Excerpt: ...fact in the study of our subject. 1 Pp. 1, 325-327. In this position the library remained until the fifteenth century. Two notices occur of it, one in 1340 and another in 1406, in both cases in connection with an image of the Holy Saviour, "near the library." But in the fifteenth century a new library was built over the eastern ...Read MoreExcerpt: ...fact in the study of our subject. 1 Pp. 1, 325-327. In this position the library remained until the fifteenth century. Two notices occur of it, one in 1340 and another in 1406, in both cases in connection with an image of the Holy Saviour, "near the library." But in the fifteenth century a new library was built over the eastern cloister. Bishop Nicholas of Bubwith, in his will of 1424, bequeathed one thousand marks to be faithfully applied and disposed for the construction and new building of a certain library to be newly erected upon the eastern space of the cloister, situate between the south door of the church next the chamber of the escheator of the church and the gate which leads directly from the church by the cloister into the palace of the bishop.1 The work was begun by his executors, but certain signs of break in the building suggest some delay in finishing it. This room is probably the only cathedral library built over a cloister which remains in its original completeness. It is 165 feet by 12 feet; now only about two-thirds of it are devoted to the library. When this room was first fitted up as a library no one knows; but tradition fixes the date at 1472. The present fittings were put in during Bishop Creighton's time (1670-72). 1 In the fifteenth century the bishops of Wells were good friends of learning: Skirlaw gave books to University College, Oxford; Bowet left a large library; Stafford gave books; Bekynton was the companion of the most cultivated men of his time. Dean Gunthorpe is well known as a pilgrim to Italy, who returned laden with manuscripts (see p. 192). Shortly after the date of Bubwith's will Bishop Stafford (1425-43) gave ten books-not an inspiriting collection- but he desired to retain possession of them during his lifetime.1 In 1452 Richard Browne (alias Cordone), Archdeacon of Rochester, left to the library of Wells, Petrus de Crescentiis De Agricultura, and two other books, Jerome's Epistles, and Lathbury Super...Read Less
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