Post by Girl57
Ancestor Christopher FitzRandolph of Nottinghamshire, "steward to his Ma(?):"
That reads "steward to his Ma^tie^" (the 'tie' is superscripted) - i.e. steward to his Ma[jes]tie
Post by Girl57
Re: the steward, who apparently received letters from Henry VIII, how would
whoever recorded Visitation info know -- presumably (somewhat?) later -- of
such letters? (How soon after the fact were Visitations recorded, and then
compiled)? Could such letter still exist? Are there archives or museums that
hold these kind of relics? Any way to trace them?
There are two ways this might have ended up in the published pedigree.
First, one of the things the heralds did when they carried out the visitation was examine any muniments the family had in their possession that might confirm their armigerous status, and hence it is possible this was in the family's hands at the time. If the family still holds whatever property was once theirs, then their documents might still be in their possession. Often, however, they were lost, destroyed, or passed out of the family. They are sometimes now in a repository of some sort - the National Archives, the British Library, the Society of Genealogists, a local Antiquarian society collection, etc. or in private hands.
The other way is linked to your other question: the heralds went around the countryside and compiled a 'rough draft' of the pedigrees. They then, after they returned to London, prepared a finely written copy to deposit with the College of Arms as the official visitation record. If they retained their rough copy (or made a fine coupy for themselves at the time), this would be part of their private manuscript collection, and there was a market for these collections among antiquarians, so over the centuries they would pass from person to person. Likewise, an antiquarian with access to the visitation in the College of Arms might make a copy, and this too might pass down by inheritance or sale. At any time, the owner of the manuscript might make additions to the manuscript, interpolating information that was not in the original.
When the early Harleian Visitation volumes were prepared, they were not done from the official visitations in the College of Arms, but these private copies. Thus the document naming Christopher as stewart might not have been in the original visitation, but only added later by a subsequent owner. Were that the case, then your best bet is to track down the current location of the manuscript visitation used to prepare the publication, and the document may be held by the same repository, having also been part of the antiquarian's collection.
I should add that the pedigree in this visitation does have material that would not have been in the original visitation - and indeed, what appears to be multiple sequential additions. The original visitation was performed in 1614, and you see who the head of the family was at that time, and the name and age of their heir. Then, someone added information in 1640 - we are given another family head in that year, with his sons and their ages (John, aged 4 and Edward, 2), but then someone has come back and added additional sons and a daughter, clearly born after the shorter list was compiled in 1640. So that is at least two separate rounds of adding things to the pedigree, and the document you ask about could have been added at either time, or later. At the top of the pedigree it says it comes from Harl. 1400. Look at the forward of the book and see what it says about this manuscript, which I think would now be part of the British Library collection.