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Sir Humphrey Mildmay: Royalist gentleman :…

Sir Humphrey Mildmay: Royalist gentleman : glimpses of the English scene,…

by Philip Lee Ralph

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Sir Humphrey Mildmay (1592-c.1666) lead a fairly uneventful life, split between time in London and his estates in Essex at Danbury, Queen Camel in Somerset and other holdings scattered over southern England. In all places he greatly enjoyed conviviality and eschewed the political lime light, in such momentous times. His diary is all the more enlightening for that showing life at a higher level of society, barely touched by the events of the age. In 1636 N.S. Sir Humphrey was "pricked" for High Sheriff of Essex which involved him in the onerous task of collecting Ship Money for the crown.
Philip Lee Ralph, the editor, broadly interpolated the diary and actual diary entries are few and modernised in spelling.

December 1640
22. Will brought the fat ox from Queen Camel, with letters, etc.
23. The ox is killed and "weigheth very ordinary, not half fed, but cost nothing"

Company had been pouring in, and on the twenty-fourth, as the year before, “the good and worthy Doctor [Dorislaus]" arrived from London. Christmas was observed with both a morning and afternoon church service. When Sunday came, two days later, Mr. Freeman preached, after which the procedure was: “To dinner, and then to cards, tables, and the like all the day till supper." Although the house was "full of clowns," still more appeared, including "Sir Henry Mildmay of Moulsham and his full company, who were all of them merry." On the last day of the year, "the gentlemen are gone fast now, and as many left."
On New Year’s: "To dinner came rascal upon rascal without sending for.
And then my bull played the jade; and were merry, etc. Twelfth-day found the house still “full of good and bad." "All were merry, and we sat up till very late and then to bed in peace, I bless God and all his saints."
  14183A | May 20, 2009 |
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