HILLIARD, Lettice Elizabeth (née HALLETT). ~ Commonplace book. England, early 19th century.
Manuscript, tall 8vo (211 × 106 mm), pp. ,  blank, ,  blank, ; early nineteenth-century polished red calf, smooth spine decorated gilt with run motifs, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt; a little rubbed and marked in places, short crack to lower joint at foot, but sound; signed ‘Lettice Elizth Hallett’ on the front flyleaf.
Lettice Hallett (1787–1859) was the eldest daughter of the Radical reformer William Hallett of Denford Park, near Kintbury, in Berkshire. She married solicitor Nash Crosier Hilliard (1789–1844), of Grey’s Inn, in 1819. The three-page section of writing here, dated 20 November 1825, records ‘A list of the several person of the respective Families of Nash Crosier Hilliard and of Lettice Elizabeth Hilliard living at this Period’: Hilliards, Halletts, Nelsons, and Fowles. The first section, for which the book has been turned on its side, in oblong format, contains poetry: a 24-line poem ‘On Science’ (‘E’er yet the Morn of Science rose on Earth …’) by ‘W. D.’; ‘Lines found deeply engraved on the Bark of a large Tree in the Neighbourhood of Mentz [i.e. Mainz] in Germany’; ‘Music’ by William Strode (1598–1645; ‘When whispering strains do softly steal …’); ‘To a Friend in Distress’ (‘Shrink not to meet with adverse fate or part, / When black the scene, then bravely arm your heart …’); ‘The Morning before the Ball’, ‘The Morning after the Ball’, and extracts from ‘The Traveller’ and ‘The Deserted Village’ by Goldsmith.
The other end of the book (for which the book has been flipped over to write) is taken up by a history of England, seemingly paraphrased, and expanded, by Lettice from Trusler’s Compendium of Useful Knowledge (1784 and later editions), from the Ancient Britons up to William the Conqueror and his sons.