Skip to main content

William Ree: Commonplace book

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.8131

Scope and Contents

Autograph commonplace book containing entries on a wide range of subjects arranged under headings with an index at the end. 550 numbered pages, including blanks, some later entries, a few leaves removed, nineteenth-century bookplate of Arthur Evans S. T. P., contemporary vellum wrappers (later spine title), folio.

Ree inscribed the top of the first page: "Admissus fui in Collegium Sti Johannis die [blank] Maij 1621 Gulielmus Ree". Venn, Alumni Cantabrigiensis, records Ree's graduation at St. John's in 1624-5 and that he proceeded M. A. in 1628. He probably matriculated as a sizar from St. John's in 1621 and was perhaps rector of Stratton-on-the-Fosse in Somerset from 1631 to 1663.

The volume affords an insight into the reading and interests of a Cambridge undergraduate in the early 1620s. Among books noted as having been referred to the following may be mentioned: Sir Walter Ralegh, History of the World; St. Augustine, Confessions, and commentaries on them; Stow, Chronicle; Bacon, Essays; Lithgow, Travels; George Sandys, Relation; Burton, Anatomy of Melancholy; Camden, Polydor Virgil, Plutarch; Archbishop George Abbot, Description of the World; and Dr. Clerke, Sermons.

A list of epigrams is to be found on pp. 37-38. Ree also wrote Philip Sidney's name at the head of the first page.


  • c. 1621


Conditions Governing Access

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) (1 volume, paper) : paper

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Sotheby's, 6 July 1977, Lot 124

Existence and Location of Copies

Microfilm available

Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

Cambridge University Library
West Road
Cambridge CB3 9DR United Kingdom