Second Visit to the Herbert to View Archives

These are my notes from viewing The Herbert Art Gallery’s archives on 27th January, I chose a specific set of archives I was hoping to be helpful to my research of Coombe Abbey last week. I am pleased to have found these as there are some interesting things I found. I took notes of anything that interested me. The numbers indicate the different archives and where they’re placed within The Herbert’s archive.




Will Craven

‘Yours lordships most obliged and obedient servant, WM. Craven.”



Survey of Coombe Abbey Estate

Transcript of a survey, taken in 1652.

Survey of the Abbey and Lordship of Comb, being the parcel of the possession of, on late, belonging to William, Lord Craven

“north and south, on the west side where of, standeth afair stable, newly built of brick, and covered with tiles, with chambers over it, with a Coach House adjoyning west and a Barne adjoyning west, containing six baynes with a stable, Hay House, and Sheep House, on the south end of the Barn Range, which range incloseth the Great Court, in part, on the west side, -on the north end of Base Court, lying on the west side of the House, and Garden, and adjoyning on the north of the Great Court and Barn with a Wash House and Laundry with Chambers over them, adjoyning the Stable on the west– with an old ruinous Barn and a Brewhouse, newly built, not yet finished…”


“Memo: we have valued the said Mansion, with its appurtenances at #90 per annum…”


“Particulars of the Land.

Horse Close….. adjoyning Turthe Close: 6 acres— £6 per annum

Trees now standing thereon, have a value of £6

The Warren Field

Lapworthe Meadow

Long Meadow

Brinkley Doles

Hillfield…….. approx. 215 acres

The Flogg Meadow…….. approx 18 acres

Comb Park (All imparked land known as…) 375 acres

Half Mile Meadow…….. 9 acres

Middle Hill Meadow…… approx 7 acres

New Close Coppice, adjoyning Comb Park….. approx 90 acres”




Transcripts Miscellaneous

The stocke and cattle remayning in Mr. Curre’s charge, valued by him at the makynge of accounts at Michaelmas, 1641.


225 Ewes at 165 each———— £180

53 Theawes at 14s each———-£37-25

27 Wethers at 125—————-£16-4s

80 Cullings at 8s—————-£32

73 Lambs at 9s——————£32-17s

9 Rams at 23s——————-£10-7s

8 Heyfours and a Bull———-£31-10s

1 Roane Mare and a foale——£10-10s

Barley which is worth———-£40


(From the Craven Family Papers deposited at the Bodleian Library, Oxford. AES/EC/1989)”




Life in 1642


The social and economic history of the period may be regarded as a continuation of the Elizabethan era under conditions of peace and safety rather than domestic danger and war.”

“Everything was handmade”

“Craftsmen found in any Town-



In the Country the great houses were virtually self-sufficient

They Baked



Slaughtered animals

Kept poultry

Shod Horses







The Abby was altered in 1667



“Although horses were kept and some farmers grew oats to feed them, most of the common field farmers preferred oxen for the plough. They cost less to keep, to harness and shoe, they required far less looking after and were less prone to disease and at the end of their working lives they could be killed for meat.”


Working people

Wore homespun clothes

Women wore woolen dresses with full skirts and fitted bodices. Caps and bonnets were worn by all adult women. Aprons to protect their clothes.

Men wore breeches of thick woolen cloth to the knee, with wide, loose sleeved shirts, of unbleached linen. These were collarless and tied at the neck. Over these shirts they would wear a jacket or jerkin of woolen cloth or thin leather. This would be trimmed with collars and cuffs.

Blacksmiths wore leather aprons for their trade.”


Dress in 1642

“The two opposing sides in the Civil War period, dresses very differently.”

“Cavaliers were supporters of the King, Charles 1

Cavaliers dressed richly, adding such finery according to their means. Lace was added and worn wherever possible either as large collars entirely of this fabric or as collars with lace trims. Matching cuffs were added to their sleeves. Hats were large and broad-brimmed and often decorated with ostrich feathers.”

Cavalier Gentlefolk

“Womens gowns were cut low in the bodice with square or rounded necklines. Skirts were full though not stiffened. Cavalier women also wore quantities of lace with which their gowns were lavishly trimmed.”


“Dresses in grabber colours than the Cavaliers, usually black or brown as bright colours were frowned upon. Their collars and cuffs were made of starched linen with little or no trimming. Long hair was regarded as vain.”

My quick sketch: