Sir Thomas Overbury manuscript
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is open for use.
Conditions Governing Use
0.167 Cubic Feet (1 volume)
Scope and Contents
Printed on the spine is the title, "Great Oyer of Poysoning & Overbury MS 1616." The name of Henry Strode and the year, 1679, is written on page iv.
Two related events, parts of a seventeenth-century mystery, are described in the manuscript. The first narration is an account of the divorce proceedings (1613) between Lady Frances Howard and her first husband, Robert Devereux, the Earl of Essex. The second narration is an account of the trials (November 1615 to May 1616) of the persons implicated in the murder of Sir Thomas Overbury. Called to trial were Richard Weston, Ann Turner, Sir Gervase Helwys, James Franklin, Sir Thomas Monson, and the Earl and Countess of Somerset.
The third section of the manuscript is titled, "Sir Thomas Overbury his Observations of the Low Countries and Kingdome of France." It is known that Sir Overbury traveled to the Low Countries in 1609 during a period when he was expected to accept the offer of a diplomatic position from King James I. In the biographical sketch of Overbury in the Dictionary of National Biography, there is a reference to Overbury's "Observations," the suggestion being that the existence of such a document was never authenticated. The quote is: He (Overbury) paid a visit to the Low Countries in 1609, and he is said to have written some valuable 'Observations upon the State of the Seventeen Provinces.'
The last part of the manuscript is a prose account of the life of John the Baptist. The work is in a handwriting different from the previous pages related to Thomas Overbury.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
- Benelux countries
- Court and courtiers
- Essex, Robert Devereux, Earl of, 1565-1601
- Great Britain
- James I, King of England, 1566-1625
- John, the Baptist, Saint
- Overbury, Thomas, Sir, 1581-1613
- Somerset, Frances Howard Carr, Countess of, 1593-1632
- Somerset, Robert Carr, Earl of, -1645
- Tudor and Stuart Club (Johns Hopkins University)
Part of the Special Collections Repository
The Sheridan Libraries
3400 N Charles St
Baltimore MD 21218 USA