Details of Subseries within E 192
Reference: Subseries within E 192

The Farley papers: an accumulation of private and semi-official papers of successive deputy chamberlains and keepers of the records in the Chapter House (that is, of the official custodians of the records housed in the Treasury of the Receipt); with some earlier, and unrelated strays from records in that custody.

The papers of John Lawton and of Abraham Farley, who appears to have been related to Lawton by marriage, include both personal papers and private office papers relating to searches in the records. As such, the latter include some evidence concerning Farley's interest in Domesday Book, of which he was, eventually, to be the editor in the edition produced for Parliament in 1783; as well as of his searches, for a fee, in other records in his care (for his work on Domesday, see M M Condon and E M Hallam,"Government printing of the Public Records in the eighteenth century", Journal of the Society of Archivists, vii (1984), pp 376-382).

Private papers include a collection relating to the election of the mayor of Orford, Suffolk, 1734-1736; accounts, including household and trademens' bills, and correspondence of the Revd John Whittington, for whom Farley acted as executor; correspondence, legal papers, and estate records of Farley, Lawton, and Anne Lawton, but including also rents paid for houses in Downing Street, leased for official purposes; building accounts, including works for Lawton at Upminster and Stanford le Hope, Essex (a map of stanford and Hornden, formerly among these papers, is now MPB 3) and papers concerning the office of clerk to the supreme court in St Iago, Jamaica, granted to Lawton, Farley, and one Nicholas Paxton, and the longest liver of them; receipts and other papers concerning the payment of land tax and pew rents; and papers concerning seditious literature.

Unrelated papers include a drapers account book, 1638 (E 192/25, pt 1) records both of the Court of Wards and of Star Chamber, and also a few early common law strays, all of which were deposited in the Treasury of the Receipt; and various shipping papers, which may or may not be related to the main collection, including an account book for the frigate King George in 1714.

Related material:

Further papers of Farley and Lawton have been distributed through several pieces of SP 46, especially

SP 46/143

Administrative / biographical background:

Abraham Farley (d 1791) had been a deputy chamberlain since 1736; in 1776 he became, with George Rose, keeper of the records in the Chapter House, where he had earlier been deputy to Richard Morley. John Lawton had been appointed Keeper of the records in 1726 and it is clear from some of the correspondence in E 192 that Farley for a time lodged in his house. Peter le Neve, Norroy herald and a deputy chamberlain from 1684-1712, is perhaps the best known of the three, and was a prominent member of the antiquarian circles of his day.

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