1-3. Letter books (outgoing letters), 1771-1829
The three volumes contain two main sections: letters of 'JM', 1771-1801, in four sequences (vols. 1-2); and a sequence of unsigned 'general' letters, 1824-1829, with an index (vols. 2 and 3). The earlier letters deal with a variety of legal and financial buisness and are written in the same hand. A few are signed 'John May'. The later sequence is in a different hand.
1. Letter book, with three sequences of letters and a partial index.
(a) Apr. 1771 - Jan. 1778. John May to people in Kent and London, concerning legal and financial business.
(b) Aug. 1828 - May 1829. Unsigned 'General letters', pp. 1-142, with an index of addressees.
(c) Apr. 1771 - Mar. 1774. John May to Geo. Jennet, Attorney, London (running from the back of the volume).
2. Letter book, marked 'I Bankers', with two sequences of letters and no indexes.
(a) Oct. 1793 - Feb. 1801. John May to Messrs Hoare, bankers, London.
(b) Aug. 1799 - Apr. 1801. John May to Mr Smith, Lothbury, about stocks and consols (running from the back of the volume).
3. Letter book, with one sequence of letters and an index.
Sep. 1824 - Aug. 1828. Unsigned, in the same hand as 1 (b), pp. 1-173, with an index of addressees.
4. Bundle of letters and documents, c. 1810-1826
Miscellaneous letters and printed notices of various dates, many dealing with the bankruptcy of the company in 1825-1826. There are also sale particulars for a Manor and farm at Oxney in 1810 and 1819, and letters and particulars from Daniel Smith and Sons about the sale of Manor Farm, Appleton in 1825. The papers also include the articles of co-partnership between the four men, 21 Oct. 1813, and resolutions and notices of their creditors.
5. List of debts, undated (c. 1826)
List of 671 debts 'proved under the commission against all the bankrupts'. Numbered entries giving name, address and profession of each creditor, and the amounts owed.
6. Research notes
File of notes relating to the collection, with details of bankers in Deal, etc.