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SOMERS COCKS FAMILY OF REIGATE PRIORY: ESTATE RECORDS, INCLUDING MANORS OF REIGATE AND REIGATE PRIORY, AND BURGAGE TENEMENTS IN REIGATE, 1400-1911, AND PAPERS OF JOHN LORD SOMERS (1651-1716), LORD CHANCELLOR


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Reference 371
Covering dates 1532-1945
Held by Surrey History Centre
Extent 14 series
Conditions of access There are no access restrictions.



Folder icon  MISCELLANEOUS LETTERS TO SOMERS, CHIEFLY RELATING TO POLITICAL AFFAIRS  371/14/E/  c.1689-1710

These documents are held at Surrey History Centre

Contents:
This group has no internal coherence but includes letters of congratulations to Somers on his appointment as Lord Keeper in 1693; three letters from Sir Francis and Lady Elizabeth Drake relating to political affairs in Devon in 1697; letters from the Dukes of Shrewsbury and Newcastle relating to the political situation in Worcestershire, 1698, and Yorkshire, 1702; letters to Somers congratulating him on his acquittal at his impeachment trial, 1701; and a letter from John Shute Barrington relating to Somers' failure to gain relief for dissenters.


No further details   Unsigned statement by the earl of Huntingdon explaining and justifying his sitting as a member of the Commission for Ecclesiastical Causes, erected by James II, and recently condemned by 'this Parliament'; [Theophilus Hastings (1650-1701), earl of Huntingdon  371/14/E/37  nd [?1689]
No further details   Letter from Fr[ancis] Berkeley, Shrewsbury, to Somers congratulating him on his appointment as Lord Keeper  371/14/E/2  18 Apr 1693
No further details   Letter from Robert Wolseley, Brussels, to [Somers]; he congratulates him on his appointment as Lord Keeper and is sure that this and Sir John Trenchard's appointment as Secretary will give new 'life and vigour' to the conduct of and support for the war; the appointments will make the whigs 'sensible that their interest and common security is as much concerned now to build up and support the government, as twas formerly to pull it down; and that every right they now take from the royal authority is the most dangerous undermining of their own liberties...and a real weakening of themselves'; he promises to send him regular news of the campaign; France is afflicted by a great dearth though the King's magazines are well stocked with supplies; the [allies] may attempt a preemptive strike; there are hopes of a peace with the Turks, whom the French have alienated; [Robert Wolseley (1649-1697), diplomat sent as envoy to Elector of Bavaria at Brussels by William III in 1692]  371/14/E/1  26 Apr 1693
No further details   Letter from Lady Purbeck to [Somers] requesting relief for herself and Mr Duval from a decree for debt, which has been confirmed by the House of Lords; [Lady Purbeck, wife of John Villiers, Lord Purbeck (1677-1723)]  371/14/E/3  23 Apr 1695
No further details   Letter from Fr[ancis] Berkeley, Shrewsbury, to Somers, Lincolns Inn Fields, thanking him for his recent kindness and asking to be relieved of a decree of the late Lord Chancellor Jeffries that 'nearly sinks my family'; he refers to his wife as 'your Lordship's relation'.  371/14/E/4  29 Apr 1695
No further details   Letter from Sir Richard Cocks to Somers relating to the new charter for Tewkesbury; [Richard Cocks (c. 1659-1726), parliamentary diarist and controversialist; the letter has been missing since before 1983: for a copy see Cock's memoranda books in the Bodleian Library: MS. Eng. List. b. 209, fo 38]  371/14/E/5  12 Oct 1695
No further details   Letter from Sir James Rushout, Northwich, Cheshire, to [Somers]: he fears he is not now to go to Portugal to replace Mr Methwyn [Sir John Methuen, envoy to Portugal] who does not wish to quit until he sees how 'the commission of trade will be relished by parliament'; he asks for Somers' advice as he needs to winter in a warm climate for his health; [Sir James Rushout (c.1644-1698), MP for Evesham, 1670-81, 1690, 1695-98, and MP for Worcestershire, 1689-90. He died before he could take up his posting as ambassador to Turkey]  371/14/E/6  18 Jul 1696
No further details   Letter from James Vernon to Lord Keeper [Somers]: he has been at Claney's trial; the Duke [of Shrewsbury] who is spitting blood is determined to resign but Vernon hopes he can be convinced to 'bear up against a groundless imputation [of being a Jacobite], and not give way when it will only serve to confirm false reports and gratify such as bear him ill will'; [James Vernon (1646-1727), MP for Penryn, and later Secretary of State.]  371/14/E/33  nd [?1696]
No further details   Draft of letter from [Somers] to Lord Portland relating to Portland's request that deficiencies in royal grants of fee farm rents to him be made up out of a grant to Somers. Endorsed 'Foul draft of a letter to Lord Portland but very unlike what was sent'; [Hans Willem Bentinck, Lord Portland (1649-1709), ambassador and friend of William II; see also -/K/- below for further letters on this matter]  371/14/E/13  11 May 1697
No further details   Letter from Dr Thomas Hobbes to [Somers] suggesting he visit Hobbes at Rookeley for a holiday rather than go to Tunbridge [Wells, Kent], where he will be plagued by visitors and 'earnest solicitors'.  371/14/E/9  5 Aug 1697
No further details   Letter from [Lady] Elizabeth Drake to Lord Somers lamenting the heavy expenditure her husband Sir Francis [Drake] has to incur to keep three boroughs 'in his Majesty's interest' and in organising the county militia and asking Somers to remind Drake of his 'duty of a father as well as that of a patriot'; the Tories have attempted, with the assistance of the Bishop, to get their nominee elected as mayor of Plymouth but they were thwarted by Sir Francis; [Lady Elizabeth Drake (d. 1717), 3rd wife of Sir Francis Drake, sheriff of Devon and MP for Tavistock, 1673-1681 and 1689-1700]  371/14/E/8  29 Sep 1697
No further details   Letter from Sir Francis Drake to [Somers] reporting that the county is as the friends of the government would wish and that in Plymouth he has overcome 'much underhand struggling and as much opposition from the pulpit'; he fears that the Major General intends to 'renew his pretensions' when the King returns which, if he succeeds will cause Drake great troubles.  371/14/E/10  4 Oct 1697
No further details   Letter from Sir Francis Drake to [Somers]: the Major General is going to London 'in expectation.....of my Lord Portland's coming over and full of hopes to succeed'; should this occur it will cause Drake great 'uneasiness' and mean he can 'never hope so much as for a truce with the garrison'; the Brigadier is also settled in the area and Drake fears this will dishearten the new officers of the militia who are all gentlemen of substance and who agreed to serve to help the government when it was 'under difficulties'; if the militia of Plymouth is separated from the county militia it will 'hearten and set up the malcontents again'.  371/14/E/11  22 Oct 1697
No further details   Letter from Sir John Edgeworth to [Somers] thanking him for the honour he has done his family and for laying before the King the family's services, thus allowing a 'cheerful old soldier' to hope for a restoration of his fortune following the loss of his estate due to the Irish Bill  371/14/E/12  29 Oct 1697
No further details   Letter from Lord Sunderland, to Lord Keeper [Somers]; informing him that the King wants the papers he gave directions for; [Robert Spencer (1640-1702), 2nd Earl of Sunderland]  371/14/E/30  nd [1693 x 1697]
No further details   Letter from Walter Cross, Ropemakers Alley, Moorfields, to Somers, Lincolns Inn Fields, asking for his patronage for his book on the Bible, which 'makes our Bible a new, a sure and an easy harmonious book'.  371/14/E/7  23 Mar 1698
No further details   Letter from the Duke of Shrewsbury, Grafton, to [Somers]; he has been told that Mr Cocks is likely to triumph in Wych [Droitwich, Worcs] and that 'we should endeavour to set up a 2nd against Mr Fo[ley]'; Mr Bromley should be spoken to to secure support of those [listed] with whom he has an influence and Colonel Windsor could secure others; in Worcester Bromley is secure and the contest is between ?Wild and Swift; he believes that Lord Sun[derland] is about to return to office, though reluctant; in Wych support could be won if the new double duty upon salt was not retrospective; [Charles Talbot (1660-1718), 12th Earl and only Duke of Shrewsbury]  371/14/E/14  11 May 1698
No further details   Copy of letter from [Somers] to unnamed lord assuring him that neither he nor the Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas delivered an opinion they were said to have expressed; as St Clear is likely to fall into Somers' disposal he will give it to whom the recipient desires.  371/14/E/15  16 Jun 1698
No further details   Letter from Lord Tankerville, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, to [Somers]: he fears the Privilege Bill, which is likely to pass, will allow Lord Rochester to pursue him 'with a most terrible persecution', despite a promise of the King of three years ago that he would be protected; he wishes to attend Somers' [impeachment] trial but his health might prevent him; [Forde Grey (d. 1701), Lord Tankerville]  371/14/E/16  29 May 1701
No further details   Letter from George Martin, Norwich, to [Somers] congratulating him on his acquittal and inviting him to stay in Norwich; he believes that in Norwich, as elsewhere in the country, the 'proceedings of their burgesses have not pleased them' and that they will be replaced at the next election.  371/14/E/17  16 Jul 1701
No further details   Letter from Lord Haversham to [Somers] lamenting that at a recent election [?at Worcester] the 'middle and more inferior sort of people' were strong in their support [for the Whigs] but 'the others are better backed and encouraged by men of purse who are bold and enraged and spare nothing to compass their ends'; he hopes rumours of forthcoming war will strengthen their cause; [John Thompson (1647-1710), Lord Haversham, MP for Gatton, 1684-1696, Lord of the Admiralty, 1699-1701]  371/14/E/19  20 Aug 1701
No further details   Letter from R Smith to Somers, St James' Square, congratulating him [on his acquittal]; he is sure the proceedings of the Commons are disliked by the electorate; a new book defending the subject's right to petition is a welcome attack on the instigators of the illegal imprisonment of the Kentish gentlemen but it is too dear and long  371/14/E/18  25 Aug 1701
No further details   Letter from George Martin, Brickhouse [?Norfolk: see 371/14/E/17 above], to Somers: all Somers' friends regret he is not coming to [?Norfolk]; the 'general disposition' of people in the county is good and there is much resentment at proceedings in the last parliament; he trusts that all 'malice' towards Somers is now spent.  371/14/E/20  4 Oct 1701
No further details   Letter from Charlwood Lawton to [Somers] requesting the assistance of the House of Lords in helping the unfortunate family of Lord Bophin whose estates, by a Bill begun in the Commons, have been charged 'with such a fine as will leave them but a moderate share of bread' and whose children are to be brought up as Protestants; he fears a certain Lord whose 'talent is supposed to lie in hardhearted acts' and who has already done damage to Somers' interest by a speech on the Abjuration Bill, against the 'poor non-juring clergy'. [Charlwood Lawton (1660-1721), friend of William Penn (see 371/G2/5) and Somers. Lord Bophin, 9th Earl of Clanricarde (1642-1722), acquitted of treason in 1702 by conforming to the Established Church]  371/14/E/21  5 May 1702
No further details   Letter from the Duke of Newcastle to Somers: he believes that Lord Hartington standing for Yorkshire with Mr Wentworth may be a mistake as 'they are not so much known as I could wish' although Wentworth has a 'very good interest' in the West Riding and Newcastle believes the Riding in which 'I am concerned' will support Hartington; Sir John Key 'who had a desperate game seems now to have a very fair one', is visiting all the market towns and accuses Hartington of being a 'stranger'; Hartington should tour towns of the county 'to be a little personally known to the freeholders who are so numerous'; [John Holles (1662-1711), Duke of Newcastle]  371/14/E/22  4 Jul 1702
No further details   Letter from Samuel Blackerby and W Moore to Somers: they rejoice at the Bank [of England's] triumph over the goldsmiths and recommend a change in the way money is raised through annuities and an investigation into the national debt; they desire a meeting to discuss their proposal to reduce the debts of the nation by raising £2-3 million [?through selling offices].  371/14/E/23  28 Feb 1707
No further details   Letter from W Daggett, Leicester Fields, to Somers stating he will wait upon Somers tomorrow in the matter of a letter sent by the Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry  371/14/E/24  27 Mar 1707
No further details   Letter from John Rice to [Somers] attacking the character of the witnesses against him, lamenting the absence of all his own witnesses abroad and asking for a delay in the hearing of the Bill against him in the House of Lords until he can gather his witnesses.  371/14/E/25  7 Apr 1707
No further details   Letter from Lord Chancellor Cowper to Somers thanking him for his portrait by Sir Godfrey [Kneller] which Cowper had requested from Somers; [William, Earl Cowper (d.1723), first Lord Chancellor of Great Britain]  371/14/E/26  14 Jul 1708
No further details   Letter from George Martin, Norwich, to [Somers] congratulating him on his recovery; the cold and rain has hit the hay harvest and the wheat is bad; thunder and lightning has killed 4 men on the passage boat from Ipswich to Harwich; he is staying longer after the Assizes at his daughter's request and has dined with Lord Towneshend and the Bishop; an address is planned on the victory [of Oudenarde]  371/14/E/27  28 Jul 1708
No further details   Letter from D[aniel] Pulteney, Copenhagen, to [Somers] congratulating him on his appointment as Lord President of the Council and hoping he can be of service in the post the Queen has bestowed on him [Daniel Pulteney (d.1731), politician]  371/14/E/28  11 Dec 1708 new style
No further details   Letter from John Chamberlayne, Petty France, Westminster, to [Somers] forwarding a book by Monsier la Mothe, a French protestant, against popery which exposes 'the policy of Rome, and the infamous stratagems she uses to spread her poison' and which Chamberlayne proposes to have translated and published. [John Chamberlayne (1666-1723), writer]  371/14/E/29  23 Dec 1708
No further details   Letter from Lord Treasurer Godolphin to [Somers] informing him that the Queen wishes to see them both that evening. [Sidney, 1st Earl of Godolphin (1645-1712), Lord Treasurer from 1702]  371/14/E/31  29 Dec 1708
No further details   Letter from J[ohn] Shute [Barrington] to Somers lamenting that Somers has failed to gain for the dissenters the relief they were anticipating; although Barrington had not encouraged them in their expectations he believes it will henceforth be difficult to keep both their favour and that of Somers. [John Shute Barrington (1678-1734), a presbyterian who was sent by Somers to secure the support of the Scottish presbyterians for the Act of Union in return for which Somers promised concessions, one of commissioners of customs and friend of Somers. Created 1st Viscount Barrington in 1720]  371/14/E/36a  nd [c 1708]
No further details   Letter from Henry Hood to Mr Davies at Reigate relating to the dating of 371/14/E36a  371/14/E/36b  28 Feb 1954
No further details   Letter from the Earl of Sunderland, London, to [Somers] informing him that the Archbishop of Canterbury wishes to see them both at Lambeth 'having something to tell us which he can't so well write'; [Charles Spencer (1674-1722), 3rd Earl of Sunderland]  371/14/E/32  6 Nov 1710
No further details   Letter from R Monckton to Somers recommending a restriction on imports [?into Scotland; place of origin not specified] and arguing that this would not be a breach of the Act of Union and would be very popular in England; if not imposed 'instead of gaining 45 [MPs] you will lose 513'; a survey of every port and creek in Scotland should be carried out.  371/14/E/34  nd [1707 x 1710]
No further details   Letter from R Monckton to [Somers] explaining that he only supported a clause promoted by the D[uke] of N because the latter wished to reconcile himself with Somers; however his action has displeased Somers, the Whigs, and N who is angry with him 'for ridiculing the vanity of stealing the Church from my Lord Roch[ester] and the absurdity of making the Tories subservient to the court'.  371/14/E/35  nd


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