St John's College H.29 (James 292)

William Beveridge, Dissertation on the institution of monasteries. English, c. 1700


William Beveridge, of St John's College, Bishop of St Asaph (1637-1708): 'Monks and Monasteries' (spine title), c. 1700. The tract is in fact a colourful account of the monastic revival and the origins of the orders of Friars in the thirteenth century, and of the differences between canons and monks as they evolved over time form the Dark Ages, and the motives of their benefactors. Beg.: 'In the Annals of Burton Monastery, we have a story which the writer makes considerable by the manner of telling it, for he is wondrous accurate in giving us the exact time when it was done.' Ends: 'seeing every one in his course descended to the lowest drudgeries of life, all might be said to live in the exercise of humility, or to be cloathed with humility'. Loosely inserted in the MS are mid-nineteenth century notes on St John's College MSS and books K.33, L.24-31, manuscripts of or relating to Jeremiah Markland in the hand of or attributed to W[illiam] K[eeling], Librarian of St John's College (d. 1891). The notes were with the MS when James examined them. They were perhaps intended as a supplement to Cowie's recently-published catalogue, which omits any reference to these MSS.

Manuscript extra information

310x190 mm. 12+4 fos. Small College bookplate inside front cover, where there is an inscription in the hand of the Markland cataloguer: 'This Book belongs to the MSS. in St John's College Library, Cambridge (From Mr Whytehead's Books)' [Thomas Whytehead, Fellow of St John's College (1815-43)]. On the flyleaf: 'This imperfect Dissertation on the first institution of Monasteries, of Monks and Canons, and their Distinctions, is entirely in the hand-writing of its author, the great Bishop Beveridge. P[hilip] H[urd]'. The price £1 1s is pencilled inside the front cover.

Two hands, the first that of Beveridge, the second perhaps that of Keeling. Paper, damaged in places at the margins, the inserted sheets watermarked 1841. Nineteenth-century stiff cardboard binding.