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Commonplace books of Zachary Grey, 1708 - 1766

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Ee.06.42-MS Ee.06.46

Scope and Contents

The volumes are uniformly bound in half calf and lettered ‘M.S.—1’ etc. They appear to be the commonplace books of Zachary Grey and are in great part in his handwriting.

Volume 1 (MS Ee.06.42) includes: (1) ‘A MS in Latin of Mr Gilbert’s a dissenter’, an apology for nonconformists by Thomas Gilbert, beginning ‘Quandoquidem Deo patri clementissimo cuncta pro arbitrio ...’; (2) a Latin letter from Johan Mattiæ bishop of Strengnas to Charles X (Gustavus), king of Sweden, 7 March 1656, urging him to call a council of protestant divines; probably original; (3) a petition of the vice-regent and fellows of Pembroke College, Oxford, to James, duke of Ormond, against the college’s master, Dr John Hall, with Hall’s answer, and the reply of the vice-regent and fellows to the answer, late seventeenth or early eighteenth century; (4) ‘A defence of the procedure of ye fellows of Pemb. Coll. together with their petition. Humbly presented to ye high and noble prince’; (5) ‘An acct of syllogisms, by Mr Rich. Allyn, I think of Corpus Xti Col. Oxon, after rector of Malden, Bedfordshire’, eighteenth century, two copies; (6) Statutes of Merton College, Oxford, a copy from the seventeenth or eighteenth century; the statutes are followed by the oaths of probationers, etc.; (7) ‘De poesi Jobi, et Hebræorum. Mr . . . . of Bedford’, eighteenth century, beginning ‘Fuit hæc sapienta quondam ...’; (8) ‘Dr [Anthony] Burges sermon at Pauls Crosse the 29th of June, 1617’, on Luke xxii. 31, seventeenth century; (9) ‘The 21st chapter of the royal statutes of the University of Cambridge intitled De gratiis concedendis explained by Dr Colbatch’; this has been cut out of the volume; (10) ‘The case of Trinity College Cambridge, by Dr Colbatch. Since printed’. (11)-(12) extracts from printed books; (13) ‘Collections from our Cambridge statutes relating to the habits of graduates’, ‘Inter collect. reverend Tho. Baker S. T. B.’; (14) ‘A transient view of Flanders. Supposed to be written by Dr N. Robinson, when he went to take his Dr of physick’s degree some years agoe at Rheims. See Mr Lindsay’s letter Nov. 1. 1737’, beginning ‘In my travels I shall not take much notice of Holand’; (15)-(46) extracts from various printed books, chiefly voyages and travels, one of which (18) is dated 1747.

Volume 2 (MS Ee.06.43) includes: (1) ‘The cause of Tinkler Duckett, M. A., fellow of Caius College, expelled the University of Cambridge, March 23, 1738-9, for atheistical principles’, containing Duckett’s letter to the Revd Stephen Gibbs of Wymondham, 3 October 1734, acta curiæ in the case, ending with ‘Interrogatories to be proposed to Henry Comelison, esq., by or on the part of Tinkler Duckett’, and Duckett’s defence, from an abstract of the trial by Philip Williams, president of St John’s College; (2)-(8) extracts from printed books; after (7) follows a remark, occupying two pages, by Thomas, afterwards bishop, Gooch, on note (a), p. 492 of Kennet’s ‘Complete history’ (second edition), volume III; after (8) follows a Latin letter from George Watts, formerly fellow of Clare College, Cambridge, to ‘Reverendissime Præsul’, complaining that scandalous reports had prejudiced the bishop against him; (9) ‘Persons who voted for and against the pewing of Saint Mary’s in Cambridge. Persons absent’; (10) ‘A list of the persons burnt in a barn at a poppet show at Burwell in Cambridgeshire, September the eighth, 1727’ (91 people); (11) ‘Mr Henley’s advertisement in the Daily post, Wednesday, February 27, 1728’, against convocation; (12) ‘Degrees at the king’s coming to Cambridge, Oct. 6, 1717’; (13) ‘1st February 1647/8. Considerations upon occasion of the late declaration of the army to stand to the two houses without and against the king. Dr Ph. Williams’s manuscript collections, Vol. XV, no. 43’, apparently transcribed for publication in the second volume of Grey’s ‘Answer to Neal’; (14) ‘A letter from the committee of Durham, [31 October] 1645. Dr P. Williams’s MS collections, Vol. IV, no. 185’; (15) ‘The claim of the Bp of Winchester [Earle], the king’s almoner, upon one Cholmley hanging himself, 1641’; (16)-(19) extracts from printed books; between (16) and (17) is a letter from ‘Jo. Marlay Major’ and others, inhabitants of Newcastle, to ‘my Lord’ [Leslie], 3 February 1643/4, from Philip Williams’s manuscript collections, Vol. XII, no. 76; (20) ‘A copy of the bp. of Lincoln’s [Barlow’s] letter concerning the reading of the king’s declaration. May 29, 1688’ (not in Grey’s hand); (21) ‘The case of Dr [Henry] Brooke, official to the archdeacon of Oxford; with a letter [original] of Dr [Thomas] Tenison, chancellor to the bishop [Dean’s Yard, Westminster, 11 July 1738]. With the copy of a letter from Dr [Stephen] Niblett, vicechancellor, to Dr Tenison. With Dr Brooke’s appointment of a proctor to appear for him. With a copy of his submission, and the opinion of Dr [J.] Andrew [Doctors Commons, 6 September 1738] upon his case. (22) ‘A petition of some of the parishioners of Houghtn Conquest, Bedds, agst. Mr Rouse, schoolmaster, to the college of Sidney’; with a note by Grey, ‘Not only frivolous but malicious’.

Volume 3 (MS Ee.06.44) includes: extracts from, and a few notes on, Chaucer, Skelton, Spenser, Thomas Warton the younger’s ‘Observations on Spenser’, Robert Dodsley’s ‘Old plays’ (vols I, II, III), Ben Jonson, William Warburton’s Shakespeare (with some remarks), William Warburton’s ‘Divine legation’ (vol. II part 1), Sir Thomas Hanmer’s Shakespeare and William Dodd’s ‘Beauties of Shakespeare’; and ‘a list of emendations borrowed by Mr Warburton from Sir Thomas Hanmer’. The handwriting is Grey’s, and in the Shakespeare notes may be found some of the rough materials of his ‘Critical, historical and explanatory notes on Shakespeare’, 2 vols, 1754.

Volume 4 (MS Ee.06.45) includes: extracts in Grey’s handwriting from printed books, some from John Upton and William Warburton’s notes on Shakespeare; Dr Frewen’s prescriptions for Mr Hatton, Bath, 29 May 1747.

Volume 5 (MS Ee.06.46) includes: (1)-(28) extracts from printed books and papers, many of which belong to the times of the English Civil War and the Commonwealth; between (28) and (29) a ‘Life of Archbishop Becket’; (29)-(31) not listed; (32) ‘Dr Walker’s epitaph. By his wife’, relating to John Walker D. D., archdeacon of Hereford, who died 9 November 1741; (33) ‘Some poems of Dean [Robert?] Mosse’s’, being ‘A brief and easie paraphrase upon the triumphal song of Moses’, ‘Ad Ech[ar]dum historiologum de libro a se nuper edito. Mense Maio. Anno 1725’ and ‘Impar congressus Lanistam inter et dialecticum prudenter evitatus’; (34) ‘Extract of a letter from Dr Brett to me dated May 18. 1728. J. Wagstaffe’ and ‘Extract fro another letter of Dr Bretts to me dated August 8. 1728. Mr Wagstaffe’ (incomplete); between (34) and (35), a note ‘entred upon a vol. of Psalms, &c. penes rev. amic. T. Baker’; a letter from William Viele ‘to my much respected ffreind William Hawkins esq., agent to the most honoble the lord lieutenant of Ireland’, 30 September 1643, ‘Dr Phil. Williams’s MS. collections, Vol. 3 no. 40’; and a fragment of a letter, ‘From Dr P. Williams’s MS. collections, Vol. 3 no. 59. An original’ (the writer, having taken prisoner Sir Henry Barclay, is willing to exchange him for lieutenant colonel Hungerford, prisoner at Oxford); (35) ‘Several poems’: ‘The tories long have deemed it as their pride ...’, ‘See, Sir, see here’s ye grand approach ...’, endorsed ‘Specimen of Martial, p. J. Swift’ and printed in Swift’s ‘Works’, ‘History tells us of kings of great fame ...’, and ‘The cushion plot’, beginning ‘Soon as Gabey possession had got of the hall ...’; (36)-(37) not listed; (38) ‘A letter from Mr [Jacob] Rogers, a Methodist, to Mr Towersey, rectr of St John’s, Bedford’, but stated in a note to have been ‘written to the Revd Mr Lambe, vicar of St Paul’s and St Cuthbert’s in Bedford’; (39) ‘Mr Towsersey’s answer’ (but see note to no. 38), with a letter from [Jacob] Rogers, possibly autograph, without address, and a pater sent with the letter in which he defends the doctrine of assurance against objections proposed in a sermon at St Paul’s; (40) ‘An affidavit of Mrs Susan Handley’s, made [28 November 1700] before the mayor of Colchester, concerning her excommunication [the form of which is also transcribed, and dated 7 November 1700] by Mr [Joseph] Hussey, an independent preacher’; (41) ‘Mrs Ann Wright’s experience of God’s gracious dealings with her soul’.


  • Creation: 1708 - 1766


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5 volume(s) (718, 460, 792, 462 and 402 pages respectively.)

Language of Materials



Custodial History

In the Library by the mid 1750s.

Physical Description


Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

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