St John's College Hh.6.8(1)

The life & death of the most worthy and learned man Mr John Bois, Batchelor in Divinity, Rector of Boxworth and prebendary of the Cathedral Church of Ely. English, c.1646.


A preface in Latin signed Antonius Walker is followed by a dedication in English initialled A.W., though the identity of the prelate to whom it is dedicated is unknown. The Life follows. John Bois (1561-1644) graduated BA at St John’s in 1579 and was elected Fellow in 1581. He was one of the translators who worked on the authorised version of the Bible. The life is written by Anthony Walker, who was either the son or step-son of John Bois’s daughter Mary. Anthony Walker (c.1622-1690) graduated BA at St John’s in 1642. It is thought that the life was composed about 1646. Another manuscript entitled The life and death of Mr John Bois batchellour in divinity may be found in BL Harley MS 7053, 94-129, fols 37r-54v. The Life was also published by Francis Peck in Desiderata curiosa in 1732 from a manuscript version given to Peck by Thomas Baker. Minor variations in phrasing  are present between Peck’s published version and this manuscript, and the survey of Bois’s life which forms chapter two of Peck’s text is located at the end of the manuscript, but the overall text is substantially the same.


185 x 123 mm. 20 leaves of text, written in a single hand, on recto and verso, badly cropped by binder, with some loss at both the head and the foot of the page. Followed by 13 blank leaves. A narrow left-hand margin is ruled on all pages. Eighteenth-century calf binding, with filleted panel and central lozenge; borders and lozenge sprinkled.


The manuscript is bound within a volume containing several printed works, bequeathed to the Library by Francis Roper in 1719.