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Suffolk and Essex collections of William Tillotson

Reference code
Suffolk and Essex collections of William Tillotson
c. 1589-1600
Level of description
Extent and format
Paper; ft. iv + 307.
Modern calf binding. Former vellum covers, fol. i, formed from accounts relating to corn, early 16th century. Fragments of a deed, 16th century, fol. iv; memorandum of an agreement conc, a bond before William Tillotson and others, 1589, fol. 1; arbitration between Tillotson and others, fol. 202. Fragment of a service book, 12th century, fol. 201.
Scope and content
Collections of William Tillotson (d. 1615), curate of Capel St Mary, Suff., 1594 (fol. iii; also described as clerk of Ipswich, fol. 257), consisting mainly of tricks and blazons of arms from churches in Suffolk and Essex, visited between 1590-1600. A few entries relate to Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Yorkshire (see index in Goodall (1994), below). The volume may have consisted originally of several notebooks or groups of papers bound together in the 17th century.

Other contents:-

(1) Poems:- 'Like as the guilty prisoner standes' (26 stanzas), fols. 2-4. Probably copied from an edition of William Hunnis, Seven sobs of a sorrowfull soule of sinn (1583-1602); 'The Description of trew frendship', beg. 'The thoughts of men', fol. 6r, v. See Thomas Churchyard, A pleasaunte laborinth (1580); 'The fruictes of a good conscience', beg. 'To shine in sylke', followed by a sonnet 'We all desire to draw in lenght or lives', fol. 183r, v; 'Who seekes on earth to fynd', fol. 184r, v. Probably derived from Thomas Howell's Devises (1581). (Inf. Professor Steven May);-

(2) Collections of badges, 3 Edw. VI (?altered from Elizabeth), fols. 4v-5; badges of the Earl of Oxford engraved over a door on the wall of Hedingham Castle, Essex, fol. 124;-

(3) Note of marriages with Walgrave and Wiseman, fols, 186-8, 248;-

(4) 'Collectiones ex lib(er) Baron Buckhurst', 10 Nov. 1589, consisting of tricks of arms, in rows of 3 x 3, beginning with 'Corcia, R. Hongaria, Orcane', and ending with Baron Lacy, fols. 93v-6. See also the related blazons at fols. 126v-8, with a colophon stating that they were copied from an old missal belonging to Lord Buckhurst (Thomas Sackville, 1st Baron Buckhurst, 1567; created Earl of Dorset, 1604), and that many entries in this source related to the Percy family. Goodall (1997) notes that the shields, with two exceptions, derive from the original of Cooke's Book (Aspilogia, I (1950), 53);-

(5) Heraldic notes relating to pedigrees, etc., throughout;-

(6) Tricks of arms of Oxford and Cambridge colleges, fols. 203-36;-

(7) Tricks of various sees, fols. 237v-41v. Indexes, ; fols. 302-5v.

For further information on Tillotson see Proc. of the Suff. Inst. of Archaeology, 19 (1927), 78-9; ibid, 25 (1952), 293, 295; J. Blatchly, The Topographers of Suffolk (5th ed., 1988), 48; J. A. Goodall, 'Tillotson's church notes' (Tract, 1994, in SAL); 'Heraldry in the decoration of English medieval manuscripts', A.J., 77(1997), 188-9.
Tillotson, William (d 1615), Suffolk clergyman and antiquary
Previous reference number(s)
MS 4
Archival history
Provenance (see PSIA, 25 (1952), 295):- Owned by William Blois (d. 1673; annotation by him, fol. 179; cf. Blatchly, op. cit., 7); borrowed by Dr Nathaniel Fairfax, MD, of Woodbridge, Suff.; owned by Maurice Shelton, of Barningham Hall, 1726, and his widow (d. 1768). Presented by Peter Muilman, FSA, of Castle Hedingham, 21 Dec. 1771 (fol. ii verso).
Related units of description
Minute Book XII, 9 Jan. 1772, p. 278.