Contains an unfinished work of Lady Ashburnham's prayers, meditations, and thanksgivings, separated into four parts according to her table of contents (although part two is not present and the other parts may be incomplete). Volume starts with a preface by Ashburnham, "Of the intent and effect of this booke." Also includes (in later hands), an inventory of plate, "the 6th of Feby. 1699 / An acc[oun]t of what plate is put into a grate flat box couered w[i]th red le[a]ther" (leaf 6r); a list of book titles, ca. 1750 (leaves 54-57); and a paper seal of the Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury from the 1820s (temporarily removed in 1998 and classified as Folger MS X.d.544; returned to V.a.511 in 2010)
Leaves 6v-53v and 58r-64r blank
Elizabeth Richardson (also known as Elizabeth Ashburnham) wrote A ladies legacie to her davghters, published in 1645 (Wing R1382). The Folger manuscript, according to the Oxford DNB, appears to be a much earlier precursor to that work. A related manuscript is in the East Sussex Record Office (ASH 3501), a manuscript copy of Richardson's prayers given to her eldest daughter, Elizabeth Cornwallis, in 1635
Title from leaf 1v. "Instructions for my children, or any other Christian, Directing to the performance of our duties, towardes God and Man; -- drawne out of [th]e holy scripture. And it is deuided into foure partes."
List of contents on leaf 1v (with part 2 not represented in volume): 1. Precepts for a ciuill and christian life, in behauiour, worde, & deed (leaves 3v-5r) -- 2. The vertues & vices, w[i]th [the]ir rewardes & punishments, contayned in Gods law; or [th]e ten comaundements -- 3. An instruction for prayer, p[re]cepts or sentences of Scripture, & twelue prayers (leaves 64v-83v) -- 4. A treatise, concerning Life, and Death (leaves 84r-85v)
Main text partly in the hand of Lady Ashburnham and partly in that of another, with additions made by Lady Ashburnham. On bottom of leaf 2r, "written at Ashbornham in Sussex anno domin 1606 p[ar] Elizabeth Ashbornham."
Part 4, "A treatise concerning Life, and Death" is an abridged rewriting and meditation upon Mary Sidney, Countess of Pembroke's, A discourse of life and death, 1592 (STC 18138) a translation of Philip de Mornay's Excellens traitez et discours de la vie et de la mort
Formerly Folger MS Add 590
Bound in 17th century vellum with gold tooling, including monogram of E A on front and back covers, gilt edges and evidence of ties
Acquired from Hammond in 1969, catalog 173, lot 165
Also known as
Extended title: Instructions for my children, or any other Christian, directing to the performance of our duties, towardes God and Man, drawne out of the holy scripture 1606-ca. 1750