Home » Library » Special collections » Manuscripts » Post-medieval manuscripts

St John's College O.60 (James 528)

William Selwin, Commonplace Book. English, Latin and French, 1727-35


William Selwin, of St John's College (d. 1749): Commonplace book, for the most part compiled while an undergraduate. Including extracts on Egyptian (from Rollin), Greek and Roman history, extracts from Addison (fo. 107v), 'Modern Improvements of Knowledge, since the Time of Aristotle' (fo. 76r), passages from Milton and various classical authors, lists of books and of the meanings and derivations of words. A list of kings and queens of England from the Conquest to 1727 (fo. 51v, drawn up that year, before the death of George I, see Selwin's note on fos 1r and 55r), 'In Obitum summae spei juvenis, Gulielmi Wynn Williams. Coll. Sti Joannis Cantabrigiae' dated 1731 (fo. 66r). College exercises and Latin compositions by Selwin, 1732-3, including 'Status futurus colligi potest ex lumine Naturae / Thesis. In Collegio 1733 April' (fo. 62r). The date 1735 is at fos 72v and 113r. Selwin's signature inside front cover and at several other places in the vol. The volume contains a few examples of Selwin's use of John Byrom's shorthand system, on fos 116r-v and 120v.

Supplementary information 

205x165 mm. i+122 fos, several blanks, including fos 26-34. 'MS 1730' on cover, College bookplate inside front cover. Presented by Robert Forsyth Scott, Master of St John's, in 1917 (donation plate pasted inside front cover). For the author, see Venn.

Autograph. Paper. Leather on boards. The vol. was repaired by David Yates of J. P. Gray & Son, Apr. 1973.