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‘A Peace Suggestion’

(This is an essay in the form of a letter, originally directed to the editor of the New Statesman and Nation. It contains an apparent reference to the First General Conference for the Limitation and Reduction of Armaments, assembled at Geneva in February 1932, and the reference to ‘proposals for reduced armies, navies and the like’ suggests, more specifically, that it was written after Roosevelt’s proposal for the elimination of weapons of offensive warfare on 16 May 1933.)

‘Account of the Throgmorton Family wrote in Part by Mr Abraham Smyth, who had been Steward to Sir Humphrey and the Lady Judith’, in the hand of Thomas Gray

Docketed ‘Account of the Throgmorton Family.’ The MS includes a number of original corrections. The account breaks off abruptly. It is unclear whether the names mentioned in it correspond to real persons.

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Transcript

Account of the Throgmorton Family wrote in Part by Mr Abraham Smyth, who had been Steward to S[i]r Humphrey & the Lady Judith.

My Father being old S[i]r Seth’s Gardiner, whom he had served in that Capacity many Years, did upon the Marriage of Mr William Throgmorton (afterwards S[i]r William) with young Mistress Jane Trumbull find Means to place me in their Family, being then a Stripling, as Assistant under the Butler, & Helper in the Pantry, to whom by my good Lady & Patronesses’ Favour I succeeded some Years after, tho’ then under 30, and continued to discharge that Employment, till their Honours were pleased to promote me to the Stewardship about three Years & a half, before the Death of S[i]r William my Master, w[hi]ch was too soon followed by that of my dear & ever lamented Lady. S[i]r Humphrey, for so he then became, & Heir to that noble Estate tho’ not a little impair’d by S[i]r William’s gorgeous Manner of Liveing & too profuse Liberalities, was left with two unmarried Sisters, both elder than himself, Mrs Hester & Mrs Margaret, who were† very good Fortunes, haveing three thousand Pounds each, payable by their Brother, S[i]r H: on the Day of Marriage. he was (when S[i]r W: died) entering into his 26th Year, of a sanguine & healthful Constitution, a great Lover of Field-Sports, w[hi]ch were indeed his only Diversions, & while he was abroad & busied in them, you would have thought him quite another Man for in the House he was much given to museing, & even melancholy, slow of Speech & no Lover of Company. he never miss’d Morning & Evening Prayers with the Family besides w[hi]ch he always retired to his Closet for two Hours be-fore Supper & to this his Piety it may be imagined was oweing his Inclination to his eldest Sister, Madam Hester, who was thought to pass her whole Time in Devotion, except only what she gave to the Management of the Family, for she directed every thing (S[i]r H: little concerning himself in houshold Matters) laid out all Monies, & hired or turned away what Servants she thought good. S[i]r H: dureing his Father’s Lifetime (who was commonly following the Court, as his Place under the Duke of Buckinghā required him) had been trusted entirely to Mr Walter Henderson his Tutour a Scotchman of a very rigid Temper, that used him with great Severity. many a time has he been shut up for four & twenty Hours together in a dark Closet without a Morsel to support Nature, but what I (at the hazard of my Place) have conveyed to him thro’ the Key-hole, while Mr Walter was at his Devotions. he was corrected daily for the slightest Faults, nor ever stirred out of the House but to his Great Uncle’s at Rook-Hall four times in the Year, & then accompanied by his Tutor. never was suffer’d to help himself or ask for anything at Table till he was turn’d of twenty. never drank Wine, but on the Birth-Days of the Family & Christmas. till S[i]r H: being near 30, & happening to dine at old Mrs Blake’s his Godmother one Shrovetide he saw there for the first Time, the Lady Judith Stanley, youngest Sister to the Earl of Derby, who lived hard by at Rummington Place with the good Lady Countess-Dowager, her Grandmother. she was two Years younger than my Master, & looked upon as a young Lady of the best Hopes & finest Breeding in the County. no Pains or Expence haveing been spared in her Education; she sung well, […] Theorbo […] with great Skill, was famous for her […] Pastry & Filigraine-Work, but above all she danced to a Miracle, w[hi]ch tho’ a Diversion none of our Family at all approved (except Mrs Margaret) yet as it was Holiday Time, & Mrs Blake loved Merriment: the Company being set in to Danceing, Lady Judith haveing performed several Sarabands, was at last prevail’d upon to give them a Horn-pipe: S[i]r H: was observed to look at her a great Part of the Evening, & being placed near her at Supper he spoke more to her, than he had ever been seen to do before to any Woman, but his Relations. Madam Hester appear’d very serious all Night, would not taste any of the Fritters (a Dish usual at that Season) & when they were going again to Danceing, was seized with a violent Head-Ach, w[hi]ch obliged her Brother to return home with her. the next Sunday all the Family being at Church, young Primly, Chaplain to the Lady Bedingfield (who was M: Hester’s particular Friend) preach’d a Sermon against Stage-Plays, Masks, Mummings, but above all inveigh’d against the Ungodly & wanton Usage of Dancing, w[hi]ch he called the Lure of Letchery, & such as practised it were he said Imps of Impiety, & the Devil’s Poppets, and after he had dwell’d upon this Part of his Subject above an Hour, he put off the further Handleing that Matter till the next Sabbath-Day. when that came, S[i]r H: was not at Church, being indisposed, but M: Hester told him the Substance of it at Length after Dinner, adding a great deal about the profane Education given to young Women now a-days, & especially thos of Quality, for she knew my Master was never fond of the Court, w[hi]ch he look’d upon as a Sink of Lewdness & Debauchery. she grew too of late more than ordinary careful of provideing every thing, that she knew suited his Palate, & took a great Fancy to his favourite Dogs & Hawks, w[hi]ch she fed with her own Hand, & made much of. however S[i]r H: was observed to [be] less fond of his Sport & more sad than usual, spoke short to the Servants, & even to his Sister sometimes, & one night he rehearsed aloud the Creed, while every body else was saying the Lord’s Prayer. the Week after he went to Mad: Blake’s, tho’ it was like to rain, & Mad: Hester would have dissuaded him on account of his Health. he stayed late & return’d again two Days after

[Docketed in an unidentified hand:] Account of the Throgmorton Family

[Added below by a third hand (probably a price):] 10–5–

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The MS includes a number of original corrections, which have not been recorded. The ellipses indicate where some interlined words are obscured by the mount at the top of the second page.

† Sic.

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