[Defence of the Earl of Leicester] : autograph manuscript, undated [ca. 1584].

Record ID: 
Accession number: 
MA 1475.1
Sidney, Philip, 1554-1586.
Purchased on the Fellows Fund, 1953.
1 item (14 p.) ; 30.5 cm

Believed by A. Collins to have been written in 1584, immediately after the appearance of Leicester's Commonwealth.
Part of a collection of 17 documents relating to the Sidney family. Items are individually cataloged in 17 records (MA 1475.1-17); see related records for more information.
The last page bears two endorsements identifying the manuscript, one (formerly supposed to be in the hand of Sir Philip's brother Robert, 1st Earl of Leicester), reading "... in Defence of ye [Earle of] Leycester;" and one probably in the hand of his nephew Robert, 2nd Earl of Leicester, reading "[In my] Uncles own Hand, [worthy] to be better known to the World."
Written on both sides of seven leaves, which consist of three or four different stocks of paper, including one probably manufactured by Nicholas Lebé and two with different sorts of pot watermarks. The first and final leaves are both unwatermarked and, as its smaller size shows, the final leaf comes from a new stock of paper.--Cf. Woudhuysen, p. 411.


Responding to attacks on the character of Sidney's uncle Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester. With some revisions by the author throughout.

A preceding note indicates that the manuscript was found in the Evidence Rooms of Penshurst; Thomas Thorpe; purchased from Thorpe in 1837 by Percy Clinton Sidney Smythe, sixth Viscount Strangford and Baron Penhurst, and bound with doublures bearing his arms; by descent to his granddaughter Mrs. P.M. Russell (Philippa Augusta Maria Baillie Russell), and sold by her (London, Sotheby's, 30 May 1927, lot 533) to Quaritch; purchased on the Fellows Fund, 1953.