Auction Catalogue of the sale of a textile collection, a Mercer's Stock.

[Mary Hawkes]
Publication details: 
[Ringwood], 1834
SKU: 8109

Items relating to Mary Hawkes (d.1834) of East Close House, Christchurch, Hampshire, including an auction catalogue of the sale of the textile stock of a member of the Levett family of mercers, a poster for the same auction, and a copy of Mrs Hawkes's willAn interesting collection of material. Catalogues of textiles auctions are extremely uncommon for this period, and a significant one, priced in manuscript like Item Two, with associated material placing it in context, must be all but unique. The textiles advertised on the title-page of Item Two clearly constitute considerable stock in trade, and Mrs Hawkes's close relationship with the Levetts, a leading family of mercers, is evidenced by the contents of Item One. (The family were active in London at least as early as 1701, and Francis Levett junior, who died in 1802, was 'the first planter in America to sow Sea Island cotton'.) Early nineteenth-century posters advertising auctions, such as Item Three, are also extremely uncommon.Item One: Manuscript copy of the 'Will of Mrs. Mary Hawkes', dated 15 January 1834. 118 lines. Text clear and complete. Very good, on lightly-aged paper. Neatly written on four foolscap (32 x 20 cm) pages, in a stitched packet of four leaves. Docketed: 'Dated 15th. January 1834. | (Copy) | Will of Mrs. Mary Hawkes'. The will, disposing of substantial sums, was contested in the Chancery suit 'Hawkes v. Baldwin' (for which see Dunlap's 'Reports', New York, 1845; and Pollock et al., 'Revised Reports', London, 1900). A bequest of one thousand pounds by Mrs Hawkes to her sister Betsey (last seen in 1814 'on the quay at Southampton, in company with a soldier, about to embark for either Guernsey or Jersey') was deemed not to be payable, as the sister had not claimed the legacy within a year, as stipulated in the terms of the will. In the will Mrs Hawkes states her desire 'to be buried in the Vault at the Parish Church of Christchurch where the remains of John Levett late of East Close aforesaid Esquire deceased are interred'. The precise nature of Mrs Hawkes's close connection with the Levett family is unclear. John Levett (b. c. 1725) had died at East Close in 1807. The main beneficiaries of Mrs Hawkes's will are Levett's nephews and neices, including John Levett Yeats, below. (David Yeats was Francis Levett's son-in-law.) This circumstance, and the fact that Mrs Hawkes mentions her father, but does not name him outright, suggests the strong possibility that Mary Hawkes was John Levett's natural daughter, or (less likely) his mistress. Item Two: Catalogue of eight-day sale, by the auctioneer John Cranston of Ringwood, of 'the miscellaneous effects, of the late Mrs. Mary Hawkes, at East Close House', beginning on 13 March 1834.The title-page reads:'East Close House, 4 Miles from Christchurch, on the Lyndhurst Road. | A Catalogue of the Miscellaneous Effects, Of the late Mrs. Mary Hawkes, At East Close House, | comprising | 2500 yards of carious Silks, Gros de Naples, and Persians, 1800 yards of various Muslins, 566 yards of Irish, 240 yards of fine Calico, 162 yards of Sheeting, 460 yards of printed Cotton, 1900 yards of different Net, 1572 yards of British Lace, 1140 yards of washed Lace, 560 Chemises, Muslin, Cotton, Crape, Lace, Silk, and other Dresses, Silk Cloaks and Pelisses, Veils, Collars, Caps, Aprons, Shawls, Scarfs, Handkerchiefs, and various Haberdashery Goods. | 80 Pair of Russia and other Sheets and Table Linen, | Marseilles Quilts, Counterpanes and Blankets, Kidderminster Carpets, Mahogany Chest of Drawers, Dessert Service, Glass Articles, and several lots of Household Furniture. Also, Milch Cow and Heifer, Lade Cart, Roller, Market Cart with Tilt, Wheelbarrows, Ladders, Grindstone, &c. | Which will be submitted for unreserved sale by auction, on the premises, by Mr. Cranston, Sen. On Thursday the 13th Day of March, 1834, And Seven following Days (Sunday excepted). | Sale each day at eleven for twelve o'clock precisely. | Catalogues to be had Sixpence each, at Mr. Coupland's, Printing Office, Southampton; Bell Inn, Romsey; Crown, Lyndhurst; Anchor and Hope, Lymington; King's Head, Wimborne; Star Inn, Fordingbridge; Messrs. Brodie's, Salisbury; Mr. Cranston's, Jun. Poole; the Auctioneers' Ringwood and Christchurch, and Place of Sale.'8vo: 43 pp. Unbound and stitched as issued. Printed by 'Wheaton, Printer, Ringwood.' Text clear and complete on aged paper. Slight ink staining to the margins of a few pages. Wear to extremities, and the last two leaves with closed tears repaired with archival tape.Ownership inscription, at head of title-page, of 'J. L. Yeats', i.e. John Levett Yeats, one of the beneficiaries of Mrs Hawkes' will. The catalogue is priced in manuscript, with alterations and additions, presumably for Yeats by the auctioneer. On the reverse of the title is a breakdown of the results of the first day's sale into 'Residuary' (£59 15s 2d) and 'Legacy' (£65 0s 7d), with the same breakdown continuing throughout the sale. The first seven days were almost entirely taken up with the sale of more than a thousand textile lots, with many more added in manuscript. The last day's sale consisted of the furniture and other household items.No copy in the British Library or on COPAC. An earlier version of this catalogue (offered separately), headed '[SECOND EDITION.]', runs to 36 instead of 43 pages.Item Three: Poster for the auction (by 'Mr. Cranston Sen'). Printed by 'WHEATON, PRINTER, RINGWOOD.' On one side of a piece of wove paper, roughly 51 x 39 cm. A striking and attractive item, printed in the characteristic advertising style of the period, in a variety of types and point sizes. Thirty-five lines. Text clear and complete. Headed: 'An Extensive Sale of Silks, Satins, Gros de Naples, Persians, Muslins, Irishes, Russia Sheetings, British Lace, Printed Cottons, Wearing Apparel, Table Linen, cottons, Nets, and other Effects, The Property of the late Mrs. Mary Hawkes, East Close House, 4 Miles from Christchurch on the Lyndhurst Road.'