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St John's College W.117

Moses Griffith. Medical certificate from the University of Leiden, 1744

St John’s College W.39

St John's College W.4

An artificial collection of papers relating to the history, fabric, membership, academic life and traditions of St John’s College, received by the Library at various dates over the past 150 years.

Box 1

R[obert] F[orsyth] Scott (1849-1933), Master of St John’s College: ‘Index to list of incumbents of College benefices’, a broadly alphabetical list detailing presentations from the earliest days of the College and maintained until the mid 1920s. The list includes presentations to masterships at schools within the College’s gift.

In the Parliament haldin at Striuiling the XXV. day of Julii, the zeir of God, ane thousand, fyve hundreth, thre scoir and auchtene zeiris (Edinburgh: John Ross, 1579)

That Scots had become the official language of the Scottish court is demonstrated by this publication of the laws and transactions of the Stirling Parliament held in 1579, just after James VI (later also I of England), began to assert his own personal rule after the regency of the Earl of Morton. After the Act of Union of 1707, the usage of Scots declined considerably and gave way to a more standard form of English.

A testimonie of antiquitie (London: John Day, 1566?).

This volume contains the Sermo de sacrificio in die Pascae of Aelfric, a monk from Winchester, fl. 1006, in Anglo-Saxon and contemporary English. It is the first attempt at printing Anglo-Saxon, and uses a specially designed type incorporating certain characters which do not occur in the Roman alphabet. Such effort and money was put into the reproduction because the text produced was not simply of antiquarian interest.

John Foxe, Actes & monuments of these latter and perillous dayes (London: John Day, 1563)

A popular success during the author’s lifetime, and the most popular book in English puritan households after the Bible, John Foxe’s Acts and Monuments (known almost immediately and universally as the 'Book of Martyrs') had a colossal impact on English Protestantism for the next two centuries, shaping attitudes to Catholicism.

Thomas Geminus, Compendiosa totius anatomie delineatio (London, 1559)

Born in Belgium, Thomas Gemini came to London to work as an engraver, instrument maker and printer. His chief work was the Compendiosa, an illustrated work on anatomy which was a direct plagiarism of Andreas Vesalius's two great works on anatomy De fabrica humani corporis libri septem and Suorum de humani corporis fabrica librorum epitome, printed in 1543.

Hector Boece, Hystory and croniklis of Scotland (Edinburgh, 1540?)

Whilst a standard form of English had developed in England from the 14th century, based on the dialects of London and the South East Midlands, in Scotland a related language had displaced Gaelic as the language of the elite. This Scottis (Scots) was based upon northern Anglian dialects spoken in those regions that once formed the kingdom of Northumbria. As can be seen in this printing from the 16th century, spelling and vocabulary differed noticeably from standard English.

Hernan Cortes, De insulis nuper inventis Ferdinandi Cortesii ad Carolum V Rom. Imperatorem narrationes (Koln: Melchior von Neuss, 1532).

This text contains the second and third letters of five sent by Cortes to the Holy Roman Emperor and King of Spain, Charles V. These provide an account of his conquest of Mexico, and were written as a justification for his actions as de facto governor of Mexico. However these letters could not bridge the distance to the imperial court, and this enabled his political enemies to weaken his position.

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