Book Owners

The following list of book owners are those found in the early modern books which form the foundation collection of Dr Williams’s Library. The foundation collection is the first collection put together by Dr Daniel Williams and his first trustees to create the dissenters’ library. The books themselves are listed in the library’s first catalogue which was published in 1727. It is only in this past year 2020 that the library has employed a cataloguer whose primary task is to carry out the work of cataloguing this collection. However the work is being aided by the library fellows, especially Carlo Dumontet, who is also cataloguing parts of the collection online, noting in particular early modern books with an Italian imprint. He is also working with Ching Yuet, our special rare books cataloguer. This is also encouraged by a second library fellow, Dr Barry Taylor, who is a specialist in Spanish and Italian early modern books, and has concentrated on those books in our collection formerly owned by William Bates.

Marja Smolenaars (another DWL fellow) and her team of Dutch cataloguers are entering the Dutch titles from the foundation collections into the Short Title Netherland Catalogue STNC.

The library’s own senior research fellow, Dr Alan Argent, and I are writing an article which examines the books in DWL’s holdings, once owned by Cesar Calandrini, which is due to be published by Brill in 2021. Last, but not least, our library fellow, Angela Craft, and the conservator Jane Giscombe are carrying out an analysis of parchment book structures held in this foundation collection. This includes approximately 1000 volumes. This work will help better to understand the provenance of these books and support a major conservation project.

Signs of ownership.

  • William Bates born in London (1625 – 1699)

Although it is known that Dr Williams purchased William Bates library after his death towards the end of the seventeenth century it is difficult to work out just which books actually came from Bates’s library. Certain books do bear his signature and motto.

‘Sum Gulielmi Bates,’

Greek motto: ‘Eρχεται νυξ. (‘The night cometh’) [John 9.4];

less often with one or other of two Latin mottoes,

‘aeternitatem cogita’ or ‘vivere desisto, vivere ut incipiam.’

  • Sara Byfield

  • Bartholomew Dodington

On the front fly leaf: This is a quotation from Lucian’s Eikones (Imagines, Pictures): Lucianus

τὸ δá¾½ ἐντελá½²ς κάλλος, οἶμαι, τοῦτÏŒ ἐστιν, ὁπÏŒταν εá¼°ς τὸ αὐτὸ συνδράμῃ ψυχῆς á¼€ρετá½´ καὶ εὐμορφία σÏŽματος. Lucian, Icones 12

Perfect beauty, I think, occurs whenever virtue of soul and shapeliness of body coincide.

  • Patrick Forbes (1564 - 1635) Bishop of Aberdeen?

á¼€φρήτωρ á¼€θέμιστος á¼€νέστιÏŒς ἐστιν ἐκεá¿–νος
ὃς πολέμου á¼”ραται ἐπιδημίου á½€κρυÏŒεντος.

[aphrētōr athemistos anestios estin ekeinos
hos polemou eratai epidēmiou okruoentos]

Clanless, lawless, hearthless is he who loves horrid civil war.

  • Edward Gwynn (b.1645)

Edward Gwynn’s name is tooled in gold on the front board of the bindings and his initials E.G. on the back cover of his books. The volumes are bound in calf, with a 3 line fillet decoration in blind around each board. The books are dated 1595 and 1626. See 1082.R.21

  • Thomas Holbech

Thomas Holbech 1094.O.7

Homo cum sis, id fac semper intelligas.’

Since you are a man, be sure that you always understand that.

This is a Latin translation of a line from the Greek comic playwright Philemon. None of his comedies survive complete, but many quotations appear in anthologists such as Stobaeus, who preserves this one. The Greek is:

Anthrōpos ōn tout’ isthi kai memnÄ“s’ aei.

Since you are a man, know it and always remember it.

  • Thomas Mannington

Oxford, Magdalen Hall.
Vicar at Bodiam.

  • George Thomason

Χωρὶς Χριστοῦ γνῶσις οὐδá½²ν, Chōris Christou gnōsis ouden, Without Christ knowledge is nothing.

  • Elizabeth Williams (c.1636 - 1698 )