Catalogue of manuscripts acquired singly: manuscripts in printed books

Bodleian Library, University of Oxford

Manuscripts in Printed Books

Manuscripts in printed volumes acquired singly by the Bodleian Library by purchase, bequest or donation since 2006.

Note: Descriptions of the items with Printed Book shelfmarks will be found on SOLO. Please order using the Sign-On system.

Merlini Anglici Ephemeris: or, Astrologicall Predictions for the Year, 1651. By William Lilly, Student in Astrology (London: Printed for the Company of Stationers, and H. Blunden at the Castle in Cornhill, 1650), with notes by the owner of the book, apparently a Midland farmer, 1651
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. e. 3632
Extent: 53 leaves
Binding: The binding is a reduced bifolium from a medieval manuscript, the latin text of which is partially readable on the interior pages only.

A printed almanac of astrological predictions comprising

The volume also contains several notes by the former owner, including

Biographical History: William Lilly (1602–81) was an astrologer from Diseworth, Leicestershire. For further details see the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

Custodial History: The volume has apparently been in private ownership, stored in an envelope on which "Old Book from Derby" was noted.

Bought, Nov. 2006.

Bound collection of Poor Robin and Dade almanacks annotated by Frances Wolfreston, 1666-1679, 1690, 1693, 1702-1705
Shelfmark: MS. Don. e. 246
Extent: 1 volume (iii, 468 leaves)

19 issues of Poor Robin. An Almanack after a New Fashion (London, Printed for the Company of Stationers) covering the years 1666-79, 1690 and 1702-5 and one issue of Dade. Prognostication (London, Printed by T.J. for the Company of Stationers), 1693. The first dozen almanacks of Poor Robin (pseudonym of William Winstanley) come from the library of Frances Wolfreston and are annotated by her. The annotations include a list of plays she had lent to Robert Comarford, which extends the group of titles examined by Paul Morgan in The Library (1989). Other notes record (mainly family) births, baptisms, marriages and deaths. Wolfreston’s last entries are made in January 1677. Thereafter annotations continue in other hands, including that of her son Stanford. The volume has a book label of Robert Logan from Highgate and a biro inscription of [E?] Vimont from Croydon.


Biographical History: Frances Wolfreston (1607-1677) was one of the very few known female book collectors. For further details see the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.


Paul Morgan, ‘Frances Wolfreston and “Hor Bouks”: a seventeenth-century woman book-collector’ in The Library (1989), pp. 197-219.

Paul Morgan, ‘Frances Wolfreston’ in The Library (1990), p. 56.

Purchased from Christopher Edwards, 18 Mar. 2010 and given by the Friends of the Bodleian.

'Schardanus Riders' (also Cardanus Rider, pseudonym for Richard Saunders) Riders 1667. Brittish Merlin: Bedeckt with many delightful varieties and useful verities ... , printed for the Stationers' Company, 1667, with manuscript accounts kept by Thomas Harris, of the Close, Salisbury, 1667
Shelfmark: Vet. A3 f.2094
Binding: 19th century straight-grain brilliant red morroco with the arms of James Harris, Earl of Malmesbury stamped in blind on upper and lower boards

Printed almanack, annotated throughout with accounts by Thomas Harris, of the Cathedral Close, Salisbury (1643-1679). Many of the notes relate to expenditure and receipts on behalf of various families connected with the bishopric of Salisbury, and relatives of Thomas Harris. There are many references to Bishop Alexander Hyde and the kinsmen of former bishops Tounson, Duppa and Henchman. There is a note of expenses in hiring a coach to Clarendon House, the home of Edward Hyde 1st Earl of Clarendon, cousin of Bishop Alexander Hyde, opposite the printed calendar entry for March. A payment of £134-15-0 to one 'Mr Vanheusen for the hangings att the Pallace' is recorded in March, presumably a reference to the Bishop of Salisbury's palace.

A full description of the printed work can be found in SOLO.

Biographical History: Thomas Harris of Salisbury Close (1643-1679) has been identified as the author of the manuscript notes in the volume. The author refers to 'Unkle Tounson' and to four cousins: Robert Hyde, Thomas Henchman, Henry Parker and Cooke. 'Cos. Robert Hyde' was the son of Alexander Hyde (1598-1667), bishop of Salisbury 1665-1667, who was married to Mary Tounson (or Townson), a daughter of Robert Tounson (1575-1621), bishop of Salisbury 1620-1621, grandfather of Thomas Harris through his mother, Gertrude Tounson. Alexander was also a cousin of Edward Hyde, Earl of Clarendon. 'Cos.Henry Parker' was sir Henry Parker, 2nd Bart. (1640-1713) who married Margaret Hyde, daughter of Alexander Hyde. ' Cos. Thom[as] Henchman' was the son of Humphrey Henchman (1592-1675), bishop of Salisbury 1660-1663, who was married to Ellen, another daughter of Robert Tounson; 'Cos. Cooke' was Thomas Cooke, who married a daughter of Humphrey Henchman. Thomas Harris appends his own name to the accounts written on the page opposite the printed calendar for November. He was the great grandfather of James Harris, 1st Earl of Malmesbury.

Custodial History: Owned by James Harris (1746-1820), 1st Earl of Malmesbury (see binding).

Bought by Rare Books out of the Gordon Duff Fund,

Subjects (LCSH)
   Account Books

Corporate Names (NCA Rules)
   Salisbury diocese

Thomas Sydenham, Processus Integri in Morbis Ferè Omnibus Curandis, 5th edn (London, 1726)
Shelfmark: MS. Lat. misc. e. 135
Extent: 165 leaves
Binding: Red cloth boards, lettered on spine, 'Sydenham. De Morbis Curandis. 1726. Birmingham Medical Institute', upper board detached.

Heavily annotated throughout by an unidentified physician, in Latin, with additional recipes and prescriptions for medical conditions, and references to other medical texts, including other works by Sydenham.

Interleaved with manuscript pages throughout. Each printed page has a corresponding manuscript page with the same page number. In addition there is a sequence of manuscript leaves at the beginning of the volume, foliated, 'A-Y', and a sequence of manuscript leaves at the end of the volume, foliated, 'a-z'.

Biographical History: Thomas Sydenham (1624-1689), physician. For further details see the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

Custodial History: Library stamp on title page, 'Birmingham Medical Institute'; the library of the Institute was auctioned by Dominic Winter, Apr and Jul 2012; purchased by Maggs from a British book dealer.

Purchased Maggs Brothers Ltd., 9 Sep 2013.

Subjects (LCSH)

Il glorioso trionfo della quadratura del circolo and other 19th-century printed items, all on the subject of squaring the circle
Shelfmark: Vet. F6 e.173
Extent: 3 leaves

The volume contains several manuscript notes, and also correspondence of Francesco Cavalli, 1830-1831, bound as items 19, 20 and 32 within the volume.

In Italian.

Bought from Susanne Schulz-Falster Rare Books, London, 2006 with money from the Roy V. Sowers Fund.

Subjects (LCSH)

A selection of Irish melodies with symphonies and accompaniments by Sir John Stevenson and characteristic words by Thomas Moore (London: Cramer, Addison & Beale, [c. 1840]) with letters of Thomas Moore, 1812-1833
Shelfmark: Harding Mus. F 168-70
Extent: 13 leaves

The three volumes of printed music include autograph letters of Thomas Moore.

Biographical History: Thomas Moore (1779-1852), poet and singer. For further details see the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

Bibliography: Jeffery W. Vail (ed.), The Unpublished Letters of Thomas Moore (The Pickering Masters). London: Pickering & Chatto, 2013

The volumes form part of the bequest of Walter Harding, 1974.

William Wilberforce's copy of Lord John Russell, An essay on the history of the English Government and Constitution(London, 1821)
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. e. 3347

Presentation copy probably from the publishers, to William Wilberforce, with some marginal notes by Wilbeforce, and pencil markings probably by him.

Bought from John Wilson, 1995

Macaulay; The Historian, Statesman, and Essayist. Anecdotes of his life and literary labours, with some account of his early and unknown writings (2nd ed., London, John Camden Hotten, Piccadilly, 1860), with notes and letters of Augustus De Morgan, 1861-1869, former owner of the book
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. e. 3588
Extent: 141 leaves

The volume includes

Biographical History: Augustus De Morgan (1806–71) was a mathematician and historian. For further details see the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

Separated Material: One letter from Augustus De Morgan to Admiral William Henry Smyth enclosing notes (not present) on an (unknown) preface written by Smyth, 11 July 1865, now MS. Eng. c. 7284, fol. 17 (seeGuard-books).Four letters from Augustus De Morgan to Arthur Hall, speculating on the origins of the name "Onuphrio", used by Horace Walpole, July-Aug. 1867, now MS. Eng. c. 7284, fols. 18-21 (seeGuard-books).

Custodial History: The volume was sold at Sotheby's sale of C.H. Trevelyan's books 17 Jan. 1974; T. D. Rogers purchased it from Blackwell's bookshop,13 Dec. 1974.

Given by T.D. Rogers, Oct. 2006

'Townshend Collections', printed works relating to the Townshend family, published 1882-1912 and bound together, with some manuscript notes, corrections and newspaper cuttings
Shelfmark: 2182 T.e.8

The contents include

Acquired by Printed Books 1931.

Copy of Jon Kimche, The Unromantics. The Great Powers and the Balfour Declaration (London, 1968), inscribed by Kimche to Leonard Stein, 13 Feb. 1968, and heavily annotated by Stein
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. d. 3189/1-2

With (MS. Eng. d. 3189/2) covering letter from Kimche and copy of letter to a newspaper editor, 1968.

Given by Richard Stein, Leonard Stein's son, 1998.

New Epistles By Mounseur du Balzack. Translated out of French, into English by Sr Rich: Baker Kt. London. Printed by Tho: Cotes, for Fran: Eglisfeild [sic], Ioh: Crooke, and Rich: Serger, and are to be sold, at the Grey-hound, in St Paules, Church-yard, 1638. Will: Marshall sculpsit.
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. e. 3863
Extent: 1 volume (viii, 232, 270 pages)

An annotated copy of Nevv epistles of Mounsieur de Balzac. Translated out of French into English, by Sr. Richard Baker Knight. Being the second and third volumes. (London. Printed by T. Cotes, for Fra. Eglesfield. Iohn Crooke, and Rich. Serger, 1638) - without the initial letterpress title-page. The engraved title-page is inscribed 'Beaupræus Bell, 1724' and the upper paste-down has 18th-century annotation 'With Sir Rich[ar]d Baker's MSS corrections for a new Edition'. Baker's notes appear throught the volume, evidently in preparation for a second edition which was never published. The Early English Books Online website ( lists the people to whom Jean-Louis Guez de Balzac wrote the letters between 1618 and 1635.

Biographical History: Sir Richard Baker (1568-1645) studied in Oxford and London, then travelled extensively in Europe. He became Member of Parliament for Arundel in 1593 and East Gristead in 1597. He was knighted in 1603. He served as Justice of the Peace in Middlesex and High Sheriff in Oxfordshire where he owned a manor house and other lands. These were used to pay off the debts of his father-in-law. While in the Fleet Prison Baker wrote A Chronicle of the Kings of England from the Time of the Romans' Government unto the Death of King James and other works, mainly historical and religious. Further biographical details can be found in the Dictionary of National Biography.

Custodial History: It is presumed that the volume was previously owned by the Bell family of Beaupre Hall in Outwell, Norfolk.

Purchased from Samuel Gedge, 22 May 2013.

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