St John's College U.5 (formerly H.36) (James 297)

Catalogue of books in the College Library. English and Latin, 1632 and 1654


List of books, apparently presented to the Library of St John's College, Cambridge by John Williams, Bishop of Lincoln, later Archbishop of York (1582-1650). On fo. 2v: 'This Catalogue and all the Bookes therein conteyned was delivered to Mr Henry Downehale Batchelor of Divinitie and one of the Fellowes of Sainct Johns Colledge in Cambridge beinge their Atturney Licenced under the Seale of the said Colledge for the use and possession of the Master Fellowes and Schollers of the Colledge of Sainct John the Evangelist in Cambridge, the 2de daye of November Anno Domini 1632, together with a deed purportinge that effecte in the presence of [original signatures:] Tho. Morison, James Brooke, John Williams, Thomas Kemeys, Thomas Merrell, William Price, Edm. Johnson'. Most of the books did not in fact remain in the College. However, some twenty-five can be identified in the Library today, by the class-marks supplied in the catalogue, or by the Bishop's arms stamped on the bindings. The order is alphabetical, with supplements listing anonymous works (fo. 78r) and commentaries on the Books of the Bible (fo. 82r), with checks indicating an audit or stocktaking exercise of some kind. At the end of the vol. in reverse are two separate lists of books, one headed 'Doctor Medcalfe his books', the latter duplicating a separate list of 4 fos with the same title and contents which is dated 1654 on fo. 4v. These books presumably belonged to Robert Metcalfe (d. 1652), Fellow of St John's and later of Trinity College, Cambridge, and Regius Professor of Hebrew in the University of Cambridge.

Manuscript extra information

340x225 mm. 125 fos (91-120 blank) + 4. Small College bookplate (eighteenth century) inside front cover. At fo. 1r: 'Lent unto my L. of Armagh - Sibyllina Oracula. -- to Mr Wynne, 4 Law manuscripts in folio, Julie 12 1642', and in another hand: 'Lent unto my Lord Armagh: Sibbillino oracula'. A nineteenth-century list of 'Bishop Williams's Books' is held with the MS.

The main list in a single hand, with several blots and a few corrections and additions in another hand; the supplementary information in at least two other hands. Paper. Blind-tooled leather binding on boards, repaired by David Yates of J. P. Gray & Son Ltd, July 1973 (inscription inside back cover).