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Collection of Accounts of Political and Governmental events

Call Number: MS E205


Collection of 72 separately written accounts of Parliamentary debates, political law-cases, diplomatic correspondence, etc., bound together in two volumes. Most (perhaps all) are near-contemporary copies of the originals.


  • Creation: Events date from 1558-1640; writings separately copied 17th century (nearly contemporary)

Language of Materials

English; some Latin; French.

Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.


2 Volumes : The material is paper.The cover title was assigned arbitrarily by cataloger in November 1976: State tracts, proclamations, letters & c Vol 2 [-1]. Vol. 1 was foliated 1-623 in 17th-18th century, omitting present preliminary and tail leaves, but including blanks. Vol. 2 was foliated in pencil 1-532 by present cataloger, omitting 19th century leaves, but including blanks. Most items were written independently, on different sizes and qualities of paper, and in different hands. Wear on the outside of items indicates that they were kept separately before being bound. A few items begin on a new page, but not on a new quire. The leaves skipped in the table of contents in this description are blanks, usually the end of one quire; sometimes the beginning of the next one. Distinction between items is sometimes arguable. Items may occupy more than one quire. Many hands: legal-type, secretary, or humanist. Some hands repeat. Occasionally the hand changes in the middle of an item, but this may be the same scribe varying his script.19th century marbled paper boards, half-bound in vellum. Spine gold-tooled: 6 panels. Binding title gold-tooled on straight-grain black morocco label on 2nd panel; vol. no. on label in 4th panel. NOTE: Volumes MISLABELED: vol. 1 labeled 2 and vice-versa. Armorial book-plate of "The Mostyn 1744 no. 51" on inside front board of vol. 1; same, "no. 52" on vol. 2. (Presumably removed from pre-1744 binding.) Large "Gloddaeth Library" label in yellow on vol. 1; in blue on vol. 2. (Contemporary with the present binding?). Inside front board in ink: Ms No 178; Ms No 177. Pencilled in corner: H b in both vols. Lot-numbers on slips (discarded): 20/2. ; 32.4 x 21.5 cm

Scope and Contents

Events related in the volume document the years 1558-1640 and primarily date from 1621-1640.

Topics from the reign of Queen Elizabeth I concern church and state; foreign relations (particularly with Spain, Scotland, and France); and Sir Philip Sidney.

Topics from the reign of King James I of England and VI of Scotland concern Robert Cecil, Earl of Salisbury; Sir Thomas Bodley; 1614 Essex divorce; foreign relations in 1621-1622; the Spanish marriaige; Buckingham; Digby; various governmental correspondence (Ellesmere, Essex, Cornwallis, dating from 1601-1616); liberties of Parliament; sayings of King James; lists of households of King James and King Charles (dating from 1625); and three months of observations about the Low Countries, dating from after 1621.

Topics from the reign of King Charles I include Parliament (including liberties and powers of objects and of the House of Commons, taxes, and recusants, including some law cases); France; a 1636 censorship case; Scottish troubles during the years 1637-1640; church and state; ship money; and political troubles in 1639-1640.

Also in the volumes are excerpts from Sir Robert Cotton's A Relation of the Proceedings Against Malfeasant, including topics on ambassadors; the Court of Star Chamber; chapters 6 and 7 of a legal treatise on the powers of the House of Commons, dating from 1626 or later; and precedents on petitions by the Commons.

Physical Location

MS E205

Other Finding Aids

A listing of contents by volume is available at

Custodial History

Separately written tracts bound together before 1744, probably with 17th-18th century tables of contents. Sir Thomas Mostyn, 4th bart., 1704-1758 (Heir of royalists; book-collector). Mostyn Hall, Flintshire, Wales; later moved to Gloddaeth Hall, another seat of the Mostyns. Rebound.

1874: In HMC Report 4 as MSS 177 and 178 of Mostyn holdings July 13, 1920 Sotheby (Mostyn sale) lot 20 as Collection of State Papers.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Fellner, offer of 1976

Processing Information

Item numbers assigned by 1976 cataloger. The 17th-18th century tables of contents do not exactly reflect the present order. Items 1 to 57 in vol 1; items 58-72 in vol 2. Transcriptions of titles not full; sometimes taken from the early table of contents.

Text from leaf 509r (mid: "Courtes in such cases") to 520v leaf (Dutchie from the Committee for the deliverie) is repeated in a different hand on leaf 511r-512r (mid) and continued to leaf 528r. The latter (item 72) is corrected, "(hajst the 8 oh. By whome Tryors and Recevers…" (leaf 515r) [Concern petitions].

FOUND LOOSE IN Vol 2: Parchment slip, printed "Exchequer. Treasury of the Receipt. Proceedings of the Court of Requests. Bundle No." Temporarily kept in Manuscript Records.

Guide to the Mostyn Tracts Collection
Collection of Accounts of Political and Governmental events
Finding aid prepared by alh, November 24, 1976. Finding aid encoded by mg, 2005.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Collection of Accounts of Political and Governmental events, MS E205, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas.

Revision Statements

  • 2019-07-01: Cleaned up ASpace record and updated for version 1.5, mwh

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States