Canterbury Cathedral

DCb/LR/1, f20

A record of John Lyly's name cited as witness (but not in his hand) to a receipt for money granted by the ecclesiastical court to the Cambridge student Edward Braine, in a diocesan licence register, 20 July 1570. 1570.

LyJ 60: John Lyly, Document(s)

Recorded in William Urry, ‘John Lyly and Canterbury’, Thirty-third Annual Report of the Friends of Canterbury Cathedral (April 1960), 19-25 (p. 24).


Walton's autograph signature in a General Register, recording his application for a licence to marry Rachel Floud, 27 December 1626. 1626.

*WtI 15: Izaak Walton, Document(s)

Recorded in Henry H. Gibbs, ‘Izaak Walton’, N&Q, 4th Ser. 12 (15 November 1873), 382-4, and in E. Marston, Thomas Ken and Izaak Walton (London, 1908), pp. 101-2.


Copy, in a single professional secretary hand, 210 small quarto pages (plus 35 blank pages), in contemporary vellum with green silk ties. Early 17th century.

DnJ 4054.5: John Donne, Biathanatos

According to pencil notes on a flyleaf made in 1810 by Sir Robert Harry Inglis, second Baronet, M.P. (1786-1855), the MS was formerly owned by the Rev. John Morris (c.1727-98), who was rector of Milton Bryant, Bedfordshire, erstwhile curate of Woburn Abbey and chaplain to the statesman John Russell (1710-71), fourth Duke of Bedford, and whose library was sold at Sotheby's on 6-7 June 1799. Inglis notes also that part of Morris's library came from his predecessor as rector of Milton Bryant (from 1710 to 1763) William Capel. Beal speculates that the MS may conceivably have been made for Donne's friend Sir Henry Goodyer (1571-1627) and, in view of the Woburn connection, subsequently owned by Lucy Russell (née Harington) (1581-1627), Countess of Bedford.

This MS discussed, with facsimile examples, in Peter Beal, In Praise of Scribes: Manuscripts and their Makers in Seventeenth-Century England (Oxford, 1998), chapter 2, pp. 31-57 (on pp. 38-57).

First published in London, [1647]. Reprinted in facsimile, ed. J.W. Hebel (New York, 1930). Edited by Michael Rudick and M. Pabst Bettin (New York, 1982) and by Ernest W. Sullivan II (Newark, NJ, 1984).