Laurence Heyworth collection of English religious manuscripts
Scope and Contents
The Laurence Heyworth Collection of English Religious Manuscripts consists of 73 volumes, mostly in English, containing sermons, sermon-notes, prayers, religious reflections, tracts, commonplace books, Biblical commentaries, and other religious and theological texts, mostly from the later seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries.
Almost half of the volumes include sermons or sermon notes. Most authors are unidentified, but identified authors include Joseph Hallett, John Nicholas, Thomas Allen, Andrew Grey, John Henderson, and William Barton. Many sermons in these volumes are annotated with dates and/or place of preaching. Other notable items containing sermons include the volume in Box 27, which includes sermons on the execution of Charles I and the restoration of Charles II, and the volume in Box 49, containing sermons preached at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge. Information on the Scottish Church and on the Covenanters can be found in Boxes 37 and 44.
Devotional works include John Ingram's Exposition of ye Catechisme; an English version of Pietro Matteo Petrucci's Lettere e trattati spirituali e mistici (Box 26); William Chilcot's Practical Treatise Concerning Evil Thoughts (Box 62); and an English version of Dominique Bonheur's Pensées chrétiennes titled Christian Thoughts for every Day of the Month (Box 56). There are a number of commonplace books, including several that contain religious and inspirational poetry, including the commonplace books by unidentified authors in Boxes 15 and 41 and the volume in Box 25, which was probably written by a chaplain in the English Army during the Williamite War. Box 61 contains The Life of Mr. De Marsay and his Wife, an extensive spiritual autobiography by a Quietist and mystic.
Several works attest to the post-Reformation survival of English Roman Catholicism, including a 17th century manuscript in Latin containing rules of conduct for monastic life (Box 2); the Latin Rite prayer book on parchment in Box 16, which may have belonged to the recusant Howard family; the Prayer to the Sacred Virgin Mother Against the Plague in Box 19; and the copy of a work on the English Benedictine Mission by the Benedictine Augustine Baker (Box 55). Volumes documenting the spiritual and devotional lives of women include A Comfortable Companion for Afflicted Souls, being a threefold discorse collected out of Scripture by a woman (Box 12); the notes by Sarah Meadows on methods of raising devout children, drawn from her own experience as a mother (Box 43); the commonplace book of Frances Drake (Box 89); and the spiritual biography True relation of my sister Sarah Kirshaw her life [and] death. Who dyed at Poppleton neare Yorke. Janr.20.1656. Ano aetatis 21.
- 1550 - 1820
- Majority of material found within 1650 - 1710
- Heyworth, Laurence (Collector)
Language of Materials
In English, Latin and French.
Conditions Governing Access
The materials are open for research.
Conditions Governing Use
The Laurence Heyworth Collection of English Religious Manuscripts are the physical property of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, consult the appropriate curator.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Gift of Laurence Heyworth, 1995-1998.
The manuscript volumes are organized by their original Heyworth MS numbers or letters; as the library did not receive every item in the Heyworth collection, there are gaps in the numbering and lettering sequences. Unnumbered items are listed in no particular order at the end of the finding aid.
8.2 Linear Feet (73 boxes)
The collection consists of 73 volumes, mostly in English, containing sermons, sermon-notes, prayers, religious reflections, tracts, commonplace books, Biblical commentaries, and other religious and theological texts, mostly from the later seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. Almost half of the volumes include sermons or sermon notes. Most authors are unidentified, but identified authors include John Nicholas, John Henderson, and William Barton. Devotional works include William Chilcot's Practical Treatise Concerning Evil Thoughts; an English version of Dominique Bonheur's Pensées chrétiennes; and The Life of Mr. De Marsay and his Wife, an extensive spiritual autobiography by a Quietist and mystic. Volumes documenting the spiritual and devotional lives of women include A Comfortable Companion for Afflicted Souls, being a threefold discorse collected out of Scripture by a woman; the notes of Sarah Meadows on methods of raising devout children, drawn from her own experience as a mother; the commonplace book of Frances Drake; and the spiritual biography of Sarah Kirshaw.There are also several Roman Catholic works, including one by the English Benedictine Augustine Baker, as well as two works documenting the Scottish Church and the Covenanters.
This collection was arranged and given a preliminary list when it was received in 1995-1998; that list was revised in 2010. Information in the folder entries may be drawn from the donor acknowledgement list, from dealer descriptions housed with individual volumes, or from the volumes themselves.
- Baker, Augustine, 1575-1641
- Barton, William, 1598?-1678
- Bonheur, Dominique
- Catechetical sermons -- Early works to 1800
- Catholics -- England -- Early works to 1800
- Chilcot, William, 1663 or 1664-1711
- Christian life -- Early works to 1800
- Church of England
- Commonplace books
- Conduct of life -- Early works to 1800
- Covenanters -- Early works to 1800
- Devotional literature, English
- Devotional literature, English -- Early works to 1800
- Dissenters, Religious -- England
- English poetry -- 18th century
- English poetry -- Early modern, 1500-1700
- English prose literature -- 18th century
- English prose literature -- Early modern, 1500-1700
- Great Britain -- Religion
- Great Britain -- Religious life and customs
- Heyworth, Laurence
- Kirshaw, Sarah
- Marsay, Charles Hector de Saint George, marquis de, 1688-1753
- Meadows, Sarah, 1654-1688
- Occasional sermons -- Early works to 1800
- Prayers -- Early works to 1800
- Quietism -- Early works to 1800
- Religious education of children
- Religious literature, English
- Sermons, English -- 17th century
- Sermons, English -- 18th century
- Women authors, English
- Guide to the Laurence Heyworth Collection of English Religious Manuscripts
- by Beinecke staff
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English.
Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository
P. O. Box 208330
New Haven CT 06520-8330 US
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New Haven, CT 06511
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