St John's College K.38 (James 347)

Commonplace book. English and Latin, seventeenth century


Commonplace, no date, but apparently mid to late seventeenth century. Attributed to 'H. Vaughan' by James, on the basis of the nineteenth-century inscription on p. 23 and the declarations in 2 below by Henry Vaughan. However, the attribution cannot pass unchallenged. The principal contents are:

  1. 'The Businesse of the Earle of Strafforde 13 Aprilis 1641'. An incomplete account of Strafford's trial (p. 25)
  2. A series of academical exercises in Latin, all apparently by Oxford men (p. 45). The identified authors are George Stradling, Fellow of All Souls, later Dean of Chichester (d. 1688); W. Hippisley, perhaps MA Christ Church 1632; Tho. Price, possibly BA Christ Church 1632; R. O.; Henry Vaughan, Fellow of Jesus College (d. 1661); and Roger Hyrrick or Heyrick (b. 1608), BA Christ Church 1627, Fellow of All Souls 1628. Stradling is most frequently cited. A compilation similar in some respects to Stradling's own collection at Bodleian Library, MS Add. B. 109.
  3. A burlesque speech in English, beg.: 'You expect mirth, but the Schoole-master will not give mee leave to play'; ends: 'thought it good manners for his witt to bee hushd, and began to bee searious, after this fashion' (p. 140). No date, but the reference to Count Gondomar's fistula (p. 144) puts the original composition at c. 1620. Several gaps have been left by the copyist, presumably because he could not read the original.
  4. 'Bp Corbetts Speech to his Clergie of Norwich Diocese in the behalfe of Paules ... Delivered at Norwich to the Clergie at a Synode, Apr. 29 1634' (p. 146)
  5. 'Aristoteles Rhetoricorum secundo cap. 6to ita pragreditur' (p. 151)
  6. John Conant (1608-94) or more probably Thomas Barlow, Bishop of Lincoln (1607-91), Directions 'for the furnishing the Library (for younger Schollers) with Bookes of Historie, Chronologie etc, with Authors in all the Arts, and Liberall Sciences, with Criticks and Antiquaries etc.' (p. 163). Compiled c. 1652 with reference to books in the Bodleian Library, Oxford. Printed in full by G. C. Moore Smith in The Eagle 40 (1919), 98-115, where the attribution to Conant is found. Another version of these directions and item 7 below is to be found in BL, Harley MS 6007, there attributed to Thomas Barlow. This attribution is also advanced in A Library for Younger Schollers ... eds A. DeJordy and H. F. Fletcher (Urbana, 1961), on the basis that much of the material appears in Barlow's 'Autoschediasmata, or, Directions to a young divine', first published in 1693. A copy of these 'Directions' is at SJC, S.55. The DeJordy and Fletcher edition includes the booklists in 6-11 of the present MS. Bodleian MS Locke e. 17, a copy of items 6 and 7, also attributes them to Barlow.
  7. Directions for a theological student, beg.: 'Hee that would bee a knoweing, and well grounded Divine (for 'tis a matter of sweat, and industrie, notwithstanding the wild, and willfull contradictions of these unhappie times)' (p. 180). See also SJC, MS S.55. Another copy of this item, and 9 below, is found at Bodleian Library MS Rawlinson C. 945, a collection of papers assembled by Malachi Conant, dated 1661. There the pieces are attributed to Barlow, see the note by P. Long in Notes and Queries (1962), 399-400.
  8. R[ichard] B[axter], 'What Authors should a young Student in Theologie use' (p. 197). The identification of Baxter comes from Bodleian MS Rawl. C. 945, Notes and Queries (1962), 399
  9. John Conant?, 'For attaineing some convenient knowledge in the Civill Law, as farre as it may bee necessarie for a Divine' (p. 209)
  10. A short bibliography of Socinian literature (p. 218)
  11. Forty-five theological questions in Latin, with special reference to Socinus (p. 219)
Manuscript extra information

274x217 mm. iv+206+iv pp., the contemporary pagination running 23-228; 43-4 and 162 blank. On p. 23, in a later hand, 'Common-Place-Book by G. Vaughan', the 'G' subsequently altered to 'H' in pencil. College bookplate (nineteenth century) inside front cover. Presented to the College by Professor J. E. B. Mayor in 1877 (label at p. 24), and, of course, not in Cowie.

A single hand throughout. Paper, ruled in red throughout. Rebound (or more probably bound, given the state of p. 228) in half leather, marbled paper on boards (nineteenth century). Red leather label on spine, with gold lettering: 'H. Vaughan's Common Place Book'.