Devon Household Accounts 1627-59, Part II
Henry, Earl of Bath, and Rachel, Countess of Bath, of Tawstock and London, 1639-54
This comprises the household accounts of the only noble family then resident in Devon. Remarkable for their richness and diversity, the collection of documents has not been previously published and will considerably add to our understanding of the county's social history in the seventeenth century. The rare survival of parallel London and provincial accounts allows invaluable comparisons and analysis which will be of wide appeal. The accounts recorded thehousehold's very fabric from the servants' financial particulars (including their wages, clothing and diet) to minute details of such purchases as furniture, silver, musical instruments and pictures. There are also recurring entries for the planting of the extensive terraced garden and unusual entries such as the purchase of an organ from Gloucester and the construction of the Great Coach. The continual movement of the Earl and Countess between Devon and London is shown and this is of added significance given that the Earl was the county's leading Royalist and the accounts cover the entire Civil War period. There are accounts for the Earl's diet in 1642 while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London and the volume also includes the Countess' personal account book in which she recorded their Civil War involvement.