Catalogue of the scientific and antiquarian papers of Christopher and Richard Towneley, 17th-18th cent.

Bodleian Library, University of Oxford

C. Parker

2002

Department of Special Collections
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Table of Contents

Introduction
A    Scientific papers of Christopher and Richard Towneley, 17th-18th cent.
    A.1  Richard Towneley's notebooks containing mathematical notes and experiments in natural philosophy, 17th cent.
    A.2  Notebooks on astronomy, mainly of Christopher Towneley, 17th-18th cent.
    A.3   Papers on natural philosophy, mathematics and astronomy, 17th-18th cent.
    A.4  Land survey records, 17th cent.
    A.5   Trade and manufacturing records, late 17th cent.
B    Antiquarian papers of Christopher Towneley, 17th-18th cent.
    B.1   Philosophical works, 17th cent.
    B.2  Roman Catholic records, 17th-18th cent.
    B.3  Miscellaneous papers, 17th-18th cent.


Scientific and antiquarian papers of Christopher and Richard Towneley, 17th-18th cent.

Abstract:
Scientific papers of Christopher and Richard Towneley relating to their work in physics, geometry and astronomy and the antiquarian papers of Christopher Towneley relating to English Roman Catholics, 17th-18th cent.

Shelfmarks: MSS. Eng. c. 7031-2, Eng. d. 3537-40, Eng. e. 3387-93, French e. 41, Lat. misc. d. 100, Lat. misc. e. 133-4

Extent: 17 shelfmarks

Biographical History

Christopher Towneley (1604-74) and his nephew Richard Towneley (1629-1707) were members of a Catholic gentry family from Towneley in Lancashire. Christopher Towneley is known as an antiquary but these papers also reflect his interest in scientific research, particularly astronomy. He befriended a number of the northern astronomers, Jeremiah Horrocks, William Crabtree, William Gascoigne and John Stephenson, and collected their papers. His nephew, Richard Towneley, working with other local collaborators, conducted experiments into the relationship between air pressure and volume which became known as Boyle's Law. He also perfected the micrometer and was a pioneer of meteorology. For further details of Christopher Towneley see Dictionary of National Biography and for further details of Richard Towneley see Dictionary of Scientific Biography (New York, 1970-80). See also C. Webster, 'Richard Towneley, 1629-1707, and the Towneley Group', Transactions of the Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire, vol. 118, 1966.

Scope and Content

The collection reflects the wide ranging interests of Christopher and Richard Towneley. There are scientific papers, which include Richard Towneley's records of experiments in air pressure and volume and his mathematical notes; correspondence and working papers relating to astronomy collected by Christopher Towneley, and notes and extracts from scientific reference works. There are also antiquarian papers, which include notes and extracts from philosophical works, transcriptions of records relating to English Roman Catholics and some family papers.

Arrangement

The papers have been divided into scientific papers and antiquarian papers. There are further subject divisions within these two main groups. Records within the subdivisions have been arranged chronologically, wherever possible.

Acquisition

Bought, Sotheby's, 23 July 1985, lot 546, with the aid of grants from the V & A Purchase Grant Fund, the Friends of the National Libraries and the Royal Society.

Preferred Form of Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Library [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MS. Eng. c. 7031, fols. 1-2].

Personal names (NCA Rules)

Towneley | Christopher | 1604-1674 | antiquary
Towneley | Richard | 1629-1707 | natural philosopher

Subjects (LCSH)

Astronomy -- Early works to 1800
Catholic Church -- England
Geometry
Mathematics
Physics

A   Scientific papers of Christopher and Richard Towneley, 17th-18th cent.

A.1   Richard Towneley's notebooks containing mathematical notes and experiments in natural philosophy, 17th cent.

Shelfmarks: MSS. Eng. d. 3537-8, e. 3387; Lat. misc. d. 100, e. 133


Unsewn gatherings, numbered 3, 4, 5 and 9, containing part of books 1-3 and 6 of Elementorum Euclidis (London, 1620), in Latin. Endorsed 'Euclides Elements and a new foshion'd Logique manuscripts', 17th cent.
Shelfmark: MS. Lat. misc. d. 100
Extent: 28 leaves

Notebook containing rules for calculating the area and volume of solid shapes and other rules of geometry, 17th cent.
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. e. 3387
Extent: v + 57 pages
Binding: Vellum wrappers, containing part of the will of Richard Trigge of Lancashire, husbandman, 1639

One unsewn gathering, containing part of 'El[e]m[en]ta Phy[si]ca', in Latin, 8 Nov. 1657
Shelfmark: MS. Lat. misc. e. 133
Extent: 8 leaves

'Algebraicall Resolutions', notebook containing algebra problems and records of experiments, in English and Latin, 1666-9
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. d. 3537
Extent: 23 leaves
Binding: Sewn, not bound

Scope and Content:

Includes

  • (fols. 1-9, 13v-14v, 16-20, 22v-23v) algebra problems with solutions
  • (fols. 10-13r, 21v-22v) records of experiments relating to air pressure and volume
  • (fol. 15) notes on Robert Boyle's experiments and Blaise Pascal's theories
  • (fol. 21r) notes of experiments to be attempted

'Miscellanea', notebook containing mathematical problems, records of experiments and scientific discourses, in English and Latin, 1669-72
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. d. 3538
Extent: 94 pages
Binding: Sewn, not bound

Scope and Content:

Includes

  • (pp. 1-45, 52-3, 72-3, 79-78 rev.) mathematical problems using algebra, geometry, fractions and quadratic equations, with solutions
  • (pp. 20, 54) records of experiments relating to air pressure
  • (pp. 45-52, 54-71, 90-74 rev.) discourses on scientific subjects

A.2   Notebooks on astronomy, mainly of Christopher Towneley, 17th-18th cent.

Shelfmarks: MSS. Eng. e. 3388-9


Notebook, 17th cent.
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. e. 3388
Extent: 38 leaves
Binding: Sewn, not bound

Scope and Content:

Comprises

  • (fols. 1-17, 23-5) longtitude tables, 1637-40
  • (fols. 26-7) 'description and use of the prosthaphaeretical tables'
  • (fols. 28-9) 'Observations upon the Astronomy of P. Lansberg'

'Astrologia Mathematica. Containing Ephemerides of the Sunne for five years. Delivering Compendious & easie Rules for Erecting the Figures of Heaven, for any Latitude, by the Doctrine of Triangles, And also by certaine Tables which may serve in generall the Realme of England. And also The art of Directions; Trigonometrically delivered By John Stephenson Philomath', [1648? - see fol. 4]
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. e. 3389
Extent: 65 leaves
Binding: Sewn, not bound

Scope and Content:

Dedicated 'To his worthie and worshipfull friend Christopher Towneley Esq' (fol. 2).

A.3    Papers on natural philosophy, mathematics and astronomy, 17th-18th cent.

Shelfmarks: MS. Eng. c. 7031


Papers, 17th-18th cent.
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. c. 7031
Extent: 49 leaves

Scope and Content:

Comprises

  • (fols. 1-13) Richard Towneley's papers on natural philosophy, with some drawings of apparatus, and geometrical figures, 1660s,
    • (fols. 1-3) pages 145-9 of Experimental Philosophy by Henry Power (London, 1664), describing (pp. 147-9) 'Mr Charles Townley his Experiment; from which, he would deduce a Perpetual Motion', 1664
    • (fol. 4) 'Miscellannea Probleme To find the iust gravitation or weight of the masse of Air', record of an experiment, 1666
    • (fol. 5) 'De impotentia liberi Aeris ad [mercury] sustenta'o in exp[er]im[en]to Torricelli', record of an experiment on air pressure, in Latin, [1660s] (lower left corner missing)
    • (fol. 6) record of an experiment on air pressure, using mercury in the manner of Torricelli, [1660s]
    • (fol. 7) partial record of 'An exp[eri]m[en]t' on air pressure using Torricellian tubes, [1660s]
    • (fol. 8) 'Obiections against the hypotheses of the weight and spring of aire assumed to solve the Torricellian Exp[eri]m[en]ts', with record of a related experiment. Endorsed 'Peripatetices Digbaeo-Albianae Elementa Physica', [c.1660]
    • (fol. 9) partial record of an experiment to record the weight and pressure of air, using a mercury filled cylinder with counterweights, [1660s]
    • (fols. 10-11) notes 'Concerning the application of force', with record of a related experiment, [1660s]
    • (fol. 12) 'Boyle his Pneumaticall Engine improved to the further expanding of Aire', notes and diagram setting out improvements to Boyle's air pump, [1660s]
    • (fol. 13) 'Miscellanea. De physica trocklearum efficenia ad sublevenda pondera et a quibus eorum illa coice[?]', notes on using pulleys to lift weights, in Latin, [1660s]
  • (fols. 14-28) Richard Towneley's mathematical notes, 17th cent.,
    • (fols. 14-15) 'Ex Clavio', mathematical notes, in Latin, possibly from Oughtred's Clavis Mathematicae (London, 1631)
    • (fols. 16-18) mathematical notes on geometry, in Latin
    • (fol. 19) geometrical calculations, with diagram on verso
    • (fols. 20-1) note containing simple explanation of fractions
    • (fols. 22-5) mathematical rough jottings
    • (fols. 26-8) diagrams and notes on the workings of clocks, in English, French and Latin
  • (fols. 29-49) astronomy papers, mainly of Christopher Towneley, 17th-18th cent.,
    • (fols. 29-44) copies of extracts from letters from Mr Crabtree, 1640-4, n.d., relating to astronomy, [c.1661 - see inscription on fol. 33]
    • (fol. 45) 'Theoria Cometarum' diagram showing the movement of the comets from 1577-1680, in Latin, [1680?]
    • (fol. 46) 'Astronomy' notes on the diameters, rate of travel and relative distances of the sun, Mercury, Venus and Mars, 17th cent.
    • (fol. 47) astronomical diagram, 17th cent.
    • (fol. 48-9) astronomical calculations, 20 May 1787

A.4   Land survey records, 17th cent.

Shelfmarks: MSS. Eng. e. 3390; French e. 41


Surveyor's notebook, in French, [1628? - see fol. 1v]
Shelfmark: MS. French e. 41
Extent: 40 leaves
Binding: Sewn, not bound

Scope and Content:

Comprises

  • (fols. 1-3) medical notes with pen-and-ink drawings of faces and figures
  • (fols. 4-22) notes on the methods and principles of surveying, with (fols. 19-21) some pen-and-ink drawings
  • (fols. 39-30 rev.) medical recipes

Notebook of survey data, [1681? - see p. 1]
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. e. 3390
Extent: i + 151 pages
Binding: Vellum wallet binding, with brass clasps

Scope and Content:

Comprises

  • (pp. 1-53) measurements taken from various vantage points in London, Devon, Somerset, Bristol, Worcestershire, Shropshire, Cheshire, Staffordshire and Flintshire
  • (pp. 150-53 rev.) measurements of distances between named points, including (pp. 64, 66, 70, 81, 106) drawings of various meres

A.5    Trade and manufacturing records, late 17th cent.

Shelfmarks: MSS. Eng. d. 3539; e. 3391-2


'Tables of Interest', containing tables for calculating interest, with notes on the method, construction and use of each table, 9 Dec. 1667
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. d. 3539
Extent: 17 leaves
Binding: Paper wrappers

Scope and Content:

Inscribed (fol. 3v) 'Thy well wishing freend JH: Carr Hall neare Colne in the County of Lancaster'. Christopher Towneley lived at Carr Hall from 1640-57 but moved to Moorhiles in Pendle Forest on the death of his wife in 1657.


'The History of Malteing or the Method of Makeing Malt Practised att Derby described for Richard Towneley Esq. By John Flamsted Derbiensis January 1672/3', 1673
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. e. 3391
Extent: 8 leaves
Binding: Sewn, not bound
Related Material:

A volume of letters from John Flamsteed to Richard Towneley, is held by the Royal Society, ref. no. MSG 243.



Extracts from An essay upon the probable methods of making a people gainers in the ballance of trade (London, 1698) and Discourses on the publick revenues, and on the trade of England (London, 1699), by Charles Davenant, [c.1700]
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. e. 3392
Extent: i + 21 leaves
Binding: Sewn, unbound, and (fols. 16-21) folded sheet

Scope and Content:

Comprises

  • (fols. 1-8) 'Sect: 2d The People of England'
  • (fols. 8v-12) 'Sect: 4th Of our Payment to the Publick, and how the Ballance of trade may be affected'
  • (fols. 13-15) 'Discourses on the Publick Revenues and Trade of England'
  • (fol. 16r) 'Addenda'
  • (fols. 16v-19) 'On Public Debts and Engagements part 1st'

B   Antiquarian papers of Christopher Towneley, 17th-18th cent.

B.1    Philosophical works, 17th cent.

Shelfmarks: MS. Lat. misc. e. 134


Notebook containing extracts from philosophical texts in Latin and partial record of an experiment in English, [c.1660]
Shelfmark: MS. Lat. misc. e. 134
Extent: 6 leaves
Binding: Paper wrappers

Scope and Content:

Includes

  • (fol. 1) inscription 'Francis Towneley His Book of his writing'
  • (fols. 2-5) 'Cogni[t]ionis Humanae Fundamenta sive In Peripateticem Digbaeanam Introductio'
  • (fol. 6v) 'A mercurial exp[eri]m[en]t to be tried'

B.2   Roman Catholic records, 17th-18th cent.

Shelfmarks: MSS. Eng. d. 3540; e. 3393


Catholic almanac of readings for Sundays and Holydays, 17th cent.
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. e. 3393
Extent: 10 leaves, 6-10 blank
Binding: Paper wrappers

'Index to Gallia Christiana' containing a place name index for volumes 1-13 of Gallia Christiana (Paris, 1715-1865), late 18th cent.
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. d. 3540
Extent: 13 leaves, 8-13 blank
Binding: Vellum wrappers

B.3   Miscellaneous papers, 17th-18th cent.

Shelfmarks: MS. Eng. c. 7032


Papers, 17th-18th cent.
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. c. 7032
Extent: 90 leaves

Scope and Content:

Comprises

  • (fols. 1-19) philosophical papers, 17th cent.
    • (fols. 1-4) 'Varia Collectio[n]es. A lettre of Mr [Thomas] White concerning knowledge' and philosophical discourses on the immutability of the soul, in English and Latin
    • (fol. 5) copy of 'A l[ett]re of Mr White concerning knowledge'
    • (fols. 6-14) philosophical discourse with references to White's writings, headed, 'Miscellanea'
    • (fol. 15) 'Modi varis dil[ta]tio[n]is [cor]porum tangibilium Ex Verulamio', philosophical notes in Latin
    • (fol. 16) 'Capita tracta[torum]' philosophical notes in Latin
    • (fols. 17-18) 'Veterum Ph[ilosoph]orum placita de r[eru]m na[tur]aliu[m] p[rinci]piis', philosophical notes in Latin
    • (fol. 19) philosophical discourse, in Latin
  • (fols. 20-41) literary papers, mainly in French, 17th cent.
    • (fols. 20-1) extracts from Juvenal, Satires, no. XI, St. Augustine, Enchiridion, ch. 108, and Dionysius, De Divinis Nominibus, ch. 3, in Latin
    • (fols. 22-3) 'Sur la paix'
    • (fol. 24) 'Cause dela decadence du gout'
    • (fols. 25-6) 'Le Retour du printemps', poem
    • (fols. 27-8) 'L'ours devenu ministre', satirical poem
    • (fols. 29-30) poem [incomplete?], beg. 'certain joueur de Gobelets'
    • (fols. 31-4) part of a play, with the characters Timagene, Almanzar, Adraste, Euphorbe, Polydor and Demophile
    • (fols. 35-41) drafts of essays and some verse, in French and Latin
  • (fols. 42-88) papers relating to Roman Catholics, 17th-18th cent.
    • (fol. 42) 'An account of the original Cause of the disturbances in the English College at Rome [in 1579] as it is given by Dr Maurice Clenock the president'. Endorsed with a homily on gluttony and self-indulgence, 17th cent.
    • (fols. 43-78) copies of letters and other papers, 1624-35, n.d., relating to the dispute between Richard Smith, Bishop of Chalcedon and the English regulars, in English and Latin, including (fols. 56-71) 'A Treatise of the Right which the Bishopp of Chalcedon hath to exact of the Regulars in England, that they aske his approbation for the hearinge of the Confessions of Secular people, with the Answeres to the Obiections made by the Regulars to the Contrarie', 17th cent.
    • (fol. 79) 'Touchinge the oath of Allegiance', queries concerning the oath and the level of forfeit for non-compliance. Endorsed with a note of the value of land belonging to Sir Thomas Brudenell of Deene, [c.1660]
    • (fols. 80-1) discourse against the Catholic Church and its claim of trans-substantiation, 17th cent.
    • (fols. 82-3) 'A Translation of a letter write [sic] in french by Abbe Jean of La Trapp to her Royal Highness Madam de Guise', with advice on living a Christian life. Endorsed 'This the Handwriting of William Towneley', 17th cent.
    • (fols. 84-5) psalm 41 in Latin, 17th cent.
    • (fols. 86-7) notes on religious and moral matters, in English and Latin, 17th cent.
    • (fol. 88) 'The p[ar]ticulars for raising the sum of [£]536=19s on Papists and their Estates in Blackburne Hundred'. Endorsed 'Tax done by Mr Whitaker 1723'
  • (fols. 89-90) family papers, 17th cent.
    • (fols. 89-90) schedule of title deeds and documents relating to the manor of Sledwish and other places in the county of Durham, bought by Charles Towneley from Thomas Clopton in the 1620's and sold in 1642 to Sir John Clavering (see Robert Surtees, The History and Antiquities of the County Palatine of Durham p.47 (Darlington Ward) vol. IV (London, 1840) ), 17th cent.

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20 May 2011