Elegy on the death of Frederick Cornwallis, Baron Cornwallis of Eye

Scope and Content

A 64-line elegiac poem composed on the occasion of the death of Frederick Cornwallis, Baron Cornwallis of Eye, in January 1661/2. His virtues are recorded:
'... (though there bee
Twixt vulgar Spirits, and Nobilitie
A kind of Antipathie) yet will I
Appeale unto themselves [the Commons] what courtesie
They found in him: what affabilitie,
Humilitie, and sweetness, w[i]th rare parts,
Which (ev'n against their wills) had won their hearts.'
There is a reference to Prester John, and allusion is made to the office Cornwallis had held as Treasurer of the Household to Charles II:
'The King of Kings now meaning to confer
An higher title, made thee Treasurer
In Heaven's great Court, where thou had'st laid up store
Of never fading Treasure [long?] before.'
At the end runs a Latin inscription: 'Ita raptim flevit ex animo R.Wolverton. Eayensis sudor volgorum ex Icenis M.D.'

Administrative / Biographical History

Frederick Cornwallis was born in 1610, the younger son of Sir William Cornwallis of Brome, Suffolk. He succeeded his half-brother to the family estates in 1626, was created a baronet in 1627 and knighted in 1630. Cornwallis acted as M.P. for Eye from March-May 1640, and from October 1640 to September 1642. He distinguished himself on the royalist side during the English Civil War, especially at Cropredy on 30 June 1644, and followed Charles II into exile. Upon Charles's restoration in 1660, Cornwallis was made Treasurer of the Household and a Privy Councillor. He also acted as M.P. for Ipswich from October-December 1660. He died in January 1662, shortly after his creation as Baron Cornwallis of Eye (20 April 1661).


Single item.

Access Information

Access to this collection is unrestricted for the purpose of private study and personal research within the supervised environment and restrictions of the Library's Palaeography Room. Uncatalogued material may not be seen. Please contact the University Archivist for details.

Acquisition Information

Bought from Barry Duncan in 1958.

Other Finding Aids

Collection level description.

Alternative Form Available

A photographic facsimile is available (Ref: MS/F 117).

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

This manuscript has been badly damaged by damp, and is illegible in parts. A photographic facsimile is more legible.

Archivist's Note

Compiled by Sarah Aitchison as part of the RSLP AIM25 Project.

Conditions Governing Use

Copies may be made, subject to the condition of the original. Copying must be undertaken by the Palaeography Room staff, who will need a minimum of 24 hours to process requests.