St John’s College Aa.3 (part) (James 494 and 495)

George Harbin, Copy of Thomas Browne’s Answer to a pamphlet by Bishop Stillingfleet. English, c. 1744, or earlier

George Harbin, of Emmanuel and Jesus Colleges, antiquary and non-juror (d. 1744): ‘A Copy of an answer to a 4to Pamphlet, written and published, soon after the Revolution by Bishop [Edward] Stillingfleet [1635-99], with this Title: No Necessity of a Separation upon account of the Oaths. This answer was written by the Reverend Mr Thomas Brown, sometime Fellow of St John’s College in Cambridge, and is here transcribed from the Original written with his own hand. It is somewhat defective at the beginning and end.’ (fo. ir). The work in question, by Thomas Browne (d. 1741), Fellow of St John’s and a non-juror, was eventually published posthumously as An answer to a discourse published by Bishop Stillingfleet, soon after the Revolution, intitled, the unreasonableness of a new separation, etc. (London, 1749). A copy of this book is at SJC, O.10.21. The present text begins at p. 12 of the printed edition, and ends at p. 190 (out of 196). There are other variations. Stillingfleet’s original pamphlet was first published London, 1689 (Wing S5584).

Manuscript extra information

2 vols: 208x160 and 203x160 mm. 370 pp. (contemporary pagination running through both vols, 1-285 in vol. 1) with a single, unnumbered bifolium loosely inserted between pp. 342 and 343. College bookplates (nineteenth century) inside both front covers. Formerly Phillipps MS 4831: lot 1103 in the 1898 Sale. Apparently purchased by the College in or shortly after Mar. 1904 from the dealer W. H. Hoyle, of Leicester (annotated cutting from catalogue pasted inside front cover of vol. 1).

In what appears to be Harbin’s hand throughout. Paper: plain with ‘LVG’ watermark in vol. 2. Slight evidence of worming inside the back cover of vol. 1, first observed in 1929, according to a pencilled inscription. Original matching bindings: vellum on card. The title written on the cover, now somewhat worn.