The Library of Ralph Thoresby
The Library. The Library of Ralph Thoresby. T HORESBVS name remains familiar in his native town, Leeds, whose topography and history were the main occupation of his later years; and his life and its incidents possess a general interest, rendering them worthy of a more wide-spread acquaintance. In his own day he attained a literary celebrity which is remarkable when we consider the position he filled in a provincial town then of no great magnitude, and chiefly noted for its manufacture of cloth.
... nufacture of cloth. This celebrity owed much to a museum of coins and other curiosities, the foundation inherited from his father, he himself largely adding to it: and its catalogue, under the title of Musctuwi Thortsbyanum, forms a valuable augmentation of his great topographical work, Ducatus Leodiensis, published in the year following the death of Queen Anne. 1 This museum catalogue is not restricted to a record of the curiosities that constitute a museum in the common acceptance of the word; it extends to a quantity of manuscripts and printed books, which, although many of them curious enough, we should rather assign to his library. Thoresby first gives a list of the various editions of the Bible, and portions of the Bible, in his possession. This, with some particulars relating to them, takes up fifteen of his folio pages. Nine Latin manuscripts head the list, the last of them an anonymous quarto in verse. Then follows a collection of printed Bibles, some in Latin, some in English, dating from the year 1498 to the contemporary publication of Matthew Henry, the commentator. And these had been more to their owner than bibliographical curiosities. Thoresby, who records his having read through the entire Bible about a score of times between his marriage in 1685 and the year 1723 (two years before his death), particularizes his use, among others, of the following editions:-Tyndall's "Pentateuch in English &vo. printed at different Places 1 There are some copies of Mustntm TTurrtsbyaxuttt as a distinct volume. p