1753 Lady Mary Clarke, Windsor Castle letter to Attorney Samuel Joynes

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#AD190: Surrey County Clarke Genealogy, Joynes Genealogy

This is a beautiful early original 18th century handwritten rare Georgian era royalty related letter and autograph of Lady Mary Clarke written on 3rd October 1753 while lodging at Windsor Castle. It is written to her lawyer, attorney, or solicitor named Samuel Joynes, his office in the Lamb's Building, Middle Temple, London. She is asking for rental money and help with her legal dealings. It was at one time fully sealed by a beautiful early armorial or crest red wax sealing emblem, which is still intact. Lady Mary Clarke 1685–1754 died in 1756 at age 69, 3 years after this letter was written.

The City of London Metropolitan Archives holds 41 letters from 1749-1752 of Lady Mary Clarke (as well as one letter from her daughter Anne Clarke 1703–1769) to their attorney / legal adviser Samuel Joynes, as well as 4 of his original replies. Many of Samuel Joynes signed documents and manuscripts are also held in the British Museum. This letter was found in 2018 in Malton, England.

Lady Mary was the wife of Sir James Clarke, a Knight and Lord of the manor of East Molesey, Surrey, England. Molesey sits on the south bank of the River Thames on the outer edge of London and is comprised of two large villages, East Molesey and West Molesey. Interestingly, her father was also named James Clarke.

Found in Public Genealogy Records:
Lady Mary Clarke 1685–1754, born and died at age 69 in East Molesey, Surrey, England. Her Parents were James Clarke 1634–1709, who died age 75, and Elizabeth Masson Clarke 1645–1726, who died at age 82. She was their only child, and married an unrelated Clarke family member named Sir James Clarke 1674–1728, also of East Molesey.

Lady Mary & Sir James Clarke had the following 6 children:
Elizabeth Clarke 1702–1723
Anne Clarke Sheppard 1703–1769
(She married Samuel Sheppard of Northamptonshire in 1851)
James Clarke 1704–1758
Mary Clarke 1706–1762
George Clarke 1709–1744
Henrietta Clarke, born 1710

Lady Mary's father was James Clarke 1634-1709. He worked under the monarchies of Charles II and James II. He was the Comptroller of the Household to Lieutenant General James FitzThomas Butler, 1st Duke of Ormond, 1st Marquess of Ormond, 12th Earl of Ormond, 5th Earl of Ossory, 4th Viscount Thurles, 1st Baron Butler of Llanthony, 1st Earl of Brecknock, KG, PC 1610-1688, an Irish statesman and soldier, known as Earl of Ormond from 1634 to 1642, and Marquess of Ormond from 1642 to 1661. He was famous for leading the Royal Irish Army against the Irish Catholic Confederation, and the leading commander of the Royalist fight against Oliver Cromwell's Irish forces. He lived in exile in Europe with King Charles II of England during the 1650's, returning to power with Charles to the throne in 1660, and therefore holding many high government appointments. Her father James Clarke 1634–1709 was constable of Dublin Castle, and "store keeper of the Dublin custom house" according to an 1850 book by Edward Wedlake Brayley entitled " A Topographical History of Surrey, London, 1850." He was a member of the Chandry Chandler department in the Royal Household 1674-1685 and Second Clerk of the Kitchen in 1689, and First Clerk of the Kitchen until his 1709 death. He worked under Monarchs Charles II and James II. In 1676, James Clarke, was granted a 99 year lease for manors Molesey Prior and Molesey Matham because of his strong and powerful ties.

Her mother was Elizabeth Masson Clarke 1644-1726, the daughter and co-heir of Captain John Masson 1610–1667 of Stamford, Lincolnshire, England. Her father was the son of Ishmael Mason 1568–1625 and Elizabeth Man Mason 1585–1638. Elizabeth's mother was Grace Shepherd Clarke, born 1619.

Lady Clarke's addresses as per her other known National Archive letters was at 42 George Street, Hanover Square and Windsor Castle and West Drayton, where she lived in a house which later became the manor house of the well known Fysh Burgh (Fysh De Burgh). Historical information on the Clarke manor house granted by the crown in 1677 is below.

FROM: A History of the County of Surrey: Volume 3. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1911, pages 451-456: "Hampton Court Bridge was built by James Clarke, who had a lease of the manor of Molesey Prior in 1750. It was of wood and soon fell into disrepair. It was rebuilt of wood in 1778, and remained till 1865, when then replaced by an iron bridge. In April 1646 the trustees, the widow, and the eldest son of Sir John joined in a sale of the estate, with the rectory of East Molesey, for £4,000 to Henry Pickering of London; who on 30 March following sold it for £4,050 to James Clarke. (Lady) Mary, daughter and sole heiress of James Clarke conveyed the estate by marriage to Sir James Clarke, Knight, of a different family from her own, by whom she had a son, James Clarke, who died in 1758. He married Ann, only daughter of Christopher Clarke, and Lydia Henrietta Clarke, their only daughter and heiress, who became the wife of the Reverend Sir George Molesworth. In 1765 'the manor of Molesey Matham or East Molesey' with the rectory of East Molesey appears to have been held by Joseph Clarke and Frances his wife. They had 2 Clarke daughters who married Mr. Pordage and Mr. Floyer. In the late 18th century, Joseph sold off the property to Lord Beaumont Hotham and Thomas Sutton who were brother in laws. Their descendants were still the lords of the manor when the book was written in 1911.

Interestingly, we also found evidence that famous Irish portrait painter Charles Jervas 1675-1739 left Lady Mary Clarke money in his will. He was the Principal Painter to King George I and II, and student of Sir Godfrey Kneller. The will reads: "To be gifted only after the death of his widow, £1,000 to Lady Mary Clarke 1685-1754, "daughter of my old friends James and Elizabeth Clarke of Whitehall", and the same to each of Lady Mary’s three daughters. Charles Jervas had moved from Whitehall, Dublin to England in his teens, and it is assumed he and Mary's parents were early Dublin friends.

Important Surry Clarke Family History can be found here:
From: A topographical history of Surrey, by E.W. Brayley assisted by J. Britton and E.W. Brayley, jun. The geological section by G. Mantell by Edward Wedlake Brayley and John Britton, published on 1 January, 1841:

"The Manor of Moulsey Prior. The Priory of Merton in Surrey was founded in the reign of Henry the First Henry I 1068-1135, the fourth son of William the Conqueror. The land and manor had many different owners and lords with grants and land uses for over 500 years. " "In 1585, the widow of Crane had a grant of Sterte Mill." NOTE: This was also known as Molesey Matham. The other prior was Molesey Prior. These 2 manors became the parishes of East and West Molesey)

"East Moulsey is a populous but scattered village, pleasantly situated near the confluence of the river Mole with the Thames at a short distance from Hampton-court bridge. The Registers of this parish are nearly complete, of baptisms from the year 1668; of burials from 1681; and of marriages from 1695." "Several handsome memorials of the Clarke family (lords of this manor) are also in the chancel; including those for Sir James Clarke, knt., who died in his fifty-seventh year, on the 31st of March, 1703; and was buried here, together with his father, mother, wife, and seven children;—James Clarke, esq., "sometime Serjeant of the Chandry to King Charles the Second; Constable of the Castle of Dublin, and Store-keeper of the Custom-house there; Comptroller of the Household to the truly-noble and great James, first Duke of Ormond (when Lord Lieutenant of Ireland), and Steward of his House to the time of his death"; he was afterwards chief clerk of the Kitchen to King William and Queen Mary, and Queen Anne; and died on the 20th of November, 1709, aged seventy-five; Mrs. Elizabeth Clarke, (widow of the above James), eldest daughter and co-heir of Capt. John Masson, of Stamford in Lincolnshire, a great sufferer by his loyalty to King Charles the First; she died "full of years and good works," on the 13th of January, 1725-6, in the eighty-second year of her age; and Sir James Clarke, knt., who "after many years of ill health and the most painful disorders," departed this life April the 16th, 1728, aged fifty-two years." (Note: This is a discrepancy to 1709 date of death above)

Attorney Samuel Joynes in Public Genealogy Records:
Samuel Joynes 1719-1770 was born Kensington, Middlesex, England and died at age 51 in Middle Temple, Surrey England. He was a high level and prominent baliff then lawyer in Middle Temple, with many famous clients. In his earlier years, legal filings can be found with him described as "Gent. of the office of Bailiff of the manor of Southwark, County Surrey." The 1770 will of Samuel Joynes can be found at the registers of wills proved at the Prerogative Court of Canterbury between 1680-1819, which is available at the British National Archives.

Historical Note: Middle Temple Hall is an Elizabethan era hall built by the wood from Windsor Forest by Queen Elizabeth 1. It is located in the London’s legal quarter and one of the four ancient Inns of Court, built 1562-1573. The Lamb Building was built by the Knights Templars in 1667, but was destroyed in 1678 by a devastating Middle Temple fire. Temple buildings were also badly bombed in World War II, when sadly the original Lamb Building was lost. The site of the Lamb building is now at Church Court. The Middle temple was bombed extensively on 11th May, 1941 in WWII and painstakingly rebuilt in 1954.

Lady Mary addresses it "To Mr. Joynes at his chambers in Lambs Buildings in the Middle Temple, London." She signs it "Your obliged friend, MC." She mentions Mr. Hatch of Windsor, Mr. Martin, Mrs. Bonwick, Mr. Norman, and her own son. She says she sent this to letter to her own house, and had it sent to him personally by her "errand man." She signs it in her own MC script in the letter of the text, and also as "Lady Clarke" on letter front.

This rare 265 year old Georgian piece was recently found in 2018 in Malton, North Yorkshire, England, part of the North Riding of Yorkshire. It is beautifully written in deep sepia dip pen ink on early high quality period rag paper with a high cotton content. The red sealing wax stamp exhibits an armorial crest and is in lovely condition for age. Click images to see condition in close up views and click again to open full images on screen for scrolling to right. This is a rare, one of a kind English historical piece, Clarle family 18th century autograph, and a wonderful Molesey historical document.  
debra clifford antiques devon sold archive
Size folded: 5.5 x 7.5 inches
Size open: 11.75 x 7.5 inches
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