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George Harbin and the Malet family manuscript of Rochester.

OF THE VARIOUS NEW SOURCES of Rochester texts brought to attention by Peter Beal in the second volume of the Index of English Literary Manuscripts (1993) two were subsequently singled out by Harold Love in the introduction to his monumental Works of John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester (1999) as "vitally important": (1) the "Hartwell" MS now held in the Beinecke Library as MS Osborn b 334, and the "Harbin" MS contained in volume XXVII of the Thynne papers in the collection of the Marquess of Bath at Longleat. Love judged these manuscripts to be "very closely related," descending from a common source which probably "acquired its texts from Rochester's extended family" (Works of Rochester, 519, xxxvii). Accordingly, he gave special weight to variant readings in the Hartwell and Harbin copies when establishing his texts, in line with his general preference for "private" manuscripts--those compiled not for profit but for personal use, by someone close to Rochester--over the "professional" ones emanating from commercial scriptoria which were favored by Rochester's previous scholarly editors, David Vieth and Keith Walker. This principle has lately been extended by Nicholas Fisher in his edition of The Poems and Lucina's Rape (2010), leading to even greater exposure for the Harbin manuscript in particular. Love, who assembled his texts by "recensional editing," gave final authority to no single copy, whether professional or private. But Fisher, revising Walker, employed "best manuscript" theory. He replaced three quarters of Walker's copy-texts with more private ones, sixteen of them (since "Love drew extensively on ... Hartwell") from Harbin. (2)

The prominence of Hartwell and Harbin in current Rochester textual scholarship contrasts strikingly with the meager extent of our knowledge about the manuscripts themselves. Beal, whilst declaring Hartwell after Osborn b 105 "the single most important MS of Rochester's poems," noted that its "full mysteries ... await explication,"3 and a few years later Love concluded some brief remarks on the manuscript by saying that it had "still to be fully evaluated." (4) But these invitations to further study have not been taken up. More fundamental confusions surround "Harbin": both Love and Fisher refer to the manuscripts former owner, the Rev. George Harbin, as its "scribe," (5) although the index entry to volume XXVII of the Thynne papers states that it is not in his hand, and this is confirmed by the evidence of Harbin's script in his "Memoirs of Gardening," which immediately follows the Rochester copies. The exhaustive tables of variants in Loves edition have now made it possible for readers to situate the Hartwell and Harbin copies within the "transmissional histories" of the poems to which they provide witnesses. But such internal analyses need to be supplemented by complementary external accounts of the transmission of the manuscripts themselves, of the kind that Love provided for Osborn b 105 in a classic article, and most recently for the "personal miscellanies" of Sarah Cowper and Thomas Watson. (6) In the first half of this essay, I use new archival evidence to plot the various stages of the "Harbin" manuscripts journey until its arrival in the hands of George Harbin. This provenance then forms the basis of an examination, in the second half of the essay, of the "private" purposes the manuscript served, in the decades after Rochester's death, for its original owners--members of his wife's extended family, the Malets of Somerset.


George Harbin was born in 1665, one of the six surviving children of the prosperous London merchant John Harbyn and his wife Mary. (7) He went to St. Paul's School and from there to Emmanuel College, Cambridge, taking his B.A. in 1687. A year later he migrated to Jesus College, as a Fellow-Commoner, where his reputation for learning brought him to the attention of Francis Turner, Bishop of Ely and Visitor of the College, to whom he subsequently became chaplain. But in 1690 Turner refused to take the oath of allegiance to William III and Mary, and subsequently went into hiding, accused of involvement in the plot to assassinate William at Preston; Harbin's movements at this time are unclear, though he apparently spent some of the 1690s in Gloucestershire, living as a "Non-juror and in a lay habit," (8) in the circle of the deprived Bishop of Gloucester, Robert Frampton. Then, in 1699, on the recommendation of Bishop Thomas Ken, he was appointed chaplain to Thomas Thynne, the first Viscount Weymouth. At Longleat, Harbin had ample opportunity to pursue his scholarly and antiquarian interests which eventually issued in the work for which he is best known today, The Hereditary Right of the Crown of England Asserted (1713); when he handed over his duties as chaplain to the Rev. Robert Jenkins in 1703, he stayed on in Weymouth's household as librarian. Following the death of Lord Weymouth in 1714, the estate passed to his great nephew, then aged four, and Harbin ceased to live full time at Longleat, although he maintained his close connection with the Thynne family until the end of his life. In 1719, Harbin married Elizabeth Copley at St. Mary's, Somerset House, and about that time purchased a house in King Street, Westminster. During the 1720s and 1730s, he lived mostly in London, perhaps acting as librarian to George Granville, Lord Lansdowne, the second husband of the young Lord Weymouth's mother, (9) whilst paying long visits to the West Country, particularly after the death of his wife in November 1730. (10) A principal purpose of these trips was to copy or procure manuscripts for the Harleian library, on behalf of the second Earl of Oxford. George Harbin died on 20 September 1744.

How did Harbin acquire his copies of Rochester? The natural assumption would be that they came into his possession through his association with the Weymouths: Thomas Thynne (as he was then) probably had some access to Rochester in the early 1670s, through his connections at court and in his capacity as MP for Oxford University. (11) But this is not the case. The manuscript has been at Longleat only since the late nineteenth century, according to the note inscribed on a preliminary leaf: "some of Dr Harbin's Papers obtained from Mr Waller of Fleet St by J. E. Jackson, after the sale of the Papers by Puttick & Simpson, April 1874." (12) The Rev. John Edward Jackson (1805-91), rector of nearby Leigh-Delamere, was employed as "advisory archivist" to the fourth Marquess; (13) he also wrote a History of Longleat (1857), which lingers admiringly over the first Lord Weymouth's patronage of nonjurors, notably the saintly Bishop Ken. (14) Apparently, when he heard that some of the papers of Harbin, Ken's protege and fellow refugee at Longleat, had been sold in London, Jackson bought the papers from the purchaser William Waller of Waller and Son booksellers at 188 Fleet Street, (15) on behalf of the fourth Marquess, with a view to returning them to what he thought of as their natural home. (16) In fact, though, Harbin did not find the Rochester copies among Lord Weymouth's papers. If the manuscript was ever at Longleat in the eighteenth century, it was Harbin himself who brought it there, from a humbler dwelling some fifty miles away, in the seaside village of St. Audries: the family home of his sister Anne Harbin (17)--or, to give her her married name, Anne Malet.

The Malets were among the leading gentry clans in early-modern Somersetshire. The Malets of St. Audries and the branch of the family to which Rochester's wife Elizabeth Malet belonged had not been directly linked since the fifteenth century. It was Thomas Malet (d. 1501) who bifurcated the family by bequeathing his most valuable manors, those surrounding the ancient family seat at Enmore, to his eldest son, William, and his less remunerative possessions in West Quantoxhead to his younger son, Baldwin. (18) But Elizabeth Wilmot, who died in 1681, was the last of the Enmore Malets, and by the time Anne Harbin married into it in 1695 the cadet branch of the family was on the rise. Her husband, the latest inheritor of the St. Audries Malet family name Baldwin, had been appointed by the Lord-Lieutenant of Somersetshire, the Earl of Ormonde, as one of his deputies in 1691, (19) and in 1702 became Receiver-General for Somerset and Bristol. (20) Harbins correspondence from his early years in the west country has not survived, but it is safe to assume that he quickly made contact with his Malet in-laws, although given that Harbin as a nonjuror was officially an outlaw, Baldwin Malets status as a minor functionary of the Williamite regime may initially have set limits to their intimacy. By 1716, Harbin was deeply involved in researching the ancient roots of the Malet family, (21) and becoming particularly close to the younger of Baldwin and Anne's two sons, Alexander.

Alexander Malet was born in 1704, five years after Harbin took up his duties at Longleat and more than twenty years after the deaths of his rich Enmore cousin Elizabeth and her glamorous husband, the Earl of Rochester. Like his uncle George, Alexander went into the church, serving as rector of Combe Florey in Somerset from 1732 to 1735 and then of Maiden Newton in Dorset from 1738 until his death in 1775. (22) Perhaps Harbin followed his nephews progress closely from the start; certainly, the two clergymen were friends as adults. In particular, Alexander shared (or at least indulged) his uncles antiquarian enthusiasms: Harbins notes of a visit he made to Combe Florey in 1734 to examine the muniments of the parish church are preserved in the Somerset county archives. (23) Rev. Alexander Malets daughter Anne, born shortly before the death of her great-uncle George in 1744, is described in Harbins will as his goddaughter. Alexander Malet was one of the executors of that will. (24) These marks of Harbin's closeness to his nephew are of particular interest because the Rochester copies in the "Harbin MS" were at one point in the hands of an Alexander Malet, who signed his name four times on them: three times as "Alex: Malet" alongside the opening lines of "A Letter from Artemisa in y e: Towne to Cloe in y e Country" and once, next to Rochester's version of "Ovid: Amor: Lib=2 dn Eleg: 9th," as "Ander Malet."

Under the terms of Harbin's will Alexander Malet was given charge of his uncle's "written books and papers," together with "all my Bibles, prayer-books of divinity and of Civil or foreign History and Antiquity printed and manuscript." (25) From Rev. Malet this material passed down eventually to his grandson and namesake, Sir Alexander Malet (1800-1886), who broke up the collection, selling tranches of the papers to Thomas Phillipps at Sotheby's in 1831 and to William Waller and the other buyers at the Puttick 8c Simpson sale of 1874. However, all the indications are that the Rochester copies belonged to the Malet family before they belonged to Harbin; that when Harbin bequeathed them to Rev. Alexander Malet he was in fact returning them to their previous owners. The signatures on the Rochester copies resemble those on Rev. Alexander Malet's will as well as the script of his continuation of Harbins Malet genealogy, (26) but they are in a copybook hand, and their repeated occurrence as if in experiment, together with the playful switch to the alternative form "Ander," further suggests that Alexander had access to the manuscript while he was still young. Apparently, he did not himself introduce the manuscript into the Malet household at St. Audries; rather, it seems as if he came across it, or perhaps was directed towards it, in the course of his adolescent investigations of the family papers (that he felt free to mark the copies at all is further reason to doubt that they were lent or shown to him by Harbin, a known collector of manuscripts).

So how did the Rochester copies come into Alexanders family? Here the key figure is Alexander's grandfather Sir John Malet (1623-86), the head of the St. Audries Malets throughout Rochester's life and, crucially, in the years immediately following the poet's death. Elected as MP for Minehead in the Cavalier Parliament at a by-election in 1666 and returned to the first Exclusion Parliament at the general election of 1679, John Malet spent the parliamentary seasons of the years of Rochester's greatest notoriety in London. His family entitlement to access to the poet was enhanced by their political like-mindedness. In the early 1670s, Malet was a voluble supporter of the religious policies of the Buckingham circle to which Rochester also belonged. (27) After Buckingham fell from power in 1674, and his replacement as Charles's most trusted minister, the Earl of Danby, set about reconciling the crown with the bishops, Malet's mistrust of "priestcraft" led him into outright opposition. He spoke out fiercely in parliament against Danby's plans to establish what he termed the "monstrum horrendum" of a prelatical "oligarchy," (28) and was listed as "thrice worthy," along with Rochester, in one of the rosters Shaftesbury compiled of members of parliament who could be relied on to vote for Exclusion. (29) Malet's fomenting of local "fanatics" now made him unacceptable to his former patrons in Minehead who at the election of 1681 installed Thomas Palmer, a stalwart of the Court interest. (30) Malet, though, did find a seat in the 1681 parliament, as MP for Bridgewater. His attendance at this short-lived parliament, which Charles II prorogued in famously theatrical style after a few days, (31) is confirmed by his nomination to the Committee of Elections and Privileges. (32) Owing to the feverish atmosphere in the capital, the 1681 parliament met in Oxford. Rochester had died on 26 July 1680, and the aftermaths of deaths were times when kinship ties in early-modern families were strengthened through formalized visiting. (33) It would have been remiss of Sir John not to ride the few miles from Oxford to Adderbury at some point during the proceedings of the parliament at the end of March 1681 to deliver his condolences in person to Elizabeth. He would have had cause to return (either from St. Audries or London) the following winter after Rochester's son and heir, Charles Wilmot, died at the age of ten, (34) and particularly when Elizabeth herself perished of an apoplexy shortly afterwards on 27 July 1681.

John Malet was an assiduous collector of manuscripts. His huge collection of papers, the basis of the six volumes of the Malet MSS which were sold--also by Sir Alexander--to the British Library in 1882, is a crucial archive for the period between the Civil War and the accession of James II. The bulk of it is made up of Malet's personal correspondence and documents that passed through his hands in the course of his parliamentary committee work. But he also kept an eye out for desirable material in other people's possession--including, it would appear, the private papers of Rochester. It is hard to see where else but at Adderbury Malet could have come by the series of autograph letters sent by the future Charles II to Rochester's father during his diplomatic missions in Germany in the 1650s, which subsequently found their way into the Malet MSS. (35) John Malet did not copy the Rochester texts in the "Harbin" MS: the fourth volume of the Malet MSS includes two documents certified as being in his hand, (36) which with its heavy admixture of secretary forms bears no resemblance to the neat italic of the "Harbin" copyist. But his four daughters are possible candidates. Elizabeth, Anne, Katherine, and Zenobia Malet were in their early twenties when Rochester, his wife, and his son died, and like other female members of early-modern gentry families would have taken a leading role in visiting their bereaved kin. (37) Love argued that the "Harbin" copies were made from a source "prepared with women readers in mind," perhaps by or for Rochester's niece Anne Wharton. (38) No samples of the handwriting of the Malet sisters survive in the Malet MSS or among the Malet family papers held in the Somerset county archives; but assuming that Alexander Malet's handwriting bore a family resemblance to that of his aunts, (39) it may be worth noting that several of his letter formations resemble those of the Harbin copyist.

How the copies were transferred from the Malet family to Harbin can be more firmly established. Following John Malet's death in 1686, his papers passed down to Baldwin, a few documentary traces of whose career as a local bureaucrat in 1690s Somerset can be found in volume five of the Malet MSS. (40) Then, in 1720, when Baldwin died, his eldest son, William, having predeceased him, the papers passed to Alexander Malet. At some point during this period, Harbin gained access to the collection; in fact, he undertook the task of organizing it, whether on his own initiative or at the invitation of Baldwin or Alexander. Endorsements, many of them initialed or signed in Harbins distinctive large clear hand, with its Greek-style "e"s, appear throughout the six volumes of the Malet MSS detailing the contents and provenance of papers whose significance was presumably becoming obscure to Sir Johns descendants in St. Audries thirty years or so after the end of his parliamentary career. It was Harbin himself who certified the two documents in Sir John Malet's hand, and another of his interventions reveals that he took a particular interest in the Rochester materials in the collection. This is the "Copy of a Letter of King Charles the Second to the Earl of Rochester [Wilmot]; from the Original," in Harbins own hand, which he interposed among the other autograph letters in this diplomatic correspondence acquired by Malet. (41) Evidently, Harbin came across the original of this letter in one of the libraries he visited (perhaps the Earl of Berkshire's, where, in 1731, he copied a run of Charles Is letters from the 1640s and one of Charles II's to the Duchess of Cleveland in 1678) (42) and, remembering that Sir John had three others from the same series, made a transcript to take down to St. Audries on his next trip to the west country.

The Rochester poems and domestic letters went in the opposite direction. Lacking obvious public significance, they may have been kept not among Sir John's collection but among the family's more everyday papers, those Alexander was free to scribble on. Perhaps Alexander or one of his sisters showed them to their uncle George as a curiosity during a pause from his serious archival labors, and when he showed interest lent or donated them to him. The handover probably took place in the late 1710s, during the period between the ending of Harbin's full-time employment at Longleat and his move to London. This fits with the dates of the other items which since at least the time of the Puttick & Simpson sale in 1874 have lain next to the Rochester copies in Harbin's papers, and, given their miscellaneousness, it is hard to see why Sir Alexander Malet himself would have brought these items together. The major work in the manuscript is Harbin's "Memoirs of Gardening," which he compiled between 1716 and 1723, and the Rochester texts are immediately succeeded by a group of five poems all of which can be dated to those years, and two of which Harbin cannot have acquired before then: (43) "On the Prince of Wales's Arrival" which refers to the Old Pretender's abortive landing in Scotland on 22 December 1715, and "Ant[hony] Alsop in Nuptias Amici Sui M[agist]ri Nichols Scholae Westmonast[eri] Hypodidasculi," a neo-Latin epistle by the so-called English Horace advising his friend John Nichols to marry which must have been written after 1714 when the latter rose to the position of "hypodidasculus"-that is, second master-at Westminster. (44)

There is one final piece of evidence to consider, which may suggest Harbin did not acquire the Rochester copies until around the time of his marriage and departure for London. It was after he and his wife took up residence in King Street that Harbin began to act as a library agent for Harley, scouring the country for desirable manuscripts for the Harleian collection. From the turn of the 1720s he brought regular gifts to Dover Street. (45) On 6 June 1720, for instance, he gave Harley copies of Lady Arabella Stuarts petitions to James I and the Lords of the Privy Council for release from her imprisonment, (46) and on 21 April 1722 letters from French correspondents to Sir Robert Cotton and John Selden. (47) Then, on 1 December 1722, Harleys great librarian, Humfrey Wanley, noted in his diary: "Mr Harbyn came and look'd into the MS. 37. c. 16 and said that he had brought a patent of K. Edward III and certain Original Letters of Wilmot Earl of Rochester, Mr Henry Savile & c; to Present to my Lord: and did so." (48) These are the seventy-four letters-sixty-two of them now preserved in Harley MS 7003, and the other twelve in volume 2 of the Portland Papers in the library of the Marquess of Bath at Longleat (49) -mainly from Rochester to his wife, Elizabeth, together with some addressed to the poet by the Duke of Buckingham, Henry Savile and others of his courtier friends, which make up the single largest surviving collection of manuscripts in Rochester's autograph. (50)

Like the Malet copies, the "parcel" of original letters surely came to Harbin through his family connections: he could not have removed so substantial and valuable a set of papers from any of the noblemens collections to which he had access, nor would he have had the money to purchase them, unless Harley provided it, which Wanley's characteristically precise endorsement on the back of the manuscripts makes clear was not the case. (51) Harbin may have found both the manuscripts at St. Audries, or he could have come across the autograph letters among the papers of his sister Margaret's family in Hestercombe, halfway between Longleat and St. Audries. For, remarkably enough, Margaret Harbin too, like her sister Anne, had married a Somersetshire gentleman with close links to Rochester: Sir Francis Warre, half brother of the poet's wife and one of the executors of his will. Sir Francis was well placed to have inherited Rochester's personal correspondence, either after his death or after Elizabeth's. (52) He died in the winter of 1718-19, followed soon afterwards by Margaret, (53) and although her will does not survive to prove it, Harbin presumably had some involvement in the stock-taking of papers and documents that followed. Harbin's correspondence with Harley, and with his fellow antiquary Thomas Hearne, establishes that he spent the summers of the early 1720s, including the one that immediately preceded his donation of the Rochester letters to the Harleian collection, in the west country. (54) Was it as consolation for having given up the more precious autographs to Harley that Harbin kept for himself the Rochester copies that now bear his name? (55) The provenance of those copies, as it has been outlined here, suggests they ought in fact to be named after their original owners, the Malets of St. Audries. But the error is a beneficent one. For having discovered and preserved the major Rochester sources which now reside in Harley MS 7003 and at Longleat in volume 2 of the Portland Papers and volume 27 of the Thynne Papers, George Harbin, antiquarian scholar and nonjuror priest, deserves recognition on a new and somewhat unlikely count-as guardian of the libertine Earl of Rochester's textual memory.


Rochester's editors have approached the "Harbin MS" as a source of information about the archetype from which it was copied. (56) The following discussion reverses that order of priorities; my concern is with how the copyist used the Adderbury ancestor, through her editorial activities of selection and arrangement, to construct a Rochester for herself and the other members of the reading community she represented. (The copyist may well have been a woman, and I shall employ the female pronoun when referring to her.) Love argued that the "Harbin" texts were censored by the copyist to preserve decency, whether sexual or religious (Works of Rochester, 359). But if so, she was puzzlingly inconsistent. She did stop copying "A Young Lady to her Antient Lover" after only four lines, (57) perhaps because she recognized the young lady's comparison of her ancient lovers "wither'd Lips and dry" to "barren furrows" at the beginning of the second stanza as suggestive, and having glanced ahead to the third and fourth stanzas where the lady's manual ministrations are detailed in scarcely euphemistic terms, thought it best to cut her losses. Elsewhere, though, she was rather less fastidious, copying all of the brutally misogynistic "Grecian Kindness," and opting not to neuter the ending of "Phillis be gentler I advise":

   Then if to make your ruin more
   You'll peevishly be coy
   Die with the scandal of a whore
   And never know the joy.
   (lines 13-16)

She was similarly haphazard in defending religious propriety. Love, when preparing his text of "Upon his leaving his Mistress," rejected the "Harbin" readings "To make you only mine" and "meaner beauties of your Sex" (lines 4, 8), believing that the copyist had suppressed the authorial profanities "damn you to be only mine" and "meaner Spirits." Yet he included in his text of "An Age in her Embraces pas'd" the glaringly profane final quatrain to which the "Harbin" copy of the poem is the sole surviving witness:

   God does not Heav'n afford untill
   In purgatory we
   Have felt the utmost pains of Hell Then
   why the Devill shou'd she.
   (lines 37-40)

Recent accounts of the transmission of Rochester's texts might generally be suspected of emphasizing the impact on copyists of sexually transgressive or religiously heterodox material to the exclusion of other possible scribal priorities; and the "Harbin MS" is a case in point. For in concentrating on the possibility of censorship on the part of the copyist scholars have so far overlooked her most striking decision, which sets the "Harbin MS" apart from every other surviving manuscript of Rochester. She copied letters as well as poems. (58)

Of course, few Rochester collectors enjoyed access to his personal letters; still, comparison with "Hartwell" is instructive. The copyist of that manuscript, probably a member of the Lee family to which Rochester's niece Anne Wharton belonged, (59) appears to have shown no interest in whatever private correspondence was available for viewing at Adderbury. The "Hartwell" Rochester is exclusively Rochester the poet; indeed, the manuscript includes a title page emphasizing that it is wholly made up of "Poem's / By the Right Honourable / John Earle of Rochester." (60) The contrast with "Harbin" is clear; for the inclusion of eight of the poet's letters to his wife, Elizabeth, and son, Charles, is not a peripheral feature of the manuscript, but the key to the copyist's larger concentration on epistolary elements in Rochester's work. This design is embodied in the arrangement of the manuscript: first, in that the letters are not separated off in their own section, either at the beginning or the end, but instead intercalated in the middle of the sequence of poems; and, secondly, because that sequence itself begins with "A Letter from Artemiza in the Towne to Cloe in the Country," while the only other nonlyric poem it includes is also a verse letter, "Part of an Epistolary Essay from M: G to O: B upon their Mutuall poems." This design can confidently be attributed to the copyist, even though the leaves of the manuscript were "disbound" by one of its owners, since the texts regularly run across page divisions (a full calendar and foliation of the manuscript is provided in the Appendix). Certainly, it must have been the copyist who produced the symptomatic conjunction on f. 46r where the epistolary lyric "To his more than meritorious wife" is immediately succeeded by the first of the "Coppies of 2 of the Earl of Rochester's letters to his Son."

Rochester is still occasionally thought of as an epistolary writer today. (61) But modern commentators mean by this something rather different from the "Harbin" copyist. In seminal arguments published in the 1960s, David Vieth and Howard Erskine-Hill credited Rochester's letter poems with pioneering that "intimate and delicate modulation of the familiar" voice, particularly as a vehicle for refined ironies, which Pope would later perfect in his Horatian epistles. (62) Subsequent research has continued along that line, analyzing not only Rochester's verse epistles but also his personal correspondence as outlets for that taste for impersonation and other forms of theatrical artifice which has become so central to modern assessments of his creative personality. (63) But the proto-Augustan innovativeness of Rochester's use of the epistolary mode generally passed his contemporaries by. Tellingly, the "Harbin" copyist copied only "Part" of the "Epistolary Essay from M. G. to O. B." (again, the whole poem is present in the collateral "Hartwell" MS); she stopped copying, after line 35, just before an obscenity ("I'd fart just as I write, for my own ease"), but also at the point in the poem where ironic notes in Rochester's treatment of the letter-writer-his major enemy at court, the Earl of Mulgrave-become most difficult to ignore. Thereafter, M. G. sets about elaborating the "comparison of his poetry to excrement [which] should appear ridiculous even to readers who lack a knowledge of Augustan literary criteria." (64) By cutting the poem short at this juncture, the "Harbin" copyist created an abbreviated version which exemplifies the virtues of epistolarity as it was primarily understood in the late seventeenth century: a mode of informality, "ease," the stylistic corollary of that looser deportment which was increasingly coming to define the cultural modernity of the age.

If it was naive of the "Harbin" copyist to credit the urbanity of the poem's opening lines,

   Dear Friend. I hear this Town does so abound
   With saucy Censurers, that faults are found
   With what of late, we (in poetick Rage)
   Bestowing, threw away on the dull Age,
   But, howsoever Envy, their spleen may raise
   To rob my Browes of the deserved Bayes
   Their thanks at least I merit, since thro' me,
   They are partakers of your Poetry.
   (lines 1-8)

then she shared her simplistic outlook with some of Rochester's most distinguished contemporary readers. In their elegies on him, both his niece Anne Wharton and Aphra Behn memorialized Rochester as a model of the new civility. Nor was this a view restricted to female critics: in his early critical writings, Dryden several times credited Rochester's elegant conversation as the prototype for the suave exchanges in his own stage comedies. (65) This was an image of Rochester that would have appealed to the members of an up-and-coming rural gentry family like the Malets of St. Audries. In the late seventeenth century, as improvements to the road network and the development of a regular postal service made London newly accessible to them, such families became ever-more anxious to measure themselves against metropolitan cultural standards. (66) The Malet daughters doubtless scoured the newsletters and gazettes for news from the capital (including details of Rochester's latest nefarious deeds); while their father, Sir John, epitomized the new trend for well-to-do landowners to decamp to the metropolis for the parliamentary and theatrical season. (67) The efforts of such country visitors to acquire urbane manners were derided in Restoration comedies like William Wycherley's The Country Wife (1675), as well as by Rochester himself, notably through his invention of the ludicrously Frenchified "fine Lady" in the "Letter from Artemiza to Chloe." (68) Nevertheless, those efforts of self-improvement provide the best context for understanding the "Harbin" MS.

In fact the "Harbin" MS gives the impression of having been designed as a Rochesterian version of the "academies of complement" which sold in droves over the latter decades of the seventeenth century to readers keen to learn the secrets of urbane deportment. As Adam Smyth has shown, (69) it was common practice to shape manuscript miscellanies in the image of these printed "academies." But towards the end of Rochester's life, the mode was undergoing significant changes. Letters had always been the preferred medium for exemplifying polite discourse, but whereas in the earliest cases, the "secretaries" of the 1640s, the model correspondence was generally translated from French originals, by the 1670s it was a selling point for the letter-writers to be English. (70) Lyric poems often appeared alongside the letters, (71) treated as epistolary on the basis of a literal understanding of their supposed occasions ("To his absent mistress" and so on). Exclusivity was increasingly prized: whereas the first handbooks recycled a narrow repertoire of specimen letters, later compilers claimed to offer their readers access to the private papers of elite figures. John Cotgrave went so far as to hint that the material contained in his Wits Interpreter, reprinted on a dozen occasions in Rochester's lifetime, (72) was stolen: In a word, you may perceive it to be a Collection of all that for such a time cou'd be ransack'd from the Private Papers of the choisest Wits of three Nations; from which Manuscripts of theirs, if there be any Copies transcribed that are old; it was not the Intention but rather the misfortune of the Insertor. (73)

An alternative was to pretend the collection had actually been put together by "the choisest wits" themselves, and of course no ones verbal fashion "secrets" were more in demand among Restoration readers than those of Rochester's circle. Sure enough, in 1671, some ingenious hack brought out The New Academy of Complements ... with an Exact Collection of the Newest and Choicest SONGS a la Mode, COMPILED By L. B., Sir C. S., Sir W. D. and others, the most refined Wits of this Age--L. B. being Charles Sackville, Lord Buckhurst, "sir C. S." Sir Charles Sedley, and "sir W. D." Sir William Davenant. (74)

There are frequent overlaps between the materials of the compliment manuals and the works by Rochester that the "Harbin" copyist chose to include. Most obviously, there is the domestic correspondence itself, and in particular the poet's two letters to his son, Charles. Sample letters between parents and children took center stage in the handbooks: the new civility was to be learned young. (75) The copyist's poetic choices too can be related to the printed handbooks. Of the model "Letters a la Mode" found in the Wits Interpreter, for instance, "To his indifferent Mistress" may be matched with Rochester's "The Discovery" or "Woman's Honour," and "To his Mistress forbidding him to love" with "While on these lovely looks I gaze" or "Phillis be gentler I advise." Meanwhile, the "Letters for all Occasions" in the pseudo-Rochesterian New Academy of Complements include one which provides an analogue for the central episode of "Artemiza to Chloe"--"A Ladies fore-warning her Friend of another Ladies Society" (76)--and even one which can be aligned with "A Young Lady to her Antient Lover." Rochester scholars have cited various precedents for this poem in the tradition of Stuart love lyric; (77) but correspondence between a young lady and an old man was also a "favourite specimen" of the letter manuals, (78) and the New Academy of Complements includes a template letter from "A Young Lady to her Ancient Lover." (79) Rochester may well have cast an eye over the New Academy; did it set him thinking? When Rochester's young lady promises her "Antient" lover that his "nobler parts," "By ages frozen grasp possest," "From their Ice shall be releast / And sooth'd by my reviveing hand / In former warmth and Vigour Stand," (80) she revises the metaphors which the New Academy's "young Virgin" had used to dismiss hers: "Dost thou think I would exchange the Flower of my Youth, for a bundle of Snow, or rotten Dirt?" (81)

The "academies" of compliment also offer a precedent for the "Harbin" copyist's conflicted attitude towards Rochester's sexual and religious heterodoxy. The ethos of the early Restoration handbooks was unapologetically aristocratic, not to say rakish: the compiler of the New Academy, for instance, advised "a husband" to begin a letter "to his lascivious Wife" with the evidently rhetorical question "Dost thou not know the world brands thee for a Whore, a notorious Strumpet?" (82) The pedagogical function of such manuals for "middling" readers was limited; they read them "for more impractical reasons: to enter a restricted social world, for romantic entertainment, or for literary interest." (83) But during the so-called "moral revolution" of the 1690s, the handbooks adapted to reflect the emergent bourgeois codes of value: The Young Secretary's Guide, the most popular of the turn-of-the-century manuals, (84) still includes a section of "Letters of Merriment, Jocularity, or Raillery," but its compiler, John Hill, warns those intending to write such letters to "avoid obscenity" and that "it is very unseemly to send any such to Persons with whom you are not familiar." (85) The "Harbin" copies were created on the cusp of this cultural transformation. (86) Although the copyist did not have to "ransack" Rochester's study to obtain her material, her interest in his papers probably retained a voyeuristic element, something of that outsider's fascinated deference to the manners of the courtly elite which had been capitalized on by John Cotgrave and other midcentury compilers of "academies." That would explain her preservation of some libertine passages, such as the ending of "Phillis be gentler I advise." On the other hand, her willingness to intervene in the text of "A Young Lady to her Antient Lover" betokens a measure of self-confidence, pointing forward to the coming dominance of bourgeois ethical norms, reflected in the turn-of-the-century manuals.

It remains to ask what the "Harbin" copies of Rochester meant to George Harbin himself. Considerations of literary merit were probably not uppermost in his mind. As with other antiquarians of the period, (87) most of the verse Harbin copied out in the course of his archival investigations was historical or monumentary. (88) The nearest he came to manifesting urbane tastes was when he made copies of some satires attacking Colly Cibber's appointment as Poet Laureate--presumably in revenge for Cibber's authorship of the scurrilous farce The Non-Juror (1718). More likely is that Harbin's interest in the manuscript was political: we have already noted his close attention to the correspondence of Rochester's father, Henry Wilmot, dashing servant of the Stuart dynasty for which Harbin too, albeit less flamboyantly, had sacrificed much. In Harbin's papers, the Rochester copies lie next to Jacobite verse such as "On the Prince of Wales's Arrival" and Anthony Alsop's neo-Latin epigrams and epistles. But Harbin may also have felt some personal affinity with Rochester. If he took possession of the Malet manuscript after his service at Longleat came to an end with the death of the first Lord Weymouth, his ownership of it coincided with a watershed in his personal life: his move from clerical celibacy in the country to marriage and a new career as Harley's library agent in London. The presence among Harbin's papers of Anthony Alsop's ribald poem urging his schoolmaster friend John Nichols to marry can certainly be linked to that life change. It may be that the Rochester copies were too; that Harbin, like his Malet in-laws before him, looked to Rochester for guidance in making the transition from provincialism to urbanity.

A final possibility is that what brought Harbin to identify with Rochester was the seemingly least Rochesterian aspect of his character--his antiquarian scholarliness. Attraction to Rochester was surprisingly common among eighteenth-century antiquarians. The normally cantankerous Anthony Wood "blatantly idealized" Rochester in Athenae Oxoniensis as a "noble and beautiful count" who led "a short but pleasant life"; (89) while Harbin's own Rochesterian investigations may have been partly spurred by the salty anecdotes about the poet which his close friend and occasional collaborator, Thomas Hearne, collected during the walking tours of the Oxfordshire countryside he undertook in the late 1710s and early 1720s as preparation for his planned history of the county. (90) On Friday 7 January 1725/6, Hearne recorded in his diary several such items of Rochesteriana, gleaned from residents of the Ditchley area, culminating with this one:

Once the wild Earl of Rochester, and some of his Companions, a little way from Woodstock, meeting in a morning with a fine young Maid going with butter to Market, they bought all the butter of her, and paid her for it, & afterwards stuck it up against a Tree, w ch the Maid perceiving, after they were gone, she went & took it off, thinking it pity that it should be quite spoil'd. They observ'd her, &, riding after her, soon overtook her, &, as a punishment, set her upon her head, & clapt the Butter upon her Breech. (91)

What offended Rochester and his companions, presumably, was the maid's money-mindedness about the butter, the reverse of their own de-instrumentalizing play with it. Such gratuitousness is an underrated element of Restoration libertinism, its defiance of the coming prudentialism of eighteenth-century culture. It can also be native to the antiquarian mentality; hence, the stereotype, ubiquitous in Scriblerian satire, of antiquarianism as intellectual quixotry, futile pursuit of history's lost causes. As Harbin conducted his antiquarian research, Augustan insistences on productivity in learning were beginning to have an impact in the archive; but these new imperatives coexisted with the older ideal of valuing the past for its own sake, without regard to practical application or financial reward. Unadvertised and unremunerated, Harbin's care for the textual remains of John Wilmot epitomizes such scholarly libertinism. (92) In that sense, the Rev. George Harbin was a true son of Rochester.



The titles of Rochester's poems are those given in the MS, followed
in square brackets by the first line of the poem as it appears in
Harold Love (ed.), The Works of John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester
(Oxford U. Press, 1999). For Rochester's letters, the opening phrase
is given in the form found in the MS, followed in square brackets by
a page reference to Jeremy Treglown (ed.), The Letters of John
Wilmot, Earl of Rochester (Oxford: Blackwells, 1980).

ff. 38 r-43 r   'A letter from Artemisa in y e Town
                to Cloe in y e Country' [Chloe, in
                Verse by your commande I write]

ff. 43 r-44 v   'Ovid: Amor: Lib=2 dus Eleg:
                9 m To Love' [Oh Love! how cold and
                slow to take my part]

f. 44 v         'To Celia for Inconstancy'
                [Tis not that I am weary growne]

f. 45 r         'Song by Severall Hands'
                [Give me leave to raile at you]

f. 45 r-v       'This y e answer'
                [Nothing adds to your fond fire]

f. 45 v         'A Song'
                [Phillis, be gentler I advise]

f. 46 r         'To his more y e meritorious wife'
                [I am by Fate slave to your Will]

ff. 46 r-v      'Coppies of 2 of y e Earl of
                Rochesters letters to his Son'

                (i) 'Charles I take it very kindly'
                [Treglown, 229]

                (ii) 'I hope Charles when you receive
                this' [Treglown, 143]

ff. 48 r-49 r   'Coppies of [y.sup.e] Earl of Rochesters
                Letters to his Lady'

                (i) 'I receiv'd three pictures, & am in
                great fright' [Treglown, 96-7]

                (ii) 'The last letter I rec[eiv]'d from
                your honour' [Treglown, 142]

                (iii) 'Madam if it were worth anything to
                be belov'd by me' [Treglown, 49]

                (iv) 'Madam 11 humbly thank you for your
                kind letter' [Treglown, 51]

                (v) 'I am at last come to Adderbury'
                [Treglown, 100-1]

                (vi) 'Persons in absence ought to notifie
                returns reciprocall' [Treglown, 51]

                (vii) 'This illustrious bearer is my
                Embassador' [Treglown, 84-5]

f. 49 v         'Song'
                [What Cruell Paines Corrinna takes]

f. 50 r         'Woman's Honour'
                [Love bad me hope and I obey'd]

f. 50 v         'Song'
                [To this Moment a Rebell, I throw down my

f. 51 r         'Song'
                [How happy Chloris, were they free]

f. 51 v          'Song: Love XXX Life'
                 [All my past Life is mine no more]

ff. 51 v-52 r   'Song The Fall'
                 [How blest was the Created state]

f. 52 r-v       'Song'
                [While on these Lovely Lookes I gaze]

ff. 52 v-53 r   'Song'
                [An Age in her Embraces pas'd]

ff 53 v-54 v    'The Advice'
                [All things submit themselves]

ff. 54 v-55 r   'The Discovery'
                [Caelia, that faithful Servant you disown]

f. 55 v         'Song'
                [Absent from thee I languish still]

At this point in the MS, a leaf has apparently been lost, since the
text of the following poem--'A Dialogue between Strephon and
Daphne'--is untitled and lacks the first four quatrains, beginning
at 1.17: 'Love like other little boyes' (Works of Rochester, 512)

ff. 56 r-57 r   [Prethy fond foole give o're]

ff. 57 v-58 r   'An Allusion'
                [The freeborn English Generous and wise]

ff. 58 v-59 r   'Part of an Epistolary Essay from M. G.
                to O.B. upon y r Mutuall poems'
                [Dear Friend. I hear this Town does so

f. 60 r         'Dialogue | Nymph Shepherd'
                [Injurious Charmer of my Vanquish't heart]

f. 60 v         'Song'
                [The utmost grace the Greeks could show]

f. 60 v         'Song | A young Lady to her Antient
                Lover' (11. 1-4 only)
                [Ancient person for whome I]

f. 61 r         [Anthony Alsop], 'An natura intendat
                monstrum? Negatur'

f. 62 r         'On y e Prince of Wales's arrival'

f. 62 v         'What meant your poets to descant'

f. 63 r-v       'Ant[hony] Alsop in Nuptias Amici Sui
                [M[agist].sup.ri] Nichols Scholae
                Westmonast[eri] Hypodidasculi'

f. 63 v         'Myrtilla'

f. 64 r         'Myrtilla like time is always flying'

ff. 65-88       [George Harbin], 'Memoirs of Gardening'


University College London


(1) Works of John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, ed. Harold Love (Oxford U. Press, 1999), xxxvii; this edition is hereafter cited parenthetically as "Works" followed by a page number.

(2) Keith Walker and Nicholas Fisher, eds., John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester: The Poems and Lucina's Rape (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010), xxiv.

(3) Peter Beal, Index of English Literary Manuscripts (London, 1983), II pt. 2,234.

(4) Harold Love, "Rochester: A Tale of Two Manuscripts," Yale University Library Gazette 72 (1997): 51.

(5) Works of Rochester, 520,662; The Poems and Lucina's Rape, 30.

(6) Love, "Scribal Texts and Literary Communities: The Rochester Circle and Osborn b 105," Studies in Bibliography 42 (1989): 219-35; Love, "Two Rochester Manuscripts Circulated from the Charterhouse," Library 6.16 (1994): 225-39; Love, "How Personal Is a Personal Miscellany? Sarah Cowper, Martin Clifford and the 'Buckingham Commonplace Book,'" in Order and Connexion: Studies in Bibliography and Book History, ed. R. C. Alston (Cambridge: Boydell & Brewer, 1997), 111-26.

(7) The account given in this paragraph is derived from John Findon's entry on Harbin in ODNB, from S. W. Rawlins and P. B. G. Binnall, "Dr George Harbin," in Records of the Archaeological and Natural Historical Society of Somersetshire (1947), 68-83, and from the brief biographical sketch at the beginning of Michael McGarvie and John H. Harvey, "The Rev. George Harbin and his Memoirs of Gardening, 1716-1723" in Garden History 11 (1983): 6-36. The new information here added to those existing accounts is taken from Harbins letters to Edward Harley (BL Add. MS 70423).

(8) Quoted in Rawlins and Binnall, "George Harbin," 71.

(9) Ibid., 79.

(10) Harbin to Harley, 3 November 1730.

(11) Henry Lancaster, "Thomas Thynne, first Viscount Weymouth (bap. 1640, d. 1714)," ODNB.

(12) Beal, Index, II pt. 2,232.

(13) Gordon Goodwin, rev. Penelope Rundle, "John Edward Jackson (1805-91)," ODNB-, HMC 3rd repr., 180,4th repr., 227.

(14) J. E. Jackson, The History of Longleat (Devizes: 1857), 24-27.

(15) Buying and selling manuscripts was a major part of Waller and Son's business in the 1860s and 1870s; as well as at the Harbin sale (which took place on 31 March 1874), they bought heavily, for instance, at Puttick & Simpson's sale (23 April 1874) of "Deeds, Charters, and Autograph Letters" compiled by John Camden Hotten. Puttick & Simpsons annotated sales catalogues appear to distinguish between "Waller" (presumably William) and "J Waller" (his son John, who went on to inherit the business in the late 1870s); it was "Waller" who did the firms buying at the Harbin sale.

(16) McGarvie and Harvey, "The Rev. George Harbin," 8.

(17) There is some confusion about the precise relationship between George and Anne: Arthur Malet, Notices of the English Branch of the Malet Family (1885), lists her as his daughter (63), but she was baptized in 1671 when George himself was only a few years old; McGarvie and Harvey, "The Rev. George Harbin," 7, claim (without making clear why) that Anne was Georges half-sister, from his mothers second marriage to John Bluet, but that marriage took place in 1675; Rawlins and Binnall state (69-70) that George and Anne were full siblings.

(18) Arthur Malet, Notices of the Malet Family, 41 and unpaginated family tree.

(19) BL Add. MS 32095, f. 385.

(20) Malet, Notices of the Malet Family, 64.

(21) Harbins voluminous notes on the genealogy of the Malets are preserved in the Somersetshire County Archives, including one set of papers covering the family's recent history which is dated "1716" (DD/SAS\C795/FA/137).

(22) Venn, Alumni Cantabrigienses, pt, I vol. 3, 129.

(23) Somersetshire County Archives, DD\MAL\845.

(24) Rawlins and Binnall, "George Harbin," 82; the other executor was Copleston Bampfylde, Margaret Harbins grandson.

(25) National Record of Archives, PRO.

(26) Both the will and Alexander's updating of the Malet family tree to 1763 are preserved in the Somersetshire County Archives (DD/MAL\845).

(27) B. D. Henning, The House of Commons, 1660-1690,3 vols. (London: Seeker and Warburg, 1983), 3:5-7.

(28) Mark Goldie, "Danby, the Bishops, and the Whigs," in The Politics of Religion in Restoration England, ed. Tim Harris, Paul Seaward, and Mark Goldie (Oxford: Blackwell, 1990), 86.

(29) Henning, The House of Commons, 1660-1690,3:7.

(30) Ibid.

(31) For a narrative of the parliament and the "dissimulations by which [Charles) staged his surprise" prorogation, see Phillip Harth, Pen for a Party: Drydens Tory Propaganda in Its Contexts (Princeton U. Press, 1993), 66-68.

(32) Henning, The House of Commons, 1660-1690, 3:7.

(33) Susan E. Whyman, Sociability and Power in Late-Stuart England: The Cultural Worlds of the Verneys, 1660-1720 (Oxford U. Press, 1999), 16,94-95.

(34) Confusion surrounds the date of Charles's death; Vivian de Sola Pinto, Enthusiast in Wit: A Portrait of John Wilmot Earl of Rochester 1647-1680 (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1962), 233, gives it as 30 November 1681, adding that his mother died "shortly afterwards"; but Elizabeths coffin plate in Spelsbury Parish Church (reproduced in Rochester's Letters, ed. Jeremy Treglown (Oxford: Blackwell, 1980), 131-32, records that she died on 27 July 1681.

(35) Charles II to the first Earl of Rochester, from Paris, 25 December 1652, from Chantilly, 13 November 1653, from Aix, 25 September 1654, from Spa, 30 July 1655; BL Add. MS 32093, ff. 297,310, 336,338.

(36) BL Add. MS 32094, ff. 360,367.

(37) For the crucial involvement of women in visiting practices, see Whyman, Sociability and Power, 87-109.

(38) Love, "Rochester: A Tale of Two Manuscripts," 51; the claim is repeated in Works of Rochester, 519.

(39) For the close involvement of relatives in the formation of children's handwriting in eighteenth-century gentry families, see Susan Whyman, The Pen and the People: English Letter Writers, 1660-1800 (Oxford U. Press, 2009), 12,25-28.

(40) See in particular the letter appointing him as one of the Deputy Lieutenants of Somersetshire, from the Earl of Ormonde, dated 9 May 1691; BL Add. MS 32095, f. 385.

(41) BL Add. MS 32093, f. 338.

(42) Harley MS 6988 ff 210-15; Harley MS 7006, ff. 71-76.

(43) The other three poems cannot be precisely dated but do not conflict with the proposed date range. They are: (i) a neo-Latin disputation poem, "An natura intendat monstrum? negatur," attributed to Anthony Alsop (1670-1726) in a number of eighteenth-century manuscripts and here signed by the copyist "shuttleworth" in a hand which matches that of the Barn[aby] Shuttleworth, who served Weymouth in a secretarial capacity in the early eighteenth century; (ii) a mildly obscene neo-Latin song "Myrtilla," followed by an English translation which occurs (for instance) in "A Collection of Eighteenth-Century Single Sheet Songs" in the Folger Library; and (iii) a poem in quatrains about the relative merits of wine and water as prompts to poetic inspiration, under the rubric "Nulla placere diu, nec Vivere Carmina possunt, / Qua scribuntur Aquae Potoribus" (from Horace, Epistles I. xix).

(44) D. K. Money, The English Horace: Anthony Alsop and the Tradition of British Latin Verse (London: The British Academy Press, 1998), 127; the text of the poem, under the title "Ad Hypodidasculum Quendam Plagosum, Alterum Orbilium, ut Uxorem duceret Epistola Hortativa," appears in Moneys edition at pp. 345-6.

(45) A list of the Harley MSS to which Harbin contributed is provided in Cyril Ernest Wright, Fontes Harleiani (1972), 179, but it should not be considered exhaustive. One important omission is the six letters Charles I sent during his imprisonment in Carisbrooke in 1648 (Harley MS 6988 ff. 210-15) discussed above. Probably, Harbins role in the expansion of the Harleian library in the 1720s and 1730s has been seriously underestimated.

(46) Harley MS 7003, ff. 57,58.

(47) Harley MS 7002, ff. 411,446.

(48) C. E. Wright and Ruth C. Wright, eds., The Diary of Humfrey Wanley, 1715-1726, 2 vols. (Oxford U. Press, 1966), 1:177; actually, as the editors report, "No letters presented by Harbin are endorsed by Wanley with this date": it was not until 27 August 1724, according to Wanley, that "My Lord sent in a parcel of Original Letters, written by Wilmot Earl of Rochester, Mr Henry Savil, the Duke of Buckingham, and other remarkable persons; being all given by the Reverend Mr Harbyn" (2:311).

(49) Harley MS 7003, ff. 179,187-302; Longleat, Portland Papers, II, ff. 215-37.

(50) The movements of the letters after their arrival in Harleys library, and in particular how the twelve now at Longleat became detached from the larger collection donated by Harbin, has recently been reconstructed by Nicholas Fisher in his '"Copies of letters from, and to the Earl of Rochester': an unexpected assemblage commissioned by Edward Harley, second Earl of Oxford (1689-1741)," English Manuscript Studies 18 (2013): 104-116,108-9.

(51) Wanley s dockets distinguish clearly between what was "given" to Harley and what was "bought" by him, for example, in the case of other materials in Harley MS 7003, from Harbins friend and antiquarian associate, Thomas Baker of St. John's College, Cambridge.

(52) Elizabeth Wilmot's will does not survive, but Sir Francis is a likely candidate to have acted as her executor, as too, perhaps, is Sir John Malet.

(53) S. W. Rawlins, introduction to "George Harbin's correspondence with John and Margaret Bampfylde," Somerset and Dorset Notes and Queries 25 (1948): 150.

(54) C. E. Doble, D. W. Rannie, H. E. Salter, et al., eds., Remarks and Collections of Thomas Hearne, 11 vols. (Oxford U. Press, 1884-1918), 7:383; BL Add. MS 70423.

(55) Harbin apparently held on to the autograph letters for some time before giving them to Harley: among the Finch-Hatton papers preserved in the Northamptonshire County Record Office are copies of five Rochester letters (F.H. 281, ff. 127v-130r) preceded by the following endorsement: "Transcribed by the Earl of Winchilsea from the Originals then in the Possession of the Rev. Mr Harbin and now in Ld Oxford's Library." Daniel Finch, the second Earl of Winchilsea, was Lord Weymouth's son-in-law; unfortunately, the transcriptions cannot be precisely dated.

(56) Works of John Wilmot, 519; The Poems and Lucina's Rape, 30.

(57) The full twenty-six-line version was presumably present in the source, since "Hartwell" has the whole text.

(58) No other MS of Rochester which mixes poems and letters is recorded in Beal's Index, and none has come to light since its publication.

(59) Germaine Greer, "Anne Wharton," ODNB; that the MS was once owned by the Lees is shown by markings on it, which are discussed in Beal, Index, 234.

(60) Beal, Index, 233 (actually, the MS does include a few works by other poets).

(61) See in particular Nicholas Fisher, "Miss Price to Artemisia: Rochester's debt to Ovid and Horace in his verse epistles," Classical and Modern Literature 11 (1991): 337-53; and Gillian Manning, "Artemiza to Chloe: Rochester's 'female' epistle," in That Second Bottle: Essays on John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester (Manchester U. Press, 2000): 114-16.

(62) David Vieth, Attribution in Restoration Poetry (Yale U. Press, 1963): 109-26; Howard Erskine-Hill, "Rochester: Augustan or Explorer?" in Renaissance and Modern Essays Presented to Vivian de Sola Pinto in Celebration of His 70th Birthday, ed. G. R. Hibbard (New York: Barnes & Noble, 1966), 51-64,52.

(63) This critical orthodoxy stems from Anne Righter's classic lecture, "John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester," Proceedings of the British Academy 53 (1967): 46-69; for its application to the letter poems and letters, see most recently D. K. Alsop, "An Epistolary Essay, from M. G. to O. B. upon Their Mutual Poems' and the Problem of the Persona in Rochester's Poetry," Restoration, 12 (1988): 61-66.

(64) Vieth, Attribution in Restoration Poetry, 123.

(65) See in particular the dedication of Marriage-a-la-Mode (1673), in The Works of John Dryden, ed. E. N. Hooker, H. T. Swedenberg Jr. et al., 20 vols. (California U. Press, 1956-2000), 11:221.

(66) Spurr, England in the 1670s, 163-65; Whyman, Sociability and Power, 4.

(67) Lawrence Stone, "The Residential Development of the West End of London in the Seventeenth Century," in After the Reformation: Essays in Honour of J. H. Hexter, ed. Barbara C. Malment (Manchester U. Press, 1980), 167-212; during his parliamentary attendances, Sir John Malet apparently lodged at the home of his former patron Orrery's widow, Lady Ranelagh.

(68) Harold Love, "Dryden, Rochester, and the Invention of the 'Town,'" in John Dryden (1631-1700): His Politics, His Plays, and His Poets, ed. Claude Rawson and Aaron Santesso (Cranbury, NJ: Associated University Presses, 2004), 36-51.

(69) See, for instance, Adam Smyth, "Profit and Delight": Printed Miscellanies in England, 1640-1682 (Wayne State U. Press, 2004), 118-26.

(70) Jean Robertson, The Art of Letter Writing: An Essay on the Handbooks Published in England during the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries (London: Hodder &. Stoughton, 1942), 42-50; Whyman, The Pen and the People, 29-30.

(71) Robertson, Art of Letter Writing, 52.

(72) Smyth, Printed Miscellanies in England, 1-2.

(73) Quoted in ibid., 50,51.

(74) Davenant, whilst not actually a "wit," indeed sometimes the object of their parody, was a friend of Rochester's: see Jeremy Treglown, "Rochester and Davenant," N&Q 23 (1976): 554-59.

(75) Whyman, The Pen and the People, 30-45.

(76) The New Academy of Complements (1671), 40.

(77) David Farley-Hills, The Benevolence of Laughter (London: Macmillan, 1974), 137-38; for the suggestion that Rochester's poem was written for the wedding feast of one such ill-sorted couple, see Works of Rochester, 360.

(78) Robertson, The Art of Letter Writing, 52.

(79) The particular significance of Rochester's use of "Antient," as opposed to the flatter "old," is pointed out by Helen Wilcox, in her essay on "Gender and Artfulness in Rochester's 'Song of a Young Lady to Her Ancient Lover,"' in Reading Rochester, ed. Edward Burns (Liverpool U. Press, 1995), 9-10.

(80) "Song: A Young Lady to her Antient Lover," lines 15,17,18-20.

(81) The New Academy of Complements, 41.

(82) Ibid., 77.

(83) Whyman, The Pen and the People, 29 (reporting the argument of Roger Chartier's famous essay "Secretaires for the People," in Correspondence, ed. Chartier et al. (Princeton U. Press, 1991), 59-101).

(84) Robertson, The Art of Letter Writing, 64-65.

(85) John Hill, The Young Secretary's Guide (1696), sig. B2v.

(86) See in particular Janet Gurkin Altman, "Political Ideology in the Letter Manual (France, England, New England)," Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture 18 (1989): 105-22.

(87) For details of Thomas Hearne's collections of poetry, see Theodor Harmsen, Antiquarianism in the Augustan Age: Thomas Hearne, 1678-1735 (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2000), 156-62.

(88) The small group in BL Add. MS 32096 includes a copy in his handwriting of Marvell's Latin poem on the Queen of Sweden (f. 184); a further collection, comprising "A Poem by Will Draper, and various MS poems," was among those of Harbin's papers sold by Puttick & Simpson in 1874, but its present whereabouts are unknown.

(89) J. W. Johnson, "Anthony Wood and John Wilmot: The Antiquary as Autobiographer and Biographer," Restoration 12 (1988): 76.

(90) See Harmsen, Antiquarianism in the Augustan Age, 197-207.

(91) Doble et al., Remarks and Collections of Thomas Hearne, 11:78.

(92) The nearest Harbin ever came to connecting himself with Rochester, in all his mass of papers on the Malet and Warre families, appears to be in a parenthesis at the end of one draft pedigree where he calls the Enmore Malets "one of the antientest and Noblest Families of the Western Parts, whose Heir General brought by marriage, in our memory, to John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, a great estate" (Somersetshire County Archives, DD/SAS\C795/ FA/137; my italics).
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Author:Davis, Paul
Publication:Philological Quarterly
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jan 1, 2015
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