3 December 2003
LAUD, William, Archbishop of Canterbury (1573-1645). Autograph letter signed ('W.Cant') to an unidentified correspondent ('Mye Verye good Lord'), Oatlands, 2 August 1640, one page, folio, integral leaf, small red wax seal (address panel cut away, replaced with blank paper, contemporary docket).
Written, apparently to a close friend or colleague, during the turbulent year before the outbreak of the Civil War: 'Hampton Court is infested with ye plague...The Committye called to Oatlands, where I have no accommodation...The house in ye Mews infected & one of ye Kings Coachmen dead...And the tymes looke verye blacke in manye respects'. Laud dwells on the petition of Yorkshire gentlemen against the disorderly conduct of the soldiers in the country and the unruliness of the soldiers in Essex who 'now begin to pull up the Railes in churches'.
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