Ongoing research

2022 Elizabeth Renner created this virtual exhibit about the West family in the early seventeenth century. Enter here.

The following documents come from the digitized Cecil Papers at the British Library and were transcribed by Dr. Jessica Taylor in 2022. All quotes should be taken from the original image. Rights belong to the Hatfield House Archives and were digitized by ProQuest.

The Right Honorable My Very Loard the Lord Viscount Cranborne Principall Secretary to his M[ajes]tie give this.
Blakefriers this 12 of December 1604
Most honorable Lord, it is not unknowne yt my late anncesters through error of improudence, have wasted ye reviennues of there house and lefte me heyer to a bare little, spoiled of all meanes yt should maintayne the honor of nobilitye: so that I am neither fitt to give attendance at ye corte, nor able to hould any proportionable station wth men of myne owne ranke; but am forced at … to live obscurely, or among men of vulgar note, a meane to bring nobility into contempt, and to me both hatefull and dishonorable. Thus doe I beare ye punishment of there faultes, whereof I was never guilty, & the Pains I expence of there, unjustly courses endeth in the ruine and overthrow of my house; Rules his Ma[jes]tie of princely bounty vouchsafe speedily to releeve me for ye better accomplishing whereof, when I call to minde your noble disposittion toward my late father, in a sute he made for his place in Parlament, wherein, through your honorable furtherance he prevayled (the wch with all thankefull remembrance I doe acknowledge) I am imbouldened in hope of the like favoure from your Lo[rd] to become an humble suter unto you, that you would be pleased, in your often accesses to his Ma[jest]ie, to find some fitt occasion to acquainte him wth my poverty; how willing I am to doe him service, but am destitute of all meanes to give attendance, being ye poorest Barron of this Kingdome : and withall to give your favourable furtherance in any ocassonable sute wch I shall make unto his Ma[jes]tie for any releefe wch favoures if I may obtayne I and my posterity shalbe bound to acknowledge that your Lo[rd] was not only the cause of helping us to our place of dignity, but allso of procuring us meanes to maynetayne the same wch honor and reputation, and so friend rushing always to your L[o]r[d’s] Service, by your Lo[rd] to be comanded,
Tho: LaWarre
Thomas West to Charles Gryne/Green
Yt is now taken for cobbyy [copy?] of ye L[ord] Lubey
I hope by this time you know what your strength is, and what you shall be able to dooe. I pray send me word howe all things prospereth: send me by wilson as much money as you may resonably spare, for I am in greater want here, then I made account for : so Lokinge [looking] for to here from you by wilson on Sunday at the fastest I end this 25 of July 1587
Yours as you know
Tho: West
To the right Honorable Sr. Robert Cecill Knight Principall Secretary to the Queenes Mati give this at Corte
Whitefriers this 25 of March 1602
Right Honorable whereas it hath pleased God to afflickte my father with greate sicnknes yea allmost past hope of recovery, and my selfe like to suckseede him in a very broken estate. I most humbly intreate you to give me leave to be a sutor to your selfe for your favourable consente that the reversion of my fathers, the keeping of the forestes of Alex Holte and Wohner, with his office in the excheccer may come to me. In the which it pleased her ma[jes]ti to let me father sacksede my grandfather. Mr. Con[ventry?] hath promised to move her ma[jest]ie for me. And if it may please you to give me your favourable consent and assistance in it, you shall finde my love and service to you, while I live. This committing you to the protection of the allmighty I rest. Devoted to your service, Tho: West