St John's College S.8 (James 405, Wagstaff 3509)

Legal commonplace. English and Latin, c. 1638-53


Legal commonplace, apparently once in the possession of Richard Sedgwick, presumably the sizar of Magdalene College, Cambridge, about whom little else appears to be known, and of William Barnes, who matriculated from Queens' College in 1634, and who was subsequently a barrister and Ancient of Gray's Inn. 8 fos have been excised after the title page, the first three of them apparently once containing an index or other alphabetical list. The principal surviving contents are:

(fo. 1v) an attempted anagram of Bulstrode Whitelock: 'I dwell above the rocks', and a poem of six lines attributed to ?Sam[uel] Burges, 27 Oct. 1653. Beg.: 'Have yow not seene a shipwrackt wretch support'; ends: 'I author here, above the rocks I dwell'. Perhaps this is the Samuel Burges who matriculated from Emmanuel 1644, and was admitted at Lincoln's Inn 1653. Also 'Mr Hookers dyinge wordes'.

(fo. 2r) lists headed 'Amicus falsus' and 'Assentire'.

(fos 2r-3v) copies or drafts of correspondence, one of them from ?L. B. to John Balgry Esq., no date.

(fo. 5r) 'Certeyne errors uppon the statute made the xxvth yeare of kinge Edwarde the third of children borne beyonde the sea conceaved by Seriant Browne and confuted by Seriaunt Ferfex in manner of a dialouge', no date. Other copies are at Trinity College, Cambridge, MSS O.1.16, O.4.13.

(fo. 66r) 'Larraignement & Indictment del Senor Macuire prise per Moy Guilianm Barnes in Banck le Roy Anno Dni 1644, et transcribe in Anglois al request Dascun de mes Amies', dated at the end (fo. 86r) 16 Aug. 1649, and in the same hand: 'I redeemed now and then an howre in a day to this worke, I am sure in nyne howres I wrott it'. This is an account of the trial of Connor Roe Maguire, Lord Maguire, 1644-5, focusing on the rejection of his plea to be tried by his peers in Ireland, see State Trials, iv, 654-754; Brian C. Donovan and David Edwards, British sources for Irish history 1485-1641 (Dublin, 1997), pp. 17-18. Cf Trinity College, Cambridge, MS O.3.3. On fos 66r-66v notes in another hand, perhaps that of Barnes, critical of ?his copyist's idleness, 15 July - 7 Aug. 1649.

(reversed: fo. 93v) 'The liege Lord and Liege people'.

(fo. 92v) notes on a Chancery case between John and Abigail Cromwell, plaintiffs, and Lady Jane Denny, Thomas and Dorothy Berny, and John Mocock, defendants, Easter 1650.

Manuscript extra information

197x160 mm. 94 fos. Small College bookplate (eighteenth century) on fo. 2r. Inside front cover in Thomas Baker's hand: 'Liber olim ornatiss: viri Tho: Wagstaf', and at fo. 4v, in the same hand, though defaced by cancellation and deliberate blotting 'The following Treatise Mr Wagstaff ... It appears to have been wrote in Queen Eliz: Reign, and contains severall things, that are curious, and in diminution of the Scottish claim.' Calculations and legal notes inside front cover. 'Cattrall' inside back cover. On fo. 1r: 'September the 16 Ao Dmi 1638', and in the same hand 'Richard Sedgwick: In Artibus Baccalaureus Anno domini 1638', 'Nil prosunt Lecta nec: Intellecta, nisi teipsum Legas et Intelligas: etc. / Lectio certa prodest varia delectat'. In other hands: 'Liber locorum communium', 'Ad libitum regis sonuit Sententia legis', 'Tam diu discendum est quamdiu nescis', 'Artifici iucundius est pingere quam pinxisse', and 'Nulla dies suis linea?'

At least three different hands. Paper. Contemporary limp vellum binding, without ornament.