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National Maritime Museum



Reference code(s): GB 0064 SOU

Held at: National Maritime Museum

Title: Phillipps-Southwell

Date(s): [1661-1717]

Level of description: Collection

Extent: 3ft: 91cm

Name of creator(s): Southwell | Edward | 1671-1730 | statesman
Southwell | Sir | Robert | 1635-1702 | Knight | diplomat
Blathwayt | William | ? 1649-1717 | statesman
Finch | Daniel | 1647-1730 | 2nd Earl of Nottingham | 7th Earl of Winchilsea | statesman


Administrative/Biographical history:

Sir Robert Southwell (1635-1702), who was appointed Clerk to the Commission of Prizes in 1664 and, as well as holding diplomatic posts, became Principal Secretary of State for Ireland in 1690. His son Edward Southwell (1671-1730) succeeded him in the latter post. There are also papers of William Blathwayt, Secretary at War (1649?-1717), whose daughter married Edward Southwell in 1717. Since the Southwells and Blathwayt were often abroad, many of these letters are from the Secretary of State at home, who was for the greater part of the time Daniel Finch, Earl of Nottingham (1647-1730), giving news of decisions reached by the Queen, and after her death in 1694, by the Lords Justices.


Scope and content/abstract:

The collection, consisting of nineteen volumes, relates to the administration of the Navy, naval policy during the war with France, 1690 to 1698, and questions of Admiralty jurisdiction, and falls into four main groups. The first, of six volumes, contains letters received by William Blathwayt between 1690 and 1703; they concern the conduct of the war and questions of naval administration, including some, 1697 to 1703, from Josiah Burchett, Secretary of the Admiralty (1666?-1746). The second group of four volumes relates mainly to the time of the Dutch Wars when Robert Southwell was a Commissioner for Prizes. It contains drafts, orders and precedents relating to the Commission, 1661 to 1705, as well as a volume devoted to the legal problems of wrecks, 1687 to 1705. There are also some letters from Blathwayt to Robert Southwell for this period. The third group of four volumes contains letters by Lord Nottingham, 1690 and 1692 to 1693, to Blathwayt and Sir Robert Southwell, some with draft replies. Apart from reporting on naval affairs, there are later private letters, 1711, 1716, and Irish affairs, 1703, are also mentioned. The final four volumes are miscellaneous in nature, including a volume relating to the conduct of the war, 1695 to 1697; a working reference book on the proceedings of the Commission of Prizes, 1665 to 1667; and two volumes of miscellaneous papers relating to all the subjects mentioned above, 1674 to 1708.


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement:

Conditions governing access:

Please contact the Archive for further information.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Please contact the Archive for further information.

Finding aids:

Detailed catalogue online at the: National Maritime Museum website .


Archival history:

Sir Thomas Phillipps purchased these manuscripts in 1836 (see A N L 'The formation of the Phillipps Library', Phillipps Studies, No.3, Cambridge, 1954, p.85).

Immediate source of acquisition:

Purchased by Sir James Caird in 1946.



Archivist's note: Edited by Sarah Drewery, Sep 2011.

Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions: 2010-08-26

Maritime warfare | Warfare | Military engineering
Naval affairs | Military affairs | Military science | Social sciences
Naval prizes | War seizures | War (concept) | International conflicts

Personal names
Blathwayt | William | ? 1649-1717 | statesman
Burchett | Josiah | c 1666-1746 | Secretary to the Admiralty
Finch | Daniel | 1647-1730 | 2nd Earl of Nottingham | 7th Earl of Winchilsea | statesman
Southwell | Edward | 1671-1730 | statesman
Southwell | Sir | Robert | 1635-1702 | Knight | diplomat

Corporate names
Royal Navy