St John’s College L.32 (James 383)

George Ashby, Collections on the History of St John’s College. English and Latin, eighteenth century

George Ashby, Fellow and President of St John’s College (1724-1808): Collection of papers relating to the history and traditions of St John’s College, Cambridge, compiled during the second half of the eighteenth century. It includes:

  1. Remarks on and corrections to proposed College statutes (fo. 1r)
  2. Extracts from and notes on Thomas Baker’s then MS History of St John’s, dated 23 Jan. 1769 (fo. 2r)
  3. Cutting from the Lloyd’s Evening Post and British Chronicle, for 23-26 Aug. 1771: a letter from W. Fox, genealogist, on the dukedom of Lancaster, dated 19 Aug. 1771 (fo. 5r)
  4. Further notes from Baker’s History, dated 14 Nov. 1770 (fo. 6r)
  5. Extracts from SJC, Dd.2.26 [now Dd.8.28], an incomplete run of the London Gazette for the late seventeenth century, one of Baker’s donations (fo. 13r)
  6. Biographical notes on Matthew Prior (fo. 14r)
  7. Note from Bishop Hacket’s Memoirs of the life of Archbishop Williams (London, 1715), and further notes from Baker and other sources on John Williams and his foundation (fo. 16r); includes copies of an exchange of letters between Williams and William Beale, 17 and 21 Feb. 1639 OS, re Williams’ gift of four livings to the College. These letters were ‘carefully transcribed’ by Ashby as President on '2 February 1775, the day after Mr Chevallier’s Election to the Mastership’ (fo. 29r)
  8. Letter from T[homas] Ferris to Ashby; St John’s College, 12 Aug. 1771. Ferris (d. 1801) was at that time Steward of St John’s. His letter concerns the Visitor’s wishes in the case of Richard Wadeson, who forfeited his Fellowship that year through not having been ordained priest within the time prescribed by the University statutes (fo. 32r)
  9. ‘Dr Wynne loquitur’: further interpretations of the statutes (fo. 34r)
  10. Note on the marriage of Masters (fo. 36r), endorsed on the copy of a letter from T[homas] Orme [of St John’s College, 1744-1814] to an unidentified clergyman re the curacy of Pidley; St Ives, 20 Nov. 1769
  11. ‘Reasons against casing the College with stone’, no date (fo. 37r)
  12. Notes on fees in respect of presentations to College livings paid between 1718 and 1737 (fo. 39r)
  13. Ashby to [Benjamin] Holmes [d. 1823, Fellow of St John’s College] at St John’s; Bury St Edmunds, 5 Oct. 1790. Copy of a letter re ‘the Medal, supposed to be our good Foundress’ (fo. 40r). A note dated 26 Aug. 1796 is added at fo. 40v, together with further jottings on the College’s ‘lead skull’, still held in the Library
  14. Notes on John Newcome [d. 1765, Fellow and Master of St John’s College] (fo. 41r)
  15. ‘Catalogue of part of the MSS in St John’s Coll. Cambr. 1753’, alphabetically arranged (fo. 43r). Ashby adds a note dated 1769 at fo. 53r.
Manuscript extra information

335x220 mm. ii+54+ii fos (modern foliation, fo. 25 blank). College bookplate (nineteenth century) inside front cover. See also SJC, MS K.39.

Autograph, in various styles; fo. 5 is printed. The paper is of various sizes, for this was originally a loose collection of documents, now bound in a nineteenth-century commercial binding; spine title in gold lettering: ‘Mr Ashby’s Collectanea’.