Roundheads’ plan for siege of Colchester to go under the hammer

Essex County Standard: Roundheads’ plan for siege of Colchester to go under the hammer Roundheads’ plan for siege of Colchester to go under the hammer

A DIARY detailing plans for the siege on Colchester during the English Civil War will go on auction next month.

The historical document is a period copy of a diary complied by researcher W. Keymer on the actions of Oliver Cromwell’s Parliamentary Forces under the command of General Fairfax.

The original was put together in 1648 and it is thought this copy was made between 20 and 50 years later.

Essex County Standard:

The piece will go under the hammer on December 4 at Lockdales of Martlesham, Suffolk.

As well as the map, the 58cm by 41cm diary gives a day-by-day account of the siege plans, between June 13 and August 22.

The lot has been given an expected sale price of between £100 and £150.

However, the auction house says that early interest indicates it could sell for a much higher sum.

Auction manager James Sadler said: “We have a fascinating piece of East Anglian history on our hands.

“The items came out of a collection of books and manuscripts.”

W. Keymer also wrote several books about the siege and its impact on Colchester.

The original document is on display in the National Army Museum in London.

The illustration details several sites which still stand in Colchester, including Mile End church, St John’s Abbey and the castle.

Mersea Road and London Road can also be spotted on the map.

The item is being sold on behalf of a private seller.

Further details about Keymer’s life are not known by the auctioneers.

Comments (12)

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9:52am Tue 26 Nov 13

Catchedicam says...

Hopefully this will stay in Colchester, we need a fund to ensure that it remains here Jess, Simon? I'll pledge a reasonable amount to start it off.
Hopefully this will stay in Colchester, we need a fund to ensure that it remains here Jess, Simon? I'll pledge a reasonable amount to start it off. Catchedicam

10:30am Tue 26 Nov 13

Simon Taylor says...

The headline is slightly misleading. This is a printed copy rather than an original manuscript. The plan turns up quite often because it was included in Mr Keymer's printing of Matthew Carter's account of the siege. The plan and diary on one sheet is unusual, I think, but I'm not sure why it's a news story!
The headline is slightly misleading. This is a printed copy rather than an original manuscript. The plan turns up quite often because it was included in Mr Keymer's printing of Matthew Carter's account of the siege. The plan and diary on one sheet is unusual, I think, but I'm not sure why it's a news story! Simon Taylor

10:35am Tue 26 Nov 13

Jess Jephcott says...

I think that if it was worth bringing back to Colchester, the Friends of Colchester Museums would bid for it. We must be sure we are not trying to outbid each other. I have no personal interest in an original document as its conservation and security would be an issue that only a museum could deal with properly.
I think that if it was worth bringing back to Colchester, the Friends of Colchester Museums would bid for it. We must be sure we are not trying to outbid each other. I have no personal interest in an original document as its conservation and security would be an issue that only a museum could deal with properly. Jess Jephcott

10:56am Tue 26 Nov 13

Catchedicam says...

If it's worth having then as Jess says it needs to be donated to a museum, although from what Simon says its historic value may be in doubt? I'm happy to pursue this with friends of Colchester Museums and see what they say..
If it's worth having then as Jess says it needs to be donated to a museum, although from what Simon says its historic value may be in doubt? I'm happy to pursue this with friends of Colchester Museums and see what they say.. Catchedicam

12:35pm Tue 26 Nov 13

Wivenhovian says...

Essex (like Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire) is not and never has been part of East Anglia.
Essex (like Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire) is not and never has been part of East Anglia. Wivenhovian

6:53pm Tue 26 Nov 13

Simon Taylor says...

A London bookseller (who is not known for being cheap!) currently has a copy priced at £740, and they have estimated a publication date of c.1770, which ties in with when Mr Keymer was active, c.1760-c.1810. So, it was almost certainly printed over a century after the siege.

Please do check with the Friends, but I personally think their money would be better spent on original documents and other unique items. Greyfriars Books will not be bidding, if that helps!
A London bookseller (who is not known for being cheap!) currently has a copy priced at £740, and they have estimated a publication date of c.1770, which ties in with when Mr Keymer was active, c.1760-c.1810. So, it was almost certainly printed over a century after the siege. Please do check with the Friends, but I personally think their money would be better spent on original documents and other unique items. Greyfriars Books will not be bidding, if that helps! Simon Taylor

3:58am Wed 27 Nov 13

rhetoric says...

"Several sites which still stand in Colchester"???
.
A site doesn't "stand". It lies flat-ish!
.
Furthermore, if the writer means that Mile End Church still stands as it did at the time of the Siege, I think he will find on proper, professional search that a new Church was built in Mile End in the 19thc?
"Several sites which still stand in Colchester"??? . A site doesn't "stand". It lies flat-ish! . Furthermore, if the writer means that Mile End Church still stands as it did at the time of the Siege, I think he will find on proper, professional search that a new Church was built in Mile End in the 19thc? rhetoric

9:29am Wed 27 Nov 13

Jess Jephcott says...

Pedantry is alive and well and contributing nothing whatsoever to an important discussion.
Pedantry is alive and well and contributing nothing whatsoever to an important discussion. Jess Jephcott

11:09am Sun 1 Dec 13

rhetoric says...

Pedantry, Jess?
.
The devil is in the detail both when asking for support and informing the public about the "cause".
.
Frankly, though conservation was my bread and butter for 50 years, I don't consider this book worth fighting for. There are fine artefacts and buildings in danger in Colchester and those should get precedence over this rather less important printed item.
.
One wonders at times whether future generations will be suffocated under the weight of "memorabilia" and "conserved/archived" materails? There is a limit! Though it's fascinating to trawl through some collections, others are frankly rubbish. We have to move on, and the odd merit-less building or limited-interest artefact should maybe go on photographic and written record and then be consigned to oblivion, lest we suffocate in their dust!
.
We may not always like the present, but then it is certain that the Colcestrians of the 17thc liked their "present times" a hell of a lot less!
Pedantry, Jess? . The devil is in the detail both when asking for support and informing the public about the "cause". . Frankly, though conservation was my bread and butter for 50 years, I don't consider this book worth fighting for. There are fine artefacts and buildings in danger in Colchester and those should get precedence over this rather less important printed item. . One wonders at times whether future generations will be suffocated under the weight of "memorabilia" and "conserved/archived" materails? There is a limit! Though it's fascinating to trawl through some collections, others are frankly rubbish. We have to move on, and the odd merit-less building or limited-interest artefact should maybe go on photographic and written record and then be consigned to oblivion, lest we suffocate in their dust! . We may not always like the present, but then it is certain that the Colcestrians of the 17thc liked their "present times" a hell of a lot less! rhetoric

11:11am Sun 1 Dec 13

rhetoric says...

Whoops! should read ".../archived" materials".
Whoops! should read ".../archived" materials". rhetoric

4:15pm Sun 1 Dec 13

Simon Taylor says...

Fair play: the auctioneer is doing his job in talking up a lot on behalf of the vendor and his own commission, but the press has some responsibility in its reporting and we might have expected it to notice that St John's Abbey is no longer standing!
Fair play: the auctioneer is doing his job in talking up a lot on behalf of the vendor and his own commission, but the press has some responsibility in its reporting and we might have expected it to notice that St John's Abbey is no longer standing! Simon Taylor

6:30pm Sun 1 Dec 13

rhetoric says...

I don't think the reporters in general have much interest in the subjects they are supposed to pursue.
.
Probably they are not Colcestrians, and are just mechanically doing their job when obliged to, without much caring whether their reports are absolutely accurate.
.
Long ago, I recall some of the local paper's employees going on to Greater Things. I wonder if this generation will do the same? Not much hope for accuracy on the Beeb and in the national papers if that happens,
but then it's pretty bad already.
I don't think the reporters in general have much interest in the subjects they are supposed to pursue. . Probably they are not Colcestrians, and are just mechanically doing their job when obliged to, without much caring whether their reports are absolutely accurate. . Long ago, I recall some of the local paper's employees going on to Greater Things. I wonder if this generation will do the same? Not much hope for accuracy on the Beeb and in the national papers if that happens, but then it's pretty bad already. rhetoric

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