English Book Collectors
by William Younger Fletcher
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John Bellingham Inglis was born in London on the 14th of February 1780. His father, a partner in the firm of Inglis, Ellice and Co., merchants, Mark Lane, London, was a Director of the East India Company, and was at one time its Chairman. In consequence of the failure of his father young Inglis set up in business on his own account in the wine trade, but this not proving successful, he retired after a short time on the money rescued from the wreck of the fortune of his father, who died soon after his failure. He resided for many years in St. John's Wood, but afterwards removed to Hampstead Heath. He died at 13 Albion Road, N.W., on the 9th of December 1870.

Mr. Inglis, who was a good classical scholar, an excellent linguist, and a man of considerable literary ability, commenced collecting books at a very early age, and soon formed a very valuable and important library, which was especially rich in works from the presses of the early English printers. Unlike some possessors of libraries, he read the books which he had collected; and the Duke of Sussex, at one of his literary dinners at Kensington Palace, is reported to have said: 'Gentlemen, you are all very learned about titles, editions, and printers, but none of you seem to have read anything of the books except Mr. Inglis here.' In 1832 he translated into English, for the first time, the Philobiblon of Richard de Bury, and presented it to Thomas Rodd, the bookseller, who published it. He also made translations of several other mediaeval printed books and manuscripts, which have never been published. A biographical notice of him appears in The Bookworm of December 1870, by J.P. Berjeau, the editor of that periodical. A portion of Inglis's books was sold anonymously by Sotheby on June 9th, 1826, and seven following days. The title-page of the catalogue reads: 'Catalogue of a singularly curious and valuable selection from the Library of a Gentleman, including three extraordinary specimens of Block Printing; Books printed in the Fifteenth Century; Books printed on vellum; Fine copies of Works from the Presses of Caxton, Machlinia, Wynkyn de Worde, Pynson, Julyan Notary, Verard, etc.; an extensive Collection of Old English Poetry; Romances; Historical and Theological Tracts; early Voyages and Travels; curious Treatises on Witches and Witchcraft; some of the earliest Dictionaries and Vocabularies in the English Language, etc. Likewise several Manuscripts on vellum, most beautifully illuminated, etc.' The number of lots in this sale was sixteen hundred and sixty-five, and the sum realised three thousand three hundred and thirty-three pounds, nine shillings and sixpence. The prices obtained for the books were extremely low. The three block-books:—the first edition of the Speculum Humanae Salvationis, Historia Sancti Johannis Evangelistae ejusque Visiones Apocalypticae, and the Biblia Pauperum fetched but ninety-five pounds, eleven shillings; forty-seven pounds, five shillings, and thirty-six pounds, fifteen shillings respectively; while no more than four hundred and thirty-one pounds, fifteen shillings and sixpence could be obtained for the thirteen Caxtons in the sale—about thirty-three pounds each. The following are a few of the other notable books in this fine collection, and the prices they fetched: Les Faits de Maistre Alain Chartier, imprimez a Paris par Pierre le Caron pour Anthoine Verard, printed on vellum, with capital letters painted in gold and colours, fifty-six pounds, fourteen shillings; Le Recueil des Histoires Troiennes, imprime a Paris par Anthoine Verard, presentation copy to Charles VIII., printed on vellum, ornamented with eighty-three miniatures, twenty-seven pounds; Vincent, Les cinq volumes du Miroir Hystorial, imprime a Paris par Anthoine Verard, 1495-96, forty-six pounds, four shillings; Speculum Christiani, printed by Machlinia, sixteen pounds, sixteen shillings; Promptorius Puerorum, printed by Pynson in 1499, thirty-eight pounds, seventeen shillings; The Floure of the Commandments of God, Wynkyn de Worde, 1521, thirteen pounds, thirteen shillings; The Catechisme, set furth by ... Johne, Archbischop of Sanct Androus, etc. Prentit at Sanct Androus, 1552, sixteen pounds, five shillings and sixpence; Mary of Nemmegen, printed at Antwerp by Jan Van Doesborgh in 1518 or 1519, the only copy known, twenty-four pounds; Painter, The Palace of Pleasure, London, Thomas Marshe, 1575, a very fine copy, twenty-three pounds; and Shakespeare's Sonnets, London, 1609, forty pounds, nineteen shillings. Perhaps the finest of the manuscripts were a beautifully illuminated copy on vellum of the Liber de Proprietatibus Rerum, Anglice, by Bartholomaeus de Glanvilla, written towards the end of the fourteenth century, which fetched fifty-one pounds, nine shillings; and Boccaccio's Tragedies of the Falle of Unfortunate Princes, translated into English verse, written on vellum in England in the early part of the fifteenth century, and richly illuminated. Thirty pounds, nine shillings was all that was obtained for this fine manuscript. After Inglis's death, his son, Dr. C. Inglis, sold such books as he could not find room for. They were disposed of by Sotheby, Wilkinson and Hodge on the 31st of July 1871, and five following days, and realised two thousand seven hundred and sixty-six pounds, thirteen shillings and sixpence. Among the fifteen hundred and eighty-eight lots in the sale were a few rare books and some fine papyri. A third sale of the books in this splendid library, by order of Dr. C. Inglis, took place on June 11th, 1900, and three following days, by the same auctioneers. In this sale there were eight hundred and forty-nine lots, for which the sum of seven thousand five hundred and nineteen pounds, twelve shillings and sixpence was obtained. Although no Caxtons were to be found among the books, there were many rare and interesting examples from the presses of Machlinia, Pynson, Wynkyn de Worde, Julian Notary and other early English printers. The foreign printers were also well represented, and the collection contained several beautiful Books of Hours, both printed and in manuscript. Some very high prices were obtained for the more important books, as the following list of a few of the most notable will show:—Speculum Humanae Salvationis, printed by G. Zainer at Augsburg in 1471, eighty-four pounds; Turrecremata, Meditationes, Romae, 1473, one hundred pounds; the first edition of the Philobiblon of Richard de Bury, Coloniae, 1473, eighty pounds; Rolle de Hampole super Job, attributed to the Oxford press of Rood and Hunt, about 1481-86, three hundred pounds; Chronicle of England, printed by Machlinia about 1484, one hundred and seventy-five pounds; Heures de lusaige de Romme, with cuts printed in various colours, Paris, Jehan du Pre, 1490, two hundred and seventy-two pounds; First Letter of Columbus (Latin) 1493, Vespuccius, Mundus Novus, 1502, and other rare tracts in one volume, two hundred and thirty pounds; Verardus in Laudem Fernandi Hispaniarum Regis, etc., containing the letter of Columbus to King Ferdinand on his discovery of America, 1494, ninety pounds; Vitas Patrum, printed by Wynkyn de Worde in 1495, fifty pounds; Hoefken van Devotien, Antwerpen, 1496, one hundred and one pounds; Postilla Epistolarum et Evangeliorum Dominicalium, printed by Julian Notary in 1509, fifty pounds; Mirrour of Oure Ladye, R. Fawkes, 1530, forty-nine pounds; Heures de Rome, with illustrations by Geoffroy Tory, Paris, 1525, one hundred and forty-four pounds; and Spenser's Faerie Queene, Foure Hymnes, Prothalamion, etc., all first editions, 1590-96, one hundred and seventy pounds.


Mr. William Henry Miller, who was born in 1789, was the only child of Mr. William Miller of Craigentinny, Midlothian. In 1830 he entered Parliament as one of the Members for Newcastle-under-Lyme, which seat he held until the year 1841. He died unmarried at his residence, Craigentinny House, near Edinburgh, on the 31st of October 1848, and was buried, according to his desire, in a mausoleum on his estate. Mr. Miller formed a fine collection of very choice books at Britwell Court, Buckinghamshire, many of which he acquired at the Heber and other important sales of the first half of the nineteenth century. He was very particular about the condition and size of the volumes he purchased, and from his habit of carrying a foot-rule about him for the purpose of ascertaining their dimensions he became known as 'Measure Miller.' The library was bequeathed to his cousin Miss Marsh, from whom it passed to Mr. Samuel Christie-Miller, who was Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme from 1847 to 1859, and on his death on the 5th of April 1889 to Mr. Wakefield Christie-Miller, who died at Dublin on the 22nd of February 1898. Many rare books have been added to the Britwell Library by its later possessors. The additions made by the last owner were especially important, notably that of the larger portion of the Elizabethan rarities discovered in 1867 at Lamport Hall, the seat of Sir Charles Isham; and the collection may now be considered unrivalled among private libraries for the number of choice examples of English and Scottish literature which it contains, particularly in the division of English poetry. The finest copy known of the Dictes or Sayings of the Philosophers, one of the three extant copies of the Morale Prouerbes of Cristyne, and nine other works printed by Caxton, are to be found on the shelves of the library, as well as a large number of books from the presses of Wynkyn de Worde, Pynson, Julyan Notary, and other early English printers. Among them are many editions of the grammatical treatises of Robert Whitinton and John Stanbridge, printed by Wynkyn de Worde, and unique copies of Fitzherbert's Boke of Husbandrie, the romance of Oliver of Castile, and Fysshynge with an Angle, all by the same printer. The library contains also a fine series of the early editions of the English Chronicles, and of the works of Chaucer. Among the treasures of the Elizabethan and Jacobean periods are the first Shakespeare folio (the second, third, and fourth folios are also in the library); an unique copy of an edition of Venus and Adonis, printed for William Leake at London in 1599, from the Isham collection; all the early editions of Sidney's Arcadia; fine examples of the early editions of the works of Edmund Spenser; the only perfect copy known of the first edition of the Paradyse of Daintie Devises; and remarkably complete sets of the works of Churchyard, Breton, Greene, Dekker, Wither and Brathwaite. Other notable books in this splendid library are a copy on vellum, with coloured maps, of Ptolemy's Cosmographia, printed at Ulm in 1482, and bound by Derome; the Aldine edition of Poliphili Hypnerotomachia, in the original binding, and an unique copy of the English translation printed in London by Samuel Waterson in 1592; a fine and perfect set in nine parts of the Mirrour of Princely Deedes and Knighthood (a translation of the Spanish Espejo de Principes y Cavalleros); editions of Hakluyt's Voyages; a beautiful and tall copy of Purchas his Pilgrimes; the finest and most complete set which has been formed of De Bry's Voyages; the first issue of Milton's Paradise Lost; the first edition of Walton's Compleat Angler in the original sheepskin binding; the Kilmarnock edition of Burns's Poems; and several of the original editions of Shelley's works, including the excessively rare OEdipus Tyrannus. There is a fine collection of early English music in the Britwell Library, and it possesses the greater portion of the Heber ballads and broadsides, and a large number of books which once belonged to De Thou. Many of the volumes are masterpieces of the work of Bedford, Riviere, Lortic, and other English and foreign binders.

GEORGE DANIEL, 1789-1864

George Daniel was born in London on the 16th of September 1789. After receiving an education at Mr. Thomas Hogg's boarding-school at Paddington Green, he became a clerk to a stockbroker in Tokenhouse Yard,[93] and afterwards followed the profession of an accountant; but he employed all his leisure time in literary pursuits, and in the collection of books, works of art and curiosities. He commenced writing at a very early age, and was the author of a novel The Adventures of Dick Distich, and a considerable number of poetical and dramatic pieces. He also contributed many articles to Ackerman's Poetical Magazine, Bentley's Miscellany, and other magazines, and was the editor of Cumberland's British Theatre, and Cumberland's Minor Theatre. His first printed production, Stanzas on Lord Nelsons Victory and Death, written in conjunction with a young friend, appeared in 1805, but he tells us that he wrote some verses when he was but eight years of age on the death of his father. In 1811 he published a poem called The Times, or the Prophecy, and in 1812 a poetical squib founded on the reputed horse-whipping of the Prince of Wales by Lord Yarmouth, entitled R-y-l Stripes; or, a Kick from Yar—th to Wa—s, for the suppression of which a large sum was paid by the Prince Regent. In the same year appeared The Adventures of Dick Distich in three volumes, which was written by the author before he was eighteen, and a volume of Miscellaneous Poems; and in 1814 The Modern Dunciad, in which he sings the praises of 'old books, old wines, old customs, and old friends.' He continued to write during the whole of his life, and his last work, Love's Last Labour not Lost, was published in 1863. Daniel was fond of convivial society, and numbered Charles Lamb and Robert Bloomfield among his acquaintances, and he was also intimate with many of the principal actors of the day. He died at his son's house, The Grove, Stoke Newington, on the 30th of March 1864. The cause of his death was apoplexy.

Daniel formed a very choice and valuable library in his residence, 18 Canonbury Square, Islington, which was chiefly remarkable for rare editions of old English writers, and very fine collections of Elizabethan black-letter ballads and Shakespeariana. The Elizabethan ballads would alone be sufficient to render any library famous. They were one hundred and forty-nine in number, and he is said to have purchased them for fifty pounds from Mr. William Stevenson Fitch, Postmaster at Ipswich, who is believed to have obtained them from the housekeeper at Helmingham Hall, Suffolk, the residence of the Tollemache family. Of these ballads seventy-nine were sold to Mr. Heber by Mr. Daniel for seventy pounds, and the remaining seventy were bought at the sale of his library for seven hundred and fifty pounds by Mr. Huth, who had them printed for presentation to the members of the Philobiblon Society. The Shakespearian collection comprised splendid copies of the first four folios and eighteen of the quarto plays, together with the 1594 and 1655 editions of Lucrece, the 1594 and 1596 editions of Venus and Adonis, and the first editions of the Sonnets and Poems. The library also contained a large number of early Jest-Books, Drolleries, Garlands and Penny-Histories; and among the rare editions of English writers were works by John Skelton, Edmund Spenser, Anthony Chute, Robert Chester, Anthony Munday, Ben Jonson, Patrick Hannay, George Herbert, Robert Herrick, John Milton, and many others. Several very beautiful manuscripts were also to be found in it.

Daniel's library was sold by auction by Sotheby, Wilkinson and Hodge on the 20th of July 1864, and the nine following days. There were eighteen hundred and seventeen lots, which realised thirteen thousand nine hundred and eighty-four pounds, eleven shillings; the water-colour drawings, engravings, portraits, coins, etc., of which there were four hundred and sixty-one lots, were sold at the same time, and produced one thousand eight hundred and eighty pounds, eleven shillings more.

The sale excited great interest, and many of the books went for large sums; but the prices obtained for others were small compared with those the volumes would fetch at the present time: a fine copy of the first edition of Walton's Compleat Angler realised no more than twenty-seven pounds, ten shillings. All the Shakespeares sold well. The first folio, probably the finest example extant, was bought by the Baroness Burdett-Coutts for six hundred and eighty-two guineas, till recently the highest price ever obtained for a copy;[94] and the second, third and fourth folios fetched respectively one hundred and forty-eight pounds, forty-six pounds, and twenty-one pounds, ten shillings. The third folio was a good copy, but had the title in facsimile, which accounts for the small sum it realised. Of the quarto plays, the first edition of King Richard the Third—a very fine copy—sold for three hundred and fifty-one pounds, fifteen shillings; the first editions of the Merry Wives of Windsor and Love's Labour Lost for three hundred and forty-six pounds, ten shillings each, and the first edition of King Richard the Second for three hundred and forty-one pounds, five shillings. The 1594 and 1596 editions of Venus and Adonis realised two hundred and forty pounds and three hundred and fifteen pounds; a copy of the Sonnets two hundred and twenty-five pounds, fifteen shillings; and the first edition of Lucrece one hundred and fifty-seven pounds, ten shillings. The copy of Love's Labour Lost, and the 1596 edition of Venus and Adonis, of which the Bodleian Library possesses the only other copy, were secured for the British Museum.

The following are a few of the other more notable books in the library, together with the prices they fetched at the sale:—Unique copy of The Boke of Hawkynge and Huntynge and Fysshynge, printed by Wynkyn de Worde, without date, one hundred and eight pounds; Rychard Cuer de Lyon, also printed by Wynkyn de Worde, 1528, ninety-two pounds; Complaynt of a Dolorous Lover, printed by Robert Wyer about 1550, unique, sixty-seven pounds, four shillings; The Tragicall Historie of Romeus and Juliet (London, 1562), seventy-seven pounds, fourteen shillings; Merry Jeste of a shrewde and curste Wyfe (London, about 1575), unique, sixty-four pounds; Munday's Banquet of Daintie Conceits (London, 1588), unique, two hundred and twenty-five pounds; Chute's Beawtie Dishonoured, written under the title of Shores Wife (London, 1593), unique, ninety-six pounds; Maroccus Extaticus, or Bankes Bay Horse (London, 1595), eighty-one pounds; Chester's Loves Martyr, or Rosalins Complaynt (London, 1601)—this work contains a poem (Threnos) by Shakespeare at p. 172—one hundred and thirty-eight pounds; Meeting of Gallants at an Ordinarie, or the Walkes in Powles (London, 1604), unique, eighty-one pounds; Sejanus, his Fall, by Ben Jonson, first edition (London, 1605), printed on large paper, a presentation copy from the author with the following autograph inscription—

'To my perfect friend Mr. Francis Crane I erect this Altar of Friendship, and leave it as an eternall witnesse of my Love.


unique, one hundred and six pounds; Hannay's Philomela, the Nightingale, etc. (London, 1622), ninety-six pounds.

A carved casket made out of the mulberry tree in Shakespeare's Garden, and presented to Garrick with the freedom of the borough of Stratford-on-Avon, was purchased at Charles Mathews's sale in 1835 by Daniel for forty-seven guineas, and presented by him to the British Museum.


[Footnote 93: Dictionary of National Biography.]

[Footnote 94: At a sale at Sotheby's on July 11th, 1899, Mr. M'George of Glasgow gave seventeen hundred pounds for a copy; and two years later Mr. Quaritch purchased another copy at Christie's for seventeen hundred and twenty pounds.]


All the Dukes of Devonshire were men of letters and collectors of books. William, the first Duke, acquired many volumes which had belonged to De Thou, and William, the third Duke, bought largely at the sales of the libraries of Colbert, Baluze, Count von Hoym and other collectors of his time; but William, the sixth Duke, who was born on May the 21st, 1790, may justly be regarded as the founder of the Chatsworth Library in its present form. 'He imbibed a taste for literature and books,' says Sir J.P. Lacaita in his preface to the catalogue of the Library, 'from his mother, Lady Georgiana Spencer, the "beautiful Duchess of Devonshire," and from his uncle George John, second Earl Spencer, who formed what is perhaps the finest private library in existence.' In 1811 he succeeded to the Dukedom, and shortly afterwards endeavoured to add to his library Count M'Carthy's collection, for which he offered twenty thousand pounds, but the offer was declined. He purchased the choicer portion of the books of Thomas Dampier, Bishop of Ely, and he bought largely at the sales of the Edwards, Roxburghe, Towneley and other libraries. In 1815 the Duke removed the books from his other residences to Chatsworth with a view to the formation of a great library there,[95] and in 1821 he purchased John Philip Kemble's splendid collection of plays for two thousand pounds, adding to it four years later the first edition of Hamlet, which he purchased of Messrs. Payne and Foss, the booksellers of Pall Mall, for one hundred pounds. But one other copy of this precious little volume is known to exist, that in the British Museum, which wants the title-page, while that acquired by the Duke is without the last leaf. After the death of the Duke on January the 18th, 1858, the collection at Chatsworth was further enlarged by his successor, who transferred to it some choice books from the library at Chiswick, and also added to it a select portion of the books of his brother, Lord Richard Cavendish, who died in 1873.[96] In 1879 a catalogue of the books at Chatsworth was compiled by Sir J.P. Lacaita, the librarian, in four volumes, and printed at the Chiswick Press. The library is rich in choice and early editions of the Greek and Latin Classics, and the productions of the Aldine Press are particularly numerous and fine. Of the Bibles, the Latin Bible of 1462, and a vellum copy of that printed by Jenson in 1476, are perhaps the most important. As many as twenty-five works from the press of Caxton, and twenty-four from that of Wynkyn de Worde are to be found in the catalogue. Among the Caxtons is a copy of the Recuyell of the Histories of Troye, which once belonged to Elizabeth Grey, wife of Edward IV. This volume was bought at the Roxburghe sale for one thousand and sixty pounds, ten shillings. A magnificent copy of De Bry's Collectiones Peregrinationum, which formerly belonged to Francois Cesar Le Tellier, Marquis de Courtanvaux, is also deserving of special notice. A large proportion of the books are in handsome and historical bindings, and no fewer than twenty-four volumes from the library of Grolier are to be found on the shelves of the collection, which also contains a nearly complete set of County Histories. Among the manuscripts is one of great interest. It is a Missal given by King Henry VII. to his daughter Margaret, Queen Consort of James IV., King of Scotland, and mother of the Lady Margaret Douglas, who later presented the volume to the Archbishop of St. Andrews. The book contains two notes in the handwriting of Henry. On the recto of the fourteenth leaf he has written, 'Remember yor kynde and louyng fader an yor good prayers, Henry Ky'; and on the reverse of leaf 32, 'Pray for your louyng fader that gave you this booke, and I geve you att all tymes godds blessỹg and myne, Henry Ky.' On the reverse of leaf 156 Lady Margaret Douglas has written, 'My good lorde of Saynt Andrews i pray you pray for me that gaufe yow thys buuk—yowrs too my pour, Margaret.'

The Devonshire library also contains a magnificent series of drawings by the old masters, and prints by the early engravers, which were acquired by William, the second Duke. The gem of the collection of drawings is the Liber Veritatis, a set of original designs by Claude Lorrain, which Louis XIV. endeavoured in vain to purchase.


[Footnote 95: Preface to the catalogue of the library at Chatsworth, by Sir J.P. Lacaita.]

[Footnote 96: Ibid.]


Sir Thomas Phillipps, Bart., who was the son of Thomas Phillipps, of Broadway, Worcestershire, was born at Manchester on the 2nd of July 1792. He was educated at Rugby, and in 1811 proceeded to University College, Oxford, graduating B.A. in 1815 and M.A. in 1820. In 1818, on the death of his father, he succeeded to the family estates, and in 1821 he was created a baronet. Phillipps died at Thirlestaine House, Cheltenham, on the 6th of February 1872, and was buried at Broadway. He was twice married, and by his first wife had three daughters. Phillipps, who was a Trustee of the British Museum and a Fellow of the Royal Society and of the Society of Antiquaries, and also a member of the principal learned societies, both English and foreign, began at a very early age to collect books. While at Rugby he formed a small library, the catalogue of which is still in existence, and the inheritance of his father's property in 1818 enabled him to commence the formation of his magnificent collection of manuscripts. With a view to their acquisition, in 1820 he paid a visit to the Continent, and remained abroad until 1825, during which time he made large purchases of manuscripts, especially at the sale of the famous Meerman collection at the Hague in 1824, and he also privately bought the manuscripts belonging to the extensive and important collection of Professor Van Ess of Darmstadt, together with a number of his early printed books. Phillipps was indefatigable in the acquirement of his treasures, and at the time of his death his library contained some sixty thousand manuscripts, and a goodly collection of printed books. He writes: 'In amassing my collection of manuscripts, I commenced with purchasing everything that lay within my reach, to which I was instigated by reading various accounts of the destruction of valuable manuscripts.... My principal search has been for historical, and particularly unpublished manuscripts, whether good or bad, and particularly those on vellum. My chief desire for preserving vellum manuscripts arose from witnessing the unceasing destruction of them by goldbeaters; my search for charters or deeds by their destruction in the shops of glue-makers and tailors. As I advanced the ardour of the pursuit increased, until at last I became a perfect vello-maniac (if I may coin a word), and I gave any price that was asked. Nor do I regret it, for my object was not only to secure good manuscripts for myself, but also to raise the public estimation of them, so that their value might be more generally known, and consequently more manuscripts preserved. For nothing tends to the preservation of anything so much as making it bear a high price. The examples I always kept in view were Sir Robert Cotton and Sir Robert Harley.'

Sir Thomas Phillipps's collection was not confined to European manuscripts. It contained several hundred Oriental ones, and he also acquired those relating to Mexico belonging to Lord Kingsborough. The illuminated manuscripts were particularly fine, and some of them had been executed for regal and other distinguished persons, and were beautifully bound. Many of the manuscripts which related to Ireland and Wales were of special interest and great value. For many years Phillipps kept his library, together with his fine collections of pictures, drawings, and coins at his residence at Middle Hill, Worcestershire; but in 1862, in consequence of their ever-increasing size, he removed them to Thirlestaine House, Cheltenham, which he purchased from Lord Northwick. On Sir Thomas's death his entailed Middle Hill estates went to his eldest daughter, Henrietta Elizabeth Molyneux, the wife of James Orchard Halliwell, the Shakespearian commentator, but in a will made shortly before his death he left Thirlestaine House, together with his books, manuscripts, pictures, and other collections, to his third daughter, Katherine Somerset Wyttenbach, wife of the Rev. J.E.A. Fenwick, at one time vicar of Needwood, Staffordshire. This bequest was, however, encumbered with the singular condition, that neither his eldest daughter, nor her husband, nor any Roman Catholic should ever enter the house.[97] His second daughter, Maria Sophia, who married the Rev. John Walcott of Bitterley Court, Shropshire, predeceased her father. Since the manuscripts came into the possession of Mrs. Fenwick, portions have been sold by private arrangement to several of the foreign governments; amongst these, however, were no English ones. A large number of the remainder have been disposed of by auction at a series of sales by Sotheby, Wilkinson and Hodge, but the immense collection is by no means exhausted. The first sale took place on August 3rd, 1886, and seven following days; and the others on January 22nd, 1889, and two following days; July 15th, 1891, and following day; December 7th, 1891, and following day; July 4th, 1892, and two following days; June 19th, 1893, and three following days; March 21st, 1895, and four following days; June 10th, 1896, and six following days; May 17th, 1897, and three following days; June 6th, 1898, and five following days; and June 5th, 1899, and five following days. The total amount realised at all these auction sales is upwards of thirty-six thousand six hundred pounds. The printed books in Phillipps's library, which 'included a complete set of the publications privately printed by him at Middle Hill; important heraldic and genealogical works, county histories and topography, Welsh books, valuable dictionaries and grammars, and a large collection of rare articles relating to America; history, voyages and travels,' were sold in three parts by Sotheby, Wilkinson and Hodge on August 3rd, 1886, and seven following days; January 22nd, 1889, and two following days; and December 7th, 1891, and following day. There were five thousand four hundred and sixty-two lots in the three sales, which realised three thousand two hundred and fourteen pounds, thirteen shillings and threepence.

About 1822 Sir Thomas Phillipps set up a private printing-press in Broadway Tower, situated on his Middle Hill estate, where he printed a large number of his manuscripts. Among the more important of these were:—Institutiones Clericorum in Comitatu Wiltoniae, 1297-1810, two volumes, 1821-25, folio; Monumental Inscriptions in the County of Wilton, two volumes, 1822, folio (only six copies of this work were printed, one of which realised fourteen pounds, ten shillings at the sale of the books); A Book of Glamorganshire Antiquities, by Rice Merrick, Esq., 1578, now first published by Sir T. Phillipps, Bart., 1825, folio; and Collectanea de Familiis Diversis quibus nomen est Phillipps, etc., two volumes, 1816-40, folio (a copy of which fetched sixteen pounds at the sale). Phillipps also printed catalogues of his manuscripts and printed books. A fair but not complete list of the works will be found in Lowndes's Bibliographer's Manual of English Literature. In 1862 the printing-press was removed with the library and other collections to Thirlestaine House.


[Footnote 97: Athenaeum, February 17, 1872.]


The Rev. Thomas Corser was the third son of George Corser, banker, of Whitchurch, Shropshire. He was born at Whitchurch in 1793, and received his early education first at the school of his native place, and afterwards at the Manchester Grammar School, from whence he was admitted a commoner of Balliol College, Oxford. He took the degree of B.A. in 1815 and that of M.A. in 1818. In 1816 Corser was ordained to the curacy of Condover, near Shrewsbury, and after filling several other curacies he was appointed in 1826 to the rectory of All Saints' Church, Stand, Manchester, which living he held, together with the vicarage of Norton-by-Daventry in Northamptonshire, for nearly half a century. He died, after a long illness, at Stand Rectory on the 24th of August 1876.

The Rev. T. Corser was elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries in 1850, and he was one of the founders of the Chetham Society, for which he edited four works: Chester's Triumph, James's Iter Lancastrense, Robinson's Golden Mirrour, and Collectanea Anglo-Poetica. The last-named work, of which a portion was written by Corser and the remainder by James Crossley, is an elaborate account of Corser's splendid collection of early English poetry.

Corser was one of the most learned and enthusiastic book-collectors of his day, and his noble library contained, besides a wonderful collection of unique and rare editions of the works of the early English poets and dramatists, a fine block-book, 'Apocalypsis Sancti Johannis,' seven Caxtons, and a large number of books printed by Machlinia, Wynkyn de Worde, Pynson, Notary, Redman, and other early English printers. The library also comprised a large number of books of emblems, drolleries, jest-books, garlands, and many other scarce and curious works in all classes of literature. Mr. Corser also possessed a few choice manuscripts.

In 1868 Mr. Corser, in consequence of ill health and failure of his eyesight, which precluded him from the further enjoyment of his books, determined to part with his library, and it was sold in eight parts by Sotheby, Wilkinson and Hodge. The first portion was sold on the 28th of July 1868, and two following days; and the last portion on June the 25th, 1873, and three following days. There were six thousand two hundred and forty-four lots in the eight sales, and the total amount realised was nineteen thousand seven hundred and eighty-one pounds. Catalogues, with the prices, of all the sales are preserved in the British Museum. The sums obtained for the books were not large. The block-book sold for four hundred and forty-five pounds, and the seven Caxtons—the first edition of the Dictes or Sayings, Tully of Old Age, Knight of the Tower, Golden Legend, Life of Our Lady, Speculum Vitae Christi, and Fayts of Arms—realised but thirteen hundred and forty-three pounds; the Knight of the Tower and Fayts of Arms fetching the highest prices—five hundred and sixty pounds, and two hundred and fifty pounds. Several of the Caxtons were, however, imperfect. The Dyalogue of Dives and Pauper, 1493, until recently believed to be the first dated book printed by Pynson, brought one hundred and four pounds, and The Recuyles of the historyes of Troye, 1503; Bartholomaeus de proprietatibus rerum, about 1495; and The Example of Vertue, 1530, all printed by Wynkyn de Worde, one hundred and fourteen pounds, sixty pounds, and fifty-eight pounds. Mr. Corser's four Shakespeare folios sold for one hundred and sixty pounds, forty-nine pounds, seventy-seven pounds, and twelve pounds, while the first edition of the Sonnets realised forty-five pounds, and the 1636 edition of Venus and Adonis fifty-five pounds. Some other rare books, and the prices obtained for them, were the Sarum Missal, printed at Paris in 1514, eighty-seven pounds; Biblia Pauperum (A. Verard, Paris, about 1503), ninety-nine pounds; Guy de Waruich (Paris, 1525), two hundred and eighty-two pounds; unique copy of an edition of Huon of Bordeaux, thought to have been printed by Pynson, eighty-one pounds; Nurcerie of Names, by Guillam de Warrino (William Warren) (London, 1581), one hundred pounds; Daye's Daphnis and Chloe (London, 1587), unique, sixty pounds; The Three Ladies of London, by W.R. (London, 1592), seventy-six pounds; The Phoenix Nest (London, 1593), sixty-four pounds, ten shillings; Chute's Beawtie Dishonoured (London, 1593), one hundred and five pounds; Maroccus Extaticus, or Bankes Bay Horse (London, 1595), one hundred and ten pounds; the first five editions of Walton's Compleat Angler, one hundred and forty pounds; and twenty early ballads in black letter, bound in a volume, eighty-nine pounds.

The more important manuscripts in the collection were Le Romant des Trois Pelerinages, by Guillaume de Guilleville, written on vellum in the fourteenth century, and ornamented with many illuminations and drawings, two hundred and ten pounds; Bartholomaeus De Proprietatibus Rerum, vellum, richly illuminated, fourteenth century, ninety-one pounds; a Poem on the Lord's Prayer, by John Kylyngwyke, vellum, fourteenth century, seventy pounds; Lyf of Oure Lady, by John Lydgate, fifteenth century, written and illuminated on vellum, forty-six pounds; and Officium Beatae Mariae Virginis, fifteenth century, illuminated, sixty-four pounds.

Some additional manuscripts and books which had belonged to Mr. Corser were sold after his death, at Manchester, by Capes, Dunn and Pilcher on December the 13th, 1876, and two following days. These realised one thousand four hundred and eight pounds, sixteen shillings and sixpence. Among them was the original manuscript of Cavendish's Life of Wolsey, which fetched sixty guineas.

DAVID LAING, 1793-1878

David Laing, the eminent Scottish antiquary, was the second son of William Laing, a bookseller in Edinburgh, and was born in that city on the 20th of April 1793. He was educated at the Canongate Grammar School, and afterwards attended the Greek classes of Professor Dalzel at the Edinburgh University.[98] At an early age he was apprenticed to his father, and in the year 1821 he entered into partnership with him. His father died in 1832, and David Laing continued to carry on the business until 1837, when, having been elected librarian to the Society of Writers to H.M. Signet, he gave it up, and disposed of his stock by public sale. Laing was Honorary Secretary of the Bannatyne Club from its foundation by Sir Walter Scott in 1823 to its dissolution thirty-eight years later, and himself edited a large number of its publications. He also edited papers for the Spalding, Abbotsford, and Hunterian Clubs, and the Shakespeare and Wodrow Societies; while his contributions to the Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, of which he was elected a Fellow in 1826, consisted of upwards of one hundred separate papers. In 1864 the University of Edinburgh conferred on him the degree of LL.D. He died unmarried on the 18th of October 1878.

Laing's life was one of great literary activity, and although he did not produce any large original work, he edited many of the writings of the old Scottish authors. His acquaintance with the early literary and ecclesiastical history, as well as the art and antiquities, of Scotland was very extensive; and Lockhart, in Peter's Letters to his Kinsfolk, states that he possessed a 'truly wonderful degree of skill and knowledge in all departments of bibliography.' A list of the various publications issued under his editorial superintendence from 1815 to 1878 inclusive, together with his lectures on Scottish art, appear in a collection of privately printed notices of him edited by T.G. Stevenson, Edinburgh, 1878.

Laing availed himself of his exceptional opportunities to form a very large and fine library, which was particularly rich in books illustrative of the history and literature of Scotland, many of which were of excessive rarity, and several unique. Nearly every publication relating to Mary Queen of Scots was to be found in it. After Laing's death his library, with the exception of his manuscripts, which he bequeathed to the University of Edinburgh, was sold in four portions by Sotheby, Wilkinson and Hodge.

First Sale

December 1st, 1879, and ten following days. Three thousand seven hundred and ninety-nine lots = thirteen thousand two hundred and eighty-eight pounds, eight shillings and sixpence.

Second Sale

April 5th, 1880, and ten following days. Four thousand and eighty-two lots = one thousand seven hundred and thirty-eight pounds, three shillings.

Third Sale

July 20th, 1880, and four following days. Two thousand four hundred and forty-three lots = seven hundred and seventy-one pounds, nine shillings and sixpence.

Fourth Sale

February 21st, 1881, and three following days. One thousand four hundred and nineteen lots = seven hundred and thirty-eight pounds, eighteen shillings.

Large prices were obtained for many of the books, especially for the early ones printed in Scotland.

The following are a few of the rarest of the volumes, together with the amounts for which they were sold:—

A Roman Breviary on vellum, printed by N. Jenson at Venice in 1482, and ornamented with borders to the pages, drawn by a pen, ninety-three pounds; Lo Doctrinal de Sapiensa, in the Catalan dialect, by Guy de Roye, printed about 1495, one hundred pounds; Missale pro usu totius Regni Norvegiae (Haffniae, 1519), with the arms and cypher of the King of Denmark on the back of the binding, one hundred and thirty-two pounds; The Falle of Princis, etc., by Boccaccio, translated by John Lydgate, and printed by Pynson in 1527, seventy-eight pounds; The Catechisme of Archbishop Hamilton, printed at 'Sanct Androus' in 1552, one hundred and forty-eight pounds; Tractate concerning ye Office and Dewtie of Kyngis, etc., written by William Lauder, and printed by John Scott at Edinburgh in 1556, seventy-seven pounds; Confessione della Fede Christiana, by Theodore Beza, printed in 1560, containing the autograph of Sir James Melville, and having MARIA R. SCOTORV stamped in gold on each cover, one hundred and forty-nine pounds; The Forme and Maner of Examination before the Admission to ye Tabill of ye Lord, usit by ye Ministerie of Edinburge (Edinburgh, 1581), seventy pounds; the first edition of the author's corrected text of Don Quixote (Madrid, 1608), together with the first edition of the second part (Madrid, 1615), one hundred and ninety-two pounds; dedication copy to King Charles II. of the Institutions of the Law of Scotland, by Sir James Dalrymple of Stair, afterwards Viscount Stair, two volumes (Edinburgh, 1681), in a remarkably fine contemporary Scotch binding, with the royal arms in gold on the covers, two hundred and ninety-five pounds; a first edition of Robinson Crusoe, three volumes (London, 1719-20), thirty-one pounds; one of the twelve copies, printed at a cost of upwards of ten thousand pounds, of the Botanical Tables of the Earl of Bute, nine volumes, with the arms of the Earl impressed in gold on the bindings, seventy-seven pounds; the first edition of Burns's Poems (Kilmarnock, 1786), with lines in the autograph of Burns, and a letter from J.G. Lockhart, ninety pounds; and a fine collection of Scots Ballads and Broadsides, one hundred and thirty in number, issued between 1669 and 1730, many of great rarity, one hundred and thirty-three pounds. Laing left a collection of drawings to the Royal Scottish Academy of Painting, of which he had been elected Honorary Professor of Ancient History and Antiquities in 1856. His prints were sold by Sotheby, Wilkinson and Hodge on the 21st of February 1880, in two hundred and thirteen lots, and realised two hundred and seventy pounds, thirteen shillings.


[Footnote 98: Dictionary of National Biography.]


Bertram, fourth Earl of Ashburnham, who was born on the 23rd of November 1797, and died on the 22nd of June 1878, was one of the greatest and most ardent of English book-collectors. He developed a taste for book-buying at a very early age. It is said that his first purchase was made in 1814, when, a boy at Westminster School, he bought a copy of the Secretes of Albertus Magnus for eighteenpence at Ginger's well-known shop in Great College Street, and at the time of his death he had amassed a library which ranked among the first in the kingdom. Magnificent as was his collection of printed books, the library was even still more notable for the manuscripts it contained, which amounted to nearly four thousand, and were remarkable for their value and importance. In addition to those which he bought separately, Lord Ashburnham acquired in 1847 the manuscripts of Count Guglielmo Libri for eight thousand pounds, and in 1849 he purchased the Stowe manuscripts for the same sum, and those of Jean Barrois for six thousand pounds. Five years after the death of Lord Ashburnham, his successor, the present Earl, offered the manuscripts, for one hundred and sixty thousand pounds, to the Trustees of the British Museum, who were anxious to purchase them for that sum. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, however, declined to find the money for the entire collection, but the Stowe manuscripts were acquired by the Government for forty-five thousand pounds, and divided between the British Museum and the library of the Royal Irish Academy in Dublin. To the latter institution were given the Irish manuscripts and certain volumes specially relating to Ireland. It had long been suspected that many of the manuscripts in the Libri and Barrois collections had been abstracted from French and Italian public libraries, and when this was proved to have been the case, principally through the researches of M. Delisle, the Director of the Bibliotheque Nationale, it was arranged between the Trustees of the British Museum and the French authorities that should the former become possessors of the manuscripts, they would return the stolen volumes for the sum of twenty-four thousand pounds. As the Treasury refused to sanction the purchase of the whole of the Ashburnham manuscripts, this arrangement could not be carried out, and in 1887 the manuscripts, one hundred and sixty-six in number, stolen from the French and Italian libraries, were bought by Mr. Karl Truebner, acting as agent for the Grand Duke of Baden and the German Imperial authorities, for the same sum as the French had been willing to pay for them. The primary object of this transaction, says Mr. F.S. Ellis in his excellent account of the library in Quaritch's Dictionary of English Book-Collectors, 'was to recover the famous Manesse Liederbuch, a thirteenth century MS. carried away by the French from Heidelberg in 1656, the loss of which had ever since been regarded as a national calamity in Germany. For L6000 in cash and this precious volume, he handed over the 166 Libri and Barrois MSS. to the Bibliotheque Nationale. By a simple arithmetical process, we can conclude that L18,000 was the net cost to the German Exchequer of a single volume of old German ballads—the highest price ever paid for a book.' The stolen manuscripts which were not required to replace those taken from the French libraries, were purchased by the Italian Government.

Mr. Yates Thompson is understood to have purchased that portion of the other manuscripts in the library known as 'The Appendix,' for about forty thousand pounds, and after selecting those he required for his own collection, to have sent the remainder to the auction rooms of Sotheby, Wilkinson and Hodge, where they were sold on May the 1st, 1899. There were one hundred and seventy-seven lots in the sale, which realised eight thousand five hundred and ninety-five pounds, five shillings. The choicest manuscript in the catalogue was an important text of the later version (1400-40) of 'Wycliffe's English Bible,' known as the 'Bramhall Manuscript,' which was knocked down to Mr. Quaritch for seventeen hundred and fifty pounds. Other fine manuscripts were a copy of the Historia Ecclesiastica of the Venerable Bede, written in the eighth century; an Evangeliarium of the twelfth century, with beautiful illuminations; Officia Liturgica, fifteenth century; and Horae Beatae Mariae Virginis, written in the sixteenth century, richly illuminated. These realised respectively two hundred and thirty pounds, three hundred pounds, four hundred and sixty-seven pounds, and three hundred pounds. On the 10th of June 1901 and the four following days the manuscripts in the Barrois Collection, not previously disposed of, were sold by the same auctioneers. There were six hundred and twenty-eight lots in this sale, and the very large sum of thirty-three thousand two hundred and seventeen pounds, six shillings and sixpence was obtained for them, the choicest manuscripts fetching exceptionally high prices. The manuscripts were of great importance and much interest. Among them were to be found early copies of the Gospels and Epistles, and beautifully illuminated manuscripts of the Latin and Italian Classics, Books of Devotion, and early French Romances and Chronicles. The collection also contained a number of papers relating to Mary, Queen of Scots, and a valuable series of Anglo-Norman Charters, etc. The following are a few of the more interesting and valuable manuscripts, together with the prices they realised:—Roman du Saint Graal et Lancelot du Lac, on vellum, in three folio volumes, with beautifully painted miniatures and initials, fourteenth century—eighteen hundred pounds; Psalterium Latinum, on vellum, fourteenth century, with paintings attributed to Giotto—fifteen hundred and thirty pounds; Vie du vaillant Bertrand du Guesclin, written on vellum in the fourteenth century, with miniatures in camaieu gris—fifteen hundred pounds; La Legende Doree, translated by Jehan de Vignay, fifteenth century, on vellum, with a large number of very fine illuminated miniatures and ornamental initials—fifteen hundred pounds; Chronique Generale dite de la Bourcachardiere, by Jehan de Courcy, in two large folio volumes, on vellum, with large illuminations, fifteenth century—fourteen hundred and twenty pounds; Horae Beatae Mariae Virginis, with very fine illuminations, fifteenth century—eleven hundred and sixty pounds; Histoire Universelle, on vellum, in two volumes, with miniatures in camaieu gris, fifteenth century—nine hundred and ten pounds; Dante, vellum, richly illuminated, fourteenth century—six hundred and thirty pounds. The collection of Anglo-Norman Charters fetched three hundred and five pounds, and the Letters and Papers relating to Mary, Queen of Scots, one hundred and ninety-six pounds.

For upwards of fifty years Lord Ashburnham availed himself of every opportunity of acquiring the finest and most perfect copies obtainable of the rarest and choicest books, and he brought together a collection of printed volumes which was well worthy of being associated with that of his manuscripts. It was especially rich in Bibles, and in Missals, Horae and other Service Books, and in the early editions of Dante, Boccaccio and Chaucer. Among the Bibles and portions of the Scriptures were a block-book, a copy of the Biblia Pauperum, regarded by Heinecken as the second edition of that work; vellum and paper copies of the Gutenberg Bible; a vellum copy of the 1462 Latin Bible; a perfect copy of Tyndale's translation of the Pentateuch, printed at 'Marlborow' by Hans Loft in 1534; and the Coverdale Bible of 1535. Of foreign incunabula there was a large number; of Caxtons a very goodly list,[99] but comparatively few of them perfect; and the rarest productions of the press of St. Albans, and of those of Machlinia, Lettou, Pynson, Wynkyn de Worde, Copland, and other early English printers were to be found in the library. The collection of the editions of the Book of Hawking, Hunting, etc., attributed to Dame Juliana Berners, may be considered to have been unique, for it included the Book of St. Albans, printed in 1486, the extremely rare edition printed by Wynkyn de Worde in 1496, the three editions printed by William Copland, those of William Powell and John Waley, and the only known copy of the first separate edition of Fysshynge with an Angle, printed by Wynkyn de Worde in 1532. Other rare English books were the first edition of the first Reformed Primer, printed in 1535; an Abridgement of the Chronicles of Englande, printed by Grafton in 1570, which belonged to Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk, who was beheaded in 1572, with an interesting letter written by him on the blank space of the reverse of the last leaf, shortly before his death; The Principal Navigations, etc., of the English Nation, by Richard Hakluyt, printed in 1598-1600, with the very rare map having the Voyage of Sir Francis Drake, 1577, and that of Standish, 1587, and the original suppressed pages of the Voyage to Cadiz; the four Shakespeare folios, and the first five editions of Walton's Compleat Angler, in the original bindings (three sheep and two calf) as issued by the publisher. Books also worthy of special notice were the beautifully illuminated copies of Boccaccio's Ruine des Nobles Hommes, printed by Colard Mansion at Bruges in 1476; the Opera Varia Latine of Aristotle, printed on vellum by Andrea de Asula at Venice in 1483; and Heures de la Vierge Marie, also printed on vellum, by Geoffroy Tory in 1525. A catalogue of the more rare and curious printed books in the library was privately printed in 1864.

Although bookbindings did not form a special feature of the library, Lord Ashburnham possessed some remarkably fine and interesting examples of them. That on a tenth century manuscript of the Gospels, which for many centuries belonged to the Abbey of Noble Canonesses at Lindau, on the Lake of Constance, is one of the finest specimens of gold and jewelled bindings to be found in any collection. This beautiful work of art, the lower cover of which is of the eighth century and the upper of the ninth, is of gold or silver gilt, and is profusely decorated with jewels. It is described in the Vetusta Monumenta of the Society of Antiquaries, and was shown at the Exhibition of Bookbindings at the Burlington Fine Arts Club in 1891.[100] The collection also contained a particularly fine mosaic binding, with doublures, by Monnier, and many volumes from the libraries of Grolier, Maioli, the Emperor Charles V., De Thou, etc.

Lord Ashburnham's printed books were sold in three portions in 1897 and 1898 by Sotheby, Wilkinson and Hodge. The first sale took place on June 25th, 1897, and seven following days; the second on December 6th, 1897, and five following days, and the third on May 9th, 1898, and five following days. There were four thousand and seventy-five lots in the three sales, and the total amount realised was sixty-two thousand seven hundred and twelve pounds, seven shillings and sixpence.

Very high prices were obtained for the books. The Biblia Pauperum block-book sold for a thousand and fifty pounds; the vellum copy of the Gutenberg Bible for four thousand pounds, the largest sum paid for a copy of this Bible, and the highest but one ever given for a printed book (Lord Ashburnham's copy on paper was sold privately to Mr. Quaritch for three thousand pounds); the Latin Bible of 1462 for fifteen hundred pounds; and the Coverdale Bible and Tyndale's Pentateuch for eight hundred and twenty pounds, and two hundred pounds. The illuminated copies of Boccaccio's Ruine des Nobles Hommes, printed by Colard Mansion; Aristotle's Opera Varia Latine, printed by Andrea de Asula; and the Heures de la Vierge Marie, printed by Geoffroy Tory, realised six hundred and ninety-five pounds, eight hundred pounds, and eight hundred and sixty pounds.

Of the Caxtons the Life of Jason and the Dictes fetched the highest prices—two thousand one hundred pounds, and thirteen hundred and twenty pounds; the former being the largest sum ever paid for any Caxton book. Three hundred and eighty-five pounds were obtained for the 'Book of St. Albans'; one thousand pounds for Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, printed by Wynkyn de Worde in 1498, believed to be the only copy extant; and three hundred and sixty pounds for the Treatyse of Fysshing with an Angle, by the same printer. This little book, which consists of sixteen leaves, and without the covers weighs about two ounces, sold for nearly forty-five times its weight in gold. The first edition of the Reformed Primer sold for two hundred and twenty-five pounds; Grafton's Chronicle, with the letter of the Duke of Norfolk, for seventy pounds; and a vellum copy of the Tewrdannck for three hundred and ten pounds.

The first folio Shakespeare, which was slightly imperfect, was bought by Mr. Sotheran for five hundred and eighty-five pounds, for presentation to the Memorial Library, Stratford-on-Avon. The second folio fetched ninety pounds, and the third one hundred and ninety pounds. Hakluyt's Navigations sold for two hundred and seventy-five pounds, and the set of the first five editions of the Compleat Angler for eight hundred pounds. At the Corser sale they realised but one hundred and forty pounds. The copy of Merlin with the Monnier binding brought seven hundred and sixty pounds, and a collection of early impressions of sixty-two prints by Albert Duerer three hundred and fifty pounds.


[Footnote 99: Eighteen are mentioned in Blades's Life and Typography of Caxton. London, 1861-63.]

[Footnote 100: This volume was recently sold for the Earl of Ashburnham by Sotheby, Wilkinson and Hodge to a private purchaser for ten thousand pounds.]

SIR WILLIAM TITE, C.B., 1798-1873

Sir William Tite, C.B., was the son of Mr. Arthur Tite, a London merchant. He was born in London in 1798, and after receiving his education at private schools, became a pupil of David Laing, the architect of the Custom House. Sir William Tite designed many buildings in London and the provinces, and a considerable number of the more important railway stations; but the work with which his name is especially associated was the rebuilding of the Royal Exchange, which cost L150,000, and was opened by the Queen on the 28th of October 1844. In 1838 he was elected President of the Architectural Society, and of the Royal Institute of British Architects from 1861-63, and from 1867-70. He entered Parliament in 1855 as Member for Bath, and continued to represent that constituency until his death. In 1869 he was knighted, and in the following year he received the Companionship of the Bath. Sir William was a Fellow of the Royal Society, and also of the Society of Antiquaries. He died at Torquay on April 20th, 1873, and was buried in Norwood Cemetery.

Sir William Tite was an ardent collector of manuscripts, books, and works of art, and he formed a very large and choice library, which contained many valuable manuscripts, and a great number of rare early English books. It was sold by Sotheby, Wilkinson and Hodge, in May and June 1874. The sale occupied sixteen days, and realised nineteen thousand nine hundred and forty-three pounds, six shillings. There were three thousand nine hundred and thirty-seven lots.

Among the more notable manuscripts in the library were a richly illuminated Lectionarium, written on vellum about A.D. 1150 at the monastery of Ottenbeuren in Suabia, which sold for five hundred and fifty pounds; a Wycliffe New Testament on vellum of the first half of the fifteenth century, which brought two hundred and forty-one pounds; a copy of the Four Gospels of about the same period, which fetched one hundred and eight pounds; a number of Horae and other service books, and three devotional works written by Jarry, the famous French calligraphist. There were also the original manuscripts of three of the novels of Sir Walter Scott—Peveril of the Peak, the first volume of the Tales of my Landlord (The Black Dwarf), and Woodstock, which together realised three hundred and ninety-eight pounds. The collection also contained a block-book, The Apocalypse, which brought two hundred and eighty-five pounds; four Caxtons, the most important of which—a perfect copy of the second edition of the Mirrour of the World—sold for four hundred and fifty-five pounds; and many books from the presses of Machlinia, Pynson, Wynkyn de Worde, Notary, and other early English printers. Shakespeare was well represented. The first three folios were to be found in the library, as well as the first editions of Lucrece and the Sonnets, and a large number of the quarto plays. The first folio and Lucrece realised respectively four hundred and forty pounds and one hundred and ten pounds. There was also a choice collection of the works of other writers of the time of Elizabeth and James I. A copy of the first edition of Don Quixote; and a set of the first five editions of Walton's Compleat Angler, which sold for sixty-eight pounds, also deserve especial notice. A series of autographs in thirteen folio volumes realised three hundred and twenty-five pounds; and the sale catalogue contained as many as two hundred and fourteen lots of autograph letters of Mary Queen of Scots, Lord Bacon, Cromwell, and other celebrities.

Sir William Tite was the author of a 'Report of a Visit to the Estates of the Honourable Irish Society in Londonderry and Coleraine in the year 1834,' and of a 'Descriptive Catalogue of the Antiquities found in the Excavations at the New Royal Exchange,' which he published in 1848. Several of his papers and addresses, which principally treated of bibliographical or antiquarian subjects, were privately printed. He was a liberal promoter of all schemes for the advancement of education, and he founded the Tite Scholarship in the City of London School.


Mr. James Thomson Gibson-Craig, who was born in March 1799, was the second son of Mr. James Gibson, the political reformer, who, on succeeding under entail to the Riccarton estates in 1823, assumed the name of Craig, and in 1831 was created a baronet. He was educated at the High School and the University of Edinburgh, and after spending some time in foreign travel, he became a Writer to the Signet, and joined the firm afterwards known as Gibson-Craig, Dalziel and Brodies, of Edinburgh, of which he continued a member until about the year 1875. Mr. Gibson-Craig was well known for his literary and antiquarian tastes, and it was principally owing to his exertions that the Historical Manuscripts of Scotland were reproduced and issued during the time his brother, Sir William Gibson-Craig, held the office of Lord Clerk Register. He was a friend of Sir Walter Scott, of Lord Jeffrey, and Lord Cockburn, and at a later period of Lord Macaulay; and he was also intimate with most of the principal Scottish artists and antiquaries of his time. He died at Edinburgh on the 18th of July 1886. Mr. Gibson-Craig, who began to collect during his student days, formed an extensive and valuable library of choice books, many of which were bound by celebrated binders, and were once to be found in such famous libraries as those of Grolier, Canevari, Diana of Poitiers, Mary Queen of Scots, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, De Thou, Count von Hoym, Longepierre, and Madame de Pompadour. After his death his collection was sold by Sotheby, Wilkinson and Hodge in three portions. The first portion was sold on June the 27th, 1887, and nine following days; the second on March the 23rd, 1888, and five following days, and on April 6th and eight following days; and the third on November the 15th, 1888, and two following days. There were altogether nine thousand four hundred and four lots, and the amount realised was fifteen thousand five hundred and nine pounds, four shillings and sixpence.

The following are some of the more notable books and manuscripts in the collection, and the prices obtained for them:—

Bartholomaei Camerarii de Praedestinatione dialogi tres. Parisiis, 1556. Bound in white morocco, the sides blind-tooled with the various emblems of Diana of Poitiers, and the initial of Henry II., King of France, surmounted by a crown. In the centre of the upper cover are the words CONSEQVITVR QVOD CVNQVE PETIT, and on the lower cover NIHIL AMPLIVS OPTAT. One hundred and forty-six pounds.

Cronique de Savoye, par Maistre Guillaume Paradin. Lyon, 1552. This volume formerly belonged to Mary Queen of Scots. It is in the original calf binding, and has in the centre of each cover a shield bearing the arms of Scotland, surmounted by a crown, with a crowned M above, below, and on each side of them, as well as at the corners of the book, and also on the panels of the back. Two hundred and sixty-five pounds.

Larismetique et Geometrie de Estienne de la Roche. Lyon, 1538. The binding bears the arms of James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell, third husband of Mary Queen of Scots. Eighty-one pounds.

The XIII. Bukes of Eneados, translated out of Latyne verses into Scottish metir bi Mayster Gawin Douglas, Bishop of Dunkel, and unkil to the Erie of Angus. [W. Copland], London, 1553. Seventy-five pounds, ten shillings.

Poliphili Hypnerotomachia. Aldus, Venetiis, 1499. Ninety pounds.

Tewrdannck. Augsburg, 1519. Thirty-nine pounds.

Walton's Compleat Angler. First edition. London, 1653.

Cotton's Complete Angler. First edition. London, 1676. Together, one hundred and ninety-five pounds.

Burns's Poems. Kilmarnock, 1786. One hundred and eleven pounds.

The more important of the manuscripts were:—

Horae B. Mariae Virginis, written in the thirteenth century on vellum by an Anglo-Saxon or Scottish scribe. Three hundred and twenty-five pounds.

The First and Second Series of Sir Walter Scott's Chronicles of the Canongate. An autograph manuscript presented by the author to R. Cadell. One hundred and forty-one pounds.

A collection of valuable and interesting correspondence and memoranda relating to the Rebellion of 1715, comprising many of the original letters and despatches from the Earl of Mar, etc. Ninety-nine pounds.

In 1882 Mr. Gibson-Craig issued, in an edition of twenty-five copies, Fac-similes of Old Book Binding in his collection; and in the following year a facsimile reprint of the Shorte Summe of the whole Catechisme, by his ancestor John Craig, accompanied by a memoir of the author by Thomas Graves Law, of the Signet Library. He also printed for the Bannatyne Club 'Papers relative to the marriage of King James the Sixth of Scotland with the Princess Anna of Denmark A.D. MDLXXXIX, and the Form and Manner of Her Majesty's Coronation at Holyroodhouse A.D. MDXC.'


It is about three hundred years since the founder of the Bibliotheca Lindesiana died. John Lindsay, the Octavian, better known by his title of Lord Menmuir, the ancestor of the Earls of Balcarres, had a distinguished though but brief career. He was not quite forty-seven years old when he died. During his short though eventful life he took a leading part in State affairs, being much trusted by his Sovereign, King James VI. He was a man of varied talents—lawyer, statesman, man of business, scholar, man of letters, and a poet. He seems to have been familiar with Greek, and to have corresponded in the Latin language. Besides these he acquired a knowledge of French, Italian and Spanish. He accumulated many State papers and letters from distinguished persons both at home and abroad.[101] These, now known as 'the Balcarres Papers,' were presented by Colin, Earl of Balcarres, to the Advocates' Library in 1712. A summary account of them is given in the First Report of the Historical Manuscripts Commission. Lord Menmuir's library is now represented at Haigh[102] by two volumes and three fragments, all of which bear his autograph. Lord Menmuir was succeeded by a son, who died whilst yet a youth and unmarried. The second son, David, who after his brother's death inherited the estate of Balcarres, may be termed the second founder of the library. The father's love of books and learning seems to have in a very large measure descended to the son. He added to the library until it became one of the best in the kingdom. A very charming letter from William Drummond of Hawthornden to David Lindsay, sent with a copy of the Flowers of Zion, which the poet had privately printed, is clear evidence of the terms on which Lindsay lived with his friends and fellow book-lovers. The original letter is preserved in the Muniment Room at Haigh, but the identical copy of Drummond's work has, alas! been lost sight of.

The library of Sir David Lindsay, Lord Balcarres, continued at the family seat on the shores of the Firth of Forth until comparatively recent times. Sibbald in 1710 mentions the 'great bibliothek' at Balcarres. In Sibbald's time the owner, Colin, third Earl of Balcarres, had added many books to the library, and spent the evening of his days in the pursuit of letters. When Lady Balcarres, great-grandmother of the present Earl of Crawford, left Fife and removed to Edinburgh, whilst her son was in the West Indies, the greater portion of the library was literally thrown away and dispersed—torn up for grocers as useless trash, by her permission. Of the library collected by generations of Lindsays, all that now remains is a handful of little over fifty volumes. The books of David Lindsay, first Lord Balcarres, who died in 1641, are recognisable from his signature, and on many of them his arms are impressed in gold on the sides.

Of the present library at Haigh, the nucleus of it may be said to be the books inherited by the grandfather of the present Earl, whose wife was the heiress of the first Baron Muncaster. These Muncaster books, although not of the greatest value, formed a basis on which the late Earl of Crawford, who was born in 1812, built up the present library, which will be always associated with his memory. When a boy he was fired with enthusiasm for books, and determined to form a great library in which every branch of human knowledge in every language should have a place. He began collecting about 1826, shortly after going to Eton, and continued most assiduously to gather of all that was best until his death in 1880. His success may be judged in some measure by the remarkable collections dispersed in 1887 and 1889, which together consisted of three thousand two hundred and fifty-four lots, and realised twenty-six thousand three hundred and ninety-seven pounds, fourteen shillings. Family burdens rendered it needful for the present possessor of the library to put his hands on some available assets, and this necessity coming at a period of great commercial depression, a portion of the literary treasures unfortunately suffered. But the work was again renewed, and the present state of the library will not compare ignobly with its past. The number of manuscripts is very considerable, probably about six thousand, not a few of which are of the greatest interest and value, many of them having covers of the precious metals or carved ivory, enriched with gems and crystals. There are also many papyri, a great number of Oriental manuscripts, collections of French autograph letters of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic periods, and of English autograph letters. The printed books amount to about one hundred thousand, and among them are to be found several block-books and a large number of incunabula, including books printed by Caxton, Machlinia, Wynkyn de Worde, Pynson, Rood, and other early English printers. The library is particularly rich in the productions of the early Italian presses, especially those of Rome and Venice; and it also contains a fine collection of rare works on the languages of North and South America, many of them printed in Mexico and Lima, and a series of books printed in Aberdeen from 1622 to 1736. Of other printed matter there are collections of broadside ballads; broadside proclamations illustrative of English, French, Dutch, German and Italian history; a long series of Papal Bulls; early English newspapers from 1631 to the Restoration; Civil War tracts; tracts by, for and against Martin Luther; newspapers and periodicals published during the various French revolutions; and a large number of caricatures issued in France and Germany during the Second Empire and the Commune.

It is not an easy task to pick out the choicest gems from the abundant treasures of this splendid collection, but the following are a few of the most interesting and valuable of the manuscripts:

A Legal Instrument of Donation from Johannes, the Primicerius, or Captain of a company of soldiers, to the Church of Ravenna; written on papyrus, probably about A.D. 580-600, at Ravenna. Five feet four inches long by eleven and a half inches broad.

The Four Gospels in Syriac, in the original Peshitto version, written on vellum about 550.

St. Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage, Epistolae et Opuscula, written in the seventh or eighth century in rude Merovingian characters, often mixed with uncial letters. One of the oldest manuscripts in existence of this Father of the Church.

The Four Gospels in Latin, written about 850.

A Textus or Book of the Gospels, probably written at the Benedictine monastery of St. Gall, Switzerland, in the ninth or tenth century. In the centre of the upper cover, which is intended to be used as a pax at Mass, is an ivory panel of the Crucifixion, with figures of the Virgin Mary and St. John the Evangelist. The border is of gilt copper engraved with a floriated pattern, and studded with silver bosses and jewels; at the corners are Limoges enamel plaques with the four Evangelists. The ivory carving is of the tenth or eleventh century, the border early thirteenth.

The New Testament in Syriac: the Gospels of the Peshitto version, and the remaining books of the Heraclean version, written about 1000. Remarkable as being the only complete Syriac New Testament of any antiquity in any library in Europe.

The Old Testament in Latin, written by a German scribe in the eleventh century. The upper cover consists of a carved ivory panel of the thirteenth century, with a border of silver gilt, decorated with filigree work and figures in repousse, and enriched with crystals en cabochon.

St. Beatus, Commentarius in Apocalypsim, written in Spain about 1150; with one hundred and ten very large miniatures and a circular map of the world.

Bible Historiee, executed in the south of France about 1250; a series of full-page paintings on a background of burnished gold, representing scenes from the Book of Genesis.

Psalterium, written in Paris about 1260. This volume belonged at one time to Joan of Navarre, Queen Consort of Henry IV., King of England, whose autograph is on one of the blank leaves.

Roman de la Rose, written for, and presented to, Christina de Lindesay, Dame de Coucy, 1323.

Rime di Petrarca et Canconi di Dante. One of the most important manuscripts of the two poets, written during the lifetime of Petrarch, or immediately after his death, by Paul the Scribe for Lorenzo, the son of Carlo degli Strozzi, a member of one of the noblest families of Florence.

Lydgate's Siege of Troy, probably written for William Carent, of Carent's Court, in the Isle of Purbeck, about 1420. The volume has illuminated borders and seventy miniatures, and bears the arms of Carent at the end.

Missale Romanum, six volumes folio, written on vellum in 1510-17 for Cardinal Pompeo Colonna. The tradition handed down by the family was that the large full-page illuminations with which the manuscript is adorned were executed by Raphael about the year 1517, when the owner was made a cardinal; and there is no doubt that, if not actually by his hand, the work was done by his followers under his supervision. In all probability, we may say that the large miniatures are painted by Timoteo Viti, and the illuminations and arabesques by Litti di Filippo de' Corbizi.[103]

Some of the more notable of the incunabula are two block-books—the first Dutch edition of the Speculum Humanae Salvationis, and a copy of the Ars Memorativa printed before 1474-75. Cicero, Officiorum libri tres, printed at Mentz by Fust and Schoeffer in 1465. Lactantius, Opera, printed in the Monastery of Subiaco, near Rome, by Sweynheym and Pannartz in 1465. Higden's Polychronicon and the Boke of Eneydos, printed by Caxton in 1482 and 1490. The Chronicles of England and the Speculum Christiani, printed by Machlinia. Lyndewode, Constitutiones provinciales ecclesiae anglicanae, printed at Oxford by Rood and Hunte in 1483-85. The Croniclis of Englōde with the frute of timis, from the St. Albans press.

Among other books of later dates deserving of special notice may be mentioned—Vespucci, Paesi novamente retrovati, Vicenza, 1507. The first and very rare edition of the celebrated Thesis of Luther against the system of indulgences, which he affixed to the gate of the University of Wittemberg, 1517. Huon of Bordeaux, printed by Wynkyn de Worde about 1534—believed to be unique. Archbishop Parker's De Antiquitate Britannicae Ecclesiae, London, 1572. A magnificent set of De Bry's Grands et Petits Voyages, in one hundred and eighty-two volumes, 1590-1644. A Booke containing all such Proclamations as were published during the Raigne of Elizabeth (and James I.); collected by Humphrey Dyson, London, 1618. The first and second Shakespeare folios. Three copies of the first edition of Milton's Paradise Lost, with the first, third and fourth title-pages.

The immense collection of broadsides forms one of the most remarkable features of this magnificent library. In volume iv. p. 201 of the Transactions of the Bibliographical Society, published in 1898, Lord Crawford informs us that 'in the last fourteen or fifteen years he had managed to collect something like nineteen thousand of them, including English, French, German and Venetian Proclamations (3000), Papal Bulls (11,000) and English Ballads (3000).' Among them are several very rare indulgences printed by Wynkyn de Worde and Pynson, and a large number of proclamations and ballads of special interest and value, far too numerous to mention.

The present Earl of Crawford, who is a Trustee of the British Museum, President of the Camden Society, a Fellow of the Royal Society and the Society of Antiquaries, and who was formerly President of the Royal Astronomical Society, has printed catalogues of the English broadsides and ballads, and of the Chinese books and manuscripts in his collection, together with hand-lists to the Oriental manuscripts, the early editions of the Greek and Latin writers, and the proclamations issued by authority of the kings and queens of Great Britain and Ireland. He has also printed collations and notes of some of the rare books in the library.


[Footnote 101: Mainly contributed by Mr. J.P. Edmond, Librarian to Lord Crawford.]

[Footnote 102: Lord Crawford's Seat, near Wigan.]

[Footnote 103: Since the above was printed it has been announced that Lord Crawford's MSS. have become by purchase the property of Mrs. Rylands of Manchester.]

HENRY HUTH, 1815-1878

Mr. Henry Huth, who was born in London in 1815, was the third son of Mr. Frederick Huth of Hanover, who settled at Corunna, in Spain; but on the occupation of that town by the French in 1809 he came to England, where he became a naturalised British subject, and founded the well-known firm which is still carried on by his descendants. Mr. Henry Huth, we are informed in the preface to the Catalogue of the Huth Library, written by his son, Mr. Alfred Henry Huth, was intended for the Indian Civil Service, and was sent to Mr. Rusden's school at Leith Hill in Surrey, where he 'learned Greek, Latin, and French (Spanish was his mother-tongue), and had also got well on with Hindustani, Persian, and Arabic'; but in 1833, the East India Company having lost their Charter, his father removed him from the school and took him into his business. Office-work proving distasteful to him, he travelled for some years on the Continent and in America, rejoining his father's firm as partner in 1849. From his early years Mr. Henry Huth had been a collector of books, and on his return home he set energetically to work to form that splendid library which ranks among the finest in England, and which has been carefully preserved and augmented by his son, Mr. Alfred Henry Huth. Mr. Henry Huth gave commissions at most of the important book-sales, and we are told that 'he called daily at all the principal booksellers on his way back from the city, a habit which he continued up to the day of his death.' He was a member of the Philobiblon Society, and in 1867 printed for presentation to the members a volume of Ancient Ballads and Broadsides published in England in the Sixteenth Century, reprinted from the unique original copies he had bought at the Daniel sale. He was also a member of the Roxburghe Club. Mr. Huth died on the 10th of December 1878, and was buried in the churchyard of Bolney, in Sussex. He married Augusta Louisa Sophia, third daughter of Frederick Westenholz of Waldenstein Castle, in Austria, by whom he had three sons and three daughters.

Among the treasures in Mr. Huth's library are block-books of the Ars Moriendi, Ars Memorandi, and the Apocalypse; the superb copy of the Gutenberg Bible which was formerly in the libraries of Sir M. Masterman Sykes and Mr. Henry Perkins; two copies of the Fust and Schoeffer Bible of 1462, one on vellum; and a particularly fine copy of St. Augustine's De Civitate Dei, printed at Rome in 1468. The collection also comprises several of the pre-Reformation German Bibles; the first edition of Luther's Bible; the Coverdale Bible of 1535, and the Icelandic Bible printed at Holum in 1584; together with upwards of one hundred other Bibles, a large number of New Testaments, and various portions of the Scriptures in all languages.

In books from the presses of Caxton and other early English printers the library is remarkably rich. It contains no less than twelve Caxtons; about fifty Wynkyn de Wordes, of which several are unique; sixteen Pynsons, and a Machlinia. A vellum copy—the only one known—of the Fructus Temporum, printed at St. Albans about 1483; and the Exposicio Sancti Jeronimi in Symbolum Apostolorum, printed at Oxford, and bearing the date 1468 (a typographical error for 1478), are also found on its shelves.

Among the books printed by Caxton are the first editions of The Dictes or Sayings of the Philosophers, Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, Tully of Old Age, Gower's Confessio Amantis, and Christine de Pisan's Fayts of Arms.

The books from the presses of foreign printers are both numerous and fine. Some of the most notable examples are the Dantes of Foligno and Mantua, both printed in the year 1472; the first edition of Homer, printed at Venice in 1488; a magnificent copy on thick paper, with the original binding, of the Poliphili Hypnerotomachia, printed by Aldus at Venice in 1499; the Aldine Virgil of 1501, with the book-plate of Bilibald Pirkheimer; and two copies of the Tewrdannck, one on vellum, printed at Nuremberg in 1517. There is also a copy of the first edition of Don Quixote, with the Privilege only for Madrid.

Few collections are richer than the Huth Library in old English poetry and dramatic literature. It contains the first four folio Shakespeares, and a goodly gathering of quarto plays, many of which were acquired at the Daniel sale in 1864. Among them are the first editions of Richard II. and Richard III., printed in 1597; Henry V., Much Ado about Nothing, Midsummer Night's Dream, and the Merchant of Venice, all printed in 1600; the first sketch of The Merry Wives of Windsor, printed in 1602; the second edition of Hamlet, printed in 1604; and the first editions of Pericles, printed in 1609, and Othello, printed in 1622. Other rare Shakespeareana are the first editions of Lucrece, the Sonnets, and the Poems, printed respectively in 1594, 1609, and 1640. It is only possible to mention a few of the rare English books in this grand library; but the Hundred Merry Tales, published by Rastell about 1525; the unique copy of Munday's Banquet of Daintie Conceits, printed in 1588; a first folio of Ben Jonson's Works on large paper, of which only one other copy is known in that state, and a perfect set of the editions of Walton's Compleat Angler from 1653 to 1760, cannot be passed over without notice. The unique collection of Elizabethan ballads, to which reference has already been made, would be considered a great treasure in any library. The collection of Voyages and Travels is believed to be the richest private one in Europe. It comprises the early letters of Columbus and Vesputius, and perfect editions of De Bry, Hulsius, Hakluyt, Purchas, etc., together with the voyages of Cortes, Drake, and other famous travellers.

The fine and large collection of manuscripts contains many choice and interesting examples. Several beautifully written Bibles, and a number of Books of Hours are to be found in it. Some of the latter are most charmingly illuminated; two of them, written in the fifteenth century, of Flemish execution, are especially good. One of these contains the coats of arms of Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy, and Isabella his wife. There are also three handsomely illuminated Petrarchs, and a remarkable manuscript on vellum in four volumes, with very beautiful illustrations of beasts, birds, fish, and insects, painted by George Hoefnagel for the Emperor Rudolph II. A collection of Madrigals for three voices, the words by John Milton, Thomas Tompkins, and others, is of especial interest, for Mr. A.H. Huth informs us that several of the songs by Milton in it have never been published, and that he composed some of the music.

The library also contains a considerable number of interesting letters, and a very fine collection of engravings; the series by Albert Duerer being nearly complete. A somewhat recent addition to the collection is 'a proof set before numbers of the engravings to the Landino Dante of 1481, by Baccio Baldini, after the designs of Botticelli, and separately printed on slips.'[104]

Many of the volumes once formed part of the libraries of Grolier, Maioli, Canevari, Diana of Poitiers, Henry IV. of France, De Thou, Count Mansfeld, Louis XIII., and other celebrated collectors, and bear on their covers the arms or devices of their former owners. There are fine examples of the work of all the great binders, and many books bound in silver, needlework, etc.

The admirable catalogue of the library in five volumes was compiled by Mr. F.S. Ellis and Mr. W.C. Hazlitt, and partly revised by Mr. Henry Huth himself.


[Footnote 104: Account of additions to the Huth Library, by Mr. A.H. Huth, in Mr. Quaritch's Dictionary of English Book-Collectors.]


Mr. Robert Samuel Turner was born in 1818. Although engaged in commercial affairs from his youth he was a most enthusiastic book-collector, and at a very early age began to form that noble library, with which only a few collections of his time could vie in value, extent or condition. Mr. Turner principally directed his attention to the acquisition of rare Italian, French and Spanish books. His English books were not numerous, and there were but few German ones in the collection, but some of them were of much interest. He possessed one of the finest copies in existence of the first folio of Shakespeare's Plays, and an exceptionally good example of the Tewrdannck. He always endeavoured to obtain the best and choicest copies possible, and many of them, especially the French volumes, were clothed in beautiful bindings, bearing the arms or devices of Grolier, Maioli, Diana of Poitiers, Count Mansfeld, Cosmo de' Medici, Thomas Wotton, Longepierre, Count von Hoym, and other famous collectors. Mr. Turner resided for some years in Park Square West, Regent's Park, London, but in 1878 he removed to the Albany, Piccadilly. In anticipation of his change of residence he determined to part with a portion of his collection of French books, and on the valuation of the late M. Potier, of Paris, he offered it to an eminent French amateur en bloc for four thousand pounds. This offer was declined, and he sent the books to Paris to be sold by auction. The sale took place at the Salle Drouot on the 12th of March 1878, and the four following days, when the lots, seven hundred and seventy-four in number, realised three hundred and nineteen thousand one hundred francs—considerably more than three times the sum Mr. Turner was willing to take for them. After his death, which occurred at Brighton on the 7th of June 1887, the remainder of his library was disposed of in two sales by Messrs. Sotheby, Wilkinson and Hodge: the first on June 18th, 1888, and the eleven following days, and the second on November 23rd, 1888, and the thirteen following days. They realised respectively thirteen thousand three hundred and seventy pounds, thirteen shillings, and two thousand eight hundred and seventy-four pounds, seventeen shillings and sixpence. The prices obtained for the books, especially at the French sale, were very high. A dedication copy to Mademoiselle de Montpensier, with the signature of Charles de Lorraine on the title-page, of Recueil des Portraits et Eloges en vers et en prose (de personnages du temps par Mademoiselle de Montpensier et autres), Paris, 1659, with a morocco binding of the seventeenth century, ornamented with fleurs-de-lis, fetched fourteen thousand francs; La Fontaine's Fables Choisies, five volumes, Paris, 1678, 1679 and 1694, bound by Boyet, eleven thousand nine hundred and fifty francs; Les Fais de Jason, par Raoul Le Febvre, printed at Lyons about 1480, seven thousand six hundred francs; Le Livre appelle Mandeville, Lyon, 1480, six thousand two hundred and fifty francs; Les OEuvres de Guillaume Coquillant, Paris, 1532, five thousand four hundred and fifty francs; and Les OEuvres de Moliere, eight volumes, Paris, 1739, with additional plates, five thousand francs. Among the books at the English sales the exceptionally fine and large copies of the Tewrdannck, Nuremberg, 1517, and the Aldine Poliphili Hypnerotomachia, sold respectively for two hundred and fifty pounds and one hundred and thirty-seven pounds; a copy of Paesi Novamente Retrovati, Vicentia, 1507, with the title in facsimile, for one hundred and eighty-six pounds; and Shakespeare's Poems, 1640, for one hundred and six pounds. The first folio of Shakespeare Mr. Turner sold privately to an American collector. A Grolier binding realised three thousand francs; another binding with the devices of Diana of Poitiers, four thousand four hundred francs; a book from the library of Longepierre, two thousand five hundred francs; two sets of volumes with doublures by Boyet, respectively four thousand francs and three thousand nine hundred francs; and Rogers's Italy and Poems, with beautiful bindings by Bedford, sixty-one pounds.

Mr. Turner was an accomplished linguist, and he possessed a wide and accurate knowledge of the literary history and bibliography of France, Italy and Spain. He was also a collector of rare and beautiful bindings before the interest and value of these works of art were generally appreciated.


Mr. Frederick Locker, the author of London Lyrics and other volumes of delightful light and social verse, was born in 1821. His father was Mr. E.H. Locker, a Civil Commissioner of Greenwich Hospital, and founder of the Naval Gallery there. For some years Mr. Locker was Precis Writer in the Admiralty. He was twice married: first in 1850 to Lady Charlotte Christian, a daughter of the seventh Earl of Elgin, and secondly in 1874 to Hannah Jane, a daughter of the late Sir Curtis Miranda Lampson, Bart., of Rowfant, Sussex. On the death of his father-in-law in 1885 he added the name of Lampson to his own. He died at Rowfant on May the 30th, 1895.

Mr. Locker-Lampson tells us in his interesting autobiography entitled My Confidences, that he first collected pictures and rare sixteenth century engravings, but collectors with long purses outbid him, so he turned to old books: 'little volumes of poetry and the drama from about 1590 to 1610.' These formed the nucleus of his collection, which soon grew wide enough to include Caxtons and the works of the poets of the last century. Rare editions of Sidney, Spenser, Churchyard, Middleton, Herbert, Herrick, Dekker, Chapman, and many other writers of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, are to be found in it, and Shakespeare is splendidly represented by a perfect copy of the first folio, the first editions of Lucrece, the Sonnets and the Poems, and a large number—some thirty in all—of the quarto plays, many of which are the original editions. Mr. Locker-Lampson's folio wanted Ben Jonson's verses, and he gives an amusing account in My Confidences of an unsuccessful attempt to purchase a copy of them from a Mr. Dene, who possessed an imperfect first folio. He ultimately bought the precious leaf, which had been pasted in a scrap-book, for one hundred pounds, and so completed his copy. The library is also very rich in first editions of Byron, Tennyson, Browning, and other English poets of recent times, many of the volumes containing autograph inscriptions to Mr. Locker-Lampson himself. Mr. Locker-Lampson placed his library, together with his collections of autograph letters, pictures and drawings, in his residence at Rowfant, the beautiful home which he and his wife inherited from the lady's father; and a handsome catalogue of them published in 1886 by Mr. Quaritch, with an introduction by their owner, tells us of the treasures they contain. An etched portrait of Mr. Locker-Lampson and a sketch of his study are inserted in the volume, and Mr. Andrew Lang has prefixed some charming lines descriptive of the library:—

'The Rowfant books, how fair they show, The Quarto quaint, the Aldine tall; Print, autograph, Portfolio! Back from the outer air they call The athletes from the Tennis ball, The Rhymer from his rod and hooks; Would I could sing them, one and all, The Rowfant books!

The Rowfant books! In sun and snow They're dear, but most when tempests fall; The folio towers above the row As once, o'er minor prophets—Saul! What jolly jest books, and what small "Dear dumpy Twelves" to fill the nooks. You do not find in every stall The Rowfant books!

The Rowfant books! These long ago Were chained within some College hall; These manuscripts retain the glow Of many a coloured capital; While yet the Satires keep their gall, While the Pastissier puzzles cooks, There is a joy that does not pall, The Rowfant books!


The Rowfant books,—ah magical As famed Armida's golden looks. They hold the Rhymer for their thrall— The Rowfant books!'

In 1900 was published an Appendix to the Catalogue, the work of Mr. Frederick Locker-Lampson's son, Mr. Godfrey Locker-Lampson, consisting of additions to the library since the printing of the Catalogue in 1886, to which Mr. Andrew Lang again contributed some verses:—

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