St John's College S.39 (James 429)

Samuel Newton?, Legal formulary. English, seventeenth century

A formulary containing complete or slightly edited specimens of legal documents relating to real and personal property and to probate, probably compiled by and certainly owned by the notary public, mayor of Cambridge and Cambridge antiquary Samuel Newton (1628-1718), whose name appears twice at p. i, together with the date 25 March 1648 and the price of the volume, 1s 2d. Newton's name is also found as a copied signature at pp. iii, x, 67, 112, 117, 173, 186, 236, 238, vii, and x. Most of the documents copied in this vol. relate to inhabitants of and property in Cambridge or Cambridgeshire, and, where dated, range from 1588 to 1655. They include a conveyance of the Dolphin Inn in Cambridge, 1649 (p. 48), an alienation granted by St John's College re property in Thriplow, 1649 (p. 68), the will of William Herbert of Cambridge, cook, 1612 (p. 72), and a 'patent for a portershipp', 1621 (p. 127). Many of Newton's manuscripts are at the British Library; his diary is at Downing College.

Manuscript extra information

290x195 mm. x+238+x pp. On p. i: 'Tho: Baker Coll: Jo: Socius ejectus'. College bookplate (nineteenth century) inside front cover. Cures for headaches and a means 'to provoke sleepe' ('Almondes eaten') at p. i, three recipes for ink inside original back cover. The motto 'Better is it to have a littell righteously, then to have much profit wickedly' also appars inside the former back cover, in both English and Latin. So does 'Lewd did I live, and evil did I dwel', in another hand. Lower on the same cover is a recipe 'to make Salmon Souce Drinke'.

At least five distinct seventeenth-century hands, one or more apparently the autograph of Samuel Newton. The documents are for the most part carefully and tidily copied, including at p. 92 a careful drawing and description of the Great Seal of the Commonwealth (1649). Paper. Original paper covers pasted down on card and rebound in vellum, perhaps early in the nineteenth century: title on spine 'Conveyances etc. MS'.