Archives for Books & Manuscripts

Lease of property from the estate of Sir John Maynard

Sir John Maynard was an immensely wealthy lawyer and government official who died in 1690. He owned a Palladian mansion at Gunnersbury, which was demolished about 1800. His complex will which took about 20 years of legal wrangling to sort out. In the meantime, his
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Lease of land in Brentford for a charity school

This deed, numbered 17805 in the collection, records a land transaction in 1725. The 98-year lease was taken by a group of men from  Brentford and Kew who were effectively the trustees of the charity school. A transcript of the full text follows: This Indenture
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Examples of Early English Pottery

Layton acquired reference books about objects as well as the objects themselves. This fine example, about early English pottery, was published in a limited edition of 500 copies in 1891. The embossed cover design uses the style of lettering from Staffordshire slipware, especially that of
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The Nativity of the late King Charles

The Nativity of the late King Charles Astrologically and Faithfully performed with reasons in the Art of the various Success and Mis-fortune of his whole life, by John Gadbury, published by James Cottrell, London in 1659. Layton Collection no 1602 These two pages come from
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The Life and Times of James Catnach

The Life and Times of James Catnach by Charles Hindley, published by Reeves & Turner: London, 1878. Layton Collection no 1588 Layton was interested in the kind of chap books with rhymes and woodcuts which Catnach produced and there are several volumes about him in
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Lives of famous London beggars

Lives of Famous London Beggars with Forty Portraits of the most remarkable drawn from life by John Thomas Smith, published by Diprose and Bateman: London. Layton Collection no 1196 Layton’s collection includes several books recording the appearance and lives of comparatively ordinary people. This is
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Old English Songbook

Layton’s collection includes several volumes of songs and music. This example, from the late 18th century, comprises a range of songs with title illustrations throughout. The illustration shows the book open at a song entitled Strawberry Hill whose lyrics mention a number of local mansions,
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The works of James Gillray

The works of James Gillray, the caricaturist, by Thomas Wright,  Chatto & Windus, London, 1874. Layton Collection no 393 This volume introduced Gillray to a wider public than the 1851 folio edition of Gillray’s images of which Wright had been co-author. The book contains two
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