A rare and detailed record of the spiritual life of a "Godly" woman during the Commonwealth. Lady Anne Waller (d.1661) was the youngest daughter of the 5th Baron Paget. Her first husband was Sir Simon Harcourt (1601-42), but some years after his death she married the former Parliamentary general Sir William Waller, whom she describes as "a religous Prudent and a loving husband". She began this volume of religious reflections before her second marriage, when she was responsible for running the estate at Stanton Harcourt, and continued to make entries until the year before her death. She laid out some pages with commonplace headings for Biblical quotations, and appears to have paginated the volume herself, but the bulk of the entries appear to have been made in an unsystematic manner and are scattered through the volume (more than half of which remains blank).
The manuscript is significant both for its biographical insights and as a record of Lady Waller's religious beliefs, for example by revealing her preoccupation with the signs of God's grace that would show her to be one of the elect. She discerns divine favour in her son's recovery from sickness, her safe delivery in childbed ("...the Lord was very grasious to me in Preserving me all the while I went with child of my doughter Katherine ... Lord help me with all humble sorowfullness to remember my own exorbitant fear of my traveyll...."), and even, in her "account of such remarkable mercys as I can Call to mind sins I maryed Sir william waller", her husband's frequent imprisonments by Cromwell's regime - since he was usually released quickly and survived captivity in good health. Lady Waller's attempts to discern God's will in public events provide a fascinating insight into the political outlook of a wealthy Puritan woman, whether it be her complaints about arbitrary taxation under the Commonwealth or her delight at the "roasting of the Rump" that led to her husband's return to the Commons. Although her lack of formal education is revealed in her irregular orthography, Lady Waller was a sophisticated reader. She gives the surnames of several of the churchmen whose sermons and books were the sources for her writings and they appear to include such leading Prebyterians as Stephen Marshall and Thomas Manton. Most importantly, perhaps, she was a thoughtful and elegant writer, capable of compelling prose about her spiritual struggles:
"...severall tryalls wheather we bee in Chr[ist] or not 1st they that are in Chr[ist] have Chrusifyed the flesh with the afections and Lusts ... Crusifying is a most admirable and fitt expression to set forth what the mortification of our luste is - for the best doe not attaine soe hye a degree of hapiness in this life as to have theyr sinnes quite dead within them ... it is a painful afliction of the body that dos evidently tend towards the disolution of it in time ... it is soe great a payn and grief that it takes of all the Joy and comfort of life - in that maner the Child of God must dealle by his lusts and his carnall afections..."
Please call 1-800-555-5555 to order a print catalog for this sale.
Online Registration to Bid is Closed for this Sale. Would you like to watch the live sale?Watch Live Sale