Lot 7
  • 7

Harcourt, Sir Simon

8,000 - 12,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Manuscript volume principally on military subjects,  
  • ink on paper
a composite volume comprising a number of notebooks and manuscript pamphlets bound together, the principal contents comprising: weekly military paybills for a regiment in the Low Countries and related "disburcements since my Capt[ain] his goeing for England" 14 pages, 16 November 1637 to 19 January 1638; personal accounts of Sir Simon Harcourt, 3 pages, 1638; lists of officers on regimental daily watch, for Lord Vere's and other English reigments in Dutch service, 80 pages, 9 May 1633 to 4 August 1638, with gaps; "Observations of the Romaine discypline gathered out of Justius Lipsius lib: 1", 52 pages; anonymous English translation of De Beata Vita by Seneca, with corrections, 30 pages; mathematical exercises in Dutch and English, c.40 pages; list of military materiel, in Dutch, 15 pages; "A Remonstrance made by the Prince of Orange and the Counsell of State To ... the States Generall of the united Provinces ... 1631’, in English, 12 pages; SCOTTISH CAMPAIGN DIARY of Sir Simon Harcourt as part of the Marquis of Hamilton's expedition to the Firth of Forth during the First Bishop's War, 5 pages, 18 April to 23 May 1639; pay bills and associated military accounts, 22 April 1640 to 11 May 1641; also with other short notes on various historical and military subjects, and also miscellaneous verses in Latin and English. including epitaphs on Edward Vere, two signed by Pieter de Vere; altogether c.365 pages, plus blanks, folio, various paper stocks, c.1630s-41, contemporary calf, spine in compartments, with original binder's note, a few stubs of some extracted leaves, first few pages heavily creased, binding worn with loss at spine


Edward William Vernon Harcourt (1825-91), armorial bookplate

Catalogue Note

"...The first of May we came to Ancor in the mouth of the Firth by Duglas Castle, on the 2 of May wee waiyed & ancored, about 2 leages beyond the bas Island & on the 3 wee came before Towne of Lieth where wee Ancored in this manner: on the 4 the Baylief with one other Officer of Lieth came with an answere unto my Lord Marquis but what wee knewe not but such as wee perceaved well, pleased him not..."

Sir Simon Harcourt (?1601-1642) was a professional soldier. He served for some twenty years in the regiment commanded by his uncle, Sir Horace Vere, fighting the Spanish in the Low Countries. He joined the King's forces in 1639, serving firstly in Scotland and then in Ireland, where he died on campaign in 1642. This collection of papers, which was probably assembled into a volume soon after Harcourt's death, provides a wealth of valuable insights into both daily military life and also the intellectual interests of a serving officer in the 1630s.