St John's College S.46 (James 436)

Commonplace. Latin and English, c. 1650 and earlier


Literary, political and household commonplace, c. 1650:

  1. Leicester's Commonwealth (fo. 1r). Baker has written on the facing folio: 'Of this Book [viz: Leicester's Commonwealth] see Mr Strype's Annals vol: 3 Pag: 358/9 ad an: 1585. The best copy (and in appearance the oldest) I have seen of this Book MSS: is in the Public Library of the University of Cambridge num: 456: 4o.'
  2. Catalogue of the seven sciences (fo. 112r).
  3. Medicinal recipes by H. Spinck (fo. 112v).
  4. 'A Sermon written, whether by John Wickliffe or Wm Thorpe or any other it is uncerteyne it is mencioned to be in the yere 1388' (fo. 114r). See Anne Hudson, 'Contributions to a bibliography of Wycliffite writings', Notes and Queries 218 (1973), 443-53.
  5. 'A present [spiritual rather than medicinal] remedy for the plague' (fo. 120r).
  6. 'A trew and playne Genollogie or pedigre of Antichrist wherin is cleerely discovered that he is lineallie descended from the Devill' (fo. 120v). Rhyming couplets.
  7. Medical recipes (fo. 122v).
  8. 'The Trew puritan without disguise' (fo. 123r). Rhyming couplets.
  9. 'Mr Fleetewoods receipt for a Consumeing Cough' (fo. 126r), on same folio a rhyme of seven lines beginning 'Nature is fayre, but art it makes hir shine', followed by further recipes, another short verse on the happiness of married men, and another 'present remedy for the plague'.
  10. 'Vox populie or newse from Spayne' (fo. 138r). This is a copy of Thomas Scott's very popular, Vox Populi, or, Newes from Spaine ... translated accordinge to the Spanish coppie which may serve to warne both England and the United-Provinces how farr to trust to Spanish pretences. Imprinted in the yeare 1620. STC 22098-22101. Another copy is at S.56.
  11. Medicinal recipes (fo. 155v), including 'A powder made for Queene Elizabeth for the Dropsie proved'.
Manuscript extra information

198x150 mm. ii+176+i fos. 128r-137v blank. The three principal contents are listed at fo. ii in Thomas Baker's hand. The initials I. G., presumably for John Grocer, are stamped on cover front and rear. Inside front cover: 'Beinge Boughte of Joh Grocer 1617 unwritten', and 'Visus: Seeinge / Olfactus: Smellinge / Tactus: Toucheinge / Gustus: Tastinge / Auditus: Hereinge'. A John Grocer matriculated from Christ's College, Cambridge, c. 1595. At fo. i: 'Eliabet my kind love remembred unto you and I', and also the signature of Samuel Newton (d. 1718), mayor of Cambridge and a prominent antiquary, whose papers descended to Thomas Baker and are for the most part now in the British Library. Also '7x12x68' cancelled. The author of this volume is presumably the unidentified owner who acquired it from John Grocer, the MS passing subsequently into Newton's hands and thence to Baker.

Single hand throughout. Paper. Binding of leather on boards repaired by David English of Messrs Gray, Dec. 1972.