Sir Philip Sidney, The Countess of Pembroke’s Arcadia (1674)

By Maria Cunningham, Head of Special Collections and Archives, Reed College

Sidney book

This is the thirteenth edition of The Countess of Pembroke’s Arcadia (simply known as the Arcadia) and was first written by Sir Phillip Sidney towards the end of the 16th century. This particular edition was printed at the Golden Ball in Little Britain in 1674. The romantic inscription inside reads:

“Judith Tichborn Her Book Given me [?] by my most renowned and Beloved knight Stephen de La Stanly: 1713.”


Nothing is known about the giver of the book, Stephen de la Stanly. However, some info can be found about the writer of this inscription. Judith Tichborn (or Tichborne) was born about 1685 to Benjamin Tichborne and Elizabeth Gibbs in Tichbourne, Hants, England. On December 16th, 1717, at age 15, she was married to Charles Spencer the 3rd Earl of Sunderland and became Lady Sunderland. Their marriage was mentioned in a letter from Henrietta, Countess of Suffolk to her husband, the Honorable George Berkeley:

Image from Letters to and from Henrietta, Countess of Suffolk, and Her Second Husband, the Hon. George Berkeley. Courtesy of

The phrase “without a groat,” which means “a small sum,” implies that Judith brought a nice sum of money to the marriage. Other sources indicate that she was an Irish heiress. The family of Lord Sunderland also had something to say about the marriage. Sarah Churchill, former mother-in-law to Lord Sunderland, criticized his bride as being too young and has “no experience as to family keeping or accounts.” In any event, the couple were married and had three children, all of whom died young. Charles Spencer died in 1722 and was buried with one of their children who had died around the same time. On December 10th, 1724 Judith married Sir Robert Sutton who was the Director of both the South Sea Company and the Charitable Corporation. Judith eventually died on May 17th, 1749 from a fever, after recovering from smallpox.


Source: Special Collections and Archives, Eric V. Hauser Memorial Library, Reed College. Shelf mark PR2340.A1 1674. Photographs by Maria Cunningham.

Further Reading

Cokayne, George E. The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, Extant, Extinct, or Dormant, edited by the Hon. Vicary Gibbs, St Catherine Press, 1910.

Suffolk, Henrietta Hobart Howard. Letters to and from Henrietta, Countess of Suffolk, and Her Second Husband, the Hon. George Berkeley: From 1712 to 1767, John Murray, 1824.


John Bunyan, The Doctrine of the Law and Grace Unfolded (1701)

Bunyan, Law title copy

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By Jenny-Lyn de Klerk

In Law and Grace, one of his Bunyan’s most theologically technical works, he presents his view of covenant theology, which was probably influenced by his reading of Luther. This second edition is signed by a woman who was given the book by her father: “Mary Adams Her Book given by her father This book was given me by my father dear that I may sarve the Lord With Joy and fear and not to Look but understand the same that I may mount upon the wings of fame.”

Source: Allison Library, Regent College. Shelf mark BT 760 .B86 1701 JRA RARE. Photographs by Jenny-Lyn de Klerk.

Jan David, Christeliicken Waer-seggher (Christian Truth-teller, 1603)

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By Joanna Rozendaal

This page features just a name: “Maria Elisabeth de Wale,” the ‘W’ written with a rather peculiar flourish. That is all information this eighteenth-century woman book owner inscribed in one of her books. Normally, the story would have ended there, but as it turns out, Maria Elisabeth de Wale is known to us still.

Maria Elisabeth de Wale (1691-1753) was the Lady of Ankeveen, a small Catholic enclave in the predominantly Protestant Dutch Republic. In her role as patroness of this village she made sure to protect and help her Catholic “flock,” among others by building almshouses for the local poor, supporting Catholic preachers, and providing local workers with ample employment. Works of Christian charity made up an important part of her life, it seems.[1]

Her strong sense of religiosity is reflected in her book ownership as well. Her book collection was brought to auction in 1755, two years after her death. It must have been quite an impressive library: the auction catalogue announcing the book sale is 234 pages long, offering well over 6,000 books. At first glance her library reflects an interest in a wide variety of subjects, but (practical) religious books comprise the most important part of her book collection.[2]

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The book discussed here, the Christeliicken Waer-seggher (The Christian Truth-teller), is a Catholic emblem book on religious life written by the Jesuit author Jan David and thus it fits well within De Wale’s large collection of religious, devotional books. It is one of the early publications in a relatively new genre of moral, religious literature in the Southern Netherlands: the Jesuit emblem book. Adorned with a hundred engravings by Antwerp engraver Theodoor Galle, this emblem book contains questions and answers on the principal truths of Catholic faith.[3]

This particular book is mentioned on page 39 of her sale’s catalogue and was sold to a new owner for either 1 guilder and 16 stuivers or 2 guilders (De Wale owned 2 copies of this particular edition). After the sale, the book disappeared from sight, but over a hundred years later it resurfaced when the book collection of the Flemish professor J.F. Heremans was gifted to the Ghent University Library, where it remains to this day.[4]


Source: David, J. Christeliicken waerseggher, de principale stucken van t’christen geloof en leuen int cort begrijpende. Met een rolle der devgtsaemheyt daer op dienende. Ende een Schild-wacht teghen de valsche waersegghers, tooueraers, etc., Antwerp, Plantijn, 1603. Copy: Ghent University Library, BIB.HER.000909. Photos reproduced with permission.


[1] Geheym-schryver van staat- en kerke der Vereenigde Nederlanden [..]. Utrecht, J.C. ten Bosch, 1759. Vol.1, pp. 376-77. Municipal Archives Gooi & Vechtstreek (SAGV). Registers van transporten, hypotheken en taxaties, 1648-1791. 155.1.3369 and 3370.

[2] Bibliotheca Ankeveniana. Sive Catalogus Exquisitissimorum & Rarissimorum Librorum. Latinorum, Gallicorum, Belgicorum &c. Amsterdam, H.W. van Welbergen, [1754]. Middlebrow Enlightenment: Disseminating Ideas, Authors, and Texts in Europe, 1665-1830 (MEDIATE) database. (the public version of the MEDIATE database sandbox will be available in late 2019 or early 2020)

[3] Corbellini, S.; Hoogvliet, M.; Ramakers, B. (eds.). Discovering the Riches of the Word: Religious Reading in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe. Leiden, Brill, 2015. p. 342 and further.

[4] Van Duyse, Johan. Heremans, Jacob F.J. (1825-1884). UGentMemorie. Edited on 10.03.2015.




John Bunyan, The Work of Jesus Christ as an Advocate (1688)

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By Jenny-Lyn de Klerk

Bunyan wrote this work to show that Christ’s role as advocate for believers, who, even though they are weak, are secure because Christ pleads for them before the Father. Bunyan believed this doctrine had not been communicated clearly enough in the church of his day and wanted to bring encouragement and comfort by explaining it. Though Bunyan’s genius for writing and communicating has been admired by many throughout history, he saw himself first and foremost as a pastor to those God had given him to teach and help, which mostly included those who were outcasts in society like the poor and uneducated.

This first edition of Christ as Advocate is flooded with signatures, several of which are from John Leakey who recorded information about Elizabeth Leakey. She “Was Born . . . 26 of January 1759 . . . half past 12 at mid Day and Christened the 11 of February 1759” as well as “married May 13th1787—Blessed are they that are called in this marriage Supper of the Lamb.” Her children’s birthdays are also recorded, as well as her death, to which is added “The day before she fell asleep in Christ the blessed Spirit most wonderfully & apparently form’d Christ in her Heart this Hope of love and made her powerfully feel the . . . need of his Blood & Righteousness. The book is also signed by “Molly Salsbury” and “Ann . . .”

Source: Allison Library, Regent College, shelf mark BT 255 .B86 1688 JRA RARE. Photographs by Jenny-Lyn de Klerk.

John Gauden, Eikōn Basilikē: The Pourtraiture of His Sacred Maiesty in His Solitudes and Sufferings (1649)


Charles I was long since executed and his son Charles II dead of apoplexy when Anna Vyvyan signed a copy of the popular Eikon Basilike, with its iconic frontispiece of  a Christlike Charles I kneeling, looking toward the heavens, and gripping a crown of thorns. In fact, Queen Anne was probably already on the throne by the time Vyvyan wrote “Anna Vyvyan her Book 170[…?] & Hand & Pen” on one of the flyleaves. Vyvyan’s ownership of the book could be related to her family background; she was probably a member of the Royalist Vyvyan family of Trelowarren in Cornwall. The Vyvyans were such staunch supporters of the King that they were given a replica of the Anthony van Dyck portrait of Charles I on horseback, which still hangs in the family estate [1].


[1] Coate, M. “The Vyvyan Family of Trelowarren.” Transactions of the Royal Historical Society 32 (1950): 117. doi:10.2307/3678480.

Source: Book offered for sale by Rootenberg Rare Books, 5/31/19. Images used with permission.

Jeremiah Burroughs, The Saints Happiness (1660)

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By Jenny-Lyn de Klerk

Burroughs’s irenic personality, noted by many who knew him, is clearly exemplified in his decision to exposit the Beatitudes (originally given in forty-one sermons and compiled into Saint’s Happiness) as found in Matthew 5, which extol meekness, mercy, and peacemaking. This copy, donated by Dr. J. I. Packer, has an interesting array of signatures: one from Sarah Allyson who seems to have been married twice (in the second instance becoming Sarah Metham, “now Wife to” Mr. Metham in “April 1725”) as well as a “Mary Allyson Brooke 1701.”

Source: Allison Library, Regent College, shelf mark HP Coll. BX 7233 .B87 G67 1660 JRA RARE. Photographs by Jenny-Lyn de Klerk.

Trotti de La Chétardie, Instructions for a Young Nobleman, or, The Idea of a Person of Honour (1683)


This 1683 English translation of Trotti de La Chétardie’s conduct book for young noblemen is inscribed not by a man, but by Sarah Walcot, whose ownership inscription on the book’s front blank leaf appears to date from the 18th century. There is also an inscription from a Sarah Walcot in The Folger Shakespeare Library’s copy of A Helpe to Discourse, or, A Miscelany of Seriousnesse with Merriment (1631, STC 1551.35), though it is not clear whether the two individuals are the same.


The bookseller “S. Magnes” in the imprint of Instructions for a Young Nobleman is Susanna Magnes, about whom little is known.

Source: Book offered for sale by Bernard Quaritch, 1/4/19. Images used with permission.