The early imagination of Sir Paul McCartney has been revealed with the discovery of an award-winning essay he wrote while aged just 10 years-old.

In 1953, a young McCartney beat other young competition entrants from all over Liverpool, winning a regional prize for a piece of creative writing about the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.

Incredibly, the essay was discovered tucked inside a scrapbook in Speke Library, Liverpool, where the McCartney family regularly borrowed books.

It was found by Liverpool library archivist Ken Roache, who is working on a history of the McCartney family.

The essay is the earliest surviving handwritten work by McCartney to be made public. It has been stored away for over 50 years.

Other letters written by the McCartney and made public include a note written to a female friend during the recording of the Beatles' first LP, sent from his childhood home of 20 Forthlin Road - valued at £7,500.

McCartney's Queen essay is of particular fascination to Beatles collectors for a grammatical error, ringed in red by his English master Joseph Williams at primary school in Belle Vale.

The young McCartney began two sentences with the conjunction "But" - however his capital Bs have the same twirly ends later featured in the famous Beatles' drum skin in 1962; his contribution to the design.

McCartney's reward for the essay was a book token which was presented to him by the Lord Mayor of Liverpool at the city's central library.

"I can just recall Paul being nervous and getting this book token from the mayor," said his brother Mike, reports the Guardian newspaper.

McCartney's letter displays youthful Royalism, "in keeping with most attitudes at the time," says Roach. His parents, a midwife and a cotton salesman, were both enthusiastic Royalists.

The essay mentions the "lovely young Queen" and "senseless Saxon folk" gawping at William I.

And, somewhat precociously for a 10 year-old, McCartney writes: "no rioting nor killing will take place because present day Royalty rules with affection rather than force."

"His handwriting is well advanced - you would say it was written by someone of 14 or 15," said Mr Roach.

The former Beatle apparently retained his royalism, accepting in knighthood in 1997.

McCartney refused to join his fellow Beatle John Lennon in returning his MBE in 1969 as a protest against British policy on the Biafra war in Nigeria.

This is the second newly-discovered memorabilia item from the ex-Beatle's childhood to be discovered - a photo of the young McCartney at a school friend's 11th birthday party also recently surfaced.

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