Bamburgh Library manuscripts
The Bamburgh Library and the Sharp family
Related material - here
Related material - elsewhere


Reference code: GB-0033-BAM
Title: Bamburgh Library manuscripts
Dates of creation: [1600-2017]
Extent: 1 metre
Held by: Durham University Library, Archives and Special Collections
Origination: Created or collected by members of the Sharp family (John Sharp II, 1678-1727, politician; Rev Thomas Sharp I, 1693-1758, Archdeacon of Northumberland and Rector of Norham; Rev John Sharp III, 1723-92, Archdeacon of Northumberland and Rector of Hartburn; and Rev Thomas Sharp II, 1725-72, Perpetual Curate of Bamburgh) and the trustees of Lord Crewe’s Charity
Language: Predominantly English; some Latin

The Bamburgh Library and the Sharp family

The Bamburgh Library is essentially a family library, formed by three generations of the Sharp family:
John Sharp (1645-1714), Archbishop of York [John Sharp I]
John Sharp (1678-1727), M.P., of Grafton Park, Northants [John Sharp II] (son)
Thomas Sharp (1693-1758), Archdeacon of Durham and Rector of Rothbury [Thomas Sharp I] (son)
John Sharp (1723-92), Archdeacon of Northumberland and Rector of Hartburn [John Sharp III] (grandson)
Thomas Sharp (1725-72), Perpetual Curate of Bamburgh [Thomas Sharp II] (grandson)

The first printed catalogue of the Bamburgh Library, published by the trustees of Lord Crewe’s Charity in the later 1790’s, included in the preface an account of how the Sharp family’s book collection had come into the trustees’ possession ( A Catalogue of the Library at Bamburgh Castle, (Durham: printed by L. Pennington, [179-])). The moving spirit was Archbishop Sharp’s grandson, John Sharp III, who was himself a Crewe Trustee, as his father Thomas I had also been. In 1778 John Sharp III arranged for the trustees to purchase for £360 the library of his younger brother Thomas Sharp II (died 1772) who had been Perpetual Curate of Bamburgh, and in 1792 bequeathed his own library to the trustees. This, according to the preface to the printed catalogue, included the greater part of the Archbishop’s library, which on his death in 1714 had descended to John Sharp III’s father, Thomas Sharp I, and then, on the latter’s death in 1758, to John Sharp III. This account was reprinted unaltered in the enlarged, 2 volume catalogue of the library which the Crewe Trustees published in 1859.
However, it contained some significant errors, which were pointed out in a note about the descent of the collection which was written about 1800 by Mrs Elizabeth Prowse (1733-1810), daughter of Thomas Sharp I, in response to an enquiry she had received about the printed catalogue’s preface (Gloucestershire Archives, Lloyd-Baker Papers D3549/14/1/9, transcript at Bamburgh Library MS C8). Archbishop Sharp in his will had left to his sons John and Thomas “all my books whatsoever to be equally divided between them” (Borthwick Institute, Will of Archbishop John Sharp). According to Mrs Prowse, in the division which was actually made the larger part of the Archbishop’s collection went to his son John II, whereas the printed catalogue preface suggested that the larger part had gone to Thomas. When John II died in 1727 he left three children, a son, John Hosier Sharp (1721?-1734), and daughters Elizabeth and Mary. The boy seems to have been a sickly child, who was to die in his early teens. Perhaps for that reason, and also because of the Sharps’ strong sense of family collections, soon after her husband’s death John II’s widow gave his part of the Archbishop’s library to Mrs Prowse’s father, Thomas I, the Archbishop’s younger son. This reunited the ownership of the two halves of the Archbishop’s collection, but not their location, for Mrs Prowse’s note also tells us that her father kept the portion of the Archbishop’s library which he had inherited directly at his house in Rothbury, whereas the portion which came to him via his sister-in-law was kept in Durham.
When Thomas Sharp I died in 1758, he left “all that my collection of books in my greater study at Durham having my coat of arms pasted inside their covers and also all such books in the lesser or back study there as have my coat of arms pasted in them” to his son John III. To his son Thomas II, he left “all those my Hebrew Greek and Latin books which are in my study at Whitton Tower (his Rothbury house) and also all those Hebrew Greek and Latin books being in the lesser or back study at Durham which have not my coat of arms pasted on the inside of their covers.” To his younger children William, James, Elizabeth, Judith, Granville and Frances he left “all my English, French and Italian books” in the study at Whitton Tower and in the back study in Durham which had not his coat of arms pasted on them, to be divided amongst themselves however they wished. His coin collection and all his manuscripts and papers were left to his sons John and Thomas, and his pictures and “all my books of music whether manuscript or printed” were to be distributed among all his children, or disposed of by their consent in whatever manner they wished. How far Thomas Sharp I’s children kept strictly to the terms of his will in dividing his books can, however, only be speculation.
Mrs Prowse’s note records that Thomas II, who was already curate of Bamburgh at the time of his father’s death and had apartments in the castle, moved there the books he inherited from his father’s library at Rothbury. These, plus any Thomas added himself, were the bulk of the books purchased by the Crewe Trustees in 1778. If Mrs Prowse was correct in saying that her father always kept at Rothbury the part of the Archbishop’s library which he inherited directly, much if not all of that may actually have gone to Thomas II and been taken by him to Bamburgh soon after his father’s death in 1758, together with whatever Hebrew, Greek and Latin books lacking his father’s bookplate he claimed from his father’s back study in Durham. More detailed research on the contemporary catalogues of the collection and evidence of bookplates and inscriptions in the books themselves might shed more light on how the family book collection was actually shared out after the death of Thomas Sharp I. When John III died in 1792 he left to his wife her choice of up to 100 English books, to his brother William all his books of physic, anatomy, and surgery from his library at Hartburn, and to his brother Granville any editions of the Greek and Latin fathers and any books in Hebrew not already in his collection. Apart from those exceptions, he bequeathed to the Crewe Trustees, to be kept at Bamburgh Castle, “all my books in my library at Hartburn, and in my house at Durham … which contain the most valuable part of my Grandfather’s [the Archbishop’s] collection … also all my music books which shall be found at Hartburn and Durham”. The contemporary valuation of John Sharp III’s benefaction, £808 16s 9d (Bamburgh MS A8), compared with that for the purchase of his brother Thomas II’s books in 1778, £393 5s including music (Bamburgh MSS A4-A5) rather bears out Mrs Prowse’s suggestion that in the division of the Archbishop’s library between his sons, despite the intention in his will that it be divided equally, the greater part went to John II. Books, often in some way connected with Northumberland, continued to be added to the library after it passed to Lord Crewe’s charity by purchase in 1779 and bequest in 1792, but these additions form only a small proportion of the total.


The manuscripts fall into two categories. A few are medieval or Cyrillic codices, which have been catalogued separately. Most are records relating to the reading and book collecting of members of the Sharp family, how they themselves organised and recorded their collections, and how, in accordance with the vision of John Sharp III, the family library was reorganised as a public library located at Bamburgh Castle after its acquisition by Lord Crewe’s Charity. To the original material in the group have been added copies of five closely related items separated by historical accident and now located among the Sharp family correspondence and papers in the Lloyd-Baker Papers at Gloucestershire Archives.
The records shed light on the descent of the family collections and the Sharps’ consciousness of them as a family library. Among the early catalogues and shelf-lists is the catalogue of Archbishop Sharp’s large collection of tracts compiled by his sons John Sharp II and Thomas Sharp I (and to which they went on adding their own acquisitions to the end of their lives); Thomas Sharp II’s thematically arranged list of his books while a student at Cambridge in the 1740’s; and detailed lists and valuations, item by item, of the books sold by John Sharp III to Lord Crewe’s Charity in 1778 and bequeathed by him to it in 1792. 19th century records shed light on the rearrangement of the library around 1850 and introduction of the tripartite pressmarks which are still in use today. Records of borrowers and borrowing going back to 1797 make it possible to study who the library was serving and how much it was being used in its remote location on the Northumberland coast. The Crewe Trustees care for the management and condition of the library is seen in the detailed shelf-list compiled for them in 1910-11, and in a file from the 1920’s of correspondence and specifications about a programme for repair of bindings.
As well as the book collection records there are several manuscripts relating to the reading of family members: John Sharp III’s dated list of his own reading which he maintained for over 20 years, his commonplace book, and his brother Thomas Sharp II’s attempt at a classified scheme of reading within the broad field of theology.
This group also contains a small number of manuscripts of local antiquarian interest: an 18th century gunnery manual, an 18th century life of Nathaniel, Lord Crewe, Bishop of Durham, an account of an ancient coffin found at Chatton, Northumberland in 1814, and a 19th century enquiry into Northumberland schools.

Accession details

Largely deposited by the Trustees of Lord Crewe's Charity, 1938-58. Bamburgh MSS 24-25 were donated by Joan Knott in the 1970s. Bamburgh MSS A2, A7, A8, C1 and C5, (copies of items among the Lloyd-Baker Papers in Gloucestershire Archives) were acquired from Gloucestershire Archives 1980-2017.

Conditions of access

Open for consultation.

Copyright and copying

Permission to make any published use of material from the collection must be sought in advance from the Sub-Librarian, Special Collections (e-mail and, where appropriate, from the copyright owner. The Library will assist where possible with identifying copyright owners, but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user of the material


A. Catalogues and shelf-lists
B. Borrowing and borrower records
C. Papers relating to the Sharps’ reading and book collecting
D. Administration of the Library under the Crewe Trustees
E. Items relating to Bamburgh Castle
F. Items of antiquarian interest
Medieval manuscripts

Related material - here

Bamburgh Library The Bamburgh Castle Library was deposited at Durham by the trustees of Lord Crewe’s Charity. The "Select" class was transferred to Durham in 1938, and in 1958 was deposited with the remainder in the University Library.

Related material - elsewhere

Durham Cathedral: Sharp music collection 40 music manuscripts, secular and sacred, instrumental and vocal, largely 17th-18th century, mostly copied by or for members of the Sharp family, but also including music from the collection of the Hon. Edward Finch (1664-1738). Catalogued in Crosby, Brian A catalogue of Durham Cathedral music manuscripts (Oxford: OUP for the Dean and Chapter of Durham, 1986), 82-93
Durham Cathedral: Archdeacon Sharp sermons Sermons in Durham Cathedral Library.
Gloucestershire Archives: Lloyd-Baker papers A large collection of Sharp family papers descended to the Lloyd-Baker family through the marriage between Thomas J. Lloyd-Baker and Mary Sharp, daughter and heiress of the surgeon William Sharp (1729-1810) and granddaughter of Thomas Sharp I.
Northumberland Archives, Woodhorn: NRO 452, Records of Lord Crewe’s Charity Records of the trust responsible for the Library.


Crosby, Brian A catalogue of Durham Cathedral music manuscripts (Oxford: OUP for the Dean and Chapter of Durham, 1986)
Deconink-Brossard, Françoise, Dr John Sharp: an eighteenth-century Northumbrian preacher, St Mary’s College Fellowship lecture (Durham, 1995)
“Sharp, John (1723-1792)”, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford, 2004) [ accessed 11 Jan. 2008]
Doyle, A. I., “Unfamiliar Libraries IV: the Bamburgh Library”, The book collector, 8 no.1 (Spring 1959), 14-24


Library Records
Catalogues and shelf-lists
Bamburgh MS A1   1748
Library catalogue of Rev. Thomas Sharp II (1725-1772) while studying at Cambridge, and notes by him on Romans 9.3.
Catalogue in Sharp’s hand, entitled on f.1r “Catalogue of My Books Dec. 1748”, and with inscription “Tho. Sharp. Trin: Coll. Cant.” on inside front cover. Probably primarily a catalogue of the books he had at Cambridge, where in 1748 he was studying for the M.A. (the inscription on f.10r “Musick left at Durham” suggests that the other volumes listed in this catalogue were away from the family home there, so presumably in Cambridge). The catalogue is arranged broadly by subject categories, and for each book gives a short author/title statement and place and date of publication. There are a number of notes in shorthand distributed through it, and others on f.11r and f.26v. Earlier incomplete drafts of parts of the catalogue, written from the other end of the volume, are commenced on f.28v and f.23r. The main catalogue has been marked up by E. H. Knight (Assistant Librarian, Durham Cathedral Library 1932-48) with some pressmarks of books present in the collection in 1940. It is followed by notes on St Paul’s Epistle to the Romans, chapter 9, verse 3.
f.1r-2r: Divinity
f.2v: Dictionary's, Lexicons, etc
f.3r-4r: Classicks Greek & Latin
f.4v-6r: Translations Classicks (continued on f.10v)
f.6v: Belles lettres. Polite Litterature
f.7r-7v: Miscellanies
f.8v: Catechisms
f.9r: Books of My Brothers (i.e. borrowed from Dr John Sharp III?) Dec. 28 1748
f.10r: Musick left at Durham Dec. 1748
f.11r: Shorthand notes
f.11v: History
f.12: blank
f.13r-18r: Notes on “The Various Acceptations of St. Pauls Wish to be Accursed from Christ. Rom.9.3.examined”
f.19-21: blank
f.25-22: Catalogue of Musick. This list, written from the other end of the volume, is in two sections, “Solos for a Violin & Bass” and “Miscellaneous Solos”

contemporary marbled paper covers   1 v. (28 f)
Size: 195 x 160 mm
Binding: Quarto paper booklet
19th century pencil number Ba 13310 at top right corner of f.1r. Formerly Bamburgh MS 1.
Edited: Richard Ovenden, “Thomas Sharp’s Library at Cambridge ca 1748”, (University College, London, M.A. dissertation, 1987)
Bamburgh MS A2   [1723-1758]
Alphabetical index in the hand of Thomas Sharp I to catalogues of Sharp family book collections. Index by name of author or, for anonymous works, principal title word, but with no other details of title, edition or date. Written in Thomas Sharp I’s informal hand and arranged in five columns lettered A to E, with a note by him on f.[3]v explaining the layout:
“A is the Column for the Authors name, or the principal word in the title of any Anonymous Book. B is the page – and number in that page of the Catalogue of Mr Lamplugh’s writting [sic]. Folio covered with pastboard & marble paper. C is the page – and number &c of the Octavos of w[hi[ch I added a Catalogue at the end of Mr Lamplughs Folio book. Which said Octavo books are at Durham. D refers to the page & number of the Catalogue of the Rothbury books which are not Theological. E refers to ye page & Number of ye Catalogue of the Rothbury Books w[hi]ch are Theological.”
It seems likely that the “Catalogue of Mr Lamplugh’s writting” to which column B refers was a catalogue of part or all of Archbishop Sharp’s library compiled by Thomas Lamplugh (d.1747, canon of York and rector of Bolton Percy), who became one of the Archbishop’s chaplains c.1712 (“Autobiographical Memorials of Heneage Dering”, Yorkshire Diaries, Surtees Society 65, p.344). It is not known to survive, but appears from the sequence of numbers in column B to have been an alphabetical catalogue, whereas the sequence of numbers in columns C, D and E suggest that Sharp’s supplement to Lamplugh’s catalogue for octavos and the catalogues of Rothbury books (also not known to survive) were more probably shelf-lists. Notes by Sharp’s daughter, Mrs Elizabeth Prowse (Bamburgh MS C8) recall that he kept at Rothbury the half of Archbishop Sharp’s library which he inherited direct, but kept at Durham the half which had initially gone to his brother John but was given to him by John’s widow following John’s death in 1727. Thomas Sharp I may have compiled Bamburgh MS A2 as a step towards an overall index to both parts of his library in the period after receipt of John II’’s books.
Title on f.[1]r “Thomas Sharp / Index to catalogue of Rothbury books?” is in a modern hand.
The original ms is a folio vol. in contemporary quarter calf binding, cloth sides over millboards, narrow blind roll vertically up sides where calf abuts cloth. 340 x 220 mm: 34 f (including endleaves), unfoliated; f.[4-5] are on slightly smaller paper than the rest of the volume.
18 f
Print from digital copy (made 2017) of Gloucestershire Archives, Lloyd-Baker Papers, D3549/7/2/17
Bamburgh MS A3   [approximately 1758-1760]
Shelf-list, largely in the hand of Rev. Thomas Sharp II (1725-1772), of classes G, N, and O of a book collection. Within the classes (which do not appear to have any subject basis) the arrangement is by shelf number (roman numerals) and then item number (arabic numerals). The books are predominantly theological, with a smattering of other subjects, including classical texts, law and science. For each item, a short author/title statement is given, plus, usually, place and date of publication (not always reliable).
The shelf-list is written in the order G.I (chiefly octavo), G.II-V (octavo), G.VI (duodecimo), G.VII (quarto), G.VIII (octavo), G.IX (quarto), G.X-XI (folio), N.VI (folio), N.V (folio), N.IV (folio), N.VII (quarto), N.IX (quarto), N.VIII (quarto), N.III (quarto), N.I (duodecimo), N.II (octavo), O.I (duodecimo), O.II-V (format not stated. Shelves O.III-V, in a different, more sloping hand, with characteristic upper case C with heavy lower bowl descending below the line, are numbered continuously in a single sequence. The latest book the shelf-list contains is dated 1756 (the dates 1765 and 1793 on f.9r and 12v, both for books still in the Bamburgh library, are errors for 1665 and 1693). A single folio leaf, folded twice with one segment missing and loosely inserted in the volume, contains a list of shelves O.VI-VII (quarto), and additions to O.V (folio), together with a count headed “Numerus Librorum in Catalogo”. This records a total of 398 books at London, and 1250 at Bamburgh (whereas the total of books recorded in this booklet and supplementary leaf is only 578). It is tempting to suppose that this may be a partial shelf-list of Thomas Sharp II’s library, consisting in large part of the books he had inherited from his father Thomas I following the latter’s death in 1758, and compiled not long after he had moved them from his father’s living at Rothbury to his own curacy at Bamburgh, with the intention of then making a record of the entire library he by then possessed, including the books he had in London. According to Thomas Sharp I’s will, Thomas II was not to inherit all of the books his father kept at Rothbury, but only the Greek and Hebrew books there, but it can only be speculation how the family actually divided them. Some volumes have been marked in red with an x in the 19th/20th century, to signify volumes no longer present in the collection, but this marking is unreliable.
Quarto paper booklet    1 v. (27 + 1f)
Size: 195 x 192 mm
Binding: limp cloth covers
19th century pencil number Ba 13310 at top right of f.i recto. Formerly Bamburgh MS 2.
Bamburgh MS A4-A5   1776-1779
Catalogue and valuation of books at Bamburgh Castle (largely the library of Rev. Thomas Sharp II), comprising an inventory and valuation of the books (Bamburgh MS A4), with an author/title index (Bamburgh MS A5), purchased by the trustees of Lord Crewe’s Charity from Dr John Sharp III in 1778, to form a public library to be kept at the castle.
Bamburgh MS A4   1776-1779
“A Catalogue of Books belonging to the Revd. Dr. Sharp in Bambrough Castle September the 18th 1776””. Largely arranged in classified shelf order (f.1-73, classes A-H), with a table of the number of books in each class (total 2038) on f.74r, followed on f.74v-81v by a list of additional titles not assigned to any class, but numbered straight through 1-113. The list of classes A-H (which do not represent subject groupings) is arranged within class by shelf number and then item number, with, at the end of each class, a count of the number of volumes it contains. The order of items in the additional unclassified list seems to be arbitrary, and it may possibly be a list of books which had belonged to Thomas Sharp II but which had not been kept at Bamburgh.
Both lists give for each book a brief author/title statement, place of publication and date, and occasionally edition, and a valuation, with the accumulating total valuation stated at the foot of each page. There are only a few tract volumes (BB.6.40, F.7.23-30, F.9.11, H.1.5-7, 10, 18, and 22, and no. 49 of the unclassified list), and, with one exception (B.6.40), the contents of these are listed in full.
The list of classes A-E is written in an unidentified hand, classes F-H in John Sharp III’s hand, and the unclassified list in another unidentified hand. At the end of the lists (f.81v) there is a statement, dated 5 August 1778, of the total valuation of the books (£370 10s), plus £22 15s for music (of which there is said to be a separate catalogue, not known to survive), making a grand total of £393 5s. Below is a formal statement of purchase, dated 18 June 1779 and signed (on behalf of Lord Crewe’s Charity) by Geo. Wood, John Sharp, James Douglas and John Rotheram that “The above is a Catalogue of the Books purchased of the Revd Dr. Sharp as a public Library to be kept in Bambrough Castle, at the price of Three Hundred and Sixty Pounds”. The remainder of the volume is blank, except, on f.140r, for a crossed out receipt, dated 1772, for rum and oatmeal received from Dr Sharp.
Quarto paper volume   1 v. (140 f)
Size: 200 x 170 mm
Binding: late 18th-century, quarter sheepskin, blue wastepaper sides over boards, with ms title on front cover, “Catalogue of Books in the Library of the Revd. Dr. Sharp at Bambrough Castle, Northumberland”
19th century armorial bookplate of Bamburgh Castle Library (lettering ‘Liber Bibliothece de Bamburgh’ surrounding circular motif with Sharp family arms) on front pastedown. 19th century pencil number Ba 13310 at top right of first page. Formerly Bamburgh MS 4
Bamburgh MS A5   1776-1779
Alphabetically arranged author/title index to Bamburgh MS A4. For each book it gives an author/title statement and pressmark, but not date or place of publication. It covers only the books listed in classes A-H in Bamburgh MS A4, not those in the additional list of books not assigned to a class. Individual items in tract volumes are also omitted. It is written, in an unidentified hand, on the versos of the leaves (starting on the front pastedown), with occasional additions written on the facing rectos. Most of these additions (all those which are in the same hand as the main index), are simply corrections of omissions, but nine in John Sharp III ’s hand are of books not recorded in either of the lists in Bamburgh MS A4. These were probably added to the collection by him in the 1780’s (several of them were published in that decade). Modern pressmarks for many of the books have been added to the list by E. H. Knight (Assistant Librarian, Durham Cathedral Library 1932-48), but these and his red x markings for books no longer in the collection are not entirely reliable.
Quarto paper volume   1 v. (74 f)
Size: 208 x 170 mm
Binding: late 18th-century, limp calf, covers framed by blind double fillets
19th century armorial bookplate of Bamburgh Castle Library (lettering ‘Liber Bibliothece de Bamburgh’ surrounding circular motif with Sharp family arms) on front pastedown. 19th century pencil number Ba 13310 at top right of first page. Formerly Bamburgh MS 5
Bamburgh MS A6   [approximately 1796]
Inventory and valuation of part of the bequest of Dr John Sharp III (1723-1792) to the Bamburgh Castle Library owned by Lord Crewe’s Charity, covering only the books from Sharp’s house at Hartburn.
Untitled copy of the list and valuation of those books from Dr. John Sharp’s bequest to the Bamburgh Castle library which he had kept at Hartburn, compiled for the executors of his will by the Newcastle-upon-Tyne bookseller, William Charnley. The original of the list and valuation, which, with John Friend’s list of Sharp’s books at Durham in Bamburgh MS A7, was subsequently copied into Bamburgh MS A8 (in which Charnley is identified) to create a list of the whole bequest. In the copy of Charnley’s list in Bamburgh MS A8, the copyist initially omitted a number of octavo works which are then listed separately on p.39-40. In Bamburgh MS A6 these works are included in the main list. Otherwise the arrangement of both copies is the same. For each book Charnley gives an author/title statement, place of publication and date, or, for tract volumes, a broad overall characterization, e.g. “Tracts against Popery various Dates”. Occasionally he includes a comment on condition, e.g. “much damaged with Damp & Worm”. The list is arranged by format, in two sequences, f.1r-25r and 26r-36r (folios, f.1r-8v, 26r-27r; quartos, f.8v-13r, 27v-29r; octavos, f.13r-22v, 29v-33v; smaller formats, f.23r-25r, 34r-36r). A valuation is given for each title or tract volume, with a running total at the head and foot of each page, and a grand total at the end. Modern pressmarks have been added to the list for many of the books, and titles not found have been marked in red with an X, but these markings, made by E. H. Knight (Assistant Librarian, Durham Cathedral Library, 1932-48), are not reliable.
Folio volume   1 v. (38 f)
Size: 320 x 210 mm
Binding: late 18th-century marbled paper covers
19th century armorial bookplate of Bamburgh Castle Library (lettering ‘Liber Bibliothece de Bamburgh’ surrounding circular motif with Sharp family arms) on front pastedown. Pencil number Ba 13310 at top right corner of f.1r. Formerly Bamburgh MS 7
Bamburgh MS A7   [1793]
List and valuation of that part of the books bequeathed by John Sharp III to Lord Crewe’s Charity which he had kept at Durham, compiled for the executors of Sharp’s will. The original of the list of John Sharp III’s books at Durham which, with Charnley’s list in Bamburgh MS A6 of Sharp’s books at Hartburn, was subsequently copied into Bamburgh MS A8 to create a list of the whole bequest. The contents are largely music, which is listed first, followed by 19 other items on assorted topics including the slave trade, poetry, canal navigation, crown lands, sermons and a Greek New Testament. The list gives composer or author, short title, and a valuation of each item, with total at the bottom of each page and grand total on f.4v, but no details of edition or date. Title on back cover, 1793 The Rev. Dr. Sharp’s Durham Library Catalogue of Books sent to Bamburgh Castle made by Mr John Friend of Durham”.
Original is a quarto booklet stitched in grey paper wrappers, 227 x 190 mm.
4 f
Print from digital copy (made 2017) of Gloucestershire Archives, Lloyd-Baker Papers, D3549/9/1/12 item 2.
Bamburgh MS A8   [1796]
Inventory and valuation of the books bequeathed by Dr John Sharp III (1723-1792) to the Bamburgh Castle Library owned by Lord Crewe’s Charity. “Catalogue of the Books bequeathed by the Revd. Dr. John Sharp to the Library in Bambrough Castle by his will dated 17th April 1792 with the receipt of the Trustees for the same dated 5th April 1796” (title on front cover of the original ms): inventory and valuation of the bequest, prefaced on flyleaf by an extract from John Sharp’s will, and followed (p.78-9) by a formal attestation of delivery of the books to Lord Crewe’s Charity, signed by John Graham (clerk to George Wood, one of the executors of the will) and four of the Crewe Trustees (C. Cooper, Thomas Dampier, R. G. Bouyer and Robert Thorpe), 5 April 1796. By the terms of the will (as noted on flyleaf), John Sharp left to the Crewe Trustees “all my Books in my Library at Hartburn and in my House at Durham (except as before and hereinafter excepted) which contain the most valuable part of my Grandfather’s Collection to be kept in Bamburgh Castle As also all my Music Books which shall be found at Hartburn and Durham at the Time of my decease”. To his wife, he left “any English Books to the number of one hundred that she shall chuse out of my library”. To his surgeon brother William he left “all my books of Physic Anatomy and Surgery, that shall be found in my Library at Hartburn at the time of my death” and to his brother Granville “such Editions of the Greek and Latin Fathers, and also such Books in or relating to the Hebrew Tongue, (if any such are to be found in my said Library at the time of my Death) as he has not already of his own”. With those exceptions, the bequest to the Crewe Trustees comprised the whole of John Sharp III’s library. The inventory is in two parts: books at Durham (p.1-2), and books at Hartburn (p.3-78), the bulk of the collection. Those at Durham were catalogued and valued by John Friend of Durham Cathedral (p.2) and those at Hartburn by William Charnley, a Newcastle-upon-Tyne bookseller (p.78). Friend’s list of books at Durham is divided into Music (i.e. scores) and other books, for each of which a brief composer or author and title statement is given, but no information on date or place of publication. Charnley’s list of the books at Hartburn (also including a substantial quantity of music) is arranged by format in two sequences (perhaps relating to books found in different rooms), p.3-56 and 57-78 (folios, p.3-18, 57-60; quartos, p.18-28, 60-4; octavos, p.28-50, 64-73; smaller formats p.51-6, 73-8). For each book Charnley gives an author/title statement, place of publication and date, and number of volumes, or, for tract volumes, a broad overall characterization, e.g. “Tracts against Popery various Dates”. Occasionally he includes information on binding, e.g. on p.29 “large paper in blue Turkey gilt” and comments on condition, e.g. on p.20 “much damaged with Damp & Worm”. The whole bequest, inclusive of music, amounted to approximately 3,900 volumes. Both lists give an individual valuation for each book or volume, with a running total at head and foot of each page. The total valuation came to £808 16s 9d (books at Durham £53 3s; books at Hartburn £755 13s 9d). In the first sequence of Charnley’s list of books at Hartburn, both the completeness of the list and the arithmetic of the running valuation seem to have been carefully checked: p.39-40 contains a list of books initially omitted by the copyist, and allowance is made for these, and other errors in the arithmetic of the running valuation, in the total valuation at the end of the sequence on p.58. Page numbers 41-2 appear to have been omitted inadvertently from the pagination sequence, as there is no gap in the running valuation. Within each section of the lists, the order of items has no evident structure, and presumably followed the order in which the books were found on the shelves.
Original manuscript: folio volume in 18th-century marbled paper covers; paginated [i-ii], 1-40, 43-79 (18th-century pagination)
40 f
Formerly Bamburgh MS 6
Photocopy (made 1980) of Gloucestershire Archives, Lloyd-Baker Papers, D3549/9/1/12.
Bamburgh MS A9   [approximately 1796-1800]
Shelf-list probably compiled in the later 1790’s, soon after the receipt in 1796 of the books bequeathed to the library by Dr John Sharp III. For each book a brief author/title statement is given, or, for tract volumes, a brief covering description (e.g. “A Collection of controversial Tracts”), but no information is provided on format, date or place of publication. Music is not included. The total number of volumes recorded is 5,157.
The shelf-list reflects the rearrangement of the collection to merge John Sharp III’s bequest with the books of his brother Thomas II (which had been purchased in 1779 as the library’s foundation collection) and any books added in the intervening years. The arrangement is by “shelf” letter (A-L) and running number within shelf (in view of the number of books on some shelves “Shelf” probably actually designated a section rather than a physical shelf). This system of pressmarks seems to have lasted until around the middle of the 19th century (from the evidence of the borrowing register, Bamburgh MS B2, it was still in use up to about 1847, but by 1856 a new system of tripartite pressmarks [letter, roman numeral, arabic numeral], which is still current, had been introduced).
Shelf A (f.1r-2r): 280 vols
Shelf B (f.2v-4r): 241 vols
Shelf C (f.4r-6r): 241 vols
Shelf D (f.6r-8v): 284 vols
Shelf E (f.7r-11v): 313 vols
Shelf F (f.11v-15v): 447 vols
Shelf G (f.15v-18v): 507 vols
Shelf H (f.18v-23r): 668 vols
Shelf I (f.23r-30v): 766 vols
Shelf K (f.30v-32v): 861 vols
Shelf L (f.33r-39r): 549 vols
The primary determining factor in the arrangement seems to have been size: shelves A-D chiefly contained folios, shelf E folios and quartos, shelf F quartos, shelves G-H quartos and octavos, and shelves I-L octavos and smaller formats. Within a shelf, no structured order is apparent, although small groups of books on the same subject are occasionally found together, notably the legal folios at the beginning of shelf D. Vols G.20-21 are noted as “lost” both in the list and in a contemporary note on the inside of the original paper front cover.
Modern pressmarks have been added for most of the books by E. H. Knight (Assistant Librarian, Durham Cathedral Library, 1932-48), but these are not entirely reliable and some books not so annotated are actually still in the collection.
Folio volume (several different stocks of laid paper, some of it, e.g. f.25-26, watermarked with date 1796)   1 v. (39 f)
Size: 335 x 210 mm
Binding: 20th-century quarter-goatskin binding, with original 18th-century paper covers bound in
Formerly Bamburgh MS 8
Printed: A Catalogue of the Library at Bamburgh Castle …published by order of the Trustees of the Estates of …Nathanael late Lord Crewe … (Durham: printed by L. Pennington, [179-]), an alphabetical author/title catalogue which includes printed pressmarks corresponding to those in the shelf-list in Bamburgh MS A9. The prelims and final index of the printed catalogue are on paper watermarked 1794, but, as the Crewe Trustees’ formal receipt for the books bequeathed by John Sharp is dated 1796, it seems likely that the printed catalogue was published in the later 1790’s.
Bamburgh MS A10   [approximately 1850]
Catalogue of part of the Bamburgh Castle Library owned by Lord Crewe’s Charity. Alphabetical author catalogue, giving for each book author, title, number of volumes, format, and place and date of publication, written on the recto of each opening, with pressmarks on the facing verso. Pressmarks are in the form letter, roman numeral, arabic numeral, and are substantially those still in use today (although some books have been relocated within the collection, and many of the resulting alterations to pressmarks have been marked up in this catalogue, probably by E. H. Knight (Assistant Librarian, Durham Cathedral Library, 1932-48)).
The catalogue is without title and its intended purpose and coverage is puzzling. Although there is a full A-Z sequence of entries, and (except for letter P which covers only names beginning Pa) the entries under each letter have not evidently been left incomplete, it contains entries for only approximately 1,400 volumes, whereas the combination of the original purchase of Thomas Sharp’s books, John Sharp’s bequest, and other miscellaneous accessions would have created a stock of over 6,000. Only books in classes A-C and E-G are recorded, and the recording of those classes is probably incomplete (items in tract volumes seem to be largely excluded, and there are probably other omissions). The catalogue was probably compiled about 1850, or slightly earlier (the latest book is dated 1844), and it may represent a stage in the rearrangement of the library to replace the earlier pressmark system (shelf letter / running number) with the tripartite pressmarks (letter / roman numeral / arabic numeral) still in use. According to the evidence of the borrowing register (Bamburgh MS B2) the two-element pressmarks were still in use up to about 1847, but the tripartite system of pressmarks had been introduced by 1856.
Quarto volume (watermarked paper, with printed ruling)   1 v. (268 f)
Size: 230 x 195 mm
Binding: 19th century binding (cream paper, imitating vellum, over millboards); marbled endpapers
19th century armorial bookplate of Bamburgh Castle Library (lettering ‘Liber Bibliothece de Bamburgh’ surrounding circular motif with Sharp family arms) on front pastedown. Pencil number Ba 13310 at top right corner of front flyleaf. Formerly Bamburgh MS 9
Bamburgh MS A11   1910-1911
Shelf-list of the Bamburgh Library, compiled by E.V. Stocks, librarian of Durham University Library, for the Crewe Trustees, 1910-11. With later corrections and annotations. Gives pressmark and brief details of author, title, date and sometimes place of publication for each item. The contents of tract volumes are listed in full. With note in Stocks’ hand on a preliminary leaf “This Shelf Catalogue was compiled from the alphabetical Catalogue (i.e. the 1859 two-volume catalogue published by the Crewe Trustees) and completed in 1910-11 by E. V. Stocks, University Librarian of Durham, by the instructions of Lord Crewe’s Trustees. Number of vols is about 6,386 + 193 vols & scores of Music”; below is a later note in the hand of Dr A.I. Doyle, Keeper of Rare Books in the University Library, “Shelf-list sheets for Music now in Cathedral Library, and a notebook catalogue by E.V.S”. STC and Wing references have been added in pencil to many entries in the hand of Dr Jan Rhodes, who made a survey for the University Library in the 1970’s of pre-1701 English items in the collection. This is still the working shelf-list of the library, and a pencil note, still kept up to date on a preliminary leaf, records the years in which a shelf-check of the collection has been carried out. The shelf-list primarily covers the library’s printed collection, and only those of the Bamburgh Library Manuscripts which are or were located among the printed books sequence are included.
1 sheaf binder
Size: 130 x 215 mm
Pencil number B 11765 at head of a preliminary leaf.
Bamburgh MS A12   [Between approximately 1715 and 1757 or 1758]
Catalogue of tracts belonging to John Sharp II (1677-1727), M.P. for Ripon, and Dr. Thomas Sharp I (1693-1758). Catalogue of tracts collected partly by Dr John Sharp I (1645-1714), Archbishop of York, and partly by his two sons, John Sharp II (1677-1727) M.P., and Thomas Sharp I (1693-1758), Prebendary of Durham and Archdeacon of Northumberland.
The catalogue was begun by John Sharp II, and more than half is in his hand. It was possibly started as an attempt, commenced soon after his father’s death in 1714, to catalogue the latter’s tracts. In this endeavour John Sharp II was apparently assisted by his brother Thomas I, and in these earlier entries, all seemingly relating to items published within Archbishop Sharp’s lifetime, John writes in a quite formal hand (p.1-12, 29-52, 61-65 and part of 66, 73-86, 89-90, 93-100, 137-40, 173-75, 183-213, 217-32, 245-6 and top of 247, 325-32) and Thomas in a fine large calligraphic hand (p.12-13, the top of 69, 101-3, 105, 109-12, 177-8, 233-9, part of 247 and 248, 289, 305-7, 333-50).
Later entries by each brother, partly relating to tracts inherited from their father and partly to tracts they collected themselves, are written in a faster, more informal style (John on part of p.69, 163-4, top of 179, bottom of 239 and top of 240, 254-6, 264-7, top of 290, 351-5, 374-8, top of 379, and top of 389; Thomas on p.14-17, 53, 55-8, foot of 66 and 67-8, foot of 69, 70-2, 91-2, foot of 164 and 165-6, 179-81, 214-6, bottom of 240 and 241-4, 249, bottom of 256 and 257, bottom of 290 and 291, 308-11, 356-73, foot of 379 and 380-88, foot of 389 and 391-4). A note by Thomas on p.350 states that the 50 volumes of tracts in octavo listed on p.325-50 were all collected by his father and bound during his lifetime, whereas the pamphlets and tracts in octavo listed on p.351-88 were collected by his brother (where listed in John’s hand) or himself. Both brothers continued to add to the catalogue almost to the end of their lives (John until at least 1723, Thomas until at least 1757).
The catalogue’s arrangement is primarily by size (folio, quarto, and octavo), and within size by the physical volumes, grouped to some extent by subject, in which the tracts are bound up.
p.[i]: Title-page, “General index to all the Volumes of Tracts, Tryals, Narrative, Poems, Miscellanies &c in this Library”
p.1-2: Contents table
p.3-18: Folio volumes (with sub-headings)
p.3: Poemata miscellanea
p.4: State tracts
p.5: Trials
p.9: Narratives
p.11: Miscellanies
p.18-28 blank, and another blank page at the end of a subsection
p.29-288: Quarto volumes (with sub-headings)
p.29: Against popery
p.55: Socinian tracts
p.61: Popish tracts
p.64: Theological tracts
p.69: Tracts about the liturgy
p.73: Tracts against Dissenters
p.76: On church government
p.78: Of comprehension
p.79: Of toleration
p.80: Passive obedience and resistance
p.81: Infant baptism
p.82: Sabbath
p.83: Trinity
p.84: Witches
p.85: Political tracts against the Dissenters
p.89: Against Quakers
p.93: Declarations and speeches in the Great Rebellion
p.96: Papers concerning the Revolution
p.97: Tracts about oaths and government
p.99: Ireland and Scotland
p.100: Scotland
p.105: Sieges and Law miscellanies
p.109: Convocation
p.137: Sermons, discourses, miscellanies (chiefly sermons)
p.163: Sermons large paper
p.173: Sermons small paper
p.205: Old English tracts
p.217: Quartos lettered Miscellanies
p.245: Quartos lettered Miscellanies, Latin
p.254: Pamphlets
p.264: Tracts
p.258-88: blank, and other blank pages at ends of sub-sections
p.289-388: Octavo volumes (blank pages at end of some sub-sections) Sub-headings:
p.289: Lettered sermons
p.305: New prophets
p.325: Miscellanies
p.351: Pamphlets
p.374: Tracts
p.389-390: Sale catalogue
p.391-394: Manuscripts
There are blank pages at the end of many sub-sections. The description of each volume starts with a summary indication of the contents, sometimes the spine title. Within each volume, the contents are listed in numbered order, giving for each tract a short author/title statement and sometimes date of publication. A contents table is included (p.1-2) in Thomas Sharp’s hand. In addition to the main sequence of tracts, sale catalogues are listed (p.389-390), and manuscripts (p.391-4). Present-day pressmarks have been added in red ink (or occasionally black ink) for those volumes still to be found in the collection; the others are marked “not here” or “lost” in pencil. The origin and purpose of the marginal red ink numbers against some tracts on p.29-52 is unclear.
Folio volume   1 v. (185 f)
Size: 325 x 210 mm
Binding: blind-tooled brown calf binding over millboards, first half of the 18th century, rebacked 20th century, with original title-label “Catalog. Of Tracts” laid down on new spine
Bookplate of Thomas Sharp I on front pastedown. 19th century pencil number Ba 13310 on flyleaf. Formerly Bamburgh MS 3
Richard Ovenden,“ The early use of sale catalogues”, Factotum, 26 (1988), 10-14 (a discussion of the list of sale catalogues on p.389-90)
Bamburgh MS A13   1837-1838
Catalogue of tracts in the Bamburgh Castle Library owned by Lord Crewe’s Charity. Catalogue of tracts, arranged in three divisions (religious, political and miscellaneous), with an author index to sermons and charges, and a subject index to topics and names. Title-page reads “Catalogue of tracts in Bamburgh Castle Library Arranged under three Heads, Religious, Political, & Miscellaneous. 1837”. Note by Scafe, signed J.S., on verso of front free endpaper “Begun March 22d. 1837”, and another on rear endpaper “Finished March 24th 1838”. John Scafe was appointed librarian of the Bamburgh Castle Library on 3 February 1837 (NRO 452/B.a/20) and ceased to be librarian of the collection on 23 April 1843 (Bamburgh MS B2, f.101r) and died in that year (note on verso of front free endpaper). According to Foster’s Alumni Oxoniensis he matriculated at University College, Oxford, in 1794, aged 17, but there is no record of his having taken a degree.
Each division of the catalogue is in pressmark order, using the two-element pressmarks (letter + Arabic number) in use from the 1790’s until they were replaced around the middle of the 19th century by the system of three-element pressmarks (letter, roman numeral, arabic numeral) which is still current. Within each division, the sequence of pressmarks is set out mostly in reverse alphabetical order (I, H, G, F, E, D, but K follows D), and the contents of each volume are listed in turn, giving for each item its numerical place in the volume, and title, place and date of publication.
f.[i]: Title-page
f.1-80: Religious tracts (volumes with original pressmarks in classes I, H, G, and F up to F.53)
f.81-104: Political tracts (volumes with original pressmarks in classes I, H, G, F, E, D, and K, listed in that order)
f.105-20: blank
f.121-152: Religious tracts (volumes with original pressmarks in the range F54-121)
f.153-60: blank
f.161-185: Miscellaneous tracts (volumes with original pressmarks in classes I, H, G, F, E, D and K, listed in that order)
f.199-209: Author index to sermons and charges, with a table of pressmarks of anonymous sermons on f.199v. Entries for charges are written in red ink.
f.210-235: Index to principal names and subjects contained in the tracts
f.186-98: blank
Bibliographical notes (written in red ink) are also provided for many items, often derived from W. T. Lowndes’ Bibliographer’s Manual (1834).
Modern pressmarks for most of the books were added in 1939 by E. H. Knight (Assistant Librarian, Durham Cathedral Library), according to his note on the title-page, but are not entirely reliable.
Quarto volume (wove paper, watermarked J. Green & Son 1835)   1 v. (236 f)
Size: 283 x 233 mm
Binding: 20th century quarter goatskin binding, buckram sides, marbled endpapers probably preserved from an earlier binding
Armorial bookplate of Lord Crewe’s Trustees (rampant lion crest, with motto “Vis unita fortior”) on front pastedown. Pencil number Ba 13310 at top right of title-page. Formerly Bamburgh MS 10
Borrowing and borrower records
Bamburgh MS B1-B2
Register of borrowers, with their signatures, 1797-1887, and printed borrowing register 1797-1901, laid out in four columns, ten loan records per page, with spaces left for details to be filled in by hand of books borrowed, borrower, dates of borrowing and return, and fines.
The register of borrowers (a quire originally at the front of Bamburgh MS B1), was apparently removed from that volume when space in it for loan records had been fully used up, and inserted at the front of the new borrowing register, Bamburgh MS B2, where additions continued to be made to it until September 1887. It contains, at the head, dated 21 June 1797, the undertaking to be subscribed by all borrowers, with, below, in chronological order, their signatures, with their place of residence and often their profession. Borrowers, some of whom signed “for self and family”, included both men and women. The date at which each subscribed is given only at the start of the register, and from 1819 onwards. According to the regulations for use of the library in the printed catalogue published in the late 1790’s, borrowers were required to be either “a well known housekeeper usually residing within twenty miles of Bamburgh Castle” or a Church of England clergyman, a Dissenting minister, or a Roman Catholic priest serving a place of worship within that area.
In the borrowing register, books are usually identified up to 1847 only by their pressmarks, in the two-element form (letter plus arabic number) in use from the late 1790’s until the mid-19th century. By 1856 a new system of tripartite pressmarks (letter, roman numeral, arabic numeral) had been introduced, which is still current. In the intervening years, presumably while the change-over was being made, books borrowed are usually entered in the register by author/title. From 1856 both pressmark and brief author/title details are often recorded, but the consistency of the record-keeping is variable. Borrower information often includes place of residence as well as name. No fines are recorded. In the early years almost all loans are recorded as “per M. Maughan” (Rev. Michael Maughan, the Crewe Trustees’ librarian and agent at Bamburgh Castle, who last appears in the register in November 1827). A note on f.101r of Bamburgh MS B2 records that J. Scafe ceased to be librarian on 23 April 1843.
Anna Carlsson, “The geography of scientific culture in early nineteenth century Britain: the case of Bamburgh Castle Library”, Library History, 23 (September 2007), 179-90 (a study of use of the library based on the borrower and borrowing records, and Joan Knott’s indexes to them)
Bamburgh MS B1   1797-1818
Bamburgh Castle Library register of books borrowed, 1797-1818, with lists of books sent for binding, 1801, and books missing 1818. Register of books borrowed, running from 17 June 1797 (f.1r) to 12 September 1818 (f.130v), with, on the first rear flyleaf (f.131v), a list of seven books plus a pattern volume sent to Mr Charnley (William Charnley, Newcastle-upon-Tyne bookseller) to be bound, 26 September 1801, and thirteen books and a pattern volume sent by Dr Prosser to be bound, 25 October [1801?], and, on the second rear flyleaf (f.132v), a list of books missing in November 1818 (some crossed out and marked “long lost”).
Folio volume (laid paper, dated watermark of the Kent papermaker John Buttanshaw, 1794)   1 v. (130 printed f, preceded and followed by 2 flyleaves at each end)
Size: 383 x 250 mm
Binding: late 18th-century reversed calf binding, covers bordered by blind-tooled narrow floral roll; plain endpapers with undated watermark of Robert Williams, Kent papermaker, active 1790’s.
Formerly Bamburgh MS 11
Bamburgh MS B2   1797-1901
Bamburgh Castle register of borrowers 1797-1887, register of books borrowed 1818-1901, and list of missing books 1807. Undertaking to be signed by borrowers on first registration and register of borrowers, 1797-1887 (f.1-7); register of borrowings, 26 September 1818-29 July 1901 (f.1-7 and 11-123v); and list of books missing,1 November 1807 (f.299); f.8-10, 124-298 and 300 are blank. The first quire (f.1-10), containing the borrowers’ undertaking and the register of borrowers, was apparently transferred to this volume from the previous borrowing register (Bamburgh MS B1), and has the same watermark as the rest of that volume.
Folio volume (laid paper, f.1-10 with dated watermark of John Buttanshaw, 1794; f.[i], 11-300 with dated watermark of Ruse and Turner, Upper Tovil Mill, Kent, 1815)   1 v. (301 f)
Size: 335 x 260 mm
Binding: 20th century brown quarter goatskin binding, buckram sides, marbled endpapers (re-used from an earlier binding)
Formerly Bamburgh MS 12
Bamburgh MS B3/1-3   1970s
Index of borrowers from the Bamburgh Castle Library, 1797-1901, based on the borrowing registers, Bamburgh MSS B1-B2. Created by Joan Knott, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Librarianship, Newcastle upon Tyne Polytechnic. She was the author of “A History of the Libraries of Newcastle upon Tyne to 1900”, (University of Newcastle upon Tyne M.Litt. thesis, 1975); Newcastle upon Tyne City Libraries: the first 100 Years (Newcastle upon Tyne, 1980); and a number of articles on Newcastle libraries published in Library History. She compiled this index for a projected but not completed research project on use of the Bamburgh Castle Library in the 18th and 19th centuries.
In alphabetic order of borrowers: B3/1, A-G; B3/2, H-P; B3/3: R-Y. Under each borrower, the index gives his/her name and place of residence as recorded in the borrowing registers, and occasionally a little additional biographical information from other sources, followed by a chronological list of his/her borrowings, with date of loan and return, pressmark, and brief details of the book, where it has been possible to identify it.
3 A4 ring binders
Donated by the compiler.
Formerly Bamburgh MS 24/1-3
Bamburgh MS B4/1-4   1970s
Index of books borrowed from the Bamburgh Castle Library, 1797-1901, created by Joan Knott based on the borrowing registers, Bamburgh MSS B1-B2. Indexed in pressmark order, old series pressmarks followed by new series pressmarks, and then music: B4/1, Old series pressmarks A-E; B4/2, Old series pressmarks F-H; B4/3, Old series pressmarks I-K, B4/4, Old series pressmarks L, old series pressmarks Cc-Ff, new series pressmarks, Music.
Index of borrowings from the Bamburgh Castle Library created by making a card for each book recorded in the first printed catalogue of the Bamburgh Castle Library, published in the later 1790’s, and the supplement to it published about 1834, and then sorting the cards into pressmark order, using the pressmarks printed in those catalogues - the two element (letter, or double letter, and running number) pressmarks in use until the library was reorganized c.1847-56, when the three element pressmarks still in use (letter, Roman numeral, Arabic numeral) were introduced. The compiler then added to the cards any records of loans in the borrowing registers, giving the year of the loan, but not the precise date, and the borrower’s name. Loans are listed on each card in alphabetical order of borrower rather than in chronological order, which suggests that for this listing the compiler worked from the index of borrowers and their borrowings already created in Bamburgh MS B3, rather than directly from the borrowing registers. Loans made after the introduction of the new-style pressmarks around the middle of the 19th century are listed on cards filed under those pressmarks.
2 archive boxes of index cards
Donated by the compiler.
Formerly Bamburgh MS 25/1-4
Bamburgh MS B5/1-12   [1844]-1903
Correspondence and papers relating to borrowers and borrowing from the Bamburgh Castle Library, approximately 1844-1903.
Formerly Bamburgh MS 18/1-12
Bamburgh MS B5/1-2   [19th century]
Printed recall notice and printed copy (on a gummed label) of Rule 5 of the library regulations, referring to the return of books.
Bamburgh MS B5/3   [1843]
Note, signed by J. Scafe (librarian of Bamburgh Castle Library), of various books borrowed in the period 1837-43, giving date of loan and borrower’s name and pressmark, and annotated with dates on which the books were returned.
Bamburgh MS B5/4-12   1893-1903
Six letters to Canon H. F. Long (vicar of Bamburgh and librarian of Bamburgh Castle Library), from Canon R. W. Dixon (Richard Watson Dixon, 1833-1900, ecclesiastical historian and poet), Warkworth Vicarage, making arrangements to borrow, and/or requesting information from books in the library, 1893-96, together with a letter from Canon Dixon’s widow, Mrs M. E. Dixon, February 1900, returning her husband’s borrowings, and a list of the books received from her, signed by Long, 3 February 1903.
Papers relating to the Sharps’ reading and book collecting
Bamburgh MS C1/1-2   [1750s]
Print from digitised copy of rough notes by Thomas Sharp I of gifts of books to some of his children and miscellaneous items of expenditure in the 1750s. Jottings reusing a strip of paper with traces of seal which had been the cover of a letter addressed to the Dean and Chapter of Durham. The notes about books record gifts of 3 to “Tom” (Thomas Sharp II), 6 to “Jack” (John Sharp III) including the first edition of Newton’s Principia, 9 on medical topics to “Billy” (William Sharp (1729-1810), surgeon to George III), 1 to “Betty” (Mrs Elizabeth Prowse, 1733-1810), and 1 to “Judy” (Judith Sharp, 1730-1809). Brief author and title details are given, but date for only for four of the items.
The original manuscript is one sheet, 300 x 145 mm.
2 f
Print from digital copy (made 2017) of Gloucestershire Archives, Lloyd-Baker Papers, item 16 in folder of items found loose in D3549/7/2/17.
Bamburgh MS C2/1-2   [1740s]
Papers of Dr Thomas Sharp I relating to his tract collections. Found loose in Bamburgh MS A12 (catalogue compiled by Dr. Sharp and his brother John Sharp II of their tract collections).
Formerly Bamburgh MS 14/1-2
Bamburgh MS C2/1   [1740s]
Undated list in Sharp’s hand of the number of tract volumes in various categories in, presumably, his own collections. Written on the verso of a draft letter from him, Durham, 19 March 1746, to a fellow clergyman, concerning the difficulties in finding a curate to officiate at the forthcoming Easter services in the parish of Whickham.
Paper   1 f
Bamburgh MS C2/2   [1740s]
Rough draft list in Sharp’s hand of various tracts concerning Anglican-Roman Catholic controversies which are “wanting”, presumably from his own collection. The list is derived partly from Edward Gee's The catalogue of all the discourses published Against Popery (London 1689), of which he owned a copy (Bamburgh F.V.50/3).
Paper   1 quarto bifolium
Bamburgh MS C3   [First half of the 17th century]
Language:   English Latin
Two sermons in the same unidentified 17th century hand, one in English on Ephesians ii.14, the other in Latin on Isaiah xxviii.9-10. Written on some of the blank leaves (24 at the front, and 24 at the back, including pastedowns) bound in at each end of a copy of Apologia doctissimi viri Rogeri Aschami, Angli, pro caena dominica, contra missam & eius prestigias (London: [ex typographia Henrici Middletoni] pro Francisco Coldocko, 1577). The book is in an early 17th-century calf binding, with gilt edges. Bookplate on front pastedown of volume of Thomas Sharp I (1693-1758), Archdeacon of Northumberland.
At the head of the sermon in English, which occupies 6 pages at the front of the volume, is a note “By Mr Hunte of New Colledge” (possibly John Hunt, Fellow of New College, Oxford, died 1581 aged 22, or William Hunt of New College, Oxford, matriculated 1615, M.A. 1627/8, B.D. 1636). There is no indication of authorship in the Latin sermon, which occupies 17 pages at the end of the volume.
3 & 9 f
Bound in Bamburgh Select.60
Bamburgh MS C4   [1740-1763]
Booklist in the hand of John Sharp III (1723-92), Archdeacon of Northumblerand, apparently a dated list of books read by him in the period 1740-63. Booklist written on flyleaves of an edition of Homer’s Iliad (Greek and Latin parallel text, edited by Cornelius Schrevelius) published in Amsterdam, 1656. The flyleaves were already bound into the book when the list was written, as one of the entries on the last page of the list has an offset on the facing title-page of the book. The book was unfortunately rebound with new pastedowns in the early 20th century, but on each leaf of the list there are spatters from the red sprinkle with which a previous binder had decorated its edges, and some of this is under the ink of the list. The list appears to be of books read by Sharp, although it is certainly not a full record of his reading. It is arranged chronologically, with the year and, up to 1757, day and month noted against almost every title. Only author, title and volume number are stated, with no edition information. The list was started on 12 May 1740, the day of his admittance to Trinity College, Cambridge as a student, and the second item on it, “Homer’s Iliad”, is probably the book on the flyleaves of which the list is written. There are entries for every year up to 1763 (although only one in each of 1750, 1751, 1757 and 1758), so it would seem that, at the outset of his Cambridge career, Sharp formed an intention to keep a dated list of his reading, and sustained it, even if not comprehensively, for over twenty years. The subject range of the books listed is wide, spanning classics, English and French literature, history and natural philosophy, but little religion apart from collections of sermons, primarily those of his grandfather, John Sharp I (1645?-1714), Archbishop of York. A number of the works which he lists in the 1740s are among the sources which he cited most frequently in the commonplace book entries he made during those years in Bamburgh MS C5. The latest English novels also feature prominently – Roderick Random, Clarissa, Tom Jones, Amelia, and Tristram Shandy are all listed in the year of their first publication.
5 p
Bound in Bamburgh L.3.39
Bamburgh R.7   [1740s-1760s]
Language:  Predominantly English; some Latin, Greek, Hebrew and French
Commonplace book of John Sharp III (1723-92), Archdeacon of Northumberland, with an addition by his brother, Rev. Thomas Sharp II (1725-72). Commonplace book largely in the hand of John Sharp III, written in a volume with inscriptions on p.[i] recording its purchase on September 15 1667 from “John Levett, Glouer at the hand and Gloue In Barbycan London: 3 Quiers in this Book 1667 Imperiell Paper at 5 s. p[e]r Quier”. This may be the man who was apprenticed to Thomas Cunning in 1664, when he was described as a Dyer (D.F. McKenzie, Stationers Company apprentices 1641-1700 (Oxford Bibliographical Society Publication, new series, xvii, 1974), p.65). The purchaser does not sign his name, although it may have been John Redston, whose ownership inscriptions appear twice lower down the same page, one dated 1702. Except for the first leaf of the first quire, and two leaves from the last quire, no leaves are missing, so it appears that the volume was still a blank book when acquired later in the 18th century by John Sharp III.
Entries in the volume are arranged approximately alphabetically under topic, and are laid out in columns (usually four columns to a page, pre-ruled, and frequently pre-headed with the first two letters of the terms to be entered below). A key from letter of the alphabet to page number is provided on p.[i]. The entries belong to two distinct phases.
Those from the first phase are largely notes on Sharp’s reading (mostly summaries rather than quotations), and occasional notes on phenomena he had seen, compiled during his years of study at Cambridge in the 1740s. He does not always cite his sources, but many of the works he does mention also appear under dates in the 1740s in the dated list of his reading in Bamburgh MS C4, and other internal evidence also points to those years – e.g. his note on the appearance of a comet in 1743 (p.32), and his description of a monstrous child he saw in a village near Cambridge in January 1745 (p.139). At the end of the volume, on p.277, is a booklist, giving author, title, and sometimes edition, place and date, which corresponds to the sources most frequently cited in the phase 1 entries. A significant proportion of the entries from this first phase are on scientific or medical topics. They include (p.133-5) a classified catalogue of materia medica “according to Dr Heberden” (William Heberden the elder, 1710-1801, who gave an annual course of lectures at Cambridge on the subject), which concludes with a scheme for the layout of a cabinet for a materia medica. Under “Catalogus” (p.26) there is a list of medical works divided into broad subject categories, followed by a reference “for Academical learning in general” to Daniel Waterland’s Advice to a young student, originally compiled for Cambridge pupils, and another reference, “for Mechanicks, Hydrostaticks, & Pneumaticks, Opticks and Astronomy”, to Thomas Rutherforth’s Ordo institutionum physicarum. This outline of the Newtonian course of instruction Rutherforth gave at Cambridge was published in 1743 and further developed in his System of natural philosophy, 1748, which may suggest that Sharp wrote his entry before that date. The entry under “Lectures” (p.123) gives an outline of the course of study to be followed and academic exercises to be performed during a student’s first three years at university.
Sharp’s musical interests are reflected in entries under “Harpsichord” (p.109), where he makes an unfinished note about a “Scheme of a Machine for writing extempore Voluntaries, or other Musick”, and under “Musick” (p.142), where he notes “Rules for fingering the Violincell. by Aberco” and directions for stringing a common harpsichord. His interest in shorthand appears in the table of shorthand signs under that heading (p.208) and he includes Thomas Shelton’s work on the subject in his list of sources (p.277). Among the longer entries is one on “Ecclesiasticus – Remarks thereon” (p.50-51), discussing points of translation. As well as handwritten entries, three small printed tables are pasted into the volume: kings and queens of England down to George II (p.113), and an interest rate table and conversion table for Portuguese money (p.139).
The second phase of entries probably dates from the 1750s, and seems to have begun with an intention to create an amalgamated index to useful topics in three reference works of value to a young clergyman: Richard Grey’s A system of English ecclesiastical law, Joseph Shaw’s Parish law, and John Johnson’s The clergyman’s vade mecum. As a preliminary, a horizontal division was ruled across all pages in the volume where there was still enough blank space to allow the lower part of the page to be utilised for the purpose. Sharp sustained his indexing intention only for the letters A-C, but used other pages of the volume to record a variety of other practical information of value for his work in church and parish – e.g. a note on Durham Dean and Chapter leases (p.123), and several forms of documents (p.171, under “Pennance”, p.209 under “Si quis”, p.219 under “Testimonial”, and p.221 under “Title”). In the lengthy entry under “Examination of candidates for Orders, being the method used by my father [Thomas Sharp, 1693-1758, Archdeacon of Northumberland] & drawn up for My Use” (p.59-60), Thomas Sharp’s kindliness and psychological understanding of bashful young ordinands can be seen, and also his concern for the staffing of poor livings and his wry acceptance of the need for some compromise on the level of academic achievement required from men destined for such small stipends – otherwise “Dissenting teachers will intrude into those places, & take these cures into their own hands. Only I c[oul]d wish in these cases that the persons who are ordained to these small stipends, with a proportionately small share of Literature, were restrained from removing from the said Cures, till they were better qualified to serve the Church in places of more importance”. All of the phase two entries are of this practical kind except for “Freewill, &c. Some Reflections on Dr. Hartley’s Notion of Mechanism & Necessity consistent with what he calls practical Liberty” (p.69-72, 83), extensive notes apparently written by John Sharp himself (rather than summarising his reading of other writers), attacking arguments in David Hartley’s Observations on man (1749), a seminal attempt to extend Newtonian science to the study of human nature.
Only one entry in the volume is not by John Sharp. “Clarkianae epitome” (p.30), a summary in Latin of Samuel Clarke’s 1704 Boyle lectures, Demonstration of the being and attributes of God, is in the hand of his younger brother Thomas Sharp II (1725-72), who overlapped with him at Trinity (matriculated 1743, B.A. 1746-7, Fellow 1749, M.A. 1750). The entry was written before the volume’s pages were divided horizontally, so was presumably made while both brothers were at Cambridge. The volume is ruled in columns up to p.264, but there are no entries under Y or Z, and p.265-276 are blank (apart from a ruled frame), except for a doodle – “Mr Robert Bur [? Burn] is An Honest Man And John Revill is a Knave”, etc. - written upside down on p.270. Four loose drawings found in the book are described as Bamburgh R.7A/1-4.
Folio volume (watermarked laid paper- crowned fleur-de-lys / IHS A I countermark) Paper heavily damp-stained and degraded. 19th/20th century repairs, with some leaves re-margined, hinges of binding strengthened, new endpapers.   1 v. (139 f)
Size: 540 x 390 mm
Binding: 17th century stiff vellum binding
Bamburgh R.7A/1   [1740s-1760s]
Ink and wash drawing of a machine, captioned “The Saw=Mill used in Norway” with red ink note “very Ill Copied from Mr Evelyn’s Sylva”.
Paper   1 f
Size: 187 x 132 mm
Bamburgh R.7A/2   [1740s-1760s]
Ink and watercolour drawing of two pieces of furniture, a cupboard with panelled doors captioned “2 hinged Doors and 4 sliding Trays inside” and a chest of drawers with caption “The Third drawer from the bottom could be made into a writing desk if required”.
Paper   1 f
Size: 208 x 314 mm
Bamburgh R.7A/3   [1740s-1760s]
Ink scale drawing of a gun, captioned “Elevation of a 9 Pounder Garrison Carriage 1784”.
scale: Scale bar: 8 inches = 4 feet.
Paper   1 f, split into two along fold line.
Size: 263 x 368 mm
Bamburgh R.7A/4   [1740s-1760s]
Drawing (not altogether accurate) of a Latin inscription, AD 222, on a dedication slab reused as a drain cover, found at Netherby, Cumbria in 1762 and now in Carlisle Museum. See R.G. Collingwood & R.P. Wright, Roman inscriptions of Britain, 1889-1943, v.1, number 978).
Paper   1 f
Size: 206 x 156 mm
Bamburgh Select.F.4.55   [approximately 1751]
“A Particular Scheme of the Chief Heads in Divinity, according to Bishop Wilkins”, an incomplete classified bibliography of appropriate reading. An attempted classification scheme of the topics encompassed within the broad subject of Divinity or Theology, after the manner of, rather than copied from, Bishop John Wilkins’ philosophical tables in his Essay towards a real character and a philosophical language. Title as above at head of p.1. Probably Thomas Sharp II’s own compilation, while a young fellow of Trinity College. The scheme is outlined in part on p.4-5, but seems to have increased in elaboration as it progressed. It was apparently intended to include under each heading a list of references to appropriate further reading, with space for additions in the style of a commonplace book, but, although the headings for the whole scheme (classes A-Nn) have been filled in, the booklists expire after p.21. Written in red and black in a fine calligraphic hand, possibly by Sharp himself rather than a scribal copy made for him, with a few added references in his informal hand on p.42, 56 and 67.
Inscription on front pastedown of Thomas Sharp II [1725-1772], Trinity College, Cambridge, 1751, and 19th-century armorial bookplate (“Liber Bibliothece de Bamburgh”) of Bamburgh Castle Library.
Quarto volume 18th century binding, paper boards, marbled paper sides   1 v. (88 f)
Size: 245 x 195 mm
Bamburgh MS C5/1-4   [approximately 1800]
Transcript of notes by Mrs Elizabeth Prowse (1733-1810, daughter of Thomas Sharp I and sister of John Sharp III) about the descent of the Sharp family’s book collections. Mrs Prowse compiled her notes about 1800, in response to a clerical enquirer, to correct errors about the history of the Sharp family’s collections in A catalogue of the Library at Bamburgh Castle published by the Crewe Trustees in the late 1790’s. Whereas the preface to the Catalogue stated that on the death of Archbishop Sharp the principal part of his library descended to his son Thomas Sharp I, Mrs Prowse notes that in fact by Archbishop Sharp’s will his library was divided between his sons John II and Thomas I. She explains that after the death of John II in 1727 his widow “most kindly presented” her late husband’s half of the Archbishop’s library to Thomas I, and recalls that the books were then sent from John II’s home at Grafton Park, Northamptonshire, to Durham, where Thomas I kept them right up to the time of his death in 1758, while continuing to keep the half of the Archbishop’s library which he had inherited directly at his living in Rothbury. Her further recollection in these notes that Thomas I left the books at Durham to her brother John III, and the books at Rothbury to her brother Thomas II does not entirely accord with the actual terms of Thomas I’s will.
Transcribed from Gloucestershire Archives, Lloyd-Baker Papers, D3549/14/1/9 by E. Rainey in 2010. The original is 1 quarto bifolium, 250 x 205 mm; it was missing in 2018, but 3 digital photographs of the document were taken about 2010, printed here as MS C5/2-4.
4 f
Administration of the Library under the Crewe Trustees
Bamburgh MS D1/1-14   [1800-1820]
Miscellaneous records largely relating to Bamburgh Castle Library, early 19th century, found loose in Bamburgh MS B1 (borrowing register 1797-1818).
Formerly Bamburgh MS 13
Bamburgh MS D1/1-6   [1800-1820]
Notes on slips of paper of books borrowed, several signed by the borrowers, all except no. 5 giving pressmarks and brief author/title details. No. 4 is written on the verso of a printed heading for “Madras Tutor Part I”, and is dated September 1818. The others are undated, but the borrowers named had all signed the borrowers’ register before 1819.
Bamburgh MS D1/7-8   [early 19th century]
Requests from borrowers to the librarian for loans to be sent to them. Undated. Pressmarks in the form used up to c.1850.
Bamburgh MS D1/9-10   [1810s]
Lists of books missing, November 1814 and 25 October 1817, with borrower’s name noted against many items, and many entries crossed out, presumably indicating return of the books.
Bamburgh MS D1/11   January 1812
Certificate of good character for William Black of Clattery, Bamburgh parish, shepherd, signed by Thomas Robson and Robert Robson. Black registered as a borrower (Bamburgh MS B2, f.3v).
Bamburgh MS D1/12   5 November 1817
Letter to Rev. Michael Maughan, librarian of Bamburgh Castle Library, from Henry Parker, Chatton, apologizing for late return of books, and requesting loan of another.
Bamburgh MS D1/13   [early 19th century]
Note about loans of numbers of the Gentleman’s Magazine.
Bamburgh MS D1/14   [early 19th century]
Note about charitable payments to poor widows.
Bamburgh MS D2/1-7   1860-1884
Correspondence concerning donations and book suggestions for the Bamburgh Castle Library.
Formerly Bamburgh MS 17
Bamburgh MS D2/1    19 September 1860
Letter from Rev. Charles Thorp, University College Durham, to Rev. William Darnell (Rector of Stanhope and Crewe Trustee), offering 7 volumes to the Bamburgh Castle Library (none of which are now in the collection).
Bamburgh MS D2/2-3   2 April 1884
Letter to Rev. A. O. Medd (vicar of Bamburgh and librarian of Bamburgh Castle Library) from Rev. Mandell Creighton (1843-1901, historian, later Bishop of London), Embleton Vicarage, supplying a number of suggestion for additions to the library, especially in the area of English church history, in response to a request from Medd.
Bamburgh MS D2/4-7   7 April 1884
Letter to Rev. A. O. Medd from J. W. Bosworth, London bookseller, returning a list of book suggestions for the Bamburgh Castle Library which Medd had drawn up and sent to him for pricing before submitting it to the Crewe Trustees. Medd’s letter to Bosworth, dated 31 March 1884, is written at the foot of the list. Bosworth has annotated the list in red ink with prices, number of volumes etc, and also encloses a printed catalogue of available volumes of one of the commentaries mentioned, which he has similarly annotated with prices. A note in Medd’s hand on the covering envelope “List of Books suggested for the Bamburgh Castle Library on 22nd April 1884” presumably gives the date on which the list was submitted to the Crewe Trustees.
Bamburgh MS D3/1-2   1882-1885
Lists of books missing from the Bamburgh Castle Library, 1882 and 1885.
Formerly Bamburgh MS 19
Bamburgh MS D3/1   July 1882
“An approximate list of the books missing when I came – July 1882”, pencil list giving only the pressmarks, signed by Rev. A.O. Medd (vicar of Bamburgh and librarian of Bamburgh Castle Library).
Bamburgh MS D3/2   4 March 1885
“The Keep Bamburgh Castle Books Wanting in there [sic] places 4th March 1885”, list of pressmarks in a copperplate hand, with pencil note on verso by A. O. M[edd] “Supplied to me by Sergt Archbold”, and with names of borrowers noted by him in pencil against some of the pressmarks.
Bamburgh MS D4/1-3   1880-1896
Miscellaneous correspondence about Bamburgh Castle Library
Formerly Bamburgh MS 20
Bamburgh MS D4/1   6 October 1880
Letter from William Lyall, librarian of the Literary and Philosophical Society of Newcastle upon Tyne, to Rev. W. Darnell (Crewe Trustee), acknowledging receipt of a copy of the Bamburgh Castle Library catalogue.
Bamburgh MS D4/2-3   10 January 1896
Letter to Canon Long from Ernest J. Hay, on Bamburgh Castle letterhead, giving details about the construction of a partition within the room then housing the library at Bamburgh Castle, and related moves of some of the books. Includes a sketch of the layout of the library room.
Bamburgh MS D5/1-12   [mid 18th-late 19th century]
Miscellaneous items found loose in books in the Bamburgh Castle Library.
Formerly Bamburgh MS 23
Bamburgh MS D5/1   [mid 18th century?]
Quarto bifolium of notes in Greek in the hand of Thomas Sharp II (1725-72), found in Bamburgh L.4.56, The primitives of the Greek tongue …translated from the French of the Messieurs de Port Royal, with considerable improvements. By Mr. Nugent (London: 1748).
Bamburgh MS D5/2   [late 18th century?]
Printed galley proof of part of a speech in the House of Lords on disendowment of the Church of Ireland, found in Bamburgh D.7.80.
Bamburgh MS D5/3-12   [mid 18th-late 19th century]
Miscellaneous small strips of paper, some manuscript, some printed, found in various Bamburgh books, where they had been used by readers as bookmarks.
Bamburgh MS D6/1-18   1910-1924
Reports on the Bamburgh Castle Library to the Crewe Trustees, 1910-24, by E.V. Stocks, librarian of Durham University Library.
Formerly Bamburgh MS 21
Bamburgh MS D6/1-6   April 1910
Draft report by E. V. Stocks, largely relating to his work on creating a shelflist of the collection, and his recommendations for arrangement of the library in the new room designed to house it at Bamburgh Castle.
Bamburgh MS D6/7-11   April 1923
Carbon copy of E. V. Stocks’s report on the library, 19 April 1923, with his receipted claim for expenses.
Bamburgh MS D6/12    28 April 1923
Letter to E. V. Stocks from K.C. Bayley, clerk to the Trustees, giving their response to his recommendations, including authorisation for the cleaning he had proposed, and classes 1-2 of the binding repairs he had suggested.
Bamburgh MS D6/13-16   1923
Carbon copy of reports by E. V. Stocks, 7 August 1923, on his progress with revision of the Sharp catalogue and his dispatch of books for binding repairs to Fazakerley of Manchester, 7 August 1923, together with a list of books cleaned by him at Bamburgh, July 1923, and his receipted claim for expenses.
Bamburgh MS D6/17-18   February 1924
Carbon copy of report by E. V. Stocks on his checking of the returned consignment of binding repairs, 16 February 1924, with his receipted claim for expenses.
Bamburgh MS D7/1-6   1923-1924
Correspondence and specifications relating to the programme of repair and rebinding of books in Bamburgh Castle Library carried out in 1923-24.
Formerly Bamburgh MS 22
Bamburgh MS D7/1   1923
Notebook in the hand of E. V. Stocks (librarian of Durham University Library), listing the books he suggested for repair or rebinding, assigned to 3 classes of priority, with his brief descriptions of the treatment he proposed for each book. Dated on the front cover 12 April 1923. The Crewe Trustees authorised him to proceed with repair of those in the first two classes of priority.
1 v.
Bamburgh MS D7/2   1923-1924
Carbon copy of E. V. Stocks’s specifications for repair of the books, written on the first 24 leaves of a Herriot duplicate book; remainder of book unused.
1 v.
Bamburgh MS D7/3-6   August 1923-February 1924
3 letters to E. V. Stocks from James W. Menzies of the firm John Fazakerley, bookbinder, 44 Brazennose Street, Manchester, the first discussing details of the repair specifications and enclosing an estimate of costs, the second (undated) discussing the collation of the Bamburgh Caxton vocabulary, and the third, after completion of the order, expressing his thanks for the unusual opportunity it had given him to use his skills as a craftsman to the full.
Items relating to Bamburgh Castle
Bamburgh MS E1-E2   1822-1863
Bamburgh Castle visitors’ books, giving date of visit to the castle, names (usually signatures) of visitors, and often their place of residence.
Formerly Bamburgh MS 15-16
Bamburgh MS E1   1822-1851
Bamburgh Castle visitor’s book for the period 18 June 1822-1 September 1851 (f.1-123v, overlapping for 1848-51 with the next visitors’ book, Bamburgh MS E2). Includes (f.96v) a note in Archdeacon Charles Thorp's hand of the passing of the Royal Yacht off Bamburgh, on its way to Scotland, 31 August 1842, and the return south of the royal party on a private steamship on 15 September, and (f.97r-98r) an account by William Darnell of the visit of Prince Adolphus Frederick, Duke of Cambridge, to Bamburgh on 28 September 1842.
Also includes (f.128v) list of weights and measures 1843; (f.129r) list of portraits in the Court Room at Bamburgh Castle; (f.129v) diagram of measurements of distances of rocks off the Bamburgh coast; (f.130) an account of tapestries at Bamburgh Castle taken from William Darnell's account in the Gentlemen's Magazine new series. 23 (1830) part 2, p104; (f.131-132) details of various measurements at Bamburgh Castle, and distances along Bamburgh Sands; and (f.133-4, a bifolium of blue paper bound in at end of volume) an account of the early history of the castle entitled “Bamburgh or Balmbrough”.
Quarto volume (lined wove paper with ‘Simmons 1818’ watermark)   1 v. (132 + 2 f)
Size: 242 x 190 mm
Binding: early 19th-century brown half calf binding, marbled paper sides, with ms note “Bamburgh Castle MSS Closet” on front cover
Bamburgh MS E2   1848-1863
Bamburgh Castle visitors’ book for the period 27 March 1848 - 2 September 1986 (f.1-62v). Includes note, “Miss B’s Summary for young ladies” on the essentials of good behaviour (f.80v), and account headed “Copy. Sister Judy Dering’s description of a Picture in Bamburgh Castle” (f.84v). Table of distances along Bamburgh Sands (copy, without title, of Bamburgh MS E1, f.131v) pasted to recto of rear endpaper.
Quarto volume (lined wove paper, with “Joynson 1846” watermark)   1 v. (86 f. Strip at foot of f.20 cut out; f.63-79, 81-83, 85 blank)
Size: 235 x 196 mm
Binding: blue machine-grained leather binding, covers bordered by narrow gold-tooled roll and with title “Bamborough Castle Visitor’s Book” tooled on front cover, marbled endpapers
Items of antiquarian interest
Bamburgh Select.I.5.52   [1760-1789?]
Life of Nathaniel, Lord Crewe, Bishop of Durham, compiled by Dr John Smith, with later additions and insertions.
Nathaniel Crewe (or Crew), 3rd Baron Crewe, 1633-1721, was educated at Lincoln College, Oxford, of which he was Rector, 1668-72. He became Bishop of Oxford in 1671 and was translated to the bishopric of Durham in 1674. Accommodating himself to the Glorious Revolution settlement, he retained his bishopric until his death despite the downfall of his patron, James II. In 1697 he inherited from his brother the barony and estate of Steane, Northamptonshire. By his marriage in 1691 to Dorothy Forster, coheiress of the Forsters of Bamburgh, he acquired Bamburgh Castle and estates in the north-east of England, which by his will he devised to trustees, thereby creating Lord Crewe’s Charity. Dr John Smith (1659-1721), chief compiler of this ms life of the bishop, was educated at St John’s College, Cambridge, and became Crewe’s Domestic Chaplain in 1694. In 1695 he became Rector of Gateshead and Prebendary of Durham, and in 1704 Rector of Wearmouth. A scholar and historian, his chief work was his critical edition of Bede’s Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum, completed by his son George and published in 1722.
Fair copy, on f.1-39r, of a short life of Nathaniel Lord Crewe, Bishop of Durham, entitled at head of f.1 “Memoirs &c”. Written in a late 18th-century copy-book hand, with a few corrections and notes in a rougher hand of the same period. This second hand has also supplied an additional title-page for the volume on f.ii, beginning “The Life of Rt. Honble Nathaniel Lord Crew Bishop of Durham. Compiled from the Minutes of the Revd. Dr. John Smith, Prebendary of Durham, with some Curious Memoirs communicated to him by his Lordship”. As Smith died in 1715 and Crewe not until 1721, the compiler of the life in this form must have drawn on other sources for his (meagre) account of the last six years of the bishop’s life. On other leaves otherwise blank at the beginning and end of the volume (f.i, iii-iv, 39v-49, 63v-64) the second hand has also added further notes about the Crewe family and their monuments in Steane chapel, together with references to, and transcribed extracts from related passages in published works, including John Gwillim’s A display of heraldrie, Browne Willis’s A survey of the cathedrals (1727), and William Dugdale’s The baronage of England (1676). Two inserts annotated by the second hand have been bound in before f.1: a transcript (f.v) of a deposition by Richard Grey about Crew’s benefactions to the University of Oxford (printed in The Laudian Code of Statutes (1888)), and ( leaves C1-3, heavily cropped, from Richard Grey’s A sermon preached at the opening of Steane Chapel (London, 1754).
Quarto volume   1 v. (65 f. f.50-63r are blank, with 7 leaves of ms and printed insertions before f.1)
Size: 205 x 170 mm
Binding: half brown goatskin binding, brown buckram sides, with stamp of J. W. Menzies, early 20th century, on verso of front free endpaper Extent:
Purchased summer 1891 by the Crewe Trustees for Bamburgh Castle Library.
Bamburgh Select.I.4.54   [approximately 1770-1789]
Gunnery manual: practical handbook of information on composition of gunpowder and calculation of weight of charges, length of fuses, distances and trajectories etc. for a variety of types of ordnance.
f.1-70: Fair copy of an unidentified ms, beginning with pages 120-3 of the original] and followed after several blank leaves by pages 1-119, 124-127 of the original. The latest date mentioned within this part of the text is 1768 (f.14r) or 1773 (f.52v, but that is possibly an error for 1753, lower down the same page); f.71-7 contain unpaginated additional notes and tables, probably made in the 1780’s, and drawn from a variety of sources.
f.1-3: Recipes for composition of different types of shot
f.8-18v: Tables of weights, flight times and fuse lengths for different ranges of shot and types of ordnance, based on particular experiments on land and sea, for some of which dates and/or places are mentioned (e.g. on Woolwich Common, 1753; at Gibraltar 1760; practice at Minorca by Captains Foy and Walker, 1768)
f.19-50r: Worked examples of calculations of distances of targets, angles of trajectory, length of fuses, duration of flight, etc.
f.50v-55r: Tables of weights of grapeshot, dimensions of fuses, mallets and shells, and diameters of English and French guns, with some worked examples of calculations
f.55v-59v: “A collection of useful problems in practical gunnery”, worked examples of calculations
f.60v-65r: “Description of some Machines and Instruments used in Artillery”. Not all of the intended diagrams to illustrate the text have been completed
f.67r-68r: Tables and notes concerning weights of guns and gun carriages
f.69r-70r: Tables of shot
f.71-77: Additional notes in a different hand, drawn from a variety of sources and probably made in the 1780’s
f.71r: table of “Searchers [instruments for testing the soundness of cannon after discharge] for all Natures of Ordnance”, from Capt Samuel Tovey, 1783
f.71v-72r: Table of powder, fuses and flight durations for different types of ordnance, from Lt. Geo Scott, July 1783
f.72v-74r: Table of length, weight and calibre of different types of ordnance, with diameters of shot and shells, and weight of powder for it, “copied from Mr Verburggen Augt 23d 1783”
f.74v-77r: Account of the length, weight, and price of guns called carronades, made and sold at Carron, Scotland, and of experiments made with a carronade near Leith pier on 24 January 1782.

Quarto volume   1 v. (140 f. f.78 onwards blank. The main sequence of text, on f.1-70, also has a sequence of pagination/column numbering, contemporary with the text and in red ink, which runs 120-23, 1-119, 124-127, ignoring most but not all blank pages)
Size: 206 x 151 mm
Binding: late 18th-century brown reversed calf binding, covers bordered by a narrow blind floral roll, no titling
During the later 1770s, after the outbreak of war with America and France, fears of invasion and of the activities of privateers off the Northumberland coast led to the installation of heavy guns on the outer walls of Bamburgh Castle, to protect ships running inshore to avoid capture, and the Crewe Trustees paid for coast watchers and provided accommodation for soldiers in the castle. There is no record of the guns ever being fired in anger, but this manual was probably left at the castle by someone associated with those precautions.
19th-century armorial bookplate of Bamburgh Castle Library (lettering “Liber de Bibliothece de Bamburgh” surrounding circular motif with Sharp family arms) on front flyleaf.
Bamburgh Select N.5.30   1814
Memorandum concerning the discovery of an ancient stone coffin in the parish churchyard at Chatton, Northumberland on 6 March [1814], compiled by Rev. Joseph Cook, April 1814.
Joseph Cook, son of Samuel Cook of Newton-on-the-Moor, Northumberland, was educated at Queens’ College, Cambridge (B.A. 1782, Fellow 1783, M.A. 1785). He became Vicar of Chatton, Northumberland, in 1799, and was also Vicar of Shilbottle from 1803 until his death in 1844. He inherited Newton Hall, Newton-on-the-Moor, a house built by his father in 1772.
Front pastedown: Engraving of Cook’s home, Newton Hall, Newton-on-the-Moor [showing it before the alterations made in 1864], and inscription by Cook, dated 8 July 1814, presenting the manuscript to Bamburgh Castle Library.
p.i: Dedication to Cook’s patron, the Duke of Northumberland. Dated from Newton Hall, 15 April 1814.
p.1-21: Account by Cook of the discovery of the coffin, and description of its contents and items found nearby (a coin, a spur, and various fragments of metalwork and pottery), together with conjectures about the identity of the man buried in the coffin.
p.22-9: Extract from Smollett’s History of England, argued by Cook to support his theory that the buried warrior was an associate of Robert the Bruce.
p.31-3: Table of the dimensions of the coffin, note about the stone from which it was formed, and note that the coin, spur and other items found with it had been sent to the Duke of Northumberland with another copy of Cook’s memorandum, a further copy of which had been given via James Losh to the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle upon Tyne.
p.35-47: Addendum, recording Cook’s election to the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 1813, with a copy of his letter of thanks to the president, 4 January 1814, offering the society a copy of Camden’s Britannia (1590) for its library, and recounting an anecdote about the finding of a gold coin of Edward I near Kyloe, Northumberland, by his friend Marmaduke Grey of Kyloe, c.1806/7. In a postscript Cook gives an account of a terrifying experience he underwent in 1805, when, as the result of a “medical and family conspiracy”, he was committed as a lunatic in Edinburgh by Dr James Gregory (1753-1821), and escaped to the house of his friend Grey at Kyloe after three weeks imprisonment at Laurieston. This is followed by copies of a letter he sent to Sir Walter Scott in May 1814, sending him a copy of his memorandum about the Chatton coffin, and Scott’s reply.
Cook published a condensed version of his account of the discovery of the coffin in Archaeologia Aeliana, 1 (1832), 99-100
Paper book    1 v. (24 f, paginated i-ii, 1-47 (modern pagination; with contemporary foliation also, [i], 1-17, 1-6). Text ends (p.47) on rear pastedown
Size: 232 x 191 mm
Binding: contemporary grey paper covers. Inscription “Mr Cook” on front cover. Bound, as third item in vol., with two printed items and one other ms item (Bamburgh Select.N.5.28-29, 31); binding title of vol ‘“Parish of Norham. Sir H. James etc”
Presented by Joseph Cook to the Bamburgh Castle Library, 1814
Bamburgh Select.N.5.29   [1815]
“A Report in answer to an Enquiry made by the National Education Society viz. What schools are now established or establishing within the Archdeaconry of Northumberland and the Officialty of the Dean and Chapter of Durham upon the plan and principles of the said National Society, and whether any, and what causes are likely to prevent the further establishment of such schools, etc? Humbly submitted to the … Lord Bishop of Durham. By R: G: Bouyer Archdeacon and Official” (title-page).
Reynold Gideon Bouyer was born in London and educated at Leiden and Trinity College and Jesus College, Cambridge (LL.B., 1769). He became a prebendary of Salisbury in 1785 and Durham in 1791, and obtained the living of Eglingham, Northumberland in 1810, which he exchanged for that of Northallerton in 1814. From 1812 until his death in 1826 he was Archdeacon of Northumberland. At the behest of Bishop Shute Barrington, he was responsible for initiating and implementing a programme for establishing a lending library in each of the parishes in his archdeaconry, in conjunction with the SPCK. By 1823 when he wrote a report on the project, 150 such libraries had been set up, apparently to a large extent at his personal expense although subsidised by the SPCK. From his report (published in 1829 as A collection of papers relative to the Northumberland Lending Library for the Poor) it is clear that an important motivating force behind the programme was the wish to counter Dissenting influence in the area. This also played a part in Bouyer’s interest in provision of schools, manifested in his tract, A comparative view of the two new systems of education for the infant poor (1811). He was a subscribing member of the National Society for Promoting the Education of the Poor in the Principles of the Established Church (later the National Society for Promoting Religious Education) from its foundation in 1811, and was responsible for instituting the first day school in Northallerton.
The detailed returns for Northumberland to an enquiry into charity school provision set up in July 1814 by the National Society for the Education of the Poor in the Principles of the Established Church. The enquiry was largely carried out during the following year, and a condensed abstract of the returns from fourteen dioceses was published in the Society’s 5th Annual Report, 1816, p.160-84. Particular mention was made of the care with which Archdeacon Bouyer had carried out the survey in Northumberland “the answers to which, and his observations upon them, exhibit a picture of the habits and manners of the people on the borders of Scotland, exceedingly interesting in itself, independent of the particular object of the enquiry” (p.170).
p.[i]: Title-page
p.1-4: Preface by Bouyer, stressing the distinctive features of the area affecting the provision of schools there (proximity to the Scottish border; hilly terrain; religious differences of the population and dispersal in widely scattered farms and small townships; roving disposition of agricultural workers), with, at the end, a note on variation in the way respondents to the survey had interpreted the term “charity schools”
p.5-116: Abstract of the replies to the questions submitted to incumbents about social, economic and educational details of each parish, set out under each query parish by parish. The answers to the first query include a figure for the population of each parish and the name of the incumbent. Query 18 concerns the proportion of Dissenters to members of the established church in each parish
p.117-126: Conclusion by Bouyer
p.127-139: Index by parish

Paper book (wove paper, dated watermark “Gater 1811”)   1 v. ([ii], 140 p)
Size: 233 x 184 mm
Binding: contemporary marbled paper covers. Bound, as second item, with two printed items and one other ms item (Bamburgh Select.N.5.28, 30-31); binding title of vol ‘Parish of Norham. Sir H. James etc’
19th century armorial bookplate of Bamburgh Castle Library (lettering ‘Liber Bibliothece de Bamburgh’ surrounding circular motif with Sharp family arms) on front pastedown
John C. Day, “Parochial Libraries in Northumberland before 1830”, Library History, 8 no. 4 (1989), 100-103
Thompson Cooper, rev. Richard Sharp, “Bouyer, Reynold Gideon (1741-1826)”, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
Medieval Manuscripts
Bamburgh Select 6   [approximately 1200]
Language:   Latin
Psalter, probably originally produced for Holyrood Abbey, Scotland.
See separate description Ker, N.R., Medieval manuscripts in British libraries. II Abbotsford - Keele, (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1977), 46
Bamburgh Select 25   [mid 15th century]
Language:   Latin
Psalter, produced in Flanders for the English market.
See separate description Ker, N.R., Medieval manuscripts in British libraries. II Abbotsford - Keele, (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1977, 47
Bamburgh Select 23   16th/17th century
Language:   Church Slavic
Psalter, Russian Church Slavonic, with canticles.
See separate description Cleminson, Ralph, A union catalogue of cyrillic manuscripts in British and Irish collection, (London: School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University of London, 1988)