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MORE MOLYNEUX FAMILY OF LOSELEY PARK, HISTORICAL CORRESPONDENCE VOLUMES


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Reference 6729
Covering dates c.1506-1935
Held by Surrey History Centre
Conditions of access There are no access restrictions.
Archival history Deposited by Mr and Mrs M More-Molyneux in October and December 1999.
Creators More family of Loseley Park, Surrey; More Molyneux family of Loseley Park, Surrey; Molyneux, More, family of Loseley Park, Surrey
Arrangement For archival management purposes the volumes have been assigned sequential series references 6729/1-13. Their original volume references are provided as series titles. Individual letters should be cited as sub items to the new volume references.
Related information For the main body of records of the More and More Molyneux family and Loseley estate see LM/-, the introduction to which gives an account of the family, their offices and estates; for loose correspondence which Bray did not select for binding see LM/COR. The letters to 1689 have been calendared and the descriptions added to the searchable database referred to above.
For microfilm and transcripts of records from all three deposits, see Zg/109/-.
For microfilm of related letters and papers in the possession of the Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington DC, see Z/407.
Bibliography AJ Kempe, The Loseley Manuscripts, Manuscripts and other rare documents, illustrative of some of the more minute particulars of English History, Biography, and Manners, from the Reign of Henry VIII to that of James I...(John Murray, 1835), cited below as Kempe
JC Jeaffreson, Historical Manuscripts Commission: Appendix to 7th Report (1879), cited below as HMC ('a' and 'b' indicating the left and right hand columns). A copy of the HMC report with marginal notes of the relevant document references (including many documents which are now in the Folger Shakespeare Library) is available in the searchroom.


Administrative history:
The correspondence of the More, (later More Molyneux), family of Loseley House is one of richest surviving sources for Tudor and Stuart Surrey. The most significant portions of the correspondence are those from the time of Sir William More (1520-1600) and his son Sir George More (1553-1632), both of whom held many important local and national offices, but some of the later letters are also of great interest, for example throwing light on the experiences of south-west Surrey during the Civil War.
Alongside successive monarchs, bishops of Winchester and the leading gentry of Surrey (such as Carew, Howard, Slyfield, Browne, Weston, Bray and Stoughton) and neighbouring counties, correspondents include such luminaries of the Tudor state as William Cecil (1520-1598), Lord Burghley, Robert Dudley (1532-1588), Earl of Leicester, Charles Howard (c.1536-1624), Earl of Nottingham, Sir Francis Walsingham (1530-1590), Edward Clinton (d.1585), Earl of Lincoln and Anthony Browne (c.1528-1592), Viscount Montague.
Summary biographies of the principal owners of Loseley and other main correspondents are as follows.
I. Sir Christopher More (by 1483-1549)
Purchaser of Loseley. Knighted 1540/41
Married: (1) Margaret, daughter of Walter Mugge of Guildford; (2) Constance, daughter of Richard Sackville of Withyham.
Main offices held: King's Remembrancer; ulnager of Surrey and Sussex; subsidy commissioner; muster commissioner; verderer of Windsor Forest; surveyor of lands for Margaret, Countess of Salisbury; justice of the peace for Surrey; sheriff of Surrey and Sussex, 1532-3, 1539-40.
Member of Parliament: Surrey, 1539, 1547
II. Sir William More (1520-1600)
Son of the above. Knighted 1576.
Married: (1) Mabel, daughter of Marchion Dingeley of Wolverton, IOW; (2) Margaret, daughter of Ralph Daniell of Swaffham, Norfolk.
Main offices held: chamberlain of the Exchequer; justice of the peace for Surrey; sheriff of Surrey and Sussex, 1558-9, 1579-80; provost marshal for Surrey, 1552; ulnager of Surrey and Sussex; subsidy and loan commissioner, Surrey; treasurer of the lottery in Surrey; muster commissioner, Surrey; deputy lieutenant, Surrey; commissioner for church goods, Surrey; commissioner for recusants and seminaries, Surrey; ecclesiastical commissioner; deputy master of the swans, Surrey; vice-admiral, Sussex; verderer of Windsor Forest; constable of Farnham Castle.
Member of Parliament: Reigate, 1547; Guildford, 1553, 1554, 1555, 1572, 1589, 1597; Surrey, 1563, 1571, 1584, 1586, 1593; Grantham (Lincs), 1559.
III. Sir George More (1553-1632)
Son of the above. Knighted c.1598.
Married: (1) Anne, daughter of Sir Adrian Poynings of Burnegate, Dorset; (2) Constance, daughter of John Michell of Stammerham, Sussex.
Main offices held: chamberlain of receipt in the Exchequer; treasurer and receiver general to Henry, Prince of Wales; chancellor of Order of the Garter; lieutenant of the Tower of London; justice of the peace for Surrey and Sussex; sheriff of Surrey and Sussex, 1597-8; provost marshal for Surrey, 1589; subsidy and loan commissioner, Surrey; muster commissioner, Surrey; deputy lieutenant, Surrey; commissioner for recusants and seminaries, Surrey; verderer of Windsor Forest; constable of Farnham Castle.
Member of Parliament: Guildford, 1584, 1586, 1589, 1593, 1604, 1624; Surrey, 1597, 1601, 1614, 1621, 1625, 1626.
IV. Sir Poynings More, bart (1606-1649)
Grandson of III above, son of VIII below. Created baronet 1642.
Married: Elizabeth, daughter of Sir William Fitch of Woodham Walter, Essex, widow of Christopher Rous of Henham, Suffolk.
Main offices held: justice of the peace for Surrey; deputy lieutenant, Surrey; defence commissioner, Surrey; assessment commissioner, Surrey; militia commissioner, Surrey.
Member of Parliament: Haslemere, 1624, 1625, 1626, 1640; Guildford, 1628.
V. Sir William More, 2nd bart (1643-1684)
Son of IV above.
Married: Mary, daughter of Sir Walter Hendley, 1st bart, of Cuckfield, Sussex. No children.
Main offices held: justice of the peace for Surrey; deputy lieutenant, Surrey; assessment commissioner, Surrey; commissioner for recusants; cornet of volunteer horse, 1660; lieutenant of militia horse, Surrey.
Member of Parliament: Haslemere, 1675, 1679, 1679-80, 1681.
VI. The Rev Nicholas More (1615-1684)
Son of VIII below; brother of IV above.
Married: Susan Saunders.
VII. Robert More (1664-1689)
Son of VI above. Died unmarried. Succeeded by his sister Margaret (1660-1704) and her husband Sir Thomas Molyneux (d.1719) of Westhoughton, Lancs.
VIII. Elizabeth More (1552-1600), usually referred to as Elizabeth Wolley
Daughter of II above.
Married: (1) Richard Polsted (d.1576) of Albury; (2) Sir John Wolley (d.1596), XI below; (3) Thomas Egerton (1540-1617), Viscount Brackley, XII below.
IX. Sir Robert More (1581-1626)
Eldest son of III above but predeceased father. Knighted, 1601 x 1604.
Married: Frances, daughter of Sampson Lennard of Knole, Kent, and Hurstmonceux, Sussex.
Main offices held: justice of the peace for Surrey; deputy lieutenant, Surrey; constable of Farnham Castle.
Member of Parliament: Guildford, 1601, 1614, 1621, 1625; Surrey, 1604, 1624.
X. Anne More (1584-1617)
Daughter of III above.
Married: John Donne (1572-1631), metaphysical poet and (later) dean of St Paul's
XI. Sir John Wolley (d.1596), of Thorpe and Pyrford
Married as his second wife Elizabeth Polsted, nee More (VIII above) ?by 1577. Knighted, 1592.
Main offices held: Latin secretary to Queen Elizabeth, justice of the peace, Surrey; Privy Councillor, Chancellor of the Order of the Garter, keeper of the records of the Court of Augmentations and Clerk of the Pipe, member of the Court of High Commission
Member of Parliament, 1571-1596, including for Surrey, 1593.
XII. Thomas Egerton (1540-1617), Viscount Brackley
Married as his second wife Elizabeth Wolley nee More (VII above) in 1597, no children; married Alice Spencer, widow of the Earl of Derby, after Elizabeth's death in 1600.
Knighted 1594, created Baron Ellesmere, 1603, and Viscount Brackley in 1616.
Main offices held: Attorney General, Master of the Rolls, Lord Keeper, Privy Councillor, Lord Chancellor
XIII. James Gresham (c.1617-1689) of Haslemere
Son of Thomas Gresham of Fulham by Judith, daughter of Sir William Garrard of Dorney, Bucks. Married Anne More (1620-1700), daughter of VIII above.
Main offices held: justice of the peace, Surrey; commissioner for charitable uses, Haslemere; commissioner for recusants, Surrey.
Member of Parliament: Haslemere, 1661, 1679.
XIV. Sir Thomas Cawarden (by 1514-1559) of Bletchingley
Son of William Cawarden of London. Friend of II who acted as his executor.
Married: Elizabeth. A prominent Protestant who was repeatedly under suspicion during Queen Mary's reign.
Master of the Revels and Tents; served in the 1544 French campaign; many stewardships and keeperships including manor of Bletchingley, palaces of Nonsuch and Hampton Court; commissioner for church goods, Surrey; subsidy and loan commissioner, Surrey; muster commissioner, Surrey; justice of the peace, Surrey; sheriff, Surrey and Sussex, 1547-8.
XV. Anthony Browne (1528-1592), 1st Viscount Montague
Son of Sir Anthony Browne (d.1548) of Battle Abbey and Cowdray Park, Sussex, and West Horsley, Surrey. Created Viscount Montague in 1554. A Roman Catholic.
Envoy to Flanders, 1565-6, and France, 1572; keeper of Guildford Park and Hampton Court Chase; subsidy commissioner, Surrey; muster commissioner, Surrey; justice of the peace, Surrey.


Contents:
The antiquary William Bray (d.1832), who was the More Molyneux' agent, was given access to the manuscripts in the 'evidence room' at Loseley Park. He made a selection from the manuscripts of those he considered of particular interest, and had these bound into volumes. These volumes came to be known as the 'historical correspondence'. The volumes were subsequently variously broken up and re-bound, and some of the contents were sold. The surviving volumes bear references of a mixture of Arabic and Roman numbers: these are Volumes 2-3, V-VII, 8-10, XI-XIII; volumes bound at a later date known as '2013' and '2014' contain letters from the original bound selection, from various volumes. Volumes I and 4 no longer exist but a 19th cent name index to the contents of volume I is held as 6729/14/1. Bray's endorsements appear on most of the letters identifying the author, contents of letter and date.
Many of the letters were calendared in JC Jeaffreson, Historical Manuscripts Commission: Appendix to 7th Report (1879): where this is the case, the page number is cited after the description, prefixed as HMC ('a' and 'b' indicating the left and right hand columns). Some letters were also published (not always accurately) in A J Kempe, The Loseley Manuscript: Manuscripts and other rare documents, illustrative of some of the more minute particulars of English History, Biography, and Manners, from the Reign of Henry VIII to that of James I... (John Murray, 1835), cited after the descriptions as Kempe.
The descriptions of each letter in these volumes, together with those of all the remaining loose letters between c.1450 and c.1689 excluded from the volumes and held as LM/COR/1-6 & 8-9, have been loaded onto a searchable and indexed database. This facilitates searching within date ranges, by author or recipient, by business to which the letter relates, or by subject. It also permits letters relating to the same subject but hitherto split between volumes, or between volumes and the loose correspondence, to be reconnected. The database is available at Surrey History Centre.




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