St John's College T.2 (James 471)

Records of the Wars of Religion. French, bef. 1700


'Edicts Actes et Memoires concernans ceux de la Religion Pretendue Reformée, jusques en l'année 1597'. No date. Spine title: 'Memoires & Actes touchant ceux de la Religion Pret. Ref. Vol. 2'. A miscellaneous collection, including a chronology of the French wars of religion, which notwithstanding the above continues down to 1599 (fo. 74r). The first item copied is a long 'Discours scavoir sil faut faire La Guerre a ceux de la Religion Pretendue Reformée', without date. The subsequent copies are for the most part of documents dated between 1533 ('Lettres du Roy Francois premier touchant quelqu'uns detenus en prison pour quelques soupçons d'heresie, et touchant la connoissance du faict des heresies Lan 1533 18 May', fo. 83r) and 1585 ('Edict faict par le Roy Henry III ... contre ceux de la Religion pretendue Reformée, Juillet 1585', fo. 293r), in chronological order.

Manuscript extra information

435x295 mm. iv+297+iv fos. College bookplate (1937) inside front cover. There is no earlier internal evidence of provenance. T.1-18 were presented to the College by William Grove, a former Fellow, in 1762.

Single secretary hand, a clean copy. Paper, slightly damaged by damp. Binding seventeenth century: leather on boards, with gold decoration and lettering: at centre on both front and rear the arms of Bénigne le Ragois de Bretonvilliers (d. 1700), President of the Chambre des Comptes at Paris, 1657: a shield, in chief two sickles, in base an eagle with olive branch, surmounted by a helmet. Bretonvilliers formed a library at his hotel on the Ile St Louis. At his death the Bibliothèque du Roi bought 35 MSS. 'Most of his books were stamped with his arms' (see Joannis Guigard, Armorial du Bibliophile, Paris, 1870-3, ii, 175).