Royal English Bookbindings

Royal English Bookbindings

Cyril Davenport

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  • EAN: 9780599303553
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It is curious that twice in English history the royal libraries have been given to the nation. The ancient royal collection, containing manuscripts from the reign of Richard III., was added to by each sovereign in turn; but it seems to have been brought into notice and taken special care of by Prince Henry, the eldest son of James I. Out of his own private income, this Prince added largely to the old collection, and purchased the important libraries of Lord Lumley, of a Welshman named Maurice, and that of Isaac Casaubon. On his death the library became the property of James I., and after some other changes, both the old library and that of Prince Henry were deposited at Ashburnham House, where in 1731 there was a fire which damaged some of it. It was then removed to the old Dormitory at Westminster, and in 1757 it was presented by George II. to the nation, and was handed over to the Trustees of the Sloane and Cottonian Libraries, and placed in Montagu House, then newly purchased as a National Museum. There were at this time in the old royal library about 15,000 volumes altogether, and very many of them were still in their ancient and beautiful bindings.
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