St John’s College Aa.3 (James 493)

Documents relating to the University of Cambridge. Latin and English, seventeenth century

Privileges of and other documents relating to the University of Cambridge, including copies of statutes, royal and council letters, other official documents and formulae, the originals 1547 to 1621 where dated, some copied from the Junior Proctor’s Book (University Archives, Collect.Admin 2), Hare’s Book, ‘Whinn’s Book’ (?Tabor’s Book, Collect.Admin 8) and Stokys’ Book (Misc.Collect 4) in the University Archives. A chronological list of privileges, from Arthur to Elizabeth I, is at fos 71r-81v. Apparently at one stage a College Master’s vade-mecum.

Manuscript extra information

200x290 mm. 87 fos (modern foliation, several blank). College bookplate (nineteenth century) on flyleaf. The book’s provenance is recorded on the same leaf, in a series of inscriptions: ‘This Book was given to me by Sir John Ellys, Master of Caius College, 1706. C[harles] A[shton]’; ‘This Book was given to me by Dr Ashton the worthy Master of Jesus College. 1738. J[ohn] Newcome’; ‘And was given by Mr Beadon, Dr Newcome’s executor, to Saint John’s College 1765. W. S. Powell’; ‘And was placed in the College Library by Dr Bateson, the Master, 1877. J. S. W.’.

Several hands, some in conscious imitation of original documents and signatures. Paper, watermarked. Original binding: blind-tooled leather on boards, double-headed eagle device at centre of both covers carrying a monogram ‘CP’. Traces of four pairs of ties, including one each top and bottom. Paste-downs formed from an unidentified fourteenth-century civil law MS on vellum. The front cover now detached.