St John's College MS N.23 (James 556)

John Hulse, Prayers. English, 1786.


John Hulse (1708-90) studied at St John's College, graduating BA in 1728. He subsequently entered the church but from 1753 lived in seclusion at Elworth Hall, Sandbach, Cheshire, on account of ill health. Hulse bequeathed estates in Cheshire to the University of Cambridge to found inter alia the post of Hulsean lecturer. See ODNB.

The prayers include 'a shorter form of prayer for the morning', 'a prayer in behalf of those that are in pain or sickness or under any affliction or calamity', 'a general intercession with a prayer for public and private mercies', and 'a form of prayer for the evening'. A note on p.36 reads 'Dated the eleventh day of October one thousand seven hundred and eighty six. The above prayers were taken some years ago by Mr Joseph Beckett, school master of Middlewich, from the mouth of the Reverend John Hulse of Elworth who himself composed them and who now leaves them to his faithful servants Mr Thomas Plant and Elizabeth his wife as a memorial of one that meant well.' The note is signed by Hulse and by Richard Darlington Junior. A note on p.37 reads 'The following prayers should have been inserted before but have been omitted by mistake the same being composed by me who have had the severest fits of the stone for more than twenty years ... and the same may properly be used under any painfull or dang'rous disorder whatsoever'. Pages 41 to 44 contain short prayers in rhyming couplets.

Manuscript extra information

210 x 165mm. 44 pages + blanks. Paper. Various neat hands. Binding: late 18th-century half binding of leather and marbled paper over boards; gilt lettering on spine reads 'Hulse's prayers'.

A note on the flyleaf reads 'To St John's College Library from Revd John Hulse founder of the Hulsean Lectureship'. A St John's College bookplate dated 1792 is pasted to the flyleaf. The old classmark F.9.47 appears crossed through on p.1.