The Roman Missal prayer book, owned and signed by Father John Huddleston (1608-98), was competed for by two bidders at the timed online sale, ending March 30, at Cato Crane in Liverpool.
Against an estimate of £2000-3000 it sold at £6700 (plus 33.6% buyer’s premium inc. VAT).
The prayer book, published in 1623, comes with associated newspaper cuttings and research notes following numerous exhibitions including during the 1950s and 1960s in Liverpool and at Moseley Old Hall, Staffordshire.
Huddleston was among those who helped Charles II hide from Cromwell’s army in 1651. He was staying at Moseley Old Hall, working as chaplain to prominent local Catholic Thomas Whitgreave, when the monarch was concealed in the priest hole. Troops came to the estate but did not search the house and Charles was able to escape.
Following the Restoration in 1660 Huddleston was invited to live at Somerset House in London under royal protection. When Charles II lay dying on February 5, 1685, Huddleston was brought to his bedside, with the introduction “Sire, this good man once saved your life. He now comes to save your soul.”
The book had been purchased in Liverpool book shop McGoff’s in 1950 for 6d by a JJ Procter who lived in Cheshire at the time. It stayed in the same family until this sale.
The new owner will announce the purchase in due course and Cato Crane’s John Crane said he is looking forward to the book going on public display.