Inscriptions of Myles Blomefylde (1525-1603)

Two of several inscriptions in a volume containing The way to the holy lande (1524), William Thomas' History of Italie (1549), and an English translation of the Gesta Romanorum (1510), all bearing the name of Myles Blomefylde. Blomefylde was said to be a scholar at St John's but he was only ever licensed to practice medicine by the University. He originated from Bury St Edmunds, but moved to reside in Chelmsford, although as the note below shows he obviously travelled to Italy at some point. Before becoming respected enough to be chosen as a juror and churchwarden he appears to have been something of an alchemical conman, using his art to produce prophecies or to intervene in minor disputes. He was even prosecuted for soothsaying in 1578. He is most well-known however for his book-collection which contained copies of alchemical manuscripts in his own hand, some unique medieval dramatic manuscripts, and several other volumes including the one shown here.

Given to St John's by Thomas Baker.