Lot 12
  • 12

Villiers, Thomas, Earl of Clarendon

2,000 - 3,000 GBP
3,750 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Villiers, Thomas, Earl of Clarendon
  • A group of seven manuscripts, all folio:
  • ink on paper
i) "A Sketch of a Plan for the Education of a Prince of Wales", in a scribal hand with autograph revisions, 22 pages, paper wrappers;
ii) Epistle to the Earl of Westmorland on plans for Grand Tour, retained scribal copy, 11 pages, Grosvenor St, London, 14 February 1778, paper wrappers;
iii) "Some Opinions, perhaps Errors, of a Warm Friend to Mr [George] Grenville 1761", fair copy in a scribal hand, 11 pages, paper wrappers;
iv) "Hints to Opposition with Opinion on the state of America", containing a mixture of autograph draft and fair copy memoranda on opposition (e.g. "general reflections ... by some of the able persons, who lament the mal-administration of public affairs") and affairs in America ("...It must soon be determined whether our Colonies shall be Allies or under Subjection...") as well as draft letters by Clarendon to George Grenville and Lord Temple, altogether 29 pages, paper wrappers ;
v) "Humble opinions, offered to the King Thro' Mr H. 1769", retained drafts of four letters addressed anonymously to the King through Mr "C.H.", on the constitutional crisis triggered by John Wilkes's contested election to the Commons, together with copies of four copy letters and press cuttings, 22 pages, February-May 1769;
vi) "A Letter from Lord Hyde to Lord Viscount Howe 1770", retained copy, on the strategy and significance of the naval command in the Mediterranean, 22 pages, The Grove, 23 November 1770, paper wrappers;
vii) Epistle to the Countess of Egremont on the education of her son ("...It is observable, Madam, that the finest Plants require the most Care, as they may be the soonest nipped by hard Weather; and it is but too certain, that every Season of Life is obnoxious to Blights and Storms..."), fair copy in a scribal hand, text on rectos only, 30 numbered pages, The Grove, 1765, half calf on marbled boards


This is one of 22 lots that have been removed from Holywell House, Hampshire, the home of the Villiers family, Earls of Clarendon. They chiefly relate to the life and careers of two contemporaries: Henry Hyde, Viscount Cornbury (1710-53), and Thomas Villiers (1709-86), created successively Baron Hyde of Hindon (1756) and Earl of Clarendon (1776).

Cornbury was the last heir to the Earldom of Clarendon that had been created for the statesman and historian Edward Hyde (1609-1674). Cornbury had Jacobite sympathies but was MP for the University of Oxford – with which his family had powerful connections – from 1732 until 1751. He became disillusioned with politics in the later 1740s and spent his final years in France. Cornbury counted Pope and Swift amongst his friends, and was himself the author of pamphlets and at least two plays (see lots 6 and 7). He died, unmarried, in Paris in 1753. Most of Cornbury’s property was inherited by his niece, Charlotte (née Capel). Thomas Villiers, second son of the Earl of Jersey, was her husband. Villiers had spent the 1730s and ‘40s as a diplomat mostly in the German-speaking world (none of his diplomatic papers are included in this offering) and, following his retirement from the diplomatic service, he entered government in the 1760s. As Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (1771-82 and 1783-86), Clarendon was in Cabinet during the American War of Independence (see lots 14-19).

Catalogue Note

A group of works on political affairs and pedagogical theory by an experienced diplomat and politician. They reveal a man at ease in Cosmopolitan culture, with astute diplomatic instincts and Grenvillite political sympathies.