St John's College K.18 (James 338)

St John's College Library, 'Liber Memorialis'. Latin and English, 1627-1718


Richard Crashaw, of Pembroke College and Peterhouse (1613-49), John Ivory, William Wiseman and others: 'Mnhmosunon Collegii Divi Ioannis Evangelistae in Academia Cantabrigiensi, Vniversie Societatis Sumptibus exaratum, exornatumque in piam memoriam pientissimae Heroinae Margaretae Comitissae de Richmondia et Derbia, Henrici Septimi Matris, Nobilissimae Fundatricis huius Collegii: et Reverendi in Christo Patris Ioannis Episcopi Lincolniensis qui Magnificentiss: hanc Bibliothecam fundavit, aliorumque Munificentiss: Benefactorum Devotissimi Officii simul et debitae Gratitudinis ergo'. The date 1628 is also incorporated in the beautiful and elaborate title page.

There are full-page portraits of Lady Margaret Beaufort (fo. 3, after the picture by Rowland Lockey, 1598, hanging in the Hall of St John's College), Charles I (fo. 4, after van Dyck, from a portrait in the Master's Lodge), and John Williams (fo. 5, after the Hall portrait by Gilbert Jackson, 1625), all painted by Richard Crashaw in 1635, see Austin Warren, 'Crashaw's paintings at Cambridge', Modern Language Notes (June 1933), 365-6: Warren aptly describes them as 'the work of an amateur of talent'. There follow arms, names and donations of the following, entered in the book between 1627 and, probably, 1718, when the entry for Thomas Wentworth was added (fo. 16). College accounts record payment to William Wiseman for drawing the last three coats of arms in 1701. In 1671 the herald painter John Ivory was paid for adding nine coats of arms (College archives, as cited in Warren, 'Crashaw's paintings', p. 365):

John Williams, Bishop of Lincoln [subsequently Archbishop of York]; Ralph Hare; Thomas Morton, Bishop of Durham; Henry Wriothesley, 3rd earl of Southampton; William Howard, Lord Howard of Naworth; Valentine Carey, Bishop of Exeter; David Dolben, Bishop of Bangor (the arms incomplete, and annotated in pencil 'See Mr Yate's Book'); John Carey, Viscount Rochford; John Hackett, Bishop of Coventry and Lichfield; Peter Gunning, Bishop of Chichester; Thomas Wentworth, nephew and [at that time] heir presumptive to the Earl of Strafford, 1718; Sir Robert Heath, attorney general; Edward Benlowes; Robert Mason; Robert Metcalf, Regius Professor of Hebrew in Cambridge; Joseph Thurston; Griffith Bodurda; Allen Henman, late Senior Fellow of St John's College; Tobias Rustat; Cadwallader Jones; Samuel Howlett; Lambrochius Thomas, Dean of Chichester; [William Lloyd, Bishop of Norwich: arms only]; Richard Hill; [Sir Francis Leicester, Bt, of Tabley: arms only].

Manuscript extra information

360x280 mm. ii+134+ii fos (17-20 and 35-end blank) (modern foliation).

Handsome presentation volume; written and illustrated on recto only. Vellum, ruled in red throughout; the paintings of Charles I and John Williams are on canvas, and have been pasted to the vellum leaves. Bound in red morocco, gilt tooled, red marbled end-papers, by Thomas Dawson of Cambridge, 1712, and reproduced in G. D. Hobson, Bindings in Cambridge Libraries: seventy-two plates (Cambridge, 1929), pl. 70.