Sulyard Family - Personal Correspondence
Perhaps the greatest strength of the collection lies in the personal correspondence of members of the Sulyard family, which is particularly full for the 18th century. The family correspondence documents the fortunes of a Roman Catholic family over three centuries, with the pressures of recusancy fines giving rise to increasing problems of debt. Family relationships are well documented, particularly in the mid-18th century. Thomas Moyle, briefly a friend of Edward Sulyard, states as his reason for leaving Haughley Park, the family residence in 1754: 'I have never lived near so many unhappy people in my life'.
The letters selected here include a letter concerning the death of Philippa Bigsby (nee Sulyard) in childbirth, from a family servant to her mother; and several letters from the voluminous correspondence of the colourful Edward Sulyard (c1707-1785), which reveals his fraught relationships. Edward Sulyard married Mary Rayment without his family's knowledge in 1734 and was separated from her by 1748. It seems that his affaires were among the causes of their estrangement. He seems to have spent beyond his means and there are many pressing letters requesting him to pay his debts. The correspondence shows that he had stormy relationships with members of his family, particularly his mother.
Letter to William Sulyard from his son Edward, 30 Oct 1728
Letter to Sarah Sulyard from her son Edward, nd
Letter to Edward Sulyard from his mother, nd (1740s)
Letter to Edward Sulyard from G D, a slighted lover, nd
Letter to Mrs Sulyard of Buxhall from Mary Benett, servant of her daughter Philippa Bigsby, 1743