This is a lavish manuscript and was undoubtedly produced for presentation to an important figure at court. The extravagant calligraphic ornamentation in this manuscript, which include human figures and animals, are typical of the writing-masters of the period: similar flourishes are found, for example, in James Hodder, The pen-man's recreation (1660). A small number of other lavish Restoration establishment books are known. One such copy, of a similar date to this one and signed four times by King Charles II, was sold in these rooms from the collection of Edward Almack on 26 May 1911, lot 719. Another closely related manuscript, written for the Duke of Albemarle and with similar calligraphic ornamentation, was sold at Anderson Galleries, NY, 23 January 1924, lot 74, and similar manuscripts exist for later in the reign of Charles II, for example for the 1st Earl of Dartmouth as General of Artillery.
Lord Cottesloe appreciated the historical importance of this manuscript and rightly saw it as one of the jewels in his collection; he arranged for its publication as 'The Earliest 'Establishment' - 1661 - of the British Standing Army' in The Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research, 9 (1930), 147-161 and 214-242.
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