MC:PR30/2 Documents from and concerning Routh’s Library
Martin Routh was a passionate bibliophile and amassed a considerable library in the President’s Lodgings. On his death, his printed books were bequeathed to the University of Durham, where they remain. His manuscript books, however, were sold at auction. A few of them were acquired by John Bloxam and others and returned to the College, and they are all listed here apart from MC:P261/MS8/1 (a collection of MS tracts on the College’s dispute with James II), sold as Lot 161, and MC:F3/MS1/1 (a notebook owned by Alexander Pudsay, D. 1657–61; F. 1661–1721), sold as Lot 183.
Most of the books in MC:PR30/2/MS1 below can be linked with items listed in the auction catalogue for Routh’s manuscripts (see MC:PR30/1/C3/9 Fol. 57 and No. 1 for a copy of this).
MC:PR30/2/MS1 – MS BOOKS ORIGINATING FROM ROUTH’S LIBRARY
MC:PR30/2/MS1/1 n.d. (Early 17th cent.?)
MS Latin verse play in 3 acts, titled ‘S. Edwardus Confessor sive Mites terram possidebunt. Tragoedia’ [St. Edward the Confessor; or the meek shall inherit the earth]. 1000 lines long, The play is anonymous and undated, but the hand is consistent with the early 17th century, when such plays were written (and performed) in Oxford. There is a note in the front that this volume was purchased by John Bloxam at the sale of Routh’s MSS at Sotheby’s, 5 July 1855, for £1 18s as Lot 212.
MC:PR30/2/MS1/2 n.d. (Early 17th cent.?)
MS Latin verse play (with some stage directions in English) in 4 acts, titled ‘Valetudinarius’ [The hypochondriac]. It appears to be a comedy. As with MS 980, the play is anonymous and undated, but the hand is consistent with the early 17th century. This was purchased by Bloxam at the sale of Routh’s MSS on 5 July, for 10s as Lot 59.
MC:PR30/2/MS1/3 11 Jul 1630
Manuscript volume titled ‘A Copie of the Sermon preached at Oxon on Sunday in the afternoon ye 11th of Julie, being the Act-Sundaie, 1630. By Peter Haylin’ [Peter Heylin, D. 1615–18; F. 1618–30]. The text is Matthew 13.25. It is part published in O’Gorman, Journal of Religious History, 1975. See also John Morrell (ed.), Bibliography of 17th century Britain.
There are notes by Routh at the beginning and end of the manuscript and on a strip from a bookseller’s catalogue, where he writes that this was among the MSS belonging to Dr. A. Clarke. This shows that the book had been part of Routh’s collection of books and manuscripts, although there is no visible lot number on it.
MC:PR30/2/MS1/4 n.d. (c. 1675–87)
An Epitome of Grotius, de jure Pacis et Belli, with a preface addressed to Henry Clerke (President 1672–87). A note by Routh on the flyleaf states that the MS is by George Hunt (Demy 1675–81; F. 1681–99), no doubt rightly since the hand is the same as that in MC:F5/MS1/1.
Routh’s note also states that he was given this book by Daniel Prince in 1795 (Daniel Prince [1712–96] was the OUP warehouseman in the late eighteenth century). Inside the book is a letter from Thomas Thorpe, dated 31 March 1859, which confirms that the book had been bought by John Bloxam at the Routh sale for 2s as Lot 299..
At the end of the book is two lists of books in another hand, the first headed “12o & 24o” (i.e. books in duodecimo and vingesimo-quarto), the second “School Books”.
MC:PR30/2/MS1/5 n.d. (c. 1694/5?)
Bound volume containing a collection of papers concerning the dispute between Magdalen College and the University on the appointment of a new Principal of Magdalen Hall in 1694. The Principal of Magdalen Hall died in February 1694, and Magdalen College challenged the right of the Chancellor of the University of Oxford to appoint a successor, so that for a while there were two rival Principals. In the end, the Chancellor’s candidate was appointed. (see further Darwall-Smith in Brockliss, Magdalen College, Oxford: A History (Oxford, 2008), p. 260).
This volume was once in Routh’s possession: it has a number “142″ written on it, and Lot 142 from Routh’s sale was an MS titled “The Proceedings about Magd. Hall on the death of Dr. Levett, 1693/4″. There is no indication on the papers of any previous provenance.
Printed copy of Bion’s Epitaph of Adonis translated and other compositions by Edward Jackson Lister (1766–1782; a chorister of Magdalen from 1774 who died aged 16 of consumption), Oxford, 2nd ed., 1786. 24 pages. At the front of the book is a Latin poem in elegiac couplets by George Murthwaite (matr. Queen’s 1750; Fellow there 1765–85), written in Routh’s hand, in praise of Lister.
At the back of the book are bound in 42 pages of manuscript poems by Lister, written between the ages of 12 and 16, which were not published. Some of the poems are in draft, and even bear schoolboy doodles.
It seems that this book was published at the instigation of Routh, who took an interest in Lister’s progress. Presumably Routh then gathered up the remaining fragments of Lister’s work and bound them into his copy of this book.
Lister was a precocious young scholar, and even helped Routh in correcting the text of his edition of Plato’s Euthydemus and Gorgias (Middleton, Dr. Routh, pp. 105–8). His early death was evidently much mourned by Routh.
This book was purchased by John Bloxam at the sale of Dr. Routh’s MSS as Lot 135.
MC:PR30/2/MS1/7–9 n.d. (c. 1805?)
Three manuscripts of notes (written in Latin) on European history by Daniel Wyttenbach (1746–1820). Wyttenbach was one of the leading classical scholars of his age, best known for his major edition of Plutarch’s Moralia. He was a professor first at Amsterdam and then in Leiden. Evidence from Routh’s correspondence shows that he and Wyttenbach were well enough acquainted with each other to correspond and exchange books (MC:PR30/1/C3/3 Fols. 45 and 55, MC:PR30/1/C4/10 Fol. 52, and MC:PR30/1/C4/12 Fol. 75).
There is no explicit provenance for these volumes, but on the title page, which is inscribed “D. Wyttenbach Praelectiones de Historia Antiqua”, Martin Routh has added in his own hand the comment “in Academia Lugduno-Batava Professoris”. This suggests that these three volumes were acquired by Routh at some point. There is a note on the inside cover “844 3 vols 3/13/6″, which presumably refers to the lot number, and to the price paid for this and the other two books. The three volumes are therefore included among the Routh papers as part of what had been his collection of manuscripts.
The three volumes were bound as a set and are inscribed “D. Wyttenbachii Historia Universalis” on the spine.
The notes are quite cursory, and are too informal to have been written with a thought of publication (and, certainly, they never do seem to have been published). It is therefore at least possible that Wyttenbach did indeed use them, as the title page to the first volume suggests, for lecture notes, or else for his private use, as a kind of aide-memoire.
The books seems to have been written in the same hand, and that hand appears to be Wyttenbach’s, but it is much more cursory than the hand he uses in his letters.
MC:PR30/2/MS1/7 comprises 362 pages of notes on ancient history up to the death of Justinian (565 ad).
MC:PR30/2/MS1/8 comprises 186 folios of notes on the Middle Ages starting with events after the death of Justinian. It is divided up into sections for each country, and generally brings their respective histories down to the early eighteenth century.
MC:PR30/2/MS1/9 comprises 186 folios of notes on modern history. It is arranged as a series of short biographies of European monarchs, arranged by country, from the fifteenth century to the early nineteenth: the accession of Tsar Alexander I of Russia in 1801 is mentioned, but not that of King Frederick VI of Denmark in 1808, which suggests that this volume was compiled in about 1805.
MC:PR30/2/MS2 – CATALOGUES OF THE ROUTH LIBRARY
Volume titled on the spine “Catalogue of the Routh Library”, and inscribed on the inside front cover by J. R. Bloxam “Dr. Routh’s Books as they were packed up and sent to Durham in 1855″. At the start of the catalogue is a copy of the clause in Routh’s will relating to his library, dated 29 March 1852, in which he bequeathed his printed books to the University of Durham. The catalogue is arranged by box, and, according to I. A. Doyle, ‘Martin Joseph Routh and his books in Durham University Library’, Durham University Journal, June 1956, pp. 100–7, is the work of Markham John Thorpe, the son of a bookseller who had known Routh.
MC:PR30/2/MS2/2 26 Jan 1855
MS catalogue, prepared by W. D. Macray, of the manuscripts held in Martin Routh’s Library.
Return here to the introduction to this catalogue.