The Albeville mss., 1653-1690, consist of letters to Ignatius White, marquis d'Albeville, and other documents, relating primarily to the Revolution of 1688 in Great Britain.
Ignatius White, one of six brothers, was born in Ireland about 1626. White and some of his brothers were acting as spies for various European governments by the mid-1650's and raising troops for the Spanish army. White also performed some diplomatic services for the British government. In 1679 he was made the Marquis d'Albeville by Emperor Leopold. Upon James II's accession to the British throne, Albeville became a royal advisor and in 1687 went to the Hague as envoy extraordinary. After the revolution, Albeville followed James into exile at St. Germain and died there in 1694. [For more information about Albeville's life, see E.S. De Beer, "The Marquis of Albeville and his brothers," English Historical Review, vol. XLV, no. 179 (July 1930), pp. 397-408 (D1 .E5).]
The collection is made up largely of letters written to Albeville during his residence at the Hague. These letters were written by persons in England and on the continent and contain many details of current happenings. The letters of Sir George Etherege, James Vernon, Sir Peter Wyche and Robert Yard particularly have information of day-to-day events that make them useful for the study of both political and social history of the period.
While not all the correspondence is addressed to Albeville, it was assumed that all unaddressed letters were intended for him. Many of the letters had both Old Style and New Style dating; in those instances the more appropriate dates were chosen for indexing and filing purposes. The letters of James Vernon were dated from information contained in Narcissus Luttrell, A Brief Historical Relation of State Affairs from September 1678 to April 1714. Oxford, At the University Press, 1857. Vol. I (DA430 .L9). The letters of Sir George Etherege of June 23, 1687 and February 5, March 1, March 4 and March 11, 1688 have been published in Sir George Etherege, The Letterbook of Sir George Etherege, ed. by Sybil Rosenfeld, London, Humphrey Milford, 1928 (DA452 .E8), on pp. 217-20, 321,330-32, 333-34, and 339.
The other items in the collection are letters to Albeville from various European correspondents prior to the reign of James II and several miscellaneous documents concerning political events and the careers of Albeville and two of his brothers, Richard and Michael. Six letters to Albeville in 1682 were signed "Wescomb" but have been attributed to his brother Richard. [See De Beer, p. 399n.]
The correspondents in the collection include John Abell; William Brouncker, 2nd viscount Brouncker; Sir Richard Bulstrode; Michael Carney; Thomas Coxe; Sir George Etherege; Sir William Godolphin; Ferdinand Bonaventura, graf von Harrach; Philip Thomas Howard; Philippe La Gru‰; Hugh Mackay; Jules Mazarin; John Mounsteven; Samuel de Paz; Oliver Plunket; James Vernon; Henry Waldegrave, Baron Waldegrave; Ignatius White, marquis d'Albeville; Richard White; Sir Peter Wyche; and Robert Yard.
Collection size: 327 items