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Manuscripts in Wren Class O
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A journal recording his work as Master of Trinity College, with notes on letters sent and received and in addition, drafts of 74 letters, listed separately according to the page number of the journal on which each letter begins. An index in the hand of Janet Douglas is tipped in at front.

Album of autographs of members of Trinity College, Cambridge, collected by Henry Coggin

The title on the front free endpaper is 'Autographs | Collected by | Henry Coggin | Trinity College, Cambridge'.

Pasted to the leaves of the book are about 120 signatures cut from letters or other documents and 6 letters. The first group of signatures (f. 1r) are those of all the Masters of the College from Robert Smith (Master, 1742–68) to W. H. Thompson (Master, 1866–86) except William Lort Mansel, the space where the latter would go being occupied by the pencil note, ‘Have not yet got this Autograph’. The autograph of Henry Montagu Butler, who succeeded Thompson as Master, appears later in the book, as Coggin had already obtained it when Butler was a Fellow.

The Masters’ signatures are followed by those of various senior and notable members of the College, including Fellows, noblemen, prize-winners, high-achieving graduates, and sportsmen. They include the signature of the Marquess of Lorne, who later married Queen Victoria’s daughter Princess Louise, and who, Coggin notes, was ‘One of last of the Fellow Commoners, who wore blue gowns with silver lace & were allowed to dine at the Fellows table’, and a few pages later is the autograph of I. J. Jermy, admitted in 1840, who Coggin notes was ‘Murdered with his Father at Stanfield Hall Norfolk Nov[embe]r 28th 1848 by James Blomfield Rush who was hung at Norwich April 21st 1849’. Below this is the only autograph of a female in the book, that of Eliza Chasteney, identified as ‘Lady’s Maid to Mrs Jermy Sen[io]r who in attempting to save her Mistress’s Life from the Murderous designs of the villian [sic] Rush was wounded in several parts of the body.’

The signatures are followed on ff. 9r-11r by five complete letters. Inside the front cover is a letter to the College Librarian from the donor. See the individual descriptions for details.

Coggin, Henry (1823-1912), accounts clerk

A. S. F. Gow: 'Letters from Cambridge'

Typed copies of circular letters written by Gow and sent to correspondents, mostly former pupils, serving abroad; a book, published in 1945, was made of the letters from 1939-1944. News from Trinity and Cambridge; comments on Gow's Air Raid Precaution work, his reading, and other similar matters.

'I hope you will forgive a letter which resembles a circular. It seemed to me that in these uncheerful times those in foreign parts might perhaps like rather more gossip than they usually get out of my correspondence, and that as the gossip would have to be more or less the same for all, it would be a good thing to duplicate it rather than write it all out separately for different people...' [from the first letter, 8 Sept 1939]

Gow, Andrew Sydenham Farrar (1886-1978), classical scholar

‘Borgia: a Tragedy’, a verse drama by Thomas Brown

Fair copy in an unidentified hand of a verse drama, with a title page with the title only. The play was printed privately in Edinburgh in 1874 under the title 'Borgia: a tragedy, and other poems' by Thomas Brown, of Waterhaughs and Lanfine.

Brown, Thomas (1802-1873) Laird of Lanfine and Waterhaughs

Letter from W. W. Greg to H. S. Bennett

Standlands, River, Petworth, Sussex.—Refers to his catalogue of English manuscripts in the Library of Trinity College (see O.11.5), and to his plan—long since abandoned—of compiling a corpus of all English manuscript works down to 1500.



Standlands, River, Petworth, Sussex
25 Sept. 1944

Dear Bennett

When I drew up that catalogue of 100 English MSS at Trinity, at the time I was librarian, I naturally hoped that the College might see its way to print it. Then came the last war and any idea of the sort had of course to be abandoned. By the time things settled down again I was busy in other fields, and moreover the catalogue I knew had become in some respects out of date. Had I examined it I should probably also have found it unsatisfactory. So I did no more about it and finally deposited the MS in the Library for the use of any one who might be interested. I need hardly say that it is at the disposal of you or of any body else who should be able to use it as a basis for further work.

During the last war I dreamed of compiling a corpus of all English manuscript works down to 1500. It would have been a big undertaking. I estimated, on a very rough basis, that there [are] some 5000 MSS surviving, exclusive of legal and diplomatic documents, private letters, and collections of recipes. I envisaged the work in three parts. (1) A catalogue, possibly roughly chronological, of the actuall† MSS, with full bibliographical descriptions, giving particular attention to the make-up and growth of the MSS when these were not written all at one time. (2) A catalogue of the works they contained, giving the MSS of each and such information as was possible concerning the relation of the MSS. (3) An atlas containing some hundreds of facsimiles of pages from the manuscripts, especially the dated or datable ones, with transcripts and palaeographical notes. I also had in mind a catalogue of all works to 1500 giving a brief literary account of each with and† specimen of some 50 lines transcribed exactly from the oldest or most authentic MS. An ambitious project! which I need not say I have long since abandoned.

Best wishes

W. W. Greg


Marked at the head in pencil, ‘Letter to H S Bennett, Emmanuel College, given by H S Bennett to Trinity College Library.’

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