17th-century Cambridge blind-tooled calf (Tt.1.16)

This binding, from the first published concordance to the Bible in Hebrew (Venice: Daniel Bomberg, 1523-4), is typical of many to be found in St John's College Library. It is one of several such bindings produced by Philip Scarlet and Henry Moody in 1627/8, as recorded in the College accounts:

Item paid to Mr Scarlet for bindinge 36 olde bookes in fol: in the Librarie iiili xiis

Item to H Moodie for bindinge 36 olde bookes in fol: in the Librarie & the booke of Statuts iiil xiiis

The books here referred too are no doubt those from the College's original chained library. These were moved to a new library building in 1628 where their chains were no longer required. With the removal of their chains it would seem that it became necessary to rebind them.

Scarlet and Moody were both active in Cambridge in the first third of the 17th century, and were both of Great St Mary's parish. Scarlet appears later to have been in some trouble, as the following entry in the College accounts for 1649 shows:

Item given to Philip Scarlett the bookseller by order of the Master & Seniors Apr.19, towards his releasment out of prison 01-00-00.