The Heywood Manuscript is a collection of handwritten copies of letters and poems of the Heywood family, and letters from their relatives and friends, which was completed in 1798, and to which some explanatory passages have been added. Most of the letters and poems are by Nessy and Peter Heywood, and it may be that the transcription and reproduction of their correspondence and poetry was instigated by Peter as a lasting monument to his sister Nessy, who died so young, and who had devoted herself with indefatigatible energy to him and his release when he was imprisoned on HMS Hector and awaiting his court-martial in connection with the Mutiny on the Bounty.
There are five known versions of the manuscript, which were produced for members of the Heywood family. Two are privately owned, the other three are in libraries:
The Manx National Heritage copy consists of a preface page with the name of the owner – E C Fleetwood, whose wife Elizabeth (Bessy) was Nessy’s niece – and several unbound small books and additional loose leaves which are numbered from 1 to 397, and which include a total of 184 different documents. Some pages are missing, and the last 110 pages are blank. One poem stems from 1786, others have no date. Most of the documents are dated between 1790 and 1793 and deal with... Read More