Lot 7
  • 7

Hyde, Henry, Viscount Cornbury

1,000 - 1,500 GBP
4,750 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Hyde, Henry, Viscount Cornbury
  • Undkan King of Tartary
  • ink on paper
autograph draft manuscript play, in five acts, with dramatis personae listing names of professional actors and a "Prologue to the Spoken by Mr Wilks" (2 pages) loosely inserted, revisions throughout, at least two cancelled passages overlaid with sealing wax, 58 pages, plus blanks, folio, ?1730s, marbled paper wrappers, covers lightly worn


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

APPARENTLY UNPUBLISHED. A drama loosely set in the time of Genghis Khan, here called Zingis, King of the Mongols. It tells of the love of Zingis for Princess Taxila, daughter of Undkan, King of Eastern Tartary, who suffers the enmity of her step-mother, Zamar, and the unwanted advances of Zamar's son Prince Timur. The story appears to have been adopted from Zingis: Histoire Tartare by Anne de la Roche-Guilhem (1691). The actors names include Mr Mills Sr and Jr, presumably John (d. 1736) and William (fl. 1701-50) Mills, and Mr and Mrs Booth, possibly Barton (1679?-1733) and Hester (c.1690-1773) Booth. These actors all worked at Drury Lane, and the play may have been performed there, but Barton Booth retired in 1728, when Cornbury was only 18, so the details of performance - if any - remain uncertain.