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Collection of tracts, Sixteenth to eighteenth centuries

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Dd.03.85

Scope and Contents

(1) ‘Of the prerogative of parliament’, in a dialogue between a councillor of state and a Justice of the Peace, by Sir Walter Raleigh; (2) ‘The Lord Arlington’s case, Thursday, January the 15th, 1673’; (3) ‘Mr Harrington’s argument in Banco Regis on a quare impedt.’ (in a case involving the bishop of Exeter, Hayman and Hele), with explanations, the point discussed being the power of a bishop to refuse institution on account of insufficiency of learning in the clerk presented; (4) ‘A discourse concerning a voyage intended for the planting of Christian religion and people in the North West regions of America: in places most apt for the constitution of our bodies and ye spedy advancement of a state’, in seven chapters, in the last of which a Northwest passage is spoken of as ‘certaynly to be found’; (5) ‘Prælectio domini doctoris Overalli cùm regii professoris munus in sacrâ theologiâ peteret post dominum doctorem Whitakerum’; the subject is Hebrews vi. 4, and the praelection is followed by an account, in the first person, of the manner in which Dr Overall was interrupted by the moderator, Dr Playford, and the discussion which ensued, with further matter including a sketch of a disputation, a speech, and arguments and determinations in the schools; the manuscript is in John Overall’s own handwriting (see also MS Gg.01.29, no. 8); (6) ‘The journale of a voyage in the king’s service, the Duke of Buckingham being generall, 1627: giving a full account of the expedition to the Isle of Rhe’; (7) ‘The practick before the lords of councell and session, in his Mats kingdom of Scotland, and before the commissionaries at Edenbrough, compiled by Sir Thomas Hope, his Mats advocate’; (8) ‘A delectable discourse concerning sevral sorts of ffish and ffishponds, with the antiquitie and beginning thereof, as also of the tymes of ffishing and the instruments that pertaine to the same’; (9) ‘Certayne articles of abuses to be reformed in granting prohibitions’, consisting of 25 objections with the answers to each; (10) ‘An advertisement touching on holy warre. To Lancelot Andrewes, bishop of Winchester and counsellor of estate to his majestie’, by Francis Bacon; (11) (a) ‘The generall act of the assembly houlden at Edenburgh, the 12 of August, (1639), for abollishinge of Episcopacie and all innovations lately intruded in the kirke of Scotland’, (b) ‘The bishop of Orkney’s recantation as it is registered in the said assemblies’; (12) observations on the 22nd stanza of the 9th canto of the 2nd book of Spenser’s Fairie Queene, forming a letter addressed to Sir Edward Esterlinge [Stradling] by ‘K. D.’ (Kenelm Digby), printed in 1644 (see also MS Ff.04.18, no. 1); (13) an account of the life and writings of Geoffrey Chaucer, forming a letter from Thomas Hearne, Oxford, 28 May 1709; (14) ‘A generall collection of all the officers of England with their fees in his majesties gifte’, drawn up in the time of King James I (see MS Ll.04.11); (15) ‘The valuation of the severall livings of all the bishopps of England with their several tenths paid out of them to her majestie yearly’; also of deaneries; also ‘The repartition what each province [of the Netherlands] payeth part to a hundred pound’; also ‘Secundum Sir Will. Temple the proportions to be raised in the united Provinces of 100000 gilders’; the valuations are given only in totals; drawn up in the time of Queen Elizabeth I; (16) a discourse showing ‘that some kind of taxes and publique leavies may rather encrease then diminish the wealth of the kingdome’; (17) ‘A treatise for assisting the Hollanders against the Spaniard’; (18) a tract containing an argument touching the validity of the marriage of ‘Charles, Duke of Suffolke, with the Lady Marye, the King’s sister’, and thereby of the legitimacy of ‘Lady Fraunces, daughter of the sayd Charles Duke, and the Quene’, by ‘R. B.’ (perhaps Robert Beale), in a seventeenth-century hand; (19) ‘A discourse written against a second marriage after divorce, the parties both liveing, by Doctor Andrewes, bishop of Ely, nowe of Winton, anno dni 1601’, with a marginal note questioning the attribution of authorship; (20) ‘Sir John Davis his charge given to the Grand Jury of Yorke, at the assizes holden there, 1620’, incomplete and imperfect.


  • Creation: Sixteenth to eighteenth centuries


Conditions Governing Access

From the Collection:

Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (


1 volume(s)

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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