...The winters wee spent in England, either at Draiton, my lords Grandmothers; Chartley, his owne house; or some of his Brother the Earle of Hertfords houses: Our priuate Sports, abroad Hunting; at home, Chests or Catastrophe. Our publique Sports (and sometimes with great Charge and expence) were Maskes, or Playes, wherein I was a Contriuer both of Words, & Matter. ffor aslong as the good old Countesse of Leicester liued (the Grandmother to theise Noble famelies) her Hospitable entertainement was Garnisht with such (then harmeles) recreations./
‘my lords Grandmothers’ refers to Lettice Knollys, countess of Leicester and grandmother to Robert Devereux, 20th earl of Essex. Knollys lived at Drayton Basset, and Devereux at Chartley Hall, near the ruined Chartley Castle. 'his brother the Earle of Hertford’ refers to William Seymour, who became earl of Hertford in 1621 and who married Frances Devereux, sister to Robert Devereux, in 1618. ‘brother’ therefore means ‘brother-in-law.’ The two men were apparently very friendly.
Record title: Autobiography of Arthur Wilson
Shelfmark: Add. MS 33
Repository location: Cambridge
1602–1710; English; paper; ix + 128; 185mm x 135mm; contemporary and modern pagination (pp i–ix, 172–98, 203–48, and 251–6 blank); modern binding in half calf, original binding survives: full calf, secured with 2 metal clasps (1 remains). Also contains 'Observations of God's Providence in the tract of my life' (pp 1–56, 199–202).