St John's College W.2

An artificial collection of miscellaneous documents relating to members of the College, received at different times from different sources.


Edward Stillingfleet (1635-1699), BA 1652-3. Executors’ official copy of the will of Edward Stillingfleet, Bishop of Worcester, Fellow of St John’s College. (Ob. 1699). Will is dated April 4th 1698. Separate small document signed Thomas Welham Regy Depty 

Presented by Hugh Wharton Gatty in 1936.


Will approximately  530 x 610 mm. Parchment, with decoration. Also the original seal (now broken) and ribbon. Additional document 161 x 178 mm. Parchment.




Robert Rumsey Webb (1850-1936), Senior Wrangler 1872, Fellow. Manuscript notes dealing with solutions to mathematical problems. Written in ink on one side of the paper only. The problems on the first sheet are in a different hand.


290 x 225 mm. Not bound, 45 leaves.




Manuscript diary of Rev. Joseph Timmis Ward (1853-1935), Senior Wrangler 1876, Fellow, Tutor, etc. Diary, 1 Jan 1874 – 22 April 1876.

Found among the Rev. Ward’s papers in 1935.

Inside front cover is written:

“A Kind of a Sort of a Diary commenced Jany 1st 1874. Each entry is dated with day and date; each verso has a running heading  giving month and year, and each recto has a running heading of the place in which it is written, usually Cambridge or the diarist’s home in Banbury, but other travels in England and to the Channel Islands are also recorded. In May 1874 Ward gives the timetable for his examinations, and the following month lists results for himself and others in his class. The same pattern is repeated in May-June 1875. In October 1875 he lists the papers he plans to attend that term and the lecturers giving them. The diary entries dealing with his travels to Jersey and Guernsey are illustrated by hand-drawn maps of the two islands.


162 x 100 mm. Bound notebook. 120 leaves.




Philip Thomas Main (B.A. 1862; Fellow). Two ruled notebooks.


Notebook 1. Notes of College Council business, 9 May 1884 – 22 Nov. 1889. Found (Oct. 1944) in box of ‘Main papers’, now sorted and dispersed.


Contains loose inserts:

1 sheet headed ‘Case against “Tutors” under Order of Dec. 1882’

1 sheet ‘Education Fund Abstract 1886’

2 sheets of pencilled list of receipts and expenses for the Ed Fund Oct 1885-86

1 sheet written in ink headed ‘Ed. Committee 1886 June 7’ A note on this sheet indicates that the present state of the fund does not justify proposing any further provision for law students.


185 x 113 mm. Bound notebook. 144 leaves.


Notebook 2. Notes of College Council business, 30 May 1890 – 23 Feb. 1894. Found in Sir J. Larmor’s rooms, 1942.


Contains loose inserts:

1 loose sheet (pencilled on reverse of standard printed letter from proctor regarding admission to the degree of Master of Arts) with notes relating to Council 2 Dec 1892 and Council 28 Oct 1892. These notes are not in Main’s handwriting.

1 loose sheet in ink, in Main’s hand, headed ‘For Barrow’.

The second half of the notebook is unused.


175 x 112 mm. Bound notebook. 80 leaves.




Notebook of William Henry Besant, Sc.D, Fellow of St John’s College, died 1917, containing notes of mathematical lectures delivered in St John’s in 1847.

Presented by A.S. Ramsey, President of Magdalene College, 1937. Letter from Ramsey is tipped in.

W.H.  Besant signs the flyleaf and dates it 1847. First lecture is header ‘Trigonometry, Mr Griffin’. Subsequent lectures are numbered. The ‘Sadlerian lectures, 2nd Term, Mr Blackall’ are written from the back of the notebook.  There are 2 blank pages in the centre of the book where the two different lecture series meet.


162 x 140 mm. Bound notebook. 60 leaves.




Alexander Frost Douglas (1859-1939), BA 1884. Account book of expenditure at St John’s College, Cambridge 1880-1883. Contains itemised term by term income and expenditure accounts, with summary at the end of the volume.

Given by Mrs M.G. Cottle (niece of A.F. Douglas) in 1979. Includes 3 letters from Mrs Cottle regarding the account book.


154 x 96 mm. Bound notebook. 54 leaves.




Rev Charles Sutton, admitted SJC 22 April 1775, Fellow 1784-1793. Three notebooks containing College expenses, details of income in later years, etc.

Letter from Charles W.S. Weillard, Shimpling Rectory, Scole, Norfolk dated May 24 1916, sending the notebooks and papers of Dr Sutton, which had formerly been in his late father’s possession, to St John’s. Three cuttings of printed extracts from the notebooks are also included. From the collection of R.F. Scott, Master, 1933.


Notebook 1, marked ‘Cambridge University’ on the cover. Includes accounts. Folio 1v is dated April 20th 1775, Norwich and refers to him being examined and admitted sizar. This is followed by expenses for orders March 1, 1779, possibly inserted on a blank half-page, as the contents then revert to 1775 with cash accounts, then itemised expenditure under headings such as Grocery, Bedmaker, Sizings, Rent, Furniture, Bookseller, Coal Merchant, Fellows Butler. Summarised termly accounts follow.


160 x 105 mm. 28 leaves. Sewn notebook with stiff paper cover.


Notebook 2. Notebook contains various accounts of income and disbursements during the period 1789-1821. Includes 1 loose folded bifolium containing a manuscript poem ‘The Candidates’.


180 x 120 mm. 24 leaves, 8 of which are blank. Sewn notebook with stiff paper cover.


Notebook 3. Pencil and ink notes. Pencilled inside front cover “Charles Sutton St John’s College Cambridge. Jany 8th 78”. Contains monthly expenses and income for July, August and September, quarterly totals, assorted notes and accounts.


140 x 80 mm. 18 leaves. Sewn notebook with marbled paper cover.




Papers by or relating to Charles Sutton from the collection of Robert Scott, Master 1933.


1. Statement of accouints of the Dec. Fellowship & scholarships 1762-1778 with receipts from the College estate at Pagham.


198 x 163 mm. Single folio.


2. Certificate from the Bishop of Norwich dated 27 February 1793 that Charles Sutton, being instituted rector of Albergh, had subscribed to the Thirty-Nine Articles of the Church of England.


200 x 322 mm. Folded paper, bearing signature and stamp of George Sandby, Bishop of Norwich.


3. Autograph letter signed from Robert Bensley to Charles Sutton, dated 21 December 1809, regarding legatees of the will of the late Sir W. Bensley.


322 x 198 mm. Paper. Bifolium.


4. Latin oration, titled “Oratio habita memoriter in Capella Divi Joannis Coll. Cant. 13 die Junii 1778”.


296 x 202 mm. Paper. Bifolium.


5. Autograph letter signed from J. Hymers to Charles Sutton, dated 26 April 1839. Informs him of the death of the Master and the dates of the funeral and the election of a new Master. Asks for information regarding the history of the College, and the procedures for the election of the Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity.


227 x 185 mm. Paper. Bifolium.


6. Manuscript copy of verses regarding a benefaction of a portrait of the Countess of Pembroke to Pembroke Hall. Signed WS and dated 1715. By William Sutton.


295 x 192 mm. Paper. Bifolium, written on recto and verso of first folio only.


7. Manuscript copy of lines written to Miss A.B. [Anne Baldwin] in spring 1806 by ‘S.J.S’. The writer, Samuel Jeffery Shaw, was the grandfather of Charles Sutton.


257 x 202 mm. Paper. Single sheet.




Two silhouettes of Charles Sutton and his wife Charlotte, together with their original mounts (now housed separately). Donated by Mrs Sheila Bennett, 6 August 1999.


88 x 61 mm and 88 x 58 mm. Paper.




Two autograph letters signed regarding the correspondence of Isaac Todhunter. The first dated 25 September 1904 is from John Sephton (1937-1915) to Donald MacAlister (1854-1934), having been sorting through old letters to burn, and apparently enclosing a bundle of Todhunter’s letters. The second dated 1 October 1904 is from MacAlister to Robert Scott, Master, apparently enclosing a bundle of Todhunter’s letters. This correspondence appears to accompany a random bundle of largely empty envelopes, most of which appear to have been misaddressed to variants of the College and its senior officers (eg the Bursar becomes Purser, or Buzzer of St John’s College).


Two letters, one bundle of envelopes. Paper.