Works of King James I & VI now on display at New College Library

Works of King James I & VI

Serenissimi et potentissimi Principis Iacobi, Dei gratia, Magnae Britanniae, Franciae, et Hiberniae Regis, fidei defensoris, opera …
New College Library DPL.25

New on display in the entrance to New College Library is the Works of King James I of England and VI of Scotland edited by  James Montagu, Bishop of Winchester, and Dean of the Royal Chapel.

With an engraved portrait  of Prince Charles (later King Charles I), and later the Royal Coat of Arms this contains James’  paraphrase of the apocalyptic books of the Bible, as well as works on royalty and church and state. It was published in 1619, in James’s lifetime.

The volume has a vellum binding covered in a stamped gilded decoration of scattered flowers around a central image of a wild boar.

Part of the Dumfries Presbytery Library, the volume is inscribed Ex Libris Johannes Hutton.  Dr John Hutton, a graduate of the University of Edinburgh, became the first Treasurer of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh (1681–82), and Court Physician to King William III and Queen Mary (1688–1702).
Later he was also MP for Dumfries Burghs (1710–12) and when he died in London, in November 1712, he gave as a bequest his library of 1,500 volumes to the Presbytery of Dumfries. Much of this is preserved as the  Dumfries Presbytery Library, now kept in New College Library.

This item was recently catalogued online as part of the Funk Cataloguing Projects.

To fast or feast? Celebrating Christmas in the eighteenth century

A discourse concerning the lawfulness and right manner of keeping Christmas and other Christian holy-days, by way of question and answer : intended for the use of a charity-school. London: Printed for, and sold by H. Hills, in Black-fryars, near the Water-side, 1708 New College Library Z.851/3

A discourse concerning the lawfulness and right manner of keeping Christmas and other Christian holy-days, by way of question and answer : intended for the use of a charity-school. London: Printed for, and sold by H. Hills, in Black-fryars, near the Water-side, 1708 New College Library Z.851/3

Many folk will be going to Christmas lunches and parties this week – including New College Library staff. Outside our office window the Edinburgh Christmas fair is in full (and noisy) swing, celebrating the season.

This eighteenth century pamphlet,  A discourse concerning the lawfulness and right manner of keeping Christmas,  gives an eighteenth century view on seasonal celebrations.  It takes the form of a dialogue between a master and scholar, prefacing the discussion with the quotation of Bible texts that urge sincere and temperate behaviour. It unpicks the theology of Christmas from an early eighteenth century Anglican point of view,  negotiating the scriptural and historical justifications of the observance of Christmas as a holy day and the contemporary differences in practice with other Protestant Churches. The author looks back on the abolishment of Christmas celebrations (including plum pudding) under Oliver Cromwell’s Puritan regime after the English Civil War. It is possible both this period and the Restoration of 1660 may have been within the author’s living memory.

This book is also available online to University of Edinburgh users via Eighteenth Century Collections Online, where it can be read online in full.

This item is from New College Library’s Z Collection, currently being catalogued as part of the Funk Cataloguing Projects at New College Library.