St John’s College Bb.7.27-36 (613)

Roger North, The life of the Lord Keeper North. English. 17th century.

Holograph manuscript in eight volumes of Roger North’s life of Francis North, Lord Guildford; together with two further volumes containing Francis North’s reports of cases in the courts of Common Pleas and King’s Bench, 1656-67, the first in the hand of Francis North, the other a transcript by Roger North from one of his notebooks. 

215 x 170 mm (volume 9 only is 230 x 180 mm) 10 volumes, quarter bound in leather with marbled paper. Bookplates of Sylvester Lord Glenbervie and the Earl of Sheffield; ownership label of E. Almack.  Pencil note on flyleaf in Gatty’s hand “Bought for £70 at Sotheby’s, lot 134 on Monday 23 June 1947, the ‘property of the late Mrs Edward Almack’ (I suppose the widow of the bibliographer of the Eikon Basilike). H.G. 7/7/47 Both the Lord Glenbervie and the first Lord Sheffield (Gibben’s friend) married daughters of the second Lord Guildford, Frederick North, ‘Lord North’ of American fame.” A further note by Gatty indicates that the volumes were rebound from a broken rough calf binding by the Cambridge Binding Guild 26/2/48. College bookplate and donation label inside back board.

Volume 9, containing reports of cases in the Common Pleas and King’s Bench, is in the hand of Francis North, first Baron Guildford. The old endpaper of the volume is pasted in, on which is a bookplate bearing the arms of Henry Poley of Badley, Suffolk, 1703 a manuscript note below which reads: “Not long after the death of the late Lord Keeper North, this Book was lent to Mr Pooley, by one of his [-] exec[uto]rs and after the death of the said Mr Pooly, hon[ora]bly restored by his Exec[uto]rs, notwithstanding the armes inconsiderately present as above”

Bequeathed by Hugh Percival Wharton Gatty (1907-1948), Fellow Librarian, 1948.



The Eagle XXX (1909) p. 112

J.L. Clifford (ed.), Biography as an art : selected criticism 1560-1960 (London, 1962) p. 27.

J.L. Clifford, ‘Roger North and th art of biography’ in Restoration and eighteenth-century literature, ed. C. Camden pp. 275-285.

M. Chan, Roger North, materials for a chronology of his writings, checklist No. 1. University of New South Wales, 1989.

M. Chan, ‘Roger North’s life of Francis North’. Review of English studies, Vol. XLII, no. 166 (1991).

An edition of this manuscript has been published:  Roger North, The life of the Lord Keeper North, edited by Mary Chan. Lewiston, N.Y. : E. Mellen Press, 1995.