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

St John's College Z.7

Rubbing of the Nestorian Monument, Chinese and Syriac, twentieth-century copy.

The Nestorian Monument (sometimes also known as the Nestorian Stone, Nestorian Tablet, or Nestorian Stele) is a Tang Chinese stele erected in 781. The 279 cm tall limestone block is engraved with text in both Chinese and Syriac. It documents early Christian communities in several cities of northern China. This rubbing was bought by Albert French Lutley (1900-1975) who studied theology and classics at St John’s (BA 1922). He was the son of Albert Lutley, who was one of the hundred missionaries sent out to China by the China Inland Mission in 1887. Albert junior also served as a missionary in China and had a long-term interest in the text of the Nestorian monument, producing a series of collations of it.

Supplementary information 

The rubbing was given to the Library in 2015 by David McMullen, who was given it by a descendant of Sir John Davis (1795-1890), the second governor of Hong Kong. The descendant acquired it from friends who were neighbours of Reverend Lutley after he retired to Cambridge.

Thin Chinese paper, folded, in five pieces, measuring 178 x 89 cm, 174 x 27 cm, 69 x 27 cm, 69 x 27 cm, and 50 x 31 cm.

Groups: