The Autobiography of Mrs Alice Thornton
First published, [edited by Charles Jackson], Surtees Society, 62 (1875 [for 1873]).
Autograph autobiography, covering the years 1627-68, in Thornton's neat italic hand, arranged under headings, with a seven-page index between pp. 299 and 300.
In: Autograph MS of the Autobiography of Alice Thornton, including some verses, 303 duodecimo pages, in contemporary calf gilt. c.1668.
Inscribed on a flyfeaf ‘Ex Libris Tho. Comber De Creech St. Michael in Comitatu Somerset 1789. 1800. The Contents of this Book are written by the hand of Mrs Alice Thornton, the Great Great Grandmother of me Thomas Comber 1789’. Owned in 1875 by a descendant of Alice Thornton, the Rev. Henry George Wandesford Comber, MA, Rector of Oswaldkirk. Sotheby's, 21 July 1980, lot 63, unsold. Sotheby's, 29 June 1982, lot 17, to Quaritch, with a facsimile example in the sale catalogue. Then owned by Paula Peyraud, New York State. Bloomsbury Auctions, New York, 6 May 2009, lot 464.
A microfilm of this MS is also in the British Library, RP 2346.
The first MS used in Jackson's edition in 1875. Discussed in Anselment.
Autograph MS, in Alice Thornton's italic hand, covering principally 1668-9 with reminiscences of earlier times and other prayers and meditations, entitled ‘An account of memorable Affaires, and Accidents, on my selfe, & Family, & Children. with Deliuerances, and Meditations thereon Since my Widdowed condition Since Sept: 17th 1668’, 216 quarto pages, in old calf gilt. 1668-9.
Inscribed on a flyleaf ‘A Manuscript written by My dear Grandmother Mrs. Thornton’. Owned in 1875 by a descendant of Alice Thornton, the Rev. Henry George Wandesford Comber, MA, Rector of Oswaldkirk. Sotheby's, 13 December 1994, lot 44, to Quaritch, with a facsimile example in the sale catalogue. Then owned by Paula Peyraud, New York State. Bloomsbury Auctions, New York, 6 May 2009, lot 464.
The third MS used in Jackson's edition in 1875. Discussed in Anselment.
Transcript of MSS of the Autobiography, made by Charles Best Norcliffe in preparation for the printed edition of 1875. Inscribed: ‘The three volumes were lent to C B N by the Rev H G W Camber in the year 1861 and were abstracted and arranged as follows, with a view to printing the work. Circumstances postponing that design, and the Societys' editors being behind hand with their work, the secretary persuaded C B Norcliffe to give the Society all his labour, and all his notes, which were on separate pieces of paper, and allow Mr Charles Jackson to appear as editor on condition of his services being properly acknowledged.’ c.1861.
From the Howard-Vyse family of Langton Hall.
Autograph MS, ‘written in a small hand’, 291 pages (‘5" x 3"’), in brown calf. c.1668.
Owned in 1875 by a descendant of Alice Thornton, the Rev. Henry George Wandesford Comber, MA, Rector of Oswaldkirk. Owned in the 1930s by Edward Philip Comber.
The second MS used for Jackson's edition in 1875 (briefly described p. xiv). Discussed in Anselment.
Autograph MS of possibly an early version, 194 folio pages including a five-page ‘Index of this booke’. c.1668.
Once owned by the Rev. M. E. P. Comber, Wrenbury, Cheshire.
A microfilm is at Yale, Sterling Library FILM MISC 326.
An autograph MS described in 1875 as ‘a more tiny book’, ‘a small memorandum book three and a half by two and a half inches in size, and consisting of about 196 pages, which has the appearance of having been Mrs. Thornton's original “Booke of Remembrances of all the remarkable deliverances of myselfe, husband, and childrens wth their births and other remarks as concerning myself and family beginning from the year 1625”’. c.1668.
Owned in 1875 by Alice Thornton's descendant Thomas Comber, of Newton-le-Willows.
Described in Jackson, pp. xv, 347.
A fair copy of unpublished ‘Memoirs of the Life and Death of Mrs. Alice Thornton...Collected from Mrs. Thornton's Manuscripts, And other authentic documents, By her G. G. Grandson Thomas Comber, A.B. Vicar of Creech - St. Michael, Somersetshire, And Editor of the Memoirs of Thomas Comber D. D. Dean of Durham ’, including passages and quotations from MSS of her Autobiography, on 172 octavo pages, with a title-page and two pages of notes, followed (on twelve further pages) by ‘A Brief Sketch’ of the life of Alice Thornton's father Christopher Wandesford (1592-1640), Lord Deputy of Ireland. c.1800.