Obligation they have to this Crowne', the state of Holland 'from the beginning, the Continuanc and what is like to prove in the end'. Passages are drawn from a published work by Roger Williams, printed in 1618 (on the Prince of Orange and the quarrel between the Count of Egmond and Cardinal Granville), and followed by Monson's observations on the desperate state of Holland, and on the 'Differenc of tymes betwixt the beginynge of the raigne of Queen Elizabeth, and the later end thereof'.
The presence of this volume in the library of Robert Throckmorton, 4th baronet of Coughton, along with the previous lot, strongly suggests that it was William Monson's own copy. The daughter and sole heiress of William Monson's son, John, married Sir Francis Throckmorton (1641-80), 2nd baronet of Coughton, and this volume, bearing her grandfather's initials, presumably entered the library with her arrival at Coughton Court.