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This article traces the afterlives of the papers of the Anglo-Prussian intelligencer Samuel Hartlib (ca.1600-1662), incorporating insights from recent studies of the archive and material history. Beginning with the idea that Hartlib’s papers are a social artefact, in the sense that their story is inextricable from the stories of those that have possessed, consulted, used (and abused) them, this paper outlines the microsociologies of interest and neglect which have irrevocably altered both their form and content over the centuries, and which have informed subsequent historical and historiographical opinion on Hartlib himself, as well as his endeavors.

The Anglo-Prussian intelligencer Samuel Hartlib died at Axe-Yard, Westminster, on 10 March 1662. Bankrupted physically and financially, Hartlib had finally succumbed after years of tormenting illness and a devastating reversal of fortunes after the Restoration. What was left of his life, by his own estimation, was not much. His once-bustling house, often filled with foreign lodgers, scribes and visitors, was empty but for a few sticks of broken furniture and an accumulation of “loose papers” which Hartlib had collected over some thirty-six years of knowledge-gathering. Today Hartlib’s papers, the majority of which are preserved at the University of Sheffield, with other deposits in the British Library, Yale University, and elsewhere, are well known, their visibility greatly assisted by the publication of pioneering full-text electronic editions in 1995, 2002, and 2013. In these papers we glimpse Hartlib’s multifaceted strivings to align “all knowledge, physical and metaphysical,” and bring about a “reformation, both of Religion, Learning and propagation of the Gospel.”1 In an undated letter, Hartlib attested to maintaining a vast “correspondencie” in order to achieve these goals, which encompassed, in addition to figures both major and minor in England, “Princes and other Men of Eminencie of several ranks in Moscovia Lithvania Prussia Polonia Silesia Moravia Bohemia Hungaria Transylvania Vpper and Lower Germanie Sweden Denmark Fraunce yea in Turkie New Engl[and] and other remoter Parts of the World.”2

The extant portion of this correspondence, as well as its attendant archival detritus of enclosures, scribal copies, petitions, answers, extracts, memoranda, and other documents numbers more than 5,500 individual items, occupying some 26,000 leaves. Hartlib’s papers represent, in the estimation of one recent scholar, “an embarrassingly rich and daunting resource for the historian.”3 They have been diligently mined by researchers, who have [End Page 1] discovered seams of information which throw light on a staggering diversity of aspects of seventeenth-century history, from Irish garden history, through the trade in heterodox books in continental Europe, to international diplomatic intrigues.4 But while the text of Hartlib’s papers has been exploited in these studies, there are still relatively few attempts to grapple with broader issues raised by and within the papers.5 One of these issues is the problematic nature of Hartlib’s archive itself.6

Recently there has been a proliferation of studies concerning the archive from a variety of disciplinary viewpoints, which are occasionally described under the rubric of “archive theory.”7 While cultural theorists and philosophers, such as Jacques Derrida, have sought to problematize and expand the concept of the archive to inform critiques of a variety of cultural issues, historians of the early modern period, particularly historians of science, have been motivated to turn their attention to the materiality of the archive and the items that populate them, as part of a broader material turn in early modern historiography.8 Led by scholars such as Michael Hunter, whose sustained investigation of the papers of Robert Boyle (1627–91) has added a great deal to scholarly appreciation of the problems attending the evaluation of any archive,9 historians have analysed aspects of their assembly, content, and transmission, and even the origins of archival practice itself.10 The cumulative result, inside a relatively short period of time, has been a startling advance in the sophistication of understanding of archival repositories, their extents, their construction, and their limitations as sources of evidence. As Jean Carr, Stephen Carr, and Lucille Schultz have convincingly argued, “any particular archive is at once a fragmentary and an interested record of textual production, the consequence of innumerable local decisions and unforeseen contingencies about the production and preservation of a large array of texts.”11

In other words an archive is not merely a repository of texts to be unreflectively pillaged. The archive is itself a text: the product of a multiplicity of interventions occasioned by microsociologies of interest and disinterest which influenced its evaluation. But the archive is not only shaped by the interests that have informed decisions concerning what enters it, and what is to be preserved. When, as in the case of Hartlib’s papers, an archive has spent a great deal of its life in private hands, we must reckon with a plethora of competing agendas and philosophies which have shaped subtractions and additions to the text of the repository. Additionally, there is the matter of the readings of the archival text which have motivated such interventions, and indeed shaped the way that the archive, its meaning and its significance has [End Page 2] been understood. Mark Greengrass’s observation that “the kinds of questions asked of … an archive are always changing”12 can be understood as a corollary to Arjun Appadurai’s foundational assertion that the meaning attached to things derives from human transactions and motivations, “particularly from how those things are used and circulated.”13

While it is today impossible to imagine a scholarly critical edition of, for example, a seventeenth-century correspondence appearing in print without a thorough description and appraisal of the descent of the documents it edits and reproduces, there are few accounts which tackle the descent of entire archives of natural philosophers from the seventeenth century, especially the “afterlives” of these archives; that is to say their fates following the death of their creators or assemblers.14 Yet the understanding and documentation of these fates are crucial for scholars seeking to understand and engage with all archives of individuals, and especially Hartlib’s, which has been subjected to numerous interventions and transformations—both analog and digital—during its lifetime. Before the deposit of the bulk of the papers in an institutional library in 1964 they had served variously as treasured personal possessions, a family heirloom to be monetized, useless scraps of paper, the centerpiece of a grand utopian project, a portion of one of the great private libraries of nineteenth-century Britain, a chattel of an English noble family in Kenya, and the possession of two professors of education at Sheffield University. As we shall see, since their deposit in Sheffield University Library, the life of the papers has been no less adventurous; the fact that the vast majority of users have only ever consulted the papers “virtually” through digital publications has had distinct implications of its own.

Building on prior contributions, this article aims to provide an account of the papers of Samuel Hartlib from 1660 to the present.15 Methodologically, it incorporates insights from recent scholarship on early modern knowledge production, writings on the cultural life of “things,” as well as aspects of social history and historiography, in order to flesh out a multivalent interpretation of the significance of the papers. Hartlib’s papers are treated as a social artefact, in the sense that their story is inextricable from the stories of those that have used and abused them across the centuries. Revivified by users and consulters, the afterlife of the archive in fact constitutes a series of “afterlives.” Knowledge of the liquid microsociologies informing and conditioning these afterlives—that is to say, the small-scale, intimate relationships built between the papers and their users—have irrevocably altered its form and content. Indeed, so transformative have these relationships been that they call into the question the extent that we can accurately describe [End Page 3] the papers that survive as “Hartlib’s” at all. Since Hartlib’s death, users and custodians have reorganised, subtracted from, and added to the archive, fundamentally altering its physical and textual make-up. By considering in detail the changing social contexts of the archive and assessing motivations conditioning and guiding interactions and evaluations of its content both in micro and macro contexts, this paper seeks to move beyond the simple tracing and detailing of matters of dispersal, ownership, addition, and loss. By highlighting the social world of the archive and the user, this investigation naturally has implications for practices beyond the merely historiographical, extending into library science and knowledge-making in a variety of fields, especially in the digital humanities; for the history of the papers has directly impacted on the content and form of the digital editions. The scope of this article does not extend to considerations of how Hartlib built, used, organized, or otherwise engaged with his papers; there are already several influential and informative studies on these topics.16 It is instead about the afterlives of his endeavors. This story begins, then, with Hartlib’s death.

The Last Days of an Intelligencer, 1660–62

Although Hartlib died on 10 March 1662, it might be said that his terminal decline began almost precisely two years prior. During his heyday as an intelligencer, Hartlib had enjoyed intermittent support over two decades from Parliament, and had indeed gathered about him a network of correspondents inclined to the parliamentarian cause. In July 1659, shortly after the resignation of Protector Richard Cromwell (1626–1712), both he and his son Sam Jr. were recommended for employment by the Council of State. Less than a year later, however, on 29 May 1660, Charles II resumed command of Parliament and was effectively restored to the throne of England. Hartlib’s public ambitions were suddenly rendered to a state as ruinous as his health; his collection of papers, the end result of his intelligencing projects, would soon also be affected.

The decline in Hartlib’s manuscript collection escalated following his incapacitation by a fit of palsy at the end of 1660. He waited in mortal fear of another attack, but found himself mostly bedridden—his correspondence focussing ever more intensely on relief of “the stone.” Hartlib’s virtual incapacitation compounded his financial troubles, and after the Restoration the intelligencer was forced to sell household goods in order to make ends meet, and beg for loans.17 For the most part, however, while Hartlib lay prone in [End Page 4] another room of the house, his possessions were “exposed to all plunder,” as a disbelieving Samuel Wartensky (ca. 1630–86) declared in July 1661 after a visit to Hartlib’s home.18 If this plunder did indeed involve Hartlib’s papers, there were several possible motivations. Parliamentarians and loyalists were eager to erase evidence of their sympathy for the affairs of the Commonwealth and Protectorate attested to in Hartlib’s papers.19 Anti-monopolists may have been eager to get at inventions and schemes preserved by Hartlib. That Hartlib formally offered his correspondents the chance to retrieve their correspondence following the Restoration, as has been asserted by at least one historian, is not supported by any of the surviving sources.20

Prompted by Wartensky’s warning or his own incapacitation, Hartlib moved swiftly to protect his papers, and entrusted an organized archive of material to a third party. This third party was possibly Wartensky himself, for in his pivotal letter to Hartlib concerning the plunder of his possessions, the Polish émigré also wrote that “being indignant at your fate, I therefore offer me and mine as custodians of your things, and if you would judge us worthy with this sort of office, I pray that what you have remaining in your house, exposed to all plunder (omnium exposita rapinæ), you have brought to my house, there to be faithfully guarded.”21 While Wartensky was here primarily concerned with Hartlib’s household goods (suppelex), it is not inconceivable that Hartlib also took advantage of this arrangement to deposit an archive of books and manuscripts. Hartlib had, after all, known Wartensky for some five years, and also entrusted him with the education of his nephew Daniel Hartlib (d. ca. 1713). Before June 1661 Hartlib had even considered moving to Wartensky’s house at Farnham, Surrey.22 In any event, Hartlib’s provision for his belongings was sensible, for the intelligencer’s “forsaken condition” was declining rapidly. As the months wore on his illnesses became “more tormenting than before”; his bladder stone “like a bull enraged.” He required constant care from his daughter and nephew, and waited days at a time for “any lucida intervalla.”23 But at least Hartlib could rest assured that his physical papers were safe.

Or so it seemed. But in a letter to the Cambridge divine John Worthington (1618–71) on 2/12 November 1661, Hartlib revealed that, to compound his physical and mental torments, he could not check for some routine information because some of his papers were “missing.” The situation was much worse than this circumstance suggests, as Hartlib elaborated: “the wretched man (where all my books stood) having suffered (with a world of other MSS.) distraction or embezzlement, so that I cannot as yet tell what is remaining or not; the catalogues themselves being lost or made away. This is one of the greatest and sorest evils which hath befallen my tormented [End Page 5] and afflicted condition.”24 As Hartlib remarked later in the same letter, this “wretched fate is befallen all my best papers, which I thought were most safe.”25 In other words, Hartlib had gone to some trouble to arrange something resembling a modern archive of ordered books and papers, which had disappeared. Concerning the content of this archive, we possess little information. One of its constituent elements was apparently Hartlib’s universal bibliography, for Hartlib lamented to Worthington that “to look into my catalogue of books printed in Holland is no more in my power.”26 Given this, we can speculate that the archive also contained the refined core of Hartlib’s similar practical endeavors in other areas; catalogues and compilations of material “of usefulnesse unto the life of Man”—including inventions, experiments, patents, letter carriers, weather, navigation, and other matters—which Hartlib had once hoped to have at hand for the benefit of the populace in his projected “Office of Addresse.”27 Its character was probably mostly, if not entirely, utilitarian.

In any event, what remained in Hartlib’s house following this incident was not an “archive,” but the documental detritus of his many endeavors; the rump of his ambitions, tied in bundles and parcels according to their subject or correspondent (Figure 1), to which he apparently attached little importance. The reaction of Hartlib’s correspondents to the loss of these papers represents a variety of different perspectives on the value of information and its preservation. The Hereford agriculturalist and projector John Beale (1608–83) no doubt spoke for many when he expressed his fears of the implications of the theft. Because Beale was a political loyalist, he was wary of the possibility that the opinions he had openly circulated to Hartlib during the Interregnum could fall into the hands of others;

From your last I have a double trouble, at the loss of your precious papers, lest they should fall into the hands of malice and calumny.… For it is an impregnable dilemma, that it is no better than actum agere to write what others do write or know or believe. And it is a bold kind of madness to write that which others do not believe. It hath oftentimes tempted me to set fire to a whole ton of papers … or if I do reserve my scribblings, it shall be for a following age.28

John Worthington reacted to the news of the loss with less appreciable urgency and worldly concern. His own unremarkable political background meant Beale’s worries were largely alien to his worldview. Indeed, Worthington’s interests in the papers were primarily scholarly, and thus he faced a delicate situation while consoling Hartlib: [End Page 6]

Figure 1. Bundle wrapper in Samuel Hartlib’s hand, with additions in the hand of John Worthington. HP 36/1/1a. Courtesy of Sheffield University Library, Special Collections.
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Figure 1.

Bundle wrapper in Samuel Hartlib’s hand, with additions in the hand of John Worthington. HP 36/1/1a. Courtesy of Sheffield University Library, Special Collections.

I am sorry for your losses in the paper treasures you committed to such as ought to have been more regardful of such a depositum. The more need have you to secure what remains, lest a like fate should befall them. And out of these (if the other cannot be retrieved) you might make perhaps a worthy Collection of Memorable Things. [End Page 7] Such a Silva Silvarum, if you had thought on, would have been as much to the public good, and have rendered you as considerable, as any other performance that I can think of.29

In addition to genuine concern for Hartlib and his legacy—hence the suggestion of composing a “Collection of Memorable Things”—Worthington was at work on an edition of the correspondence of Henry More, whose letters he knew to have remained in Hartlib’s possession.30 Worthington also had his eye on some pieces for a volume of the correspondence of the philosopher René Descartes (1596–1650), which he believed to be in Hartlib’s possession:

I have read in some of your papers an extract … wherein she [Princess Elizabeth of Bohemia] mentions some letters of Descartes to herself, which are not in the first volume of his [Descartes’s] letters, and are more worthy to be printed than several others in that volume.… If those letters unprinted might be imparted to the public, they would be a great ornament to the second edition of these epistles.31

In any event, following the “distraction” of his best papers, Hartlib took extra steps to ensure those that did remain were kept safe by bringing them into his own study. These documents, however, would fare nearly as poorly. In January or February of 1662, Hartlib informed Worthington that “it pleased God to visit my chamber with a very sad and fearful accident of fire.” The accident was occasioned when his son, Samuel Hartlib Jr. (1631–after 1690), overheated “indiscriminately my iron stove.” In his account of this incident, we find no direct mention of manuscript loss: “yet,” Hartlib remarked, “many of my things were spoiled.”32 Shortly before, in October 1661, Worthington had remarked on the “many bundles of paper” in Hartlib’s study, precisely where the fire had taken place.33 The incident awoke in Hartlib a driving fear that underscored and perhaps exacerbated his physical maladies. Aware of his friend’s increasing desperation, Worthington attempted to console him; “I was sorry to hear of your late danger by the fire in your study, which might have been more devouring and terrible had it been in the night. I hope that the violence was prevented from destroying many of your papers.”34 Hartlib was, however, beyond such feeble consolation at this latest blow to his endeavours. On 12 February, he wrote to Jan Amos Comenius (1592–1670) that he felt his death was approaching.35 Two days later he opined to Worthington that “this may be the last of mine for [End Page 8] aught I know, being very much tormented in body, and afflicted in mind by reason of that lamentable fire that broke out in my study.”36 This was indeed the last known letter from Hartlib. Less than a month later, on 10 March 1662, he passed away.

During this period, assuming Hartlib was lucid, the intelligencer had ample time to arrange his affairs and what remained of his meagre estate. That he died intestate may well have been by deliberate choice, and ensured—given that Hartlib did not die substantially in debt—that his effects, including his manuscripts, passed on to his eldest son, Samuel Hartlib Jr. The implication for Hartlib’s papers is clear. As far as he was concerned, the best of them had already disappeared; what remained had been tested by fire. That Hartlib didn’t make explicit provision for his remaining papers suggests that he thought them not particularly valuable, and was happy enough for his “loose sheets” to pass into the possession of his son, without further direction concerning their fate.37 Hartlib’s own legacy, as he had explicitly imagined it in the title of an influential 1651 publication, lay not in any material accumulation of ephemera of interest to future generations, but rather in the bequeathing of a body of “outlandish and domestick experiments and secrets” for the improvement of all humankind.38 For Hartlib, the informational text as a spur to human action, those things which were “better done then written,” was more important than the archival text so crucial to modern historians, and also to many of the intermediate possessors of his papers.

“Paper Treasures”: Hartlib’s Legacy, 1662–64

Unlike the paper legacies of other great naturalists of the period, the prospect of posthumous publication of part or all of Hartlib’s papers does not seem to have been considered an appropriate undertaking by its custodians. There appears never to have been a suggestion that a biography of Hartlib based on the papers would be a useful or fitting monument; nor a notion that an edition of Hartlib’s correspondence—much of it still politically and commercially sensitive—would hold much value to the reading public. This contrast may suggest something of the reputational gap between a purveyor of information like Hartlib and his other natural philosophical contemporaries. In the case of Robert Boyle, the quest for an instructive and edifying biography shaped the contours of the historical descent of his papers.39 Similarly, for Robert Hooke (1635–1703), a series of efforts to publish assorted [End Page 9] essays in order to secure his legacy as a great naturalist, together with a weeding-out of material appropriate for absorption into the collections of the Royal Society, impacted directly on the documents which survived.40 Indeed, Hartlib’s remaining papers—let us recall that the intelligencer’s own ordered archive of “best papers” had been stolen—appear to have been considered merely as the disparate remains of a life spent gathering information.

But the fate of the papers was also influenced by the character and ambitions of their new custodian: Sam Hartlib Jr. That Sam was once their owner is demonstrated by the many endorsements he made to documents present in the Sheffield archive today (Figure 2). These were usually, although not consistently, identified as Hand X by the Hartlib Papers Project editorial team in the 1990s.41 It is worth briefly sketching what is known of Sam’s life, for the impression of his character gained from extant reports is not without relevance to his interactions with Hartlib’s papers, and our subsequent understanding of them. He was born around 1631.42 He was “fitted for employment of writing” by Hartlib and Dury, the latter of whom, in particular, wished to put the youth to work in forwarding his irenic goals.43 But Sam apparently possessed a “distracted spirit,” which became apparent when he assisted Dury in tutoring the children of Charles I in 1647, becoming captivated by the drama and intrigues at court rather than attending to his duties. He thereafter trained as a solicitor. In 1653, Sam found employment as a London agent of the merchants of Berwick-on-Tweed, and then the Merchant Adventurers of Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 1656. After briefly occupying a post in the Customs and Excise department, between 1660 and 1665 he was clerk to the Committee of Council for Plantations,44 then secretary of the Hearth Office.45 Although one of Hartlib’s correspondents saw in Sam a reflection of his father, bent on contributing to the public good,46 he appeared to be more interested in contributing to his own good. Indeed, he was considered “a great engine of corruption” by one contemporary, and in 1667 narrowly avoided prison for inconsistencies in his customs returns. In the same year, Sam famously attempted to solicit Samuel Pepys’s (1633–1703) wife as a prostitute.47

In April 1671 Sam attacked a member of Parliament on account of slanderous remarks, and the following January he was committed to the Tower “for seditious speeches and for publishing libels.”48 Upon his release a couple of months later, he worked from chambers at Grey’s Inn with his employer, solicitor John Rushworth (ca. 1612–1690). The idyll would not long endure. According to the poet Andrew Marvell, (1621–78), by February [End Page 10]

Figure 2. A witness to the complex history of Hartlib’s papers: The title page of this pamphlet bears a pressmark N˚: 69, in Hartlib’s hand, and thus probably formed part of his library. After 1662 this title page was repurposed as a bundle wrapper by Samuel Hartlib Jr., who added an endorsement at right concerning the “Office of Address.” At the top of the title page are some notes in the hand of the Württemberg religious dissident Ludwig Friedrich Gifftheil (1595–1661), who visited Hartlib on several occasions in London, and who might have been the prior owner of the pamphlet. HP 47/10/1a. Courtesy of Sheffield University Library, Special Collections.
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Figure 2.

A witness to the complex history of Hartlib’s papers: The title page of this pamphlet bears a pressmark N˚: 69, in Hartlib’s hand, and thus probably formed part of his library. After 1662 this title page was repurposed as a bundle wrapper by Samuel Hartlib Jr., who added an endorsement at right concerning the “Office of Address.” At the top of the title page are some notes in the hand of the Württemberg religious dissident Ludwig Friedrich Gifftheil (1595–1661), who visited Hartlib on several occasions in London, and who might have been the prior owner of the pamphlet. HP 47/10/1a. Courtesy of Sheffield University Library, Special Collections.

1676 Sam’s debts had grown so great on account of living “expensive beyond his incomes,” that he “thought convenient to pass over into Holland with no intention of returning.”49 In point of fact, Sam had been attracted by a hefty bounty offered by the States-General in Holland to capture his brother-in-law, the radical millenarian Johannes Rothé (1628–1702).50 Predictably, Sam failed in his task. Not only was he castigated by the Dutch administration for running up enormous expenses and being “frequently drunk,” but eyewitnesses had reported seeing Sam twice in the social company of his quarry: yet still he had failed to deliver Rothé to authorities.51 Sometime after this farcical Dutch interlude, Sam returned to England where he presumably settled his debts and secured work as an agent of the goldsmith-banker John Lindsey. In early November 1678, however, Charles II instructed authorities at all major English ports to detain Sam and Lindsey, [End Page 11] who were thought to be attempting to escape the country and their many creditors.52 With the exception of his witnessing the will of the engraver David Loggan (1634–92) in 1691, this is the final report that we possess concerning his activities.53

The upshot of this biographical survey is clear: given his inclinations to exploit his various employment situations for profit, both legally and illegally, Sam would not have failed to do the same with his father’s papers. As mentioned previously, bundle wrappers and endorsements found throughout the archive provide evidence that Sam inventoried, rearranged, and redistributed its contents while it was in his possession. That this activity was motivated by profit is strongly suggested by an endorsement in his hand, “&c. L[ett]ers: Coppies. M. Hartlibs Owne writeing”54 (Figure 3). This endorsement was obviously not made for Sam’s own benefit, and was likely part of a presentation of the papers for a third party, possibly for sale.55

Despite the nature of his archival footprint, it is clear that Sam wasn’t all bad. After July 1662 he evidently assisted John Worthington’s edition of Joseph Mede’s (1586–1639) works, by transmitting Mede’s letters from his father’s papers to Worthington in Cambridgeshire.56 Sam may also have been the “Hartlib” who conveyed papers between Robert Boyle and Henry Oldenburg (1619–77) on 29 September/9 October 1664.57 Altogether, however, there is little useful evidence concerning the fate of the archive immediately following 1662, other than to state that the papers which remained were evidently in the possession of Sam Hartlib Jr., who reordered them, classified them, and appears to have prepared them for sale. In a way the fate was appropriate: Hartlib had focussed his endeavors on the utilitarian collection and distribution of “useful knowledge,” and the remains of his literary effects were considered similarly by his son.

“The Conversation of Really Good Angels”: A Hartlibian Court in Rural Cheshire

The next time Hartlib’s papers surface is in 1667, when they are “found” at Brereton Hall in Cheshire (Figure 4), the seat and residence of William Brereton, third Baron Brereton of Leighlin (1631–81).58 An early member of the Royal Society, Brereton was described by Nathaniel Ingelo (ca. 1621–1683) as “a lover of philosophers” as well as philosophy,59 who according to Gilbert Burnet (1643–1715) spent “all his life long in search of the philosophers’ stone, by which he neglected his own affairs.”60 Brereton had [End Page 12]

Figure 3. Bundle wrapper in the hand of Samuel Hartlib, Jr., perhaps evidence of his intention to sell the archive, or at least to display it to third parties. HP 8/24/1b. Courtesy of Sheffield University Library, Special Collections.
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Figure 3.

Bundle wrapper in the hand of Samuel Hartlib, Jr., perhaps evidence of his intention to sell the archive, or at least to display it to third parties. HP 8/24/1b. Courtesy of Sheffield University Library, Special Collections.

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Figure 4. Brereton Hall, Cheshire. Engraving (1809), from the collection of the author.
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Figure 4.

Brereton Hall, Cheshire. Engraving (1809), from the collection of the author.

been in contact with Hartlib since at least the 1650s, mainly on matters of husbandry, and had studied as a youth under the mathematician John Pell (1611–85) at the Illustrious Academy in Breda.

In the absence of definite evidence, it is likely that Brereton purchased the papers from Sam Hartlib Jr., or possibly an intermediary, sometime in 1664. In April of that year William inherited the lands and title of his father, also William (1611–64),61 and began a flurry of ambitious activity. Before this point, Brereton had long been committed to the issue of poor relief, which he linked to Johann Valentin Andreae’s (1586–1654) writings concerning Christian Societies.62 In 1655 Brereton had announced that he planned to farm his father’s land in order to assist the Cheshire poor, and in 1661 told John Winthrop Jr. (1606–76) that he had recently spent “six weeks surveying an Estate which by the blessing of God upon good conduct may prove of advantage to the unregarded numerous poore among us, if there be any time of refreshing neere at hand.”63 And so it was that, upon finally inheriting his father’s estate in 1664, Brereton attempted to “lay a foundation of a societie for the releefe of the Poore in these Parts, & for the Instruction of the [End Page 14] Ingenious, & for a Regular & Religious Life of all concerned in it, at least as far as is capable of being effected by Men.”64 This project, he envisioned, would begin with Cheshire, gradually encompass England, and ultimately, the world. By educating and housing the poorest inhabitants of his family’s land, he hoped to bring

those who yet are most of them but sad spectacles of wretched Ignorance & Immoralitie, to live like Rationall & Morall Creatures in some degree, and to provide for the breeding of their poore Children, so as to make them in time both Philosophers & Christians; And this is the Height of my Ambition, & I have already so often & so seriously though in privacy, dedicated my selfe, & all my Estate to God for the Propagation of the Most Holy Gospell of our Ever Blessed Jesus.65

Provision for the poor had long been a major part of Hartlib’s own strivings for universal reformation, and a substantial number of books on education and husbandry populated Brereton’s library. It was almost certainly to further these plans that Brereton acquired Hartlib’s papers. But this was only one small part of Brereton’s project.

On 2 May 1664, shortly after he had come to terms with the responsibilities of running his inherited estate, Brereton wrote to John Pell, his former tutor in Breda, requesting that he and his family join him at Brereton Hall, the family residence, in Cheshire: “I intend to settle here at Br[ereton], and I hope you will not refuse to come with me hither where if it be possible for me to I will fix you, as I hope you will see it may be for your quiet & advantage as well as my very great satisfaction it should be so. When I this say you, I meane you & yours.”66 Pell was not, however, the only member of Hartlib’s circle to whom Brereton extended an invitation. Two weeks later Brereton wrote to Robert Boyle, hoping to lure him to Cheshire to work in the cellar laboratory, where he and his helpers toiled “very vigorously” so that something “may be produced which will (by the Blessing of God) become Usefull to the Vulgar, & Satisfactorie to the Curious.” Or, as Brereton wrote:

so I having now (by the Wonderfull Providence & Blessing of God), a Place, as convenient as most I know, for the making of Usefull & Ingenious Experiments, doe think me selfe bounde both in particular to your selfe who have so often obliged me; and in generall to Mankind to declare my House is & shall be at your service, & that a Commodious Apartment in it shall be still ready for you.67 [End Page 15]

As leverage to attract Boyle, Brereton revealed that he had already invited Boyle’s friend and Hartlib’s son-in-law, Frederick Clodius (1629–1702), to join the project: “My true friend Cl[odius] will I hope be Resident with me; & if you please to Honour me with your presence here according to your owne Convenience & Leisure, there are few things can happen to my greater personall content in this Life. For wise and Good Societie is next to the Conversation of Really Good Angels.”68 Although Boyle rejected the offer, both Pell and Clodius were in residence at Brereton Hall by July 1665. Clodius brought with him his wife—Hartlib’s daughter Mary—and children. Another member of the Hartlib family at Brereton was the aforementioned Daniel Hartlib, Samuel’s nephew. Originally from Danzig, Daniel had been sent to England to study during 1658.69 Since at least January 1664 he had worked as Brereton’s steward, performing various errands on behalf of his employer.70 Finally Brereton convinced John Worthington to join the group at Brereton Hall after the Great Fire of London decimated his parish in early September 1666, offering him the position of household chaplain and the preachership at Holmes Green.71 The group was furthermore regularly visited by the young mathematician Thomas Brancker (1633–76), upon whom Brereton bestowed the rectorate of Tilston, Cheshire, in 1668.72

Brereton’s plans were ambitious. As he noted to Boyle, God’s invisible guiding hand would be necessary to see that he “did not overshoot.”73 As his invitations to Boyle and Clodius suggest, Brereton evidently saw a chymical dimension to his project. Pell would have lent his mathematical and “architectonall Genius” to survey and develop the lands around Brereton Hall, in order “to produce a good effect for others.”74 A large collection of scientific and mathematical books were purchased in 1665 to assist in the endeavors,75 and in 1666 Brereton acquired multiple copies of Comenius’s textbook Orbis sensualium pictus and the second edition of John Evelyn’s (1620–1706) Kalendarium hortense (1666), presumably also to expedite the aims of the project in the classrooms and fields of Brereton.76

In the mid-1660s therefore, we have a Hartlibian court, and a Hartlibian project, afoot in the unlikeliest of places: an Elizabethan mansion in rural Cheshire. This court comprised not only some of Hartlib’s friends and correspondents, but also several members of Hartlib’s immediate family. The jewel in the crown, so to speak, was Hartlib’s own papers, containing the raw materials and schemes which could be put to use for the general reformation of the world. [End Page 16]

“Not Unworthy of Your Attention”: The Hartlib Papers at Brereton Hall

While Hartlib’s material on the poor, pedagogy, husbandry, chymistry, and other matters served the project at Brereton Hall, and was probably usefully employed by the protagonists, we in truth know very little about the social life of the papers during this period. A note by Worthington suggests, however, that the majority of the papers, presumably ransacked for purposes germane to Brereton’s undertakings, were left largely unattended. This is at least the impression engendered by a letter of Worthington’s wherein he claims to have “met with two trunks full of Mr Hartlib’s papers” in Brereton’s study in January or February of 1666/67.77 While Worthington had apparently been given to think that “they had been put into order,” upon closer inspection he found that this was not true: “I took them out, bestrewed a great chamber with them, put them in order in several bundles.”78

Worthington probably thought the papers had been ordered on account of the various endorsements by Sam Hartlib Jr., but also those of Hand Y (as designated by the Hartlib Papers Project editorial team). This hand can be dated to the mid to late seventeenth century, but I cannot attribute it. It may have belonged to Daniel Hartlib, who tended Hartlib on his deathbed, an assistant of Hartlib Jr., or a third party hired by Brereton prior to his purchase.79 Hand Y’s endorsements appear in hundreds of places throughout the archive, and his mark on the papers themselves is both scribal and physical. Firstly we shall consider the physical evidence. Although the majority of Hartlib’s papers were quarto in size, most of Hand Y’s endorsements were written in order to be visible on quarto sheets that were folded in half again. The resultant deep folds, as well as the patterns of wear associated with them, indicate that these sheets were kept in this fashion for a considerable period of time, perhaps centuries (Figure 5). The folded and unfolded portions of the archive might therefore reflect the differing content of Worthington’s “two trunks,” each featuring portions of the papers stored differently. The second kind of evidence is scribal. For despite the large number of letters in the archive, Hand Y’s endorsements are largely confined to those papers that are not epistolary in nature. Thus the physical evidence of the papers might confirm Worthington’s statement concerning them in 1667: the papers were stored, slightly differently, in two trunks, and while they had obviously been ordered to some extent, the epistolary material appears to have been largely untouched, necessitating Worthington’s intervention. [End Page 17]

Figure 5. Bundle wrapper, endorsed in the centre by Hartlib, and on the right panel by Hand Y. Around one third of Hartlib’s papers, most endorsed by Hand Y, survive in this folded form. HP 65/13/1a. Courtesy of Sheffield University Library, Special Collections.
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Figure 5.

Bundle wrapper, endorsed in the centre by Hartlib, and on the right panel by Hand Y. Around one third of Hartlib’s papers, most endorsed by Hand Y, survive in this folded form. HP 65/13/1a. Courtesy of Sheffield University Library, Special Collections.

[End Page 18]

Hand Y sought briefly to describe subject matter of other bundles and papers, often adding to the endorsements of prior users. Thus we find a bundle wrapper originally marked by Hartlib as “Salpeter” being transformed into “About Salpeter & miscellany Letters.”80 One bundle of fawning epistles thanking Hartlib for the provision of information is marked as “Canting Letters.”81 In a letter from Richard Jones (1641–1712), endorsed by Sam Hartlib Jr. only as “Jones,” we find an explanatory remark: “R: Jones abt making pearles.”82 Elsewhere we find endorsements like “In this Bundle are several approved medicins agt the stone.”83 The impression is that Hand Y was interested in identifying papers important on account of their communication of “useful knowledge,” which might coincide with Sam Hartlib Jr.’s interest in monetizing them. That some kind of discrimination indeed played a role in these evaluations is demonstrated by the corollary identification of “unimportant” papers. In one place we find a quire of copy theological letters from John Dury (1600–80) to the Swedish statesman Axel Oxenstierna (1583–1654) endorsed as “Sundry Letters & papers of no great moment” (Figure 6). In another place, we find an endorsement in the hand of Hartlib Jr. “[William] Petty Mixt Letters & Papers” to which Hand Y has added “of no great value yt I know of.”84 Despite these comments, such bundles were not divorced from the body of Hartlib’s papers, although the second of those mentioned here was eventually broken off from the collection, probably during the eighteenth century.85

In any event, we know that Worthington had long admired Hartlib’s manuscript collection, and in the intelligencer’s final days had sought to lever certain materials from him. Now, unmediated by Hartlib’s vagaries and by the distance of post, Worthington and his companions had the opportunity to survey the material extensively and turn it to account. Seth Ward’s (1617–89) reaction to Worthington’s discovery, expressed in a letter of 15 March 1667, speaks volumes: “I am very glad that those papers of Mr Hartlib’s are preserved and that they are fallen into your hands who are able & disposed to make the best of them.”86

Worthington’s interactions with the papers can be found throughout the archive, and are evidenced by numerous endorsements in his distinctive hand, which can now finally be definitively identified thanks to the discovery of one of his autograph letters to Hartlib.87 In addition to physically sorting and ordering the papers, Worthington diligently checked, corrected, and amended the lists of correspondents prepared by Hartlib Jr. (Figure 7), and reordered bundles of material according to subject matter.88 Occasionally, his endorsements described the content of certain important letters, such as “Concerning Des-Cartes death,” or described the content of whole [End Page 19]

Figure 6. Bundle wrapper in Hand Y. The water and fire damage indicates that this manuscript may have been present at the fire in Hartlib’s study in late 1661, shortly before his death. HP 9/1/6b. Courtesy of Sheffield University Library, Special Collections.
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Figure 6.

Bundle wrapper in Hand Y. The water and fire damage indicates that this manuscript may have been present at the fire in Hartlib’s study in late 1661, shortly before his death. HP 9/1/6b. Courtesy of Sheffield University Library, Special Collections.

[End Page 20]

Figure 7. Checklist of correspondents in Sam Hartlib, Jr.’s hand, with additions below by Worthington. The remark “deest” (missing) next to the names of Wheelock and Woodward were evidently made as Worthington sorted through the scattered papers he found in Brereton’s study; letters from both correspondents are present in the archive today. HP 32/1/13a. Courtesy of Sheffield University Library, Special Collections.
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Figure 7.

Checklist of correspondents in Sam Hartlib, Jr.’s hand, with additions below by Worthington. The remark “deest” (missing) next to the names of Wheelock and Woodward were evidently made as Worthington sorted through the scattered papers he found in Brereton’s study; letters from both correspondents are present in the archive today. HP 32/1/13a. Courtesy of Sheffield University Library, Special Collections.

[End Page 21]

bundles, such as “Dury’s advice about Studies In reference to the Ministry” or “Mystici, Enthusiastæ, Prophecies, Visions, Prodigies.”89 In other places, he attempted to solve philological questions, such as the authorship of a Hartlibian pamphlet.90 In the course of his sorting, it appears that many interesting papers were discovered. Worthington and the personnel at Brereton Hall seem to have been motivated to interact with this material in a variety of different ways. One of the chief objectives, particularly apparent from Worthington’s correspondence, appears to have been the extraction of material valuable for various scientific or publishing projects.

We can point to several examples of such extractions, which are evidenced by the survival of letters to Hartlib from various luminaries in printed form, the originals of which are however now absent from the archive. This movement of papers between manuscript and print provides a posthumous twist on Paul Needham’s concept of the retained and outward archive, inasmuch as the constitution of the respective archives was driven by concerns other than those of the original authors and publishers.91 Worthington, who had already made use of Joseph Mede’s (1586–1639) epistles to Hartlib for the 1664 edition of Mede’s works—which he worked on during Hartlib’s lifetime—was able to find further relevant pieces for inclusion in the second edition of 1672.92 The correspondence of other major contemporary figures in Hartlib’s intellectual orbit is missing entirely. We find no trace of the epistolary exchange with Thomas Hobbes (1588–1679) suggested by a bundle wrapper prepared by Hartlib Jr. (Figure 8).93 Letters from the German classical scholar Johann Friedrich Gronovius (1611–71) are similarly absent, so too those from the Austrian chiliast Johann Permeier (1597–ca.1644); although we know that Hartlib corresponded with both men.94 In the absence of external inventories or the survival of anything other than hand-lists of correspondents prepared by Sam Hartlib Jr. and Worthington from the archive itself, we remain blissfully unaware of other would-be contacts. As George Henry Turnbull observed, it indeed seems strange that the archive “contains nothing written by John Milton.”95

One important figure whose writings and letters were of interest to several persons at Brereton Hall was René Descartes. Descartes was known to have corresponded with Hartlib at least once, sending him an undated judgment on Comenius. As we have seen, Worthington also thought that Hartlib held copies of letters of Descartes to Princess Elizabeth of Bohemia (1630–1714). Indeed, Worthington, Pell, and also Theodor Haak (1605–90) were involved in the provision of manuscript material for the publication of Descartes’s correspondence. Before Pell left London for Brereton Hall, [End Page 22]

Figure 8. Bundle wrapper and checklist of correspondents prepared by Sam Hartlib Jr. featuring the name of Thomas Hobbes, whose letters are no longer in the archive. HP 9/11/27b. Courtesy of Sheffield University Library, Special Collections.
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Figure 8.

Bundle wrapper and checklist of correspondents prepared by Sam Hartlib Jr. featuring the name of Thomas Hobbes, whose letters are no longer in the archive. HP 9/11/27b. Courtesy of Sheffield University Library, Special Collections.

he had liaised with Worthington and Henry More (1614–87) to supply a certain Monsieur Udè with “algebraicall letters” by Descartes, possibly for inclusion in the Clerselier edition of Descartes’s correspondence, or for the Latin edition ultimately printed by Elzevier in Amsterdam in 1668.96 We can imagine Worthington’s delight when, in February 1666/67, he uncovered yet more material by Descartes among Hartlib’s papers. On the twentyfifth of that month, Worthington informed the antiquary George Evans (ca. 1630–1702) that “I have here met (among Mr. Hartlib’s papers, in my Lord [End Page 23] Brereton’s study) with two epistles of [Hugo] Grotius, to [Johannes] Crellius, and two letters of Des Cartes, the one about Lord Herbert’s De Veritate, the other (and larger) about Comenius’s pansophical treatise.”97 While the Grotius letters survive as part of a printed pamphlet present in the archive,98 the epistle of Descartes to Hartlib concerning Comenius is missing entirely.99 An extract of his opinion on Edward Herbert’s De veritate (1624) can however be found in a bundle of Hartlibian provenance in the British Library.100 Evans was not the only person to be offered material. In response to a letter sent to him by Worthington from Brereton Hall, Bishop Seth Ward (1617–89) appears to acknowledge the receipt of materials from Hartlib’s papers, thanking Worthington for “the pains which you are always taking for the advancement of the common stock of learning.”101

Another motive was personal interest, which appears to have manifested itself primarily through the removal of items of correspondence. This was a practice which certainly appears to have been de rigueur at Brereton Hall. Worthington removed his own letters from the papers (overlooking but one),102 evidently with the aim of preparing an edition of his own correspondence. There is no trace of William Brereton’s letters to Hartlib in the surviving materials. But for one exception nor are there any from Frederick Clodius.103 Daniel Hartlib, too, appears to have removed not only his own letters, but also those of his father, Georg Hartlib.104 John Pell also plundered the papers, which explains why some of his original letters to the intelligencer sent from Switzerland can be found today among his own MSS in the British Library.105

But the opportunity to remove personal papers was offered not only to those present at Brereton Hall. In several of Worthington’s letters to others, he advertised the possibility of recovering their own correspondence. A prominent example is that of Seth Ward, who, after having his letters to Hartlib brought to his attention, offered an elaborate, but clear, response to Worthington:

I was not unacquainted with that good man, who by his great and unwearied Zeale for learning, and by his Correspondence with persons eminent, in the severall wayes of it became serviceable to the general promotion of it; and whatever his workes (which were very laudable) certainly it cannot be but his papers must be considerable. I meane those papers which proceeded from the Authors whome your letter mentions, and not those letters of mine owne which concerned either Hevelius or Mercator, which although I have forgotten, yet so much I am sure of, that they were carelessly & perfunctorily [End Page 24] written (or els indeed they had not been mine) so that it wil be to my advantage to suppress them. However Sir! I leave them wholely to your disposall, either to bring them to me when I may have the happeness to se you, or to burn them or leave them among the rest that is to say I have no considerable regard for any interest of mine in them.106

Unsurprisingly, there are no letters of Ward present in the archive today. Additionally, there are no letters from Nathaniel Ingelo, who was perhaps not coincidentally informed by Worthington on 10 June 1667 that there were “some papers not unworthy of your site” at Brereton Hall.107

As this summary suggests, the body of the papers was entirely transformed during their time at Brereton Hall. The rump of Hartlib’s endeavors had been on multiple occasions combed through and picked clean of material deemed personal, interesting, and “useful.” This material furnished printed editions of works, experiments, and practical activities undertaken at the Hall, as well as perhaps other initiatives no longer discoverable.

The End of Brereton Hall and the Dispersal of Hartlib’s Papers

On account of Brereton’s precarious financial position, the Hartlibian idyll did not long endure. When Brereton announced his project to Pell, he stated that he was “now resolved to rid my selfe with all possible speed of all my Debts & some Lande at once.” From 1664 Brereton indeed dispersed parcels of land to keep ahead of creditors, so much so that by May 1668 the only property left in the family portfolio was Brereton Hall itself.108 The financial and social stresses of Brereton’s circumstances filtered through to other members of the project. Pell complained that Brereton “hath Will & no power,” and opined that while in Cheshire he was “not free to dispose of my own time … I may be commanded to goe, to come, to doe this or that business.”109 As early as November 1666, Worthington informed friends that his position was “arbitrary and uncertain,” and complained that “things there are not so as I expected.”110 A few years later, he recalled that “I found he [Brereton] had not got through those difficulties he was encumbered with, nor was like to do it so soon as he promised himself. And so I saw that there was estate little enough for his necessary occasions and his family.”111 Worthington and his family hastily departed Brereton on [End Page 25] 14 April 1667.112 Friction between Brereton and Clodius boiled over that September, when it became known that “Clodius fell out with him [Brereton] and so left him and wanders.”113 Clodius later pursued a career as a physician and surgeon in Shrewsbury, Shropshire.114 By the time John Pell abandoned Brereton for London in the late summer of 1669, Brereton’s own condition was approaching the indigence of those which he had attempted to help.115 At around the same time Brereton himself also departed for London for good, taking with him Daniel Hartlib, where he threw himself into politics. The failure of the project in Cheshire appears to have even soured his natural philosophical interests, for Brereton rarely attended meetings of the Royal Society after this date.116

Following the break-up of the “Christian Societie” at Brereton Hall, it seems likely that Hartlib’s papers suffered further fragmentation. A small portion, perhaps consisting of several bundles carried back to London by Brereton, Pell, and others, circulated among interested parties in the capital. By this point, the Cheshire rump of Hartlib’s archive was apparently considered largely without value, and quickly fell into obscurity. The extent of this obscurity can be seen between 1672 and 1681, when Paul Hartmann (d. 1694) and Christian Nigrinus were commissioned by Gerard de Geer (1642–87) to locate and publish manuscript Comeniana known to have been left in England.117 Despite working in Oxford and London for some nine years on the project, it appears that neither Hartmann nor Nigrinus ever managed to learn of the Comeniana that languished in Cheshire.

As mentioned above, despite Hartmann and Nigrinus’ lack of success, it is apparent that some papers from Hartlib’s collection circulated in London and perhaps elsewhere. A bundle of prophetic material endorsed by Worthington can be found in the British Library, MS Sloane 648, bearing what may be a handwritten date 1671, perhaps the year that it reached a new owner.118 The diary of Robert Hooke indicates that material from Hartlib’s papers was circulating among members of the Royal Society. On 28 February 1677/78, at a meeting of the group, Hooke “borrowed Hartlibs Chimicall correspondens,”—whatever that might have been—possibly from Pell.119 Another transmitter of Hartlib material in London at this time could have been Daniel Hartlib, who on 9 October 1673 received a copy of one of William Petty’s books from Hooke, shortly before he departed to take up a treasury position in Dublin the following month.120

William Brereton died suddenly in London shortly before 17 March 1679/80, on which date his body was interred at St Martin in the Fields.121 While some of the London Hartlibiana carried out of Brereton Hall after [End Page 26] 1669 eventually passed into the collections of Sir Hans Sloane (1660–1753) after 1692, or disappeared from sight altogether, the bulk of Hartlib’s papers appear to have remained in Cheshire under the custody of John Brereton (1659–1718), fourth baron Brereton.122 There they resided alongside a second set of significant scientific papers at Brereton Hall: those left behind by John Pell. The month after Pell’s death in December 1685, Robert Hooke informed the Royal Society that Pell’s papers were “partly in custody of Dr. [Richard] Busby, and the rest at Brereton in Cheshire.”123 While Pell’s papers were never recovered, it is possible that if they had indeed been allowed to reside unmolested at Brereton Hall up until this point, then so too might Hartlib’s.

That this was indeed the case is evidenced by a notebook prepared by James Tyrrell (1642–1718), the historian, political philosopher, and sometime friend of John Locke (1632–1704), which includes extracts of several medical “Receipts I had among Mr. Hartlib’s collections in the possession of my Lord Brereton in his Library at Brereton Hall, 1685.”124 Yet while Tyrrell indeed filled many pages of his notebook with medical recipes and processes, he also sought out, copied and extracted other kinds of items from “Mr. Hartlib’s collections.” These include a piece of Hartlib’s correspondence with Robert Boyle, as well as a theological treatise by John Dury, the only other copy of which can be found today in the Sheffield archive.125 All of this must have necessitated some considerable digging around in the archive, and positive evidence of Tyrrell’s impact on the topography of Hartlib’s papers is evidenced by endorsements which he made to a couple of documents, one of which he helpfully signed with the initials “I.T.”126

As a sometime correspondent of Robert Boyle, Tyrrell could have learned of the existence of Hartlib’s papers in Brereton through him, or another member of the Royal Society, like Hooke. Alternatively, Tyrrell may have become privy to the existence of the papers through his familial connection to Brereton Hall, for he was distantly related to John Brereton.127 In any event, it is probable that Tyrrell’s spur for seeking out Hartlib’s papers was his scholarly efforts in connection with Richard Parr’s (1617–91) project to publish the correspondence of Tyrrell’s maternal grandfather, the Archbishop of Armagh James Ussher (1581–1656). Tyrrell’s correspondence from late 1685 and early 1686 with the Oxford orientalist Thomas Smith (1638–1710) makes multiple references to his efforts to assist Parr,128 who later described Tyrrell as “one as deeply concerned for the honour of his Grandfather as can be.”129 Interestingly, Parr’s Life of Usher, which ultimately appeared in print in 1686, concludes with a sequence of eleven letters which [End Page 27] Parr announced “were brought in late” and therefore could not be printed in chronological order.130 All of these letters (nos. 299-310) were addressed to members of Hartlib’s networks, including Nicholas Mercator (1620-87), Arnold Boate (1606-53), and Christian Ravius (1613-77), as well as Hartlib himself.131 It is likely that these letters were in fact recovered by Tyrrell from Brereton Hall in the course of 1685, a circumstance suggested by the fact that he was actively working on assembling Ussher’s correspondence during this year, and that the letters, or scribal copies of them, are today nowhere to be found in the Sheffield archive.132 Hartlib’s papers, it appears, would continue to serve the diverse needs of its consulters for decades after his death, and to suffer losses and distractions on account of their individual interests.

Eighteenth-Century Oblivion: Hartlib’s Papers at Vale Royal, Cheshire

Despite the circulation and probable trade or sale of some Hartlib manuscripts in London from the 1670s on, Tyrrell’s notebook indicates that the bulk of Hartlib’s papers remained in the possession of John Brereton until at least 1685, after which date they might have been sold on in an attempt to reduce the incredible debts the fourth baron had inherited from his father. Previously, there has been little to no evidence available to determine when or to whom the papers were sold or passed on, although the lack of mention of the manuscripts in the ca. 1697 sale catalogue of William Brereton’s library could indicate that the collection was sold before this date.133 Although a specific date or bill of sale remains to be located, in the littleknown seventy-second bundle of the Sheffield Hartlib Papers—a subject to which we shall later return—we find a miscellany of documents which came into the archive after Hartlib’s death, namely between 1666 and 1699. These documents, together with other external evidence, suggest strongly that Hartlib’s papers were acquired by a new owner: the mathematician and MP Francis Cholmondeley (1636–1713) of Vale Royal, Cheshire (Figure 9).134 Cholmondeley was a well known figure at Brereton Hall between 1665 and 1669. He was involved in intellectual exchanges there and was mentioned in the correspondence of Pell, Worthington, and Brancker.135 He therefore almost certainly had heard of Worthington’s find. Cholmondeley’s interests were broad. He was friends with the essayist Joseph Addison (1672–1719) and other eminent literary personalities of his time. According to the antiquarian George Ormerod (1785–1873), Cholmondeley assembled [End Page 28]

Figure 9. Francis Cholmondeley (1636–1713), probable purchaser of Hartlib’s papers from John Brereton. Photogravure from an oil portrait by Godfrey Kneller, from the collection of the author.
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Figure 9.

Francis Cholmondeley (1636–1713), probable purchaser of Hartlib’s papers from John Brereton. Photogravure from an oil portrait by Godfrey Kneller, from the collection of the author.

“an extensive collection of divinity … illustrated by him with laborious MS notes.”136 Worthington himself was particularly impressed by this “studious and ingenious gentleman,” whom he met precisely at that time he discovered letters of Grotius and Descartes among Hartlib’s papers.137 [End Page 29] Given that Cholmondeley would later roundly praise Grotius, there can be little doubt that he would have been interested in numerous papers collected by Hartlib.138 Furthermore, elsewhere in among Hartlib’s collection we also find a document communicated to Cholmondeley in 1683 by his cousin George Cholmondeley (ca. 1666–1733), as well as other materials from about the same period, which reflect his well-documented interests in contemporary medicine, religion, poetry, and literature.139 These include a 1666 medical treatise by Henry Power (1623–68) (Figure 10), and poetry by Sir Carr Scrope (1649–1680)—whose verse attack on Rochester, “In defence of SATYR,” contains the only mention of Shakespeare within Hartlib’s papers—and Thomas Browne (1605–82).140 Additionally, there are short theological treatises, verses on religion and Cheshire politics, a couple of printed documents, and some correspondence dated between 1666 and 1699.141 Looking beyond the collection in Sheffield, we find yet further material linking Cholmondeley and Vale Royal to Hartlib’s papers. In the bundle of Hartlibiana preserved today in the James Marshall and Marie-Louise Osborn Manuscript Collection at Yale University, there are no fewer than ten letters addressed to Cholmondeley from various figures, dated between 1659 and 1697.142 The impression created by this material is that Hartlib’s papers were acquired by Francis Cholmondeley from John Brereton after 1685, and possibly before 1700.

It is, of course, not impossible that they entered the possession of the Cholmondeley family at a later time, such as after John Brereton’s death in 1718, the extinction of the Brereton line in 1722, or the dismemberment of the Brereton Hall estate in 1818.143 Regardless of when they were acquired, the papers next resided in the magnificent library at the Cholmondeley family seat of Vale Royal. Built by several generations of bibliophiles,144 by 1801 the library was described as “very large and valuable,” containing “many rarities … preserved with the greatest care,”145 among them the famous Delamere Chaucer.146 The riches of this library did not escape the attention of nineteenth-century antiquarians, particularly after 1855, when Hugh Cholmondeley (1811–87) became second Baron Delamere. Between 1842 and 1866 Cholmondeley was a member of the exclusive Roxburghe Club (est. 1812), a society of bibliophiles limited at any one time to only forty members.147 Cholmondeley not only published material from the Vale Royal library, but also dispersed other items in order to pay for new acquisitions.148 As we shall see, he also appears to have taken an interest in Hartlib’s papers. [End Page 30]

Figure 10. Henry Power, “Historia Physico-Anatomica cum Analogia Physico-Chymica” (1666), a tract dedicated to George Booth, first Baron Delamer (1622-1684). One of several tracts, letters, and other documents which entered Hartlib’s papers after his death in 1662. HP 72/10/1a. Courtesy of Sheffield University Library, Special Collections.
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Figure 10.

Henry Power, “Historia Physico-Anatomica cum Analogia Physico-Chymica” (1666), a tract dedicated to George Booth, first Baron Delamer (1622-1684). One of several tracts, letters, and other documents which entered Hartlib’s papers after his death in 1662. HP 72/10/1a. Courtesy of Sheffield University Library, Special Collections.

[End Page 31]

The Rediscovery of Samuel Hartlib in Nineteenth-Century England

The establishment of the Roxburghe Club in 1812 was a herald of the renewed historical consciousness which arose in England during the early nineteenth century. The confluence of industrial revolution, social transformation, and comparative political stability ignited a new wave of historical awareness, and witnesses of this history—namely books, manuscripts, and “autographs”—were suddenly transformed from waste paper into invaluable testaments of moral history and the glamour and romance of the past.149 The great private libraries of England as well as their contents were coming to public attention, and being studied, transcribed, and evaluated by a legion of antiquarians. During this period, Hartlib was rediscovered simultaneously in multiple fields. His name began to appear in works concerning general biography, the history of agriculture, politics, science, and religion, a circumstance which promoted his reforming endeavors to entirely new audiences.150 However, it was the manifold connections that Hartlib appeared to possess to more significant contemporaries—especially to John Milton (1608–74)—which confirmed his historical significance to nineteenth-century observers. This was an impression reinforced by the many letters of Hartlib edited and published by Robert Vaughan (1795–1868), professor of history at London University, in his 1838 collection of primary sources concerning the protectorate of Oliver Cromwell.151

In these decades, it was not only Hartlib himself who was rediscovered. The material legacy of his intelligencing endeavors—namely his papers—also became an object of fascination. While everyone was aware of the material in the British Museum, the “absence” of the bulk of Hartlib’s papers was first noticed by the Manchester antiquarian James Crossley (1800–83). While editing John Worthington’s correspondence, Crossley learnt of the sad history of Hartlib’s papers with which we are now intimately familiar. In 1855, he lamented: “had the whole of his [Hartlib’s] MS. collection and Correspondence been preserved entire, they would have formed an admirable foundation for the Literary and Philosophical History of England in the middle of the seventeenth century.”152 This comment indicates just how much the growing culture of historical awareness had transformed opinion concerning “old papers.” They were no longer valuable solely on account of the practical or monetary value of the information they contained, from which vantage they were primarily valued in the past, but instead on account of their historical significance: that is to say, for their ability to inform narratives about the present. [End Page 32]

Within this new atmosphere, it was only a matter of time before the papers would be rediscovered at Vale Royal (Figure 11). There is evidence to show that at least two persons had access to Hartlib’s papers during the nineteenth century. Firstly, there is a series of “bundle wrappers” in a distinctive nineteenth-century hand (designated as Hand Z in the Hartlib Papers database) which appears a dozen times or so throughout the archive. This hand can be securely dated to in or after the 1830s, for one wrapper features on the verso of an envelope addressed to “Delamere [Va] le Royal, Northwich, Cheshire,” bearing a postmark dated 1833 or 1838 (Figure 12).153 In line with several previous possessors of the archive, Hand Z appears not to have valued what he found in Hartlib’s papers particularly highly. One fascinating bundle containing notes on various projects is designated simply as “Proposals for Sundry Bubbles from 1633 to 1660” (Figure 13).154 This is not to say, however, that the same person found the archive historically unimportant.

While the identity of this particular consultant is unknown, we have a contrasting figure in the form of the Wiltshire antiquarian Clarence Hopper (1817–68). Hopper was a freelance “investigator and transcriber of ancient documents,” who spent a lifetime conducting “persevering and voluntary researches,” and was famed for gaining access to the most well-guarded libraries of his time.155 One of Hopper’s great successes was finding his way to the Vale Royal library, where he discovered Hartlib’s papers. Hopper announced his astonishing find in an article concerning Milton’s blindness published in Notes & Queries in 1858:

Some time since I had the pleasure of discovering the Hartlib correspondence, consisting of some thousands of letters, treatises, and other curious MSS., and although my examination was but very cursory, I saw enough to convince myself of the probability of its being a mine for researches, especially for hitherto unknown particulars touching Milton and his contemporaries, which would amply repay the zealous inquirer into history.156

In the article Hopper quoted from two letters of Dury to Hartlib which mentioned Milton.157 Both are today extant among Hartlib’s papers at Sheffield, which confirms that Hopper had access to the papers stored at Vale Royal.

The publication of Hopper’s discovery had the potential to mark a watershed moment. Ignored and undervalued for centuries, this “mine for researches” had finally come to the attention of a capable antiquarian, who [End Page 33] publicised his discovery in a prominent journal. Not surprisingly, Hopper’s discovery did not go unremarked. In a subsequent issue of Notes and Queries, the author “A.A.W.”—although he poured cold water on Hopper’s discoveries concerning Milton—was jubilant, announcing that he looked forward “with considerable interest to [Hopper’s] further investigation of the Hartlib correspondence which he has had the good fortune to discover, and which he will, no doubt, turn to account.”158 Furthermore, Samuel Leigh Sotheby (1805–61) reprinted the article in full in his aptly titled Ramblings in the Elucidation of an Autograph of Milton (1861).159 Yet Hopper himself neither promised nor produced an investigation of Hartlib’s papers. Struggling for a steady income, in 1862 he took up a paid position as palaeographer to the British Archaeological Association, and then turned his attention instead to Shakespeare.160

Figure 11. Vale Royal, Cheshire in the early nineteenth century. Hartlib’s papers were stored in the library which then occupied the northern wing, here on the left of the image. Engraving (1828) from the collection of the author.
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Figure 11.

Vale Royal, Cheshire in the early nineteenth century. Hartlib’s papers were stored in the library which then occupied the northern wing, here on the left of the image. Engraving (1828) from the collection of the author.

Remarkably, Hopper’s discovery of the lost Hartlib archive appears to have been otherwise overlooked by major scholarly efforts dedicated to the intelligencer. Only seven years after the publication of Hopper’s article, the English engineer Henry Dircks (1806–73)—inventor of the theatrical illusion [End Page 34]

Figure 12. Fragment of a letter wrapper addressed to Lord Delamere, postmarked in 1833 or 1838. The obverse has been utilised by Hand Z as a “wrapper” for bundle thirteen of Hartlib’s Papers, containing letters to Hartlib from Cheney Culpeper. HP 13/1b. Courtesy of Sheffield University Library, Special Collections.
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Figure 12.

Fragment of a letter wrapper addressed to Lord Delamere, postmarked in 1833 or 1838. The obverse has been utilised by Hand Z as a “wrapper” for bundle thirteen of Hartlib’s Papers, containing letters to Hartlib from Cheney Culpeper. HP 13/1b. Courtesy of Sheffield University Library, Special Collections.

known as Pepper’s Ghost—issued a patchy book-length account of Hartlib’s life, emphasizing the intelligencer’s “advancement of Society in a religious and moral point of view.”161 There was no mention of Hartlib’s lost papers in it. Dircks naturally equated Hartlib’s public spirit with a moral wholesomeness that could serve as a “noble example” to his Victorian readers. The intelligencer’s penniless demise was made all the more tragic because of the scattering of evidence for his character and achievements on account of “civil discord.”162 Hartlib’s next major biographer, the London-based Prussian Friedrich Althaus (1829–97), also knew nothing of Hopper’s discovery in his scholarly 1884 biography of Hartlib.163 Unlike Dircks, Althaus was not primarily concerned with establishing Hartlib’s moral bona fides, but [End Page 35]

Figure 13. Bundle wrapper in Hand Z, who consulted Hartlib’s papers after 1833 or 1838. Rust from a gem-style paperclip (widely manufactured after 1890) is visible at top right, and is probably an artefact of Turnbull’s activity in the archive. HP 58/1a. Courtesy of Sheffield University Library, Special Collections.
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Figure 13.

Bundle wrapper in Hand Z, who consulted Hartlib’s papers after 1833 or 1838. Rust from a gem-style paperclip (widely manufactured after 1890) is visible at top right, and is probably an artefact of Turnbull’s activity in the archive. HP 58/1a. Courtesy of Sheffield University Library, Special Collections.

[End Page 36]

instead alerting his German readers to the existence of this historical bridge between Prussia and the “Germanic island kingdom” of the English. Indeed, Althaus pointedly lamented the disappearance of those papers he believed “were in Worthington’s possession” in 1667, which he concluded had either been “dispersed or lost.”164 Even Milton specialists who paid attention to Hartlib’s relationship to the poet, like David Masson (1822–1907) and Alfred Stern (1846–1936), overlooked Hopper’s article and its implications. Based on the sources available to them, they emphasized the unusualness of Hartlib as “a man well known, beloved and trusted by all sides” in an age defined by war, dispute, and terror.165 Finally, the mention of Hartlib’s archive also eluded the thoroughgoing Slovak historian and philologist Ján Kvačala (1862–1934), who in the early 1890s made several trips to England and throughout Europe in search of manuscript Comeniana—especially epistolary material—which he duly edited in several thick volumes. Like those charged with the discovery and publication of the Moravian’s effects in England 200 years earlier, however, Hartlib’s papers also eluded Kvačala.166

Kvačala’s investigations, in particular his Comenius biography (1892) epitomised the new scientific approach taking hold in nineteenth-century historiography. In the absence of the necessity of moralizing narratives, other opinions could be formed. Kvačala admired Hartlib’s indefatigable energy and the extent of his networking endeavors; on account of his connections to Comenius, Hartlib was assured a place in the pantheon of European intellectual achievement.167 Indeed, in 1911, the romantic image of Hartlib’s undertakings being peacefully supported by like-minded savants inspired one scholar to coin the designation “the Hartlib circle,” perhaps as a contraction of “Hartlib’s circle of friends,” to describe the intelligencer’s vast network of contacts.168 Despite its questionable accuracy and its implications of circularity and homogeneity, this formulation has proven doggedly enduring. Yet to others, especially outside the academy, the picture appeared somewhat different, for although Hartlib was undoubtedly widely connected to major figures, it did not necessarily follow that he himself was a major figure. Thus in 1907 Solomon Levy could describe Hartlib as an “amiable busybody” whose “perverse cleverness” allowed him to “undeservedly enjoy the friendship of some of the ablest men of letters of his day.” To Levy Hartlib was little more than “the progenitor of the modern autograph hunter.”169

In any event, Kvačala’s publication of letters of Hartlib, Comenius, Cyprian Kinner (d. 1649), Joachim Hübner (1611–66), and others would indirectly [End Page 37] prove crucial to the return of Hartlib’s papers to public knowledge. Namely, Kvačala’s edited collections, along with those of the Czech philologist Adolf Patera (1836–1912), inspired a young English scholar named George Henry Turnbull (1889–1961) to turn his own attention to Hartlib (Figure 14).170 Turnbull had discovered these impressive edited collections while researching an MA thesis on the German pedagogue Wolfgang Ratke (1571–1635).171 Although his academic pursuits were interrupted by service with the 1/10th battalion of the King’s Regiment (Liverpool Scottish) during the First World War—where he was severely wounded in the trenches near St Julien on 31 July 1917172—Turnbull returned to them after the conflict, concentrating now on Hartlib and Ratke’s contemporary Comenius. In 1919, he completed a PhD dissertation in the philosophical faculty of the Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität in Bonn concerning Hartlib.173 The unusual internationality of the doctorate was reflected in its content, which stressed international cooperation. The thesis was commercially reissued by Oxford University Press in 1920, and the slim volume provided a perfectly timed meditation on the value of peaceful international cooperation, where all of mankind stood to benefit from the legacy of Hartlib’s “noble work.”174

Being based on intensive research in Prussia and England, Turnbull’s account was quickly recognised as the standard work on the intelligencer. In addition to correcting numerous errors in the 1891 Dictionary of National Biography entry, which had been authored by the Slavonic scholar William Richard Morfill,175 Turnbull’s research had uncovered a seething underworld of tensions and conflicts within Hartlib’s epistolary networks, which helped to overturn, or at least problematize, the maudlin view of the moral intelligencer which characterised most nineteenth-century English-language analyses. Like all before him, however, Turnbull had no idea that Hartlib’s papers had survived the centuries, and were about to surface once more.

The Rediscovery of Hartlib’s Papers, ca. 1887–1933

In order to fully explain how Hartlib’s papers resurfaced, we need to briefly return to the final decades of the nineteenth century. Following the death of the second Baron Delamere in 1887, Vale Royal came into the possession of the seventeen-year old Hugh Cholmondeley Jr. (1870–1931), who had little time for bookish pursuits. In 1903 Delamere relocated his family to Kenya, where he set about building an agricultural empire, and establishing [End Page 38] the infamous Happy Valley Set. Between 1907 and 1925 Vale Royal was rented out, and the “library-cum-billiard room … was rarely used.”176 In need of cash to fund expansions of his farming operations in Kenya, in 1911 Delamere began to liquidate his English chattels.177 Following the dispersal of large parcels of land, attention soon turned to the artworks, furniture, books, and manuscripts which languished idly at Vale Royal. From 1926, the content of the once-great library was liquidated in a series of auctions.178 This liquidation did not halt with the death of the third Baron Delamere in Kenya in 1931, for his heir Thomas Pitt Hamilton Cholmondeley, the fourth baron (1900–1979), continued to dismantle the estate, eventually parting with Vale Royal house itself, as well as the remainder of its library, in 1946.179

Figure 14. George Henry Turnbull (1889–1961), possessor of Hartlib’s papers between 1933 and 1961. Halftone portrait from Sheffield University Gazette (1954). Image courtesy of Sheffield University Administrative Archives.
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Figure 14.

George Henry Turnbull (1889–1961), possessor of Hartlib’s papers between 1933 and 1961. Halftone portrait from Sheffield University Gazette (1954). Image courtesy of Sheffield University Administrative Archives.

It is remarkable that Hartlib’s papers, items of self-evident value—even when considered merely as a fund of autograph letters—and not unobtrusive bulk were not also dispersed at this time. Yet as it would so happen, they were saved from this fate by sheer accident. For the papers themselves were not actually at Vale Royal at all, but instead found themselves in the care of a Chester solicitor, with whom they had been deposited, almost certainly by the bibliophilic second baron, sometime before his death in 1887. More light is shed on these circumstances by remarks made in a 1965 letter of Hugh Trevor-Roper (1914–2003) to Valerie Pearl:

They [Hartlib’s papers] have an odd history. Having been lost for many years they were re-discovered in a solicitor’s office in (I think) Chester …, and it was decided, by the solicitor I think, that they had been deposited there by the Delamere family … in the last century. The present Lord Delamere lives in Rhodesia [sic] but he is agreed to be the owner.180 [End Page 39]

While it has traditionally been thought that the papers were discovered by a London solicitor, it is now apparent that the agent was actually a partner of Messrs Birch & Co. of Chester, a firm which along with its predecessors had handled legal services for the Cholmondeley family for several centuries.181 The question of why the papers were deposited with the family solicitor in the first place is difficult to answer. Faced with growing financial problems, the second baron may have wished to convey them, perhaps to an auction house for sale. Alternatively, they may have been placed with the solicitor for reasons of consultation by antiquarians such as Hopper, or indeed for preservation. In any event, Hartlib’s papers appear to have come to light during a reshuffling of the Delamere muniments after the death of the third baron in November 1931. Following their rediscovery, they met with an additional piece of good fortune. Instead of being immediately auctioned or dispersed, in 1933 they were “allowed to be inspected” and “placed at the disposal” of the aforementioned George Henry Turnbull, who after communication with various librarians, had come to the solicitor’s attention on account of his 1920 monograph on Hartlib.182

Hartlib’s papers had finally returned to scholarly attention, but not immediately to that of the public. Because he was then engaged in research projects concerning Johann Gottlieb Fichte (1762–1814) and Nazi educational policy, Turnbull kept his intellectual windfall secret for more than a decade. Privately, he diligently sorted and inventoried the papers while working on a book about them. On 23 March 1944 he completed the manuscript of a monograph entitled Hartlib, Dury and Comenius: Gleanings from Hartlib’s Papers, and thereafter finally announced his discovery of Hartlib’s work in Notes & Queries in April 1945.183 Turnbull’s publication was delayed for various reasons. Although he initially hoped Sheffield’s vice chancellor would be able to convince the delegates of Oxford University Press to publish the volume, this possibility never eventuated, and Turnbull eventually settled on Liverpool University Press as publisher. However because Liverpool demanded the publication be financed in advance, Turnbull then had to wait for grants from Sheffield University, as well as securing the final approval of the distant Delamere family via a solicitor. The book did thus not appear in print until 1947.184 It remains, however, probably still the best introduction to the papers on account of its own Hartlibesque eclecticism, presenting a summary of some of the content of the papers (“Before me I find a letter…”), communicated within freewheeling bio-bibliographical portraits of its three major protagonists. Following the publication of this survey in 1947, Turnbull worked diligently on making [End Page 40] further findings from the papers. He published numerous articles, and edited texts long thought lost by Johann Valentin Andreae, Comenius, and others, publishing the results in journals in Germany, England, Sweden, the United States, the former Czechoslovakia, and elsewhere. On 29 September 1957, the Comenius medal was bestowed upon Turnbull by the office of the Czechoslovakian President, in the person of the Minister of Education and Culture, in recognition of his several significant scholarly contributions to academic Comeniology.185

Blessed with “modesty and courtesy free from … shrills, stridencies and unction,”186 Turnbull was more than happy to assist other researchers in exploiting Hartlib’s papers after 1945. As the acknowledgments of numerous scholars and Turnbull’s own correspondence attest, he tirelessly answered questions and provided transcriptions and photostats of items from the papers, efforts which he maintained long after his retirement to Prestatyn, Wales, in 1954.187 The sudden availability of such an immense yet fragmented archival repository had an immediate impact on Hartlib historiography. As Turnbull’s book and subsequent studies amply demonstrated, there was simply too much material in Hartlib’s papers to properly synthesise. The grand narrative of Hartlib’s life and endeavors became harder to identify as the extent of his manifold activities unfolded on folio after folio. The lack of order in the archive, product of numerous interventions occasioned by the most diverse inspirations, made it yet more difficult to guess at the interrelations of documents and evidence. With so much disordered information at hand, the temptation was there to create broad accounts based on incomplete soundings of grossly incomplete material. Easily the most influential of this type of study was Trevor-Roper’s “Three Foreigners” article, first published in Encounter magazine in 1960, followed by an expanded version in 1967.188 Researched over little more than a few days in 1959 at Turnbull’s home in Prestatyn, followed up by several rounds of letters, the essay, as Greengrass has put it, made Hartlib, Dury, and Comenius “ventriloquists for the aspirations and enthusiasms of a ‘country party’ in an ‘English Revolution’ whose ‘dim squires’ were mostly inarticulate.”189 The three foreigners, therefore, could be mapped onto what became known as the parliamentarian mindset of the revolutionary period, espousers of a “vulgar Baconianism” that bespoke entirely Trevor-Roper’s expectations, but not necessarily historical realities. Nevertheless, the essay, by a high-profile public intellectual, in a high-circulation British cultural magazine, launched Hartlib’s modern celebrity in a fashion that Turnbull’s stolid reportage of gleanings never could. It placed Hartlib more firmly in the center of intellectual [End Page 41] exchanges of his time than heretofore acknowledged, as part of a dynamic vision of seventeenth-century English political and intellectual life.

It is apparent, however, that it was not only the appreciation of the content of the papers that changed a great deal while they were in Turnbull’s possession; there was also the issue of their morphology. For although Turnbull received them in a single box tied in “some sixty-eight” bundles, Trevor-Roper saw them in 1959 organized in six crates.190 Today there are no less than seventy-two bundles documented in Sheffield. During his research, Turnbull had apparently redistributed items among the bundles, and ultimately created four new bundles himself, the last of which consisted entirely of material which he adjudged had entered the papers after Hartlib’s death. An example of the chaos sown during Turnbull’s possession of the papers is indicated by bundle wrapper created during the 1830s by Hand Z at 32/5a, which lists the names of several of Hartlib’s correspondents. Today, these letters are not confined to a single bundle, but are scattered across bundles thirty-two, thirty-three, and thirty-four. At least one minor loss also appears to have occurred during Turnbull’s custodianship of the papers: in Trevor-Roper’s “Three Foreigners”, an undated letter of Sir Cheney Culpeper (1601–63) to Hartlib is quoted which no longer appears to be extant.191 It is not impossible that other minor pieces may also have been distracted, damaged, or misplaced through their years of consultation while in Turnbull’s care.192

“Where Other Scholars Can Get at Them”: From Hartlib’s Papers to The Hartlib Papers

Turnbull’s work on the papers, in particular on an edition of Hartlib’s diary, the Ephemerides, was cut short by his sudden death in Prestatyn in 1961.193 During his lifetime Turnbull had made his position clear concerning his hopes for the ultimate fate of Hartlib’s papers, but the matter was very much out of his hands and firmly in those of their legal owner, Lord Delamere. As early as 18 April 1945, Turnbull had informed the London antiquarian and solicitor John Beach Whitmore (1882–1957)—who was interested in examining the archive for a projected study of Benjamin Worseley—that he hoped “Hartlib’s papers will [eventually] be deposited in the British Museum but, so far as I know at present, no decision on the matter has yet been made by their owner.”194 These hopes aside, immediately after Turnbull’s death Hartlib’s papers remained in Prestatyn. The fate of the [End Page 42] papers hung once more in the balance, for despite Turnbull’s custody of them, no deed of transfer or instrument of loan appears to be extant which defined Turnbull’s role, rights, and duties as custodian of the papers vis-à-vis those of their owner, despite the fact he was their sole possessor for some 28 years.195 In theory, then, following Turnbull’s death, the papers should probably have been returned to Thomas Cholmondeley, fourth Baron Delamere, who had allowed Turnbull to inspect them in the first place. This is, however, not what occurred. By means of several curious twists, the papers instead found their way into the possession of Sheffield University Library.

The present description of Hartlib’s papers by the Special Collections department of the library suggests that the transfer of the papers from Prestatyn to Sheffield was undertaken in an orderly and entirely straightforward manner, namely that the manuscripts entered the collections of the institution by means of a “deposit by Professor Turnbull in 1964.”196 This is already a warning sign that something is not quite right, for in 1964, of course, Turnbull had been dead for three years. If we discount the activities of the shade of George Turnbull, we are free to examine other evidence which further enlightens the fate of the papers during this period, and other key figures emerge. Following Turnbull’s death, his widow Gwladys was keen to honor her husband’s wishes, expressed to Whitmore and others, to make the papers available to the broader scholarly community. In order to expedite this matter she wrote on 29 November 1962 to Turnbull’s successor as professor of education in Sheffield, the gregarious Walter Harry Green Armytage (1915–98).197 In her letter to Armytage, Gwladys Turnbull stated that she intended to write to Lord Delamere to inform him of her husband’s death. Knowing of Armytage’s interest in Hartlib and his papers, she asked “would you like me to write & ask him [Delamere] what I am to do about this chest [of Hartlib’s papers]? I know George wanted him to hand it (them) over to the British Museum or the Bodleian (I don’t know how to spell it!!) Library where other scholars can get at them.”198

Armytage’s response concerning taking up contact with Delamere was, it appears, a resounding “no.” For as Armytage was well aware, any contact with Delamere risked repossession of the papers and dispersal via auction or sale, meaning that the collection could be lost to scholarship.199 However, if Armytage himself assumed custody of the manuscripts—a transfer at least quasi-legitimate in legal terms as a professional successor of Turnbull, as part of an agreement undertaken with the consent of Turnbull’s widow—sleeping dogs could be let lie, and there might be no need to bring the situation concerning Turnbull’s passing to the attention of the peer. [End Page 43]

In 1995, Greengrass, Leslie, and Raylor disclosed what is perhaps the best-known story concerning the transfer of Hartlib’s papers from Prestatyn to Sheffield, which drew on an oral tradition ultimately originating with Armytage himself: “Some say that his [Turnbull’s] widow had thought of putting Hartlib’s papers on the bonfire. … At all events they were returned to Sheffield University in the boot of the librarian’s car in May 1963, and they have remained in the University’s library ever since.”200 Armytage apparently embellished other tellings by adding that the librarian drove a Morris Oxford, as well as adding other small details.201 It is apparent, however, that this version is entirely inaccurate, despite its source. Firstly, the story inverts Gwladys Turnbull’s conscientious desire to both preserve the papers and respect her husband’s wishes, presumably as a dramatic device. Secondly, the papers—whether or not they were transported back to Sheffield by a librarian—did not immediately enter the collections of the University Library.

Indeed, Charles Webster recalls hearing a very different story from Armytage, in which Armytage himself was savior of the manuscripts, rescuing them from Turnbull’s home in his Ford Escort not in 1963, but late in 1962.202 Webster’s scenario is far more likely than those communicated in the account of the Special Collections website or that of Greengrass, Leslie, and Raylor. For on their return to Sheffield the papers were not deposited in the University Library, but were instead stored in Armytage’s office, where scholars were able to consult them with the permission of Armytage and Gwladys Turnbull.203 If we accept that the manuscripts returned from Prestatyn to Sheffield at the end of 1962, this ad hoc arrangement endured for about two years. Indeed, it was only in 1964, after Armytage had become pro-vice-chancellor at Sheffield, that Hartlib’s papers were finally deposited in the strongroom of the recently completed Western Bank Library of Sheffield University, which opened in 1959.

Thus after almost exactly three hundred years, the papers had finally found an institutional home, “where other scholars can get at them,” precisely as Turnbull wished. Hartlib’s papers thereafter furnished the informational basis for several studies, foremost among them being of course Webster’s magisterial The Great Instauration (1975).204 In a tour de force of scholarship which united Hartlib’s papers with a variety of printed and manuscript materials found elsewhere, Webster shifted Trevor-Roper’s arena for the impact and understanding of Hartlibian reforms and argued forcefully for the relationship between Puritanism and science, highlighting in particular the roles played by eschatology and hopes relevant to an “advancement of learning,” in which the agendas and interests of hundreds [End Page 44] of different actors, striving for very different results, combined to engender the spirit of an age. Webster’s landmark study brought renewed attention to both Hartlib and the archive and opened up long-standing historiographical debates which are still being played out today, with Hartlib and his endeavors largely at their center.

By the mid-1980s, however, the impasse of a major manuscript resource being located in a provincial English university began to be acutely felt, and two Sheffield scholars, Mark Greengrass and Michael Leslie, noted with some regret that “traditional research was failing to derive maximum benefit” from the papers.205 In 1985 they determined that a complete electronic edition, “untrammelled by the constraints and conventions which we chose to impose on the archive,” would provide an innovative solution to issues of access and evaluation. To this end the Hartlib Papers Project was established, jointly directed by the Library and the Departments of English and History at Sheffield. Its aim was to produce an unprecedented “complete text and image database” in order to “establish it [the collection of Hartlib’s papers] as an electronic archive.”206 With such an aim in mind, the philosophy of the project was straightforward. As Mark Greengrass wrote: “we should not attempt to select ‘important’ parts of the archive from the ‘unimportant’ parts … we must transcribe the totality of the collection.”207 In 1987, the project won grant-in-aid funding from the British Academy and the Leverhulme Trust for a period of five years, one of the largest ever British research grants in the humanities.208 After five years of intense transcription and technical developments, the database was published as a CD-ROM late in 1995, at an asking price of US $4,995.209 Hartlib’s papers, such as they were, had now been transformed into The Hartlib Papers. The archive had been definitively constituted in the electronic realm, and an assumption of completeness, warranted or not, naturally accompanied the new title and high-tech transformation.

The transition from paper-based technology to the electronic realm led however to unforeseen circumstances for the original papers. Following the publication of the CD-ROM the original papers were made accessible only “in exceptional circumstances” for reasons of preservation at the university library.210 As such the electronic publication had, for all intents and purposes, not only reproduced the archive; it had also supplanted it. The electronic publication thus achieved two ends. Firstly it ensured that Hartlib’s papers were available to the scholarly world. Secondly it ensured that at least one version of the archive would remain accessible should Lord Delamere see fit to reclaim the papers: a very real fear in Sheffield as the high-profile project [End Page 45] was underway,211 and a consideration which again hints at the relevance of ethical and legal contexts in understanding the history of the papers and considerations of their preservation.212

The “virtual” electronic archive also brought with it new scholarly issues to be navigated by users. Because most scholars have only ever consulted the papers electronically, these issues are particularly acute. Foremost among them were problems with the reliability of the published text. As is to be expected in a project of this scale and complexity, where more than twenty million words were transcribed from original documents in varying condition, many written in difficult hands in nine different languages, typographical errors were unavoidable. In other places text was incompletely transcribed.213 In one instance, we also have an example of an editorial note which has survived proofreading and found its way into the “text” of the archive itself.214 With the innovative integration of images in the CD-ROM publication, however, such textual problems are decidedly minor.

Also impacting on scholarly understanding of the papers are more significant issues of material completeness which can be divided into two categories: technical and editorial. Concerning technical issues, the finite 700 MB storage capacity available on contemporary CD-ROM media led to the early decision to omit images of blank manuscript sides. The images that were included were black and white, scanned at a relatively low resolution. This is entirely reasonable, but it was accompanied by a decision to also exclude images of some bindings, wrappers, and other non-textual materials within the papers.215 Some of these may prove to be important testaments to the history of the archive, or to provide further clues concerning endorsements, authors, and other information. Concerning issues of editorial completeness, the first issue was with metadata. Although the CD-ROM publication was evidently intended as a substitute for the archive, the metadata gathered for the publication included no information concerning material aspects of the documents, such as their dimensions, condition, colors of ink used, or watermarks. This circumstance has directly impacted on understandings, and perhaps even appreciation, of the materiality of the papers, knowledge of which has proven crucial in prior studies linking the common origin of dispersed or even lost manuscript materials.216 The second, and most problematic, issue was those positive editorial decisions to omit some textual content altogether, such as the little-known seventy-second bundle of Hartlib’s papers.

As discussed previously, this bundle contains important literary, medical and political documents which shed light on the history of the archive [End Page 46] and the interests of its possessors: in particular those of Francis Cholmondeley. The seventy-second bundle is not a “natural” part of the archive, inasmuch as it was not the result of organic manipulations undertaken over the centuries by a variety of users. It was in fact created by George Turnbull sometime after 1933, and consists solely of material which he adjudged to have entered the papers after 1662. Its creation was evidently the product of scholarly utility: in order to write his book about Hartlib, Dury, and Comenius, Turnbull saw fit to separate “Hartlib’s papers” from the papers of “others” in the archive, and chronology seemed the most appropriate and reliable guide for making such distinctions. However, Turnbull’s research methodology had unintended consequences: namely, the editors of the Hartlib Papers Project saw the division created by Turnbull as intrinsic to the archival “text” and adjudged that the seventy-second bundle did not warrant transcription or digitisation as it was extraneous to The Hartlib Papers. One wonders if the same decision would have been reached had the history of the archive to this point been known in greater detail, particularly given that at least one other item which entered the archive after Hartlib’s death—a May 1673 number of Theophrast Renaudot’s (1586-1653) Gazette which was evidently overlooked by Turnbull—had in fact been transcribed by the project.217 The outcome is in any event apparent: the content of this seventy-second bundle, although still present physically in Sheffield and filled with documents of great interest unto themselves, is entirely absent from the electronic publication and thus virtually unknown to the scholarly world.218 Its exclusion is an example of the interests and aims of a former possessor, namely Turnbull, influencing the shape of the archive as it is known today.

As is well known, The Hartlib Papers also confronted technical issues which reduced usability shortly after publication, impacting on the accessibility of the electronically supplanted archive. The software was MS-DOS based and therefore did not function on PCs running post-3.1 Windows operating systems, a circumstance of immediate concern following the rapid take-up of Windows 95, an OS platform released the month before the CDROM. Further compatibility issues were created by the publication’s reliance on proprietary software.219 These problems were remedied in the publication’s second edition (2002), which migrated data to a standards-based SGML model, conforming in part to the Text Encoding Initiative.220 Unfortunately, the second edition inadvertently relied on a proprietary Java virtual machine which became redundant less than a year after publication—a circumstance which impeded the functionality of the custom search engine. On the scholarly side, the second edition took a major step towards reuniting the papers with what Greengrass described as its archival “shadow”: [End Page 47] Hartlib’s outgoing epistles.221 Transcriptions of some 445 new Hartlibian documents were therefore included in the publication. Like its 1995 predecessor, the 2002 edition was favorably reviewed, although some criticism emerged concerning the lack of an appropriate editorial apparatus.222

More recently, under the auspices of the Cultures of Knowledge project, based at the University of Oxford (from 2009), enlarged metadata for Hartlib’s correspondence were created for the Early Modern Letters Online (EMLO) catalogue.223 New research undertaken by the author resulted in the identification and collection of metadata of more than 470 additional letters originating from Hartlib’s papers, some of which were transcribed for online publication. This renewed industry was capped at the end of 2013 when HRIOnline in Sheffield published the entire 2002 edition of The Hartlib Papers online.224 This third edition of the papers, free to access and compatible with virtually every internet-ready device, means that finally, more than 350 years after Hartlib’s death, many or most of the intelligencer’s remaining papers are now accessible to all on a stable and—perhaps more significantly—updatable platform. It remains to be seen how the scholarly world, and internet users generally, will take advantage of this publication.


To what extent can the papers that remain in Sheffield and other institutions be described as “Hartlib’s papers”? Or indeed as The Hartlib Papers, as in the electronic publication? As this article has attempted to demonstrate, what remains is actually the rump of Hartlib’s endeavors, which has passed into the possession of numerous subsequent owners, who have put them to their own purposes. They have intervened, reorganised, valued, assessed, extracted, distracted, published, purchased, and sold them according to a bewildering variety of motivations, engendered by specific social contexts in which they came to and understood them. While the papers that do survive, of course, once belonged to Hartlib, it is apparent that he did not value them as others did; in fact, his effort at auto-archiving “all my best papers” ended in disaster when his catalogued selection was stolen late in 1661. Thus the papers that survive are not Hartlib’s, in the sense that they were not chosen for preservation, nor even arranged by him. During their afterlives, they became—even if sometimes only for brief consultations—the papers of Sam Hartlib Jr., of William Brereton, of John Worthington, of Daniel Hartlib, of Frederick Clodius, of James Tyrrell, of John Brereton, of Hans Sloane, [End Page 48] of Francis Cholmondeley, of the Lords Delamere, of Clarence Hopper, of George Turnbull, of William Armytage, or even of The Hartlib Papers Project. All understood the papers differently. All have left their impression on them, both as a physical object, and as a text.

Immediately after Hartlib’s death in 1662, Hartlib Jr. valued the papers as an information source, perhaps useful to others, which might be monetized. In the possession of William Brereton and his utopian project at Brereton Hall, the papers informed the goals of a wide-reaching scheme of universal reform in a very utilitarian sense. At the same time, several persons with access to the papers valued them variously on account of personal, scholarly, and political reasons. After entering the possession of the Cholmondeley family, probably in the last decades of the seventeenth century, the papers appear to have been little consulted. They languished at Vale Royal, only occasionally being examined by their owners or their guests. In the nineteenth century, however, prompted by a newfound historical consciousness which emerged in England, the papers were rediscovered anew, and the figure of Samuel Hartlib emerged timidly into English historiography as a morallyupstanding convenor and facilitator of ingenuity and improvement, a figure who united the brightest minds of his age. Within this atmosphere, Hartlib’s papers were esteemed highly on account of their historical and antiquarian value. In the twentieth century, in the possession of Turnbull, Armytage, and ultimately Sheffield University Library from 1964, the papers became available for general scholarly analysis, and the diversification of Hartlib’s historical reputations began, growing out of the influential grand narratives of Trevor-Roper and Webster. In the 1990s, with the electronic publication of The Hartlib Papers, a new, democratic phase in the interpretative life of the papers was entered, as the possibility of access transitioned from material to digital. This phase emphasized the apparent multiplicity of possible meanings and evidence within the text of the papers.

What is the upshot of all of this for those approaching Hartlib’s papers today? How might knowledge of the history of any archive be applied to studies which take advantage of its content? Obviously a historian, or anyone from any discipline, can only work with the evidence available before them. Nevertheless, an understanding of the history of the materials that are being used in such studies can enrich and inform scholarship, inasmuch as knowledge of the motivations for and contours of past interventions can assist in the identification or contextualization of materials in the archive, or those portions “lost,” or discovered elsewhere, as well as suggest further avenues for research.225 But the history of Hartlib’s papers and its iterations [End Page 49] both material and electronic can also inform broader practices, particularly in an age when large-scale digitization projects mean that ever-more archival collections are being placed before the scholarly and general public in a variety of formats. The story of Hartlib’s papers is salutary, because historical interventions in the archive have demonstrably impacted on later decisions made to include or exclude materials in its electronic publication and presentation; a circumstance dramatically witnessed in the fate of bundle seventy-two.

What is also clear from this study is that, although scholarly work has been conducted on Hartlib now for nearly two centuries, our understanding of his papers is still very much in its infancy, especially compared to those of say, Robert Boyle. Moving forward, now that the afterlives of Hartlib’s papers have been briefly detailed, it is time to turn our attention to its “lives.” This work can move forward in several ways. Firstly, a new, complete, detailed, and accurate catalogue of Hartlib’s papers in Sheffield, together with associated materials in other libraries, is sorely needed.226 This will allow for a systematic overview of Hartlib’s endeavors, as well as assist in further mapping the terrain of the archive in Sheffield, London, Oxford, and Yale and its shadow elsewhere. Further work also remains to be done in order to identify the plethora of scribal hands that appear throughout the papers, which can assist not only in identifying non-contiguous materials in other institutions, but also allow the dating and further evaluation of materials already known. A beginning has been made in this essay through the firm identification and/or dating of various hands of Hand X (Samuel Hartlib Jr., between 1662 and 1664), John Worthington (1667, variously identified in the Hartlib Papers databases), Hand Y (mid to late seventeenth-century), James Tyrrell (1685), and Hand Z (1830s). Research concerning Hartlib can also be significantly advanced through the production of a complete annotated edition of Hartlib’s diary Ephemerides, a project which has already been worked at by Turnbull, Webster, and Greengrass, among others, although none of these projects has ever reached publication. The completion of an edition of this “key to the archive as a whole,” if a key it proves to be, will surely clear the way for many valuable new insights, not only into the nature of Hartlib’s papers, but also Hartlib’s epistemological methodologies and intentions more broadly.227

Finally, however, the complex history of Hartlib’s papers invites us to reflect more broadly on appropriate methodologies for analysing the histories or afterlives of personal archives. We possess a relatively sophisticated understanding of the practices and developments of historical institutional archives, [End Page 50] encompassing considerations which inform policies and procedures of collection, selection, assessment of importance, content, compositional logic, and topographies of preserved collections, even if these do vary widely according to the nature of the institution and their preservation practices.228 In the case of the archives of historical individuals, however, the situation is denser and more chaotic. In this article I have employed systematic chronological assessment of what I have called “microsociologies”—that is to say, the examination of the relationships, however fleeting, formed between individual users of an archive and the documents or other materials within the archive itself. In each of the cases examined in this article, knowledge of the social world of the individuals as well as the circumstances of their access to and use of the papers has afforded insight into the changing text and topography (and with the splitting-up of the archive among various institutions, the topographies) of Hartlib’s archive. These microsociologies have resulted not only in the production of scholarly interpretations of the archive and its meaning across the centuries, but also provoked physical subtractions, additions and reorganizations, thereby impacting directly on Hartlib’s own historical legacy.

To be certain, the appropriate documentation of these microsociologies requires, on the part of the researcher, a great deal of time, determination, and plenty of luck. In the cases of archives other than Hartlib’s, such information won’t always be available, or available only to limited extents. Equally essential in the framing of these microsociologies, however, is an appreciation of broader social and cultural trends which can inform the motivations of users before they even came to the archive. Thus the “antiquarian turn” in nineteenth-century Europe emerges as a fulcrum returning Hartlib back into mainstream historical consciousness, and might be understood as a movement which fundamentally transformed the kinds of judgments and assumptions concerning the papers that users (and shapers) of the archive were prepared to make. One might also identify a “digital turn” or an “electronic turn” which has also demonstrably impacted on the papers and the questions asked of them more recently. What is significant about a focus on the relationships of individuals and users to the papers is the recognition that outside of the material archive there exists an archival imaginary which is almost as important as its physical twin, and an intrinsic part of the lives and more especially afterlives it leads. Just as the discipline of history may be seen in one sense as the cumulative body of interpretations of historians, so too are “dynamic” archives like Hartlib’s perhaps best appreciated as the cumulative work of its consulters, owners, and interpreters. This is particularly [End Page 51] the case for archives of individuals which have existed or continue to exist and live lives and afterlives outside of institutions, where they are for all intents and purposes “exposed to all plunder.”

Leigh T. I. Penman

Leigh Penman is a research fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at the University of Queensland, Australia. He has previously held positions at the University of Oxford, Miskatonic University, and Goldsmiths, University of London. His current book projects include a revisionist history of the cosmopolitan concept, a study on the impact of millenarian thought in post-reformation Lutheranism, and an edition of the correspondence of Jacob Böhme.


During the composition of this essay I have benefitted from comments, observations, recollections, advice and information provided by numerous people, especially fellow researchers and members of the Mellon-funded Cultures of Knowledge Project, University of Oxford, where this study was initiated, and later at the former Centre for the History of European Discourses, now the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at the University of Queensland, where it was completed. The author is especially indebted to James Brown, Mark Greengrass, Howard Hotson, Michael Hunter, and Charles Webster, as well as Philipp Beeley, Eric–Jan Bos, Ian Hesketh, Miranda Lewis, Jamie McLaughlin, William Poole, Vladimír Urbánek, Elizabeth Yale, Richard Yeo, and Matthew Zawadski. The Special Collections librarians of Sheffield University Library, especially Jacky Hodgson, were exemplary in their helpfulness at every turn.

1. Mark Greengrass, “Archive Refractions: Hartlib’s Papers and the Working of an Intelligencer,” in The Archives of the Scientific Revolution, ed. Michael Hunter. (Woodbridge: Boydell & Brewer, 1998), 35–48 at 36.

2. Sheffield, University Library, MS 61 (Hartlib Papers) 7/26/1a–1b. Material from the Hartlib Papers (hereafter cited as HP), is cited following Mark Greengrass, Michael Leslie, and Michael Hannon, eds., The Hartlib Papers, Version 3.0, published by HRI Online Publications, Sheffield, All transcriptions have been corrected or amended by readings against the original documents.

3. Richard Yeo, Notebooks, English Virtuosi, and Early Modern Science (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2014), 102.

4. See for example the diversity of the essays in Mark Greengrass, Mark Leslie, and Timothy Raylor, eds., Samuel Hartlib and Universal Reformation (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995).

5. Koji Yamamoto, “Reformation and the Distrust of the Projector in the Hartlib Circle,” Historical Journal 55 (2012): 375–97.

6. The term “archive” is sometimes used to refer to Hartlib’s papers throughout this essay for the sake of simplicity and variety, but as Elizabeth Yale, “With Slips and Scraps: How Early Modern Naturalists Invented the Archive,” Book History 12 (2009): 1–36, has shown, there are conceptual issues associated with the accuracy and applicability of its use in diachronic studies of seventeenth century knowledge–making practices.

7. For a summary and further literature see Marlene Manoff, “Theories of the Archive from Across the Disciplines,” Libraries and the Academy 4, no. 1 (2004): 9–25.

8. Peter Beal, In Praise of Scribes: Manuscripts and their Makers in Seventeenth-Century England (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1998); James Daybell, The Material Letter in Early Modern England: Manuscript Letters and the Culture and Practices of Letter Writing, 1512–1635 (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012); Martin Mulsow, Prekäres Wissen: Eine andere Ideengeschichte der frühen Neuzeit (Berlin: Suhrkamp, 2012); Paula Findlen, ed., Early Modern Things: Objects and their Histories, 1500–1800 (London: Routledge, 2013); Pamela H. Smith, Amy R. W. Meyers and Harold J. Cook, eds., Ways of Making and Knowing: The Material Culture of Empirical Knowledge (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2014).

9. Michael Hunter, ed., Archives of the Scientific Revolution: The Formation and Exchange of Ideas in Seventeenth-Century Europe (Woodbridge: Boydell & Brewer, 1998); Michael [End Page 52] Hunter, “Whither Editing?,” Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 34 (2003): 805–20; Michael Hunter, Editing Early Modern Texts: An Introduction to Principles and Practice (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007); Michael Hunter, The Boyle Papers: Understanding the Manuscripts of Robert Boyle (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2007).

10. See Yale, “With Slips and Scraps.”

11. Jean Carr, Stephen Schultz, and Lucille Schultz, Archives of Instruction: Nineteenth–Century Rhetorics, Readers, and Composition Books in the United States (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 2005), 19.

12. Mark Greengrass, “The Hartlib Papers Project: An Electronic Edition of the Past for the Future,” in Changing Patterns of Online Information: UKOLUG State-of-the-Art Conference, ed. C. J. Armstrong and R. J. Hartley. (Oxford: Learned Information, 1994), 73–87 at 81.

13. See Arjun Appadurai, “Introduction: Commodities and the Politics of Value,” in The Social Life of Things: Commodities in Cultural Perspective, ed. Arjun Appadurai (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988), 3–5.

14. Notable exceptions include Hunter, The Boyle Papers; Eiluned Rees and Gwyn Walters, “The Dispersion of the Manuscripts of Edward Lhuyd,” Welsh History Review 7 (1974–75): 148–78; Felicity Henderson, “Robert Hooke’s Archive,” Script & Print 33 (2009): 92–108; Sarah Dry, The Newton Papers: The Strange and True Odyssey of Isaac Newton’s Manuscripts (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014). Numerous illuminating investigations were also presented at the conference “Archival Afterlives: Life, Death, and Knowledge-Making in Early Modern British Scientific and Medical Archives,” Royal Society, London, 2 June 2015, organized by Vera Keller, Elizabeth Yale, and Anna Marie Roos.

15. In particular see G. H. Turnbull, “Samuel Hartlib’s Papers,” Notes & Queries 188 (1945): 142–44; Mark Greengrass, introduction to The Hartlib Papers: A Complete Text and Image Database of the Papers of Samuel Hartlib (c. 1600–1662), CD ROM, 2nd ed. (HRI-Online: University of Sheffield, 2002); Greengrass, “Archive Refractions”; Mark Greengrass, Michael Leslie, and Timothy Raylor, introduction to Samuel Hartlib & Universal Reformation, ed. Greengrass, Leslie, and Raylor (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994), 1–26; Mark Greengrass and Leigh T. I. Penman, “L’ombre des archives dans le cultures du savoir du XVIIe siècle. Le cas des papiers de Samuel Hartlib (c.1600–1662),” Bibliothèque de l’École des Chartes (in press).

16. Stephen Clucas, “Samuel Hartlib’s ‘Ephemerides,’ 1635–1659 and the Pursuit of Scientific and Philosophical Manuscripts: The Religious Ethos of an Intelligencer,” Seventeenth Century 6, no. 1 (1991): 33–55; Stephen Clucas, “In Search of ‘The True Logick’: Methodological Eclecticism among the ‘Baconian Reformers’,” in Hartlib & Universal Reformation, ed. Mark Greengrass, Mark Leslie, and Timothy Raylor (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994), 51–74; Mark Greengrass, “An ‘Intelligencer’s Workshop’: Samuel Hartlib’s Ephemerides,” Studia Comeniana et Historica 26 (1996): 48–62.

17. Austin, Texas, Harry Ransom Center, Pforzheim MS 1.38 (Hartlib to John Evelyn, 3 October 1660), asking for, among other things, a loan of five pounds. See also Hartlib’s letter to Edward Herbert, 22 November 1661, where he announced he was close to “utter perishing,” in White Kennett, A Register and Chronicle, Ecclesiastical and Civil (London, 1728), 872–73.

18. HP 32/3/40a (Wartensky to Hartlib, 23 Jul 1661). Hartlib first met Wartensky in 1657, declaring him a “practical and mechanical mathematician” who “studies Theologie and the other studies as Parerga.” He was ordained as an Anglican minister in 1662.

19. Greengrass, “Archive Refractions,” 42.

20. Lisa Jardine, On a Grander Scale: The Outstanding Career of Sir Christopher Wren (London: HarperCollins, 2002), 88.

21. HP 32/3/40a (Wartensky to Hartlib, 23 July 1661: “Ego igitur hanc tuam fortunam indignè ferens, meipsum, meosq[ue] tanquam custodes rerum tuarum offero, et si nos dignos judicas hoc offici genere, oro ut quæ tibi sunt residua in ædibus vestris, omnium exposita rapinæ, ea ad ædes meas deferri cures illic fideliter asservanda.” [End Page 53]

22. HP 4/4/23a (Dury to Hartlib, 23 June 1661).

23. John Worthington, The Diary and Correspondence of Dr. John Worthington, ed. James Crossley and Richard Copley Christie, 2 vols. in 3 parts (Manchester: Chetham Society, 1843–86), vol. 2, pt. 1, 84.

24. Worthington Correspondence, vol. 2, pt. 1, 67: G. H. Turnbull, Samuel Hartlib: A Sketch of his Life and Relations to J. A. Comenius (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1920), 71.

25. Worthington Correspondence, vol. 2, pt. 1, 68.

26. Ibid.

27. See Greengrass, “An Intelligencer’s Workshop,” 49–51. On Hartlib’s publishing and bibliographical endeavors see further Jonathan Sanderson, “Samuel Hartlib: Promoter, Propagandist, and Publicist” (MA diss., Institute of Bibliography of the School of English, University of Leeds, 1994). On early modern strategies to order information more broadly, see Ann Blair, Too Much to Know: Managing Scholarly Information before the Modern Age (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2011).

28. Worthington Correspondence, vol. 2, pt. 1, 83–4 (14 November 1661).

29. Worthington Correspondence, vol. 2, pt. 1, 70 (14 November 1661).

30. Worthington Correspondence, vol. 2, pt. 1, 70–72, 74. Hartlib never managed to supply the epistles, which can today be found in bundles eighteen and sixty-seven of the Sheffield papers.

31. Worthington Correspondence, vol. 2, pt. 1, 48–9, 57. See Erik-Jan Bos, “Princess Elizabeth of Bohemia and Descartes’ Letters (1650–1665),” Historia Mathematica 37 (2010): 485–502 at 493–94.

32. Worthington Correspondence, vol. 2, pt. 1, 106–7; Turnbull, Hartlib, 72.

33. Worthington Correspondence, vol. 2, pt. 1, 67 (26 October 1661).

34. Worthington Correspondence, vol. 2, pt. 1, 110.

35. See Comenius’s reply to this lost letter at HP 7/88/2a–b (Comenius to Hartlib, 10 March 1662).

36. Worthington Correspondence, vol. 2, pt. 1, 107 (14 February 1662).

37. Compare the similar cases of Newton and Hooke, both of whom also died intestate, in Dry, Newton Papers, 5–6; Henderson, “Hooke’s Archive,” 94.

38. Samuel Hartlib, Samuel Hartlib his legacie; or, An enlargement of the Discourse of husbandry used in Brabant and Flaunders; wherein are bequeathed to the Common-wealth of England more outlandish and domestick experiments and secrets in reference to universall husbandry (London: H. Hills for Richard Wodenothe, 1651).

39. Hunter, Boyle Papers, 22–31.

40. See Henderson, “Hooke’s Archive.”

41. While it is possible that some of these endorsements were product of Sam’s work in the archive prior to his father’s death, we shall see that there is convincing evidence that Sam intervened in the archive after 10 March 1662. On Sam Hartlib Jr.’s work for his father in and after 1646 see Mark Greengrass, “Samuel Hartlib and Scribal Publication,” Acta Comeniana 12 (1997): 48–49.

42. G. H. Turnbull, Hartlib, Dury, and Comenius: Gleanings from Hartlib’s Papers (London and Liverpool: University of Liverpool Press, 1947), 8–9 (hereafter cited as HDC); Turnbull, Hartlib, 45–46 provides brief biographical accounts, which I have drawn upon in this paragraph, fleshed out by further references.

43. Turnbull, HDC, 8.

44. W. Noel Sainsbury, Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies. Volume 9: 1675–1676 and Addenda 1574–1674 (London: Stationery Office, 1893), s.v. Hartlib.

45. London Gazette, 45 (16 April 1666): 1. [End Page 54]

46. Hamburg, Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek, Ms. Cod. Hist. 43, p. 437 (Johann Friedrich Schlezer to Samuel Hartlib Jr., undated but ca. 1662): “Hee [Hartlib] was an exact pattern of Christian Conversation, and the truest Friend I had; and should I have resented this losse with yet more grief had I not comforted myselfe in the fare hopes that both Publick and my particular interest had reversed in his son what death hath deprived us of by taking away the father.”

47. Diary of Samuel Pepys, s.d. 6 September 1667.

48. Journal of the House of Commons vol. 9 (1667–1687) (London: History of Parliament Trust, 1802), 236; Turnbull, Hartlib, 46; Brian A. Harrison, The Tower of London Prisoner Book (Leeds: Royal Armories, 2004), 379; Calendar of State Papers, DomesticVol. 12: Dec 1671–May 1672 (London: Stationery Office, 1897), 70. For Hartlib’s release on 29 March, see W. D. Macray, ed., Historical Manuscripts Commission. Eleventh Report, Appendix, Part VII (London: Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1888), 8.

49. H. M. Margoliouth, ed. The Poems and Letters of Andrew Marvell. 3rd ed., 2 vols. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1971), 2:337.

50. Cory S. Cotter, “Anglo-Dutch Dissent: British Dissenters in the Netherlands, 1662–88,” (PhD diss., University of Virginia, 2011), 100–101; On Rothé see K. H. D. Haley, “Sir Johannes Rothe: English Knight and Dutch Fifth Monarchist,” in Puritans and Revolutionaries: Essays in Seventeenth Century History Presented to Christopher Hill, eds. Donald Pennington and Keith Thomas (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1978), 310–32.

51. Amsterdam, Stadsarchief, NA Caspar Fagel (1672–1688), 3.01.18/44 (Carr to Du Moulin, 26 November 1673). I thank Cory S. Cotter for kindly bringing this document to my attention.

52. Calendar of State Papers, Domestic SeriesVol. 20: Mar-Dec 1678 with addenda 1674–1679 (London: Record Office, 1913), 510 (Sir Joseph Williamson to Unknown, 8 November 1678).

53. Kew, TNA, Prob 11/463, 194v–195r. I thank Sachiko Kusakawa for kindly bringing this document to my attention.

54. HP 8/24/1b.

55. Cf. Yale, “With Slips and Scraps,” 11.

56. Worthington Correspondence, vol. 2 pt. 1, 115, 168.

57. Alfred Rupert Hall and Marie Boas Hall, eds., The Correspondence of Henry Oldenburg, 1663–1665 (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1966), 2:239; Michael Hunter, Antonio Clericuzio, and Lawrence M. Principe, eds., The Correspondence of Robert Boyle, 6 vols. (London: Pickering and Chatto, 2001), 2:334. I am more inclined, however, to identify the carrier with Daniel Hartlib, who was at this time employed as the valet of William Brereton; Sam Hartlib Jr., on the other hand, worked as clerk for the Council of Plantations. On Daniel, see further below.

58. J. P. Ferris, “Brereton, Hon. William (1631–1680),” in The History of Parliament: The House of Commons 1660–1690, 3 vols., ed. B. D. Henning. (London: Secker & Warburg, 1983), 1:715–16; Anita McConnell, “Brereton, William, third Baron Brereton of Leighlin (bap. 1631, d. 1680),” ODNB.

59. Nathaniel Ingelo, Bentivolio and Urania (London: Richard Marriot, 1660), sig. ¶ 2v.

60. Gilbert Burnet, Bishop Burnet’s History of His Own Time (London: Thomas Ward, 1724), 267; Burnet’s History of My Own Time. A New Edition, Based on that of M. J. Routh, D.D., ed. Osmund Airy, 2 vols. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1900), 1:483.

61. On the history of Brereton Hall see A. L. Moir, The Story of Brereton Hall, 2nd ed. (Chester: Phillipson and Golder, 1949).

62. Andreae’s endeavors were discussed extensively among Hartlib’s correspondents. Hartlib himself had arranged for the translation and publication of Andreae’s Christianæ Societatis Imago and Christiani Amoris Dextera Porrecta (1620) by John Hall. Both volumes were [End Page 55] printed in Cambridge in 1647. See further Donald R. Dickson, The Tessera of Antilia: Utopian Brotherhoods and Secret Societies in the Early Seventeenth Century (Leiden: Brill, 1998), passim; G. H. Turnbull, “Johann Valentin Andreae’s Societas Christiana,” Zeitschrift für deutsche Philologie 73 (1954): 407–32 and 74 (1955): 151–185.

63. See HP 29/5/32b (Ephemerides, summer 1655); Robert Charles Winthrop, ed., Correspondence of Hartlib, Haak, Oldenburg, and Others of the Founders of the Royal Society with Governor Winthrop of Connecticut, 1661–1672 (Boston: John Wilson and Son, 1878), 13.

64. Boyle Correspondence, 2:274–76 (Brereton to Boyle, 19 May 1664).

65. Boyle Correspondence, 2:275.

66. British Library MS Add 4280, 102r (Brereton to Pell, 2 May 1664), cited after Malcolm and Stedall, Pell, 198. Items from this collection will hereafter be cited as BL followed by the Ms number.

67. Boyle Correspondence, 2:275.

68. Boyle Correspondence, 2:275.

69. Turnbull, HDC, 6.

70. Urbana, University of Illinois, Rare Books and Manuscript Library, Sir Robert Clayton Papers, 2/40 (Brereton payment mandates of January 1664 fulfilled by Daniel Hartlib); BL Add Ms 4474, 33r (Daniel Hartlib sent to London to retrieve a library of mathematical books, 22 April 1665).

71. Worthington Correspondence, vol. 2, pt. 1, 206–21. Worthington arrived at Brereton Hall on 13 October 1666; cf. Worthington Correspondence, vol. 2, pt. 2, 306, where Worthington admits he was “ashamed and overborn” by Brereton’s cajoling.

72. On Brancker see H. K. Higton, “Brancker, Thomas (1633–1676),” ODNB; Malcolm and Stedall, Pell, 199–207, 212, 232, 243.

73. Boyle Correspondence, 2:275.

74. BL Add Ms 4280, 102v (Brereton to Pell, 2 May 1664).

75. See the catalogue of nearly 240 books acquired from a certain Mrs. Williams in BL Add Ms 4474, 28v–29r. This was perhaps the library of “One Williams of Gray’s Inne a Mathematical-Gentleman of a sweet-disposition” mentioned by Hartlib in 1649 (HP 28/1/37b).

76. BL Add Ms 4278, 78r (Brereton to Thomas Brancker, 20 Nov 1666): “All else which I shall desire you to buy are Three of Comenius his Orbis Sensualium pictus … in English and Latine and two of Mr John Evelyn his latest Edition of his Gardiners Almanack.” The works in question are: Comenius, Orbis sensualium pictusVisible world; or, A picture and nomenclature of all the chief things that are in the world, and of mens employments thereintranslated in Englishfor the use of young Latine-scholars, Charles Hoole, trans. (London: Printed for J. Kirton, 1664); Evelyn, Kalendarium hortense; or, The gard’ners almanac directing what he is to do monethly throughout the year, and what fruits and flowers are in prime (London: Printed by Jo. Martyn and Ja. Allestry, printers to the Royal Society, and are to be sold at their shops …, MDCLXVI).

77. Worthington Correspondence, vol. 2, pt. 1, 224–25 (25 February 1666/67, to George Evans).

78. Worthington Correspondence, vol. 2, pt. 1, 230.

79. That Hand Y preceded the arrival of the papers in Brereton might be suggested by the impersonal references to Brereton and his undertakings such as in HP 64/13b: “Mr Brereton’s Brewers receipt for brewing,” which would be unusual if the endorsement were made at Brereton’s behest. That Hand Y preceded Worthington is suggested by the fact that none of the documents in the seventy-second bundle, all of which came into the papers after Hartlib’s death, are endorsed by Hand Y. I have not been able to authenticate Daniel Hartlib’s hand beyond a sample of his signature on a payment mandate issued by Brereton on 19/29 January 1664/65, located at Urbana, University of Illinois, Rare Books and Manuscript Library, Sir [End Page 56] Robert Clayton Papers, 2/40, s.d. It cannot be ruled out, however, that Hand Y endorsed the papers after Worthington saw them.

80. HP 39/1/1a.

81. HP 10/12b.

82. Yale, Beinecke Library, James Marshall and Marie-Louise Osborn Manuscript Collection, MS 16790 (in the electronic editions of the Hartlib papers, this document is identified as Yale/39). Items from the Osborn Manuscript Collection are hereafter cited as “Osborn MSS.”

83. HP 60/4/212b.

84. Yale, Osborn MS 16790, 2b.

85. See below, discussion at note 150.

86. Worthington Correspondence, vol. 2, pt. 1, 226–27.

87. HP 34/9/1a–2b (Worthington to Hartlib, 9 January 1660). Having overlooked this letter, Greengrass, “Archive Refractions,” 42, wrote that Worthington’s hand was “impossible to authenticate,” after having gone to elaborate and creative lengths to do so in Cambridge and elsewhere. Subsequently, Worthington’s hand is variously attributed to others, such as Hand Y, in the electronic editions of The Hartlib Papers, although it appears throughout the archive, as well as in documents in Yale and in the British Library.

88. See for example HP 68/4/1a, endorsed as “Dury’s advice about Studies In reference to the Ministery.”

89. Respectively HP 18/1/18b; 68/4/1a; BL MS Sloane 648, 1r.

90. See HP 14/2/3/1A, with Worthington’s remark “Written by Mr Hartlib or Dury” on the flyleaf of A Further Discoverie of the Office of Pvblick Addresse for Accommodations (London, 1648).

91. Paul Needham, “Concepts of Paper Study,” in Puzzles in Paper: Concepts in Historical Watermarks, eds. Daniel W. Mosser, Michael Saffle, and Ernest W. Sullivan II (New Castle, DE/London: Oak Knoll Press and British Library, 2000), 1–36; Needham, Galileo Makes a Book: The First Edition of Sidereus Nuncius, Venice 1610 (Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 2011), 54.

92. Joseph Mede, The works of the pious and profoundly-learned Joseph Mede, B.D., sometime fellow of Christ’s Colledge in Cambridge, ed. John Worthington, 2nd ed. (London, 1672), sig. ****6r, where there is a list marked “The Additional Pieces First published by the Reverend and Learned Dr. Worthington” which notes additions made from letters found at Brereton Hall.

93. HP 9/11/27b; Hartlib bought a copy of Hobbes’s Leviathan on 6 July 1651 and William Rand discussed its content with Hartlib in two letters of 18 July and 11 August, which may have prompted an epistolary exchange. Alternatively, Hartlib may have simply collected copies of Hobbes’s correspondence with a third party. See further Noel Malcom, ed., Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, 3 vols. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2012), 1:148, 231; HP 31/20/12a; 62/30/3b; 62/21/1a.

94. See the letters between Hartlib and Gronovius in Munich, Universitätsbibliothek der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, MS 615, 59A–60B (Hartlib to Gronovius, 9 November 1655); MS 644, 7A (Gronovius to Hartlib, 1655), 41B–42A (Gronovius to Hartlib, 9 July 1657), 48B–49A (Gronovius to Hartlib, 28 September 1657), and letters of Hartlib to Permeier of 3/13 February 1643; 24 February 1643 printed in [Permeier], Abtruck Unterschiedlicher Sendschreiben … (Frankfurt/Main: No Printer, [1643]), 67–71. On Hartlib and Permeier, see further Noémi Viskolcz, Reformációs Könyvek: Tervek az evangélikus egyház megújítására (Budapest: Universitas Kiadó/Országos Széchényi Könyvtar, 2006), 260–61.

95. Turnbull, HDC, v.

96. Bos, “Princess Elizabeth,” 495; BL Add Ms 4279, 156r (More to Pell, 23 May 1665).

97. Worthington Correspondence, vol. 2, pt. 1, 224–25.

98. HP 11/4/3a–b, as part of a fragment of John Owen, A Review of the Annotations of Hugo Grotius (Oxford, 1656), 15–22. [End Page 57]

99. See further Jeroen van de Ven and Erik-Jan Bos, “Se nihil daturum—Descartes’s Unpublished Judgement of Comenius’s Pansophiae prodromus (1639),” British Journal for the History of Philosophy 12 (2004): 369–86 at 371–72, 376; Erik-Jan Bos, “Descartes and Comenius: New Insights–Old Errors,” Comenius-Jahrbuch, 11–12 (2003–2004): 83–95.

100. BL Ms Sloane 417, fol. 1r. See further van de Ven and Bos, “Se nihil daturum,” 376.

101. Worthington Correspondence, vol. 2, pt. 1, 226.

102. See note 87, above.

103. HP 26/53 a–b. There are, however, several letters addressed to Clodius among the papers, albeit mainly concerning quotidian medical matters.

104. The former presence of letters from Georg Hartlib in the archive might be indicated in the list of correspondents in Hartlib’s hand at HP 56/1/1a, among which we find “Hartlibus.”

105. See for example those preserved in BL Add Ms 4280.

106. Worthington Correspondence, vol. 2, pt. 1, 226–27.

107. Worthington Correspondence, vol. 2, pt. 1, 230.

108. BL Add Ms 4280, 102r (Brereton to Pell, 2 May 1664); Chester, Cheshire Public Record Office and Archives (hereafter Cheshire PRO) DBW/L/20/3; D 7334/2–5 (assorted deeds of sale).

109. Malcolm and Stedall, Pell, 187, 199.

110. Worthington Correspondence, vol. 2, pt. 1, 222 (Whichcote to Elizabeth Foxcroft, 21 November 1666); 223 (Worthington to Evans, 10 December 1666).

111. Worthington Correspondence, vol. 2, pt. 1, 228 (Worthington to Elizabeth Foxcroft, ca. 1670).

112. Worthington Correspondence, vol. 2, pt. 1, 227.

113. Folger Shakespeare Library, Ms v.a.296, 1r; Malcolm and Stedall, Pell, 198–99.

114. Vera Keller and Leigh T. I. Penman, “From the Archives of Scientific Diplomacy: Science and the Shared Interests of Samuel Hartlib’s London and Frederick Clodius’s Gottorf,” ISIS 106, no. 1 (2015), 17–42.

115. See Greengrass, Leslie, Raylor, “Introduction” to Samuel Hartlib & Universal Reformation, 7–8.

116. For Brereton at the Royal Society meetings in and after summer 1669 see Thomas Birch, The History of the Royal Society of London for Improving of Natural Knowledge (London: Millar, 1756–57), 2:377, 497.

117. On this project see Milada Blekastad, Comenius: Versuch eines Umrisses von Leben, Werk und Schicksal des Jan Amos Komenský (Oslo and Prague: Universitetsforlaget, 1969), 679–81, and further literature cited therein.

118. BL Ms Sloane 648, 1v.

119. Robert Hooke, The Diary of Robert Hooke, 1672–1680, transcribed from the original in the possession of the Corporation of the city of London (Guildhall Library), Henry W. Robinson and Walter Adams, eds. (London: Taylor & Francis, 1935), 364; Birch, History of the Royal Society, 3:387–88 provides the minutes of the Royal Society meeting which took place that day, but doesn’t list the attendees.

120. Hooke, Diary, 66. Daniel Hartlib’s daughter Katherine was baptized on 7 December 1673 in St. Peter’s Church, Dublin, see s.v. ‘Hartlipp’ (record no. DU–CI–BA–179575, p. 45) [Accessed 13 March 2015]. On Hartlib’s later employment in the Irish treasury see William A. Shaw, ed., Calendar of Treasury Books. Volume 8: 1685–1689 (London: HMSO, 1923), 2047.

121. Vicary Gibbs, ed., The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, Extant, Extinct or Dormant (London: St. Catherine’s Press, 1912), 301.

122. Bundles of Hartlibiana once at Brereton Hall in Sloane’s collection include BL Mss Sloane 392(?), 417, 427, 614, 621, 638, 639, 648, 649, 651, 652, 653, 654, 1465, 1466, 3317; [End Page 58] Add Mss 4364, 4365. Several of these contain endorsements by John Worthington, which confirm their origin in Brereton, for example BL Ms Sloane 648, 1r; BL Ms Sloane 649, 49v, 104r, etc. Further research in Sloane’s acquisition catalogues may help to identify the precise date of these acquisitions, as well as perhaps to identify the relevant intermediate collections, if they were not acquired directly from Brereton’s estate. On Sloane, see further Margaret Nickson, “Hans Sloane, Book Collector and Cataloguer, 1628–1698,” British Library Journal, 14 (1988): 52–89; Margaret Nickson, “Books and Manuscripts,” in Sir Hans Sloane: Collector, Scientist, Antiquary, ed. Arthur MacGregor (London: British Library, 1994), 263–277; Arnold Hunt, “Sloane as a Collector of Manuscripts,” in From Books to Bezoars: Sir Hans Sloane and his Collections, ed. Alison Walker, Arthur MacGregor, and Michael Hunter (London: British Library, 2012), 190–207.

123. Malcolm and Stedall, Pell, 242. See also Felicity Henderson, “Unpublished Material from the Memorandum Book of Robert Hooke, Guildhall Library MS 1578,” Notes and Records of the Royal Society 61 (2007): 129–175 at 156, for Hooke’s awareness of Pell’s position at Brereton.

124. Wellcome Library, MS 4487/1. I thank Michael Hunter for kindly bringing this important manuscript to my attention. On Tyrrell see J. W. Gough, “James Tyrrell, Whig Historian and Friend of John Locke,” Historical Journal 19 no. 3 (1976): 581–610; Mark Goldie, “Tyrrell, James (1642–1718)”, ODNB.

125. John Dury, “Discursus de religionis fundamentalibus, Wellcome Library, Ms 4887/4, fols. 1a–10b; cf. the copy in HP 17/12/1a–12b. On this tract, see further Turnbull, HDC, 307; Pierre–Olivier Léchot, Un christianisme “sans partialité” Irénisme et méthode chez John Dury (v. 1600–1680) (Paris: Champion, 2011), 517. Another (?) copy of this tract which was once in Tyrrell’s possession was auctioned in 1855. See Anon, A Catalogue of … A Valuable Library of Books, (About 3,000 Vols) and Manuscripts, formed by James Tyrrell, the Historian, in the Reigns of King William III and Queen Anne … Which will be Sold at Auction by Messrs. Farebrother, Clark & Lye (London: J. Davy & Sons, 1855), 39 (Lot 178).

126. Yale, Osborn MS 16790, 1v: “I think this is ye Lord Ranelaughs hand, I.T.” Tyrrell’s hand is also present in HP 37/6b, 40/7/Ib, and his daughter Marie’s at 55/4/16b.

127. John Burke and John Bernard Burke, A Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Extinct and Dormant Baronetcies of England, Ireland, and Scotland, 2nd ed. (London: John Russell Smith, 1844), 538.

128. See Bodleian Library, Ms Smith 54 fols. 13r–25v, which contains a selection of letters of Tyrrell to Smith dated between 1684 and 1686 in connection with Parr’s projected publication, including notices of the discovery of Ussher’s epistles.

129. Richard Parr, The Life of … James Usher, Late Lord Arch-Bishop of Armagh … With a Collection of Three Hundred Letters (London, 1686), unpaginated and unfoliated Preface.

130. Parr, Life of Usher, unpaginated and unfoliated Preface.

131. The letters can be found in Parr, Life of Usher, 620–624. Letter CCC consists of extracts of two separate letters to Boate dated 27 September 1650 and 14/24 January 1650/1651, the presentation of which is entirely consistent with extracts found elsewhere in Hartlib’s papers.

132. For Tyrrell’s work gathering Ussher’s correspondence see Bodleian Library, Ms Smith 54, fols. 13r–14v (Tyrrell to Smith, 26 March 1685).

133. John Bullord, The Library of the Right Honourable William Late Lord of Bereton [sic], consisting of Theological, Historical, Philological, Medicinal & Mathematical Books … (London [1697?]).

134. Irene Cassidy, “Cholmondeley, Francis (1636–1713),” The History of Parliament: The House of Commons 1660–1690, ed. B. D. Henning, 3 vols. (London: Secker & Warburg, 1983), 2:63–64. [End Page 59]

135. BL Add Ms 4278, 87r (Brancker to Pell, 25 July 1668); BL Add Ms 4278, 83r (Brancker to Pell, 13 April 1668), 86r (Brancker to Pell, 6 May 1668), 87r (Brancker to Pell, 25 July 1668).

136. George Ormerod, The History of the County Palatine and City of Chester, 3 vols. (London: Lackington, Hughes, Mayor and Jones, 1819), 2:77. Cholmondeley’s commonplace book, with theological material from Thomas à Kempis, Seneca, and others, compiled from 1652 onwards, is in Yale Ms Osborn b103.

137. Worthington Correspondence, vol. 2, pt. 1, 224, 225.

138. See the letters of Cholmondeley to Alexander Forrester (23 June and 6 October 1707) in Spencer Madan, An English Translation of the Six Books of Hugo Grotius on the Truth of Christianitywith the annotations and testimonies (London: F. C. and J. Rivington et al., 1814), 261–64.

139. See HP 72/7/1a–2b “Verses recited by [Philip] Berty [(ca.1665–1728)] before the Duke and Duchess of York in the [Sheldonian] Theatre [Oxford], [21 May] 1683, sent to Francis Cholmondeley” with a short note from George Cholmondeley to Francis dated Oxford, 7 June 1683 on 72/7/2a.

140. HP 72/10/1a–22b: Power, “Historia Physico-Anatomica cum Analogia Physico-Chymica … Drawn up for the satisfaction of the Right Honor[a]ble George Lord Delamer 1666.” See further Charles Webster, “Henry Power’s Experimental Philosophy,” Ambix 14/3 (1967): 150–78 at 162.

141. For example HP 72/2/1a–2b [Thomas Browne?], “E Scotia Presbyter Profugus” [ca. 1690], which is printed in The Works of Mr. Thomas Brown, Vol. IV. Containing Many Miscellaneous Discourses, in Prose and Verse: With an Addition of his Genuine Remains; and a Supplement, in Prose and Verse, Never Published Before, 9th ed. (London: Wilde et al., 1760), 256–57 as “In Episcopum Sarisburiensem.”; HP 72/6/1a–2b [Scrope], “In defence of SATYR”; HP 72/3/1a–2b “Animadverto orthodoxam religionem a Socinianis, [undated]”; HP 72/8/1a–b, “Latin ode to Vincent Corbellus, ca. 1688,” etc.

142. Yale Osborn Mss 3200–3201, 3735–36. See further Harmsworth Trust library. Fifteenth portion […] first section—manuscripts […] of the renowned library of the late Sir R. Leicester Harmsworth […] which will be sold by auction by Messrs. Sotheby & Co. 24–25 May 1948 ([London: Sotheby’s, 1948]), 36 lot 4781, and Turnbull’s correspondence in SUL, Turnbull Papers, 70/43/170a–195a, which contains a valuable inventory of the manuscript volume. The Harmsworth sale is perhaps that alluded to by Greengrass, “Archive Refractions,” 43 note 21.

143. There were no materials of a Hartlibian provenance offered in the sale catalogue of the Brereton estate: A Catalogue of Ancient Stained Glass, Curiosities, and Library of Books, to be Sold by … by Mr. Broster … Liverpool, On Tuesday, the 7th Day of April, 1818 (Chester: M. Monk, 1818). Copy in Madrid, Biblioteca Nacional de España, Fondo antiguo 3/75059(2).

144. Foremost among them were Francis’s nephew Charles (1685–1765), and Hugh Cholmondeley (1772–1815), sometime dean of Chester, who bought up “many local collections” of books and papers which ended up in Vale Royal. See Ormerod, History of Chester, ii, 75–79.

145. John Britton and Edward Wedlake Brayley, The Beauties of England and Wales; or, Delineations, Topographical, Historical and Descriptive, of Each County (London: Thomas Maiden, 1801), 2:295; John Burke, ed., The Patrician (London: E. Churton, 1848), 5:564.

146. See Daniel Lysons and Samuel Lysons, Magna Britannia: Volume the Second, containing Cambridgeshire, and the County Palatine of Chester (London: Cadell & Davies, 1810), 814–15. The Delamere Chaucer is now at Yale, Beinecke Library, Takayima Deposit, MS 32.

148. R. Craddock Nichols, ed., A Fragment of Partonope of Blois, from a Manuscript at Vale Royal, in the Possession of Lord Delamere (London: Nichols and Sons for the Roxburghe Club, 1873), ii. [End Page 60]

149. On aspects of this transformation see more broadly Philippa Levine, The Amateur and the Professional: Antiquarians, Historians and Archaeologists in Victorian England, 1838–1886 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986); Ian Hesketh, The Science of History in Victorian Britain (London: Pickering & Chatto, 2011); Stuart Piggott, “The Origins of the English County Archaeological Societies,” in his Ruins in a Landscape (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1976), 171–95; A. N. L. Munby, The Cult of the Autograph Letter in England (London: Athlone Press, 1962); Manuscripts and Men: An Exhibition of Manuscripts, Portraits and Pictures held at the National Portrait Gallery, London, June-August 1969, to mark the Centenary of the Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts (London: HMSO, 1969).

150. Several of the early works concerning agriculture and mentioning Hartlib are listed by Henry Dircks, A Biographical Memoir of Samuel Hartlib, Milton’s Familiar Friend (London: John Russell Smith, [1865]). Particularly impactful may have been the bio-bibliographical article on Hartlib which appeared in Alexander Chalmers, ed., The General Biographical Dictionary, 2nd ed. (London: J. Nichols & Son et al., 1814), 17:200–03.

151. Robert Vaughan, ed., The Protectorate of Oliver Cromwell, and the State of Europe during the Early Part of the Reign of Louis XIV, 2 vols. (London: Henry Colbourn, 1838), passim.

152. Worthington Correspondence, vol. 2 pt. 1, 67 note 1.

153. HP 13/1a–b. Concerning the free frank postmark, see Frank Bottomley, The Franking System in the Post Office, 1652–1840 (London: Society of Postal Historians, 1988). Greengrass, “Archive Refractions,” 43 speculated that Hand Z was “near contemporary” with Hartlib.

154. HP 58/1a. Other examples of Hand Z among the papers include HP 23/2/1a, 32/5a, 44/10/5a, 48/9/1a, 53/43/1a, 55/26/1a, 65/32/1a, 66/32/1a, 67/24/1a.

155. See the anonymous obituary printed in The Register & Magazine of Biography (Westminster: Nichols & Sons, 1869), 1:223.

156. Clarence Hopper, “Milton’s Blindness,” Notes & Queries 123 (1858): 372–73.

157. HP 4/2/24a–25b (5 June 1652) and HP 4/3/61a–b (18 November 1654).

158. A. A. W., “Milton’s Blindness,” Notes & Queries 125 (1858), 412–13 at 412.

159. Samuel Leigh Sotheby, Ramblings in the Elucidation of the Autograph of Milton (London: Printed for the Author by Thomas Richards, 1861), 133.

160. Clarence Hopper, A Catalogue of the Books, Manuscripts, Works of Art, Antiquities, and Relics, illustrative of the Life and Works of Shakespearewhich are Preserved in the Shakespeare Library and Museum (London: Printed for the Shakespeare Fund, 1868); [Hopper], A Catalogue of a Small Portion of the Engravings and Drawings Illustrative of the Life of Shakespeare Preserved in the Collection formed by J.O. Halliwell, Esq. FRS ([London]: Printed for Private Reference, 1868). I have not located Hopper’s notes on Hartlib’s papers, if any survive. Only one modern authority has mentioned Hopper’s discovery: Joseph Milton French, The Life Records of John Milton: 1651–1654 (London: Gordian Press, 1966), 443. It has otherwise gone unremarked.

161. Henry Dircks, A Biographical Memoir of Samuel Hartlib, Milton’s Familiar Friend (London: John Russell Smith, [1865]), iv. The English musicologist Edward Francis Rimbault was also researching a Hartlib monograph in 1865, which, however, never appeared in print. See Rimbault, “Nan Hartlib and Clodius,” Notes & Queries 177 (1865): 398.

162. Dircks, Hartlib, i.

163. Friedrich Althaus, “Samuel Hartlib. Ein deutsch-englisches Charakterbild,” Historisches Taschenbuch 3/6 (1884): 205–78.

164. Althaus, “Hartlib,” 275–78.

165. David Masson, The Life of John Milton: Narrated in Connexion with the Political, Ecclesiastical, and Literary History of his Time, 7 vols. (London: Macmillan & Co, 1877–1896), 3:193–254 at 196; Alfred Stern, Milton und seine Zeit, 2 vols. (Leipzig: Duncker & Humblot, 1877–1879), 2:266–85. [End Page 61]

166. See Ján Kvačala, “Kurzer Bericht über meine Forschungsreisen,” Acta et commentationes Imperialis Universitatis jurievensis olim dorpatensis 3 (1895): 1–48 at 9, 25–27, 36–37. Further on Kvačala see Peter C. Bloth, “Mitteilungen über den Comenius-Forscher Ján Kvačala (1862–1934) in Dorpat/Jurjew/Tartu seit 1893,” Comenius-Jahrbuch 8 (2000): 97–119.

167. Johann Kvacsala [i.e. Ján Kvačala], Johann Amos Comenius. Sein Leben und seine Schriften (Berlin & Leipzig: Klinkhardt, 1892).

168. Timothy Corcoran, Studies in the History of Classical Teaching: Irish and Continental, 1500–1700 (London: Longman’s Green and Company, 1911), 121, 239.

169. Solomon Levy, “John Dury and the English Jewry,” in Levy, Original Virtue (London & New York: Longmans, 1907), 126–27.

170. A valuable autobiographical statement is in “Turnbull, George Henry,” Who Was Who,, accessed 10 October 2012; on Turnbull and the works of Kvačala and Patera, see Greengrass, Leslie, Raylor, “Introduction” to Samuel Hartlib & Universal Reformation, 4. The collections themselves are Kvačala, Spisy Jana Amosa Komenského, Korrespondence Jana Amosa Komenského: listy Komenského a vrstevníů jeho. 2 vols. (Prague 1897–1902); Kvačala, Die pädagogische Reform des Comenius in Deutschland bis zum Ausgange des 17. Jahrhunderts. 2 vols. (Monumenta Germaniae Paedagogica, xxvi and xxxii). (Berlin: Hofmann, 1903–1904); A. Patera, Jana Amosa Komenského Korrespondence (Prague: Nákl. České akademie císaře Františka Josefa pro vědy, slovesnost a umění, 1892).

171. G. H. Turnbull, “The Educational Ideas of Wolfgang Ratke” (MA diss., University of Liverpool, 1913). A short extract was printed as G. H. Turnbull, “The Educational Ideas of Wolfgang Ratke,” Curriculum Studies 1, no. 3 (1993): 383–94.

172. See Edward Wyrall, History of the King’s Regiment (Liverpool), 1914–1919 (London: Arnold: 1935), 3:508; Harold Giblin, Bravest of Hearts: The Biography of a Battalion: The Liverpool Scottish in the Great War (Liverpool: Winordie Publications, 2000).

173. G. H. Turnbull, Samuel Hartlib: with special regard to his relations with J. A. Comenius. Inaugural–Dissertation zur Erlangung der Doktorwürde genehmigt von der Philosophischen Fakultät der Rheinischen Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität zu Bonn (London: Spottiswoode, Ballantyne & Co., 1919).

174. Turnbull, Hartlib, 53. The Oxford publication, issued as G. H. Turnbull, Samuel Hartlib: A Sketch of his Life and his Relations to J. A. Comenius (London: Oxford University Press, 1920), is bibliographically identical to the 1919 publication, but for the cancelled title page and the omission of Turnbull’s concluding autobiographical statement.

175. William Richard Morfill, “Hartlib, Samuel (d. 1670?),” in DNB, 25:72-73.

176. Mary Hopkirk, Life at Vale Royal Great House 1907–1925 (Northwich: Northwich & District Heritage Society, [1999]), 4.

177. Ibid., 1.

178. Sale dates include 11 February 1926 (drawings); 23 February 1926 (watercolors); 29–30 March 1926 (books and manuscripts); 13–14 April 1926 (engravings); 17–20 May 1926 (books and manuscripts); 16 July 1928 (books and manuscripts). Examples of the catalogues are at Cheshire PRO, DBC 1621/28/4, or in the British Library, S. C. Sotheby (1); Mic.B.740. On the liquidation of private libraries in the first decades of the twentieth century see Peter H. Reid, “The Decline and Fall of the British Country House Library,” Libraries and Culture 36, no. 2 (2001): 345–66.

179. On sales of books after 1932, see the auction catalogues preserved in Cheshire PRO, DBC 1621/28/4 and Catalogue of Sale of a Large Portion of the Valuable Period Furniture and Secondary Furnishings—Vale Royal, Hartford, Cheshire, briefly comprisinga Library of Interesting Antiquarian Books. Chester, 9–10 October 1946 (Chester: Browns of Chester Auctioneers Ltd., 1946), 32–38. The 278 lots of books and manuscripts are without exception poorly described. A copy is in DBC 2309/2/7. [End Page 62]

180. Richard Davenport-Hines and Adam Sisman, eds., One Hundred Letters from Hugh Trevor-Roper (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014), 130–31. Trevor-Roper’s information, it appears, derived from Turnbull.

181. This misconception appears for the first time in [Anon], “Master of Innumerable Curiosities,” Sheffield University Gazette 2 (1948): 4. It was repeated in W. H. G. A[rmytage], “Prof. George Turnbull,” Times [London, England] 27 September 1961, 15, and W. H. G. Armytage and J. R. Thompson, “Emeritus Professor G. H. Turnbull,” Sheffield University Gazette 40 (1962): 59–60, and after being included in the prefatory material of the electronic publications of The Hartlib Papers (see further below), has since become part of their folklore. See also the slight embellishments by Donald R. Dickson, “[Review of: The Hartlib Papers],” Seventeenth-Century News 62, no. 3/4 (2004): 167, who stated the manuscripts were “discovered among the family papers of a defunct line by a London solicitor.”

182. The year is mentioned in [Anon], “Innumerable Curiosities,” 4; Turnbull, “Hartlib’s Papers,” 142; Turnbull, “Some Correspondence of John Winthrop, Jr. and Samuel Hartlib,” Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society, 3rd series, 72 (Oct. 1957–Dec. 1960): 36–67 at 36. Intriguingly, the year of the discovery is mentioned on the dust jacket of Turnbull, HDC, although not in the volume itself.

183. See above, note 15.

184. Sheffield, Sheffield University Administrative Archives, US/VC/2, unfol. (Turnbull to Sir James Irvine Masson, 23 May 1944), which is paired with a blurb which Masson evidently prepared for circulation among the Oxford delegates. Turnbull’s negotiations with Liverpool University Press are located at SUL, Turnbull Papers, 70/30/21a–65b, with an especially important letter at 26a (Turnbull to Harold Graham, 30 January 1945).

185. Prague, Archiv Kanceláře Prezidenta Republiky, fond KPR, Evidenční knihy k udělování státních vyznamenání, inv. č. 80, kniha č. 44 (Medaile Jana Amose Komenského seznam nositelů podle matriky nositelů), no. 15: “Turnbull, George Henry, 25 September 1957”; Josef Brambora, Světové oslavy jubileí Jana Amose Komenskehó, 1956–1958 (Prague: Státni Pedagogické Nakl., 1961), 16–17.

186. Armytage & Thompson, “Turnbull,” 59–60.

187. See for example Sheffield University Library, Turnbull Papers, 70/30–48, etc.

188. Hugh Trevor-Roper, “Three Foreigners and the Philosophy of the English Revolution,” Encounter 14 (1960): 3–20. An expanded version of the essay was published in Hugh Trevor-Roper, Religion, the Reformation and Social Change (London: Macmillan, 1967).

189. Mark Greengrass, “Three Foreigners: The Philosophers of the Puritan Revolution,” presented at the conference: Hugh Trevor-Roper, Lord Dacre Conference, University of Oxford, 11 January 2014. I thank Mark Greengrass for advance access to this paper.

190. Turnbull, “Hartlib’s Papers,” 142; Trevor-Roper, One Hundred Letters, 130–31.

191. Trevor-Roper, “Three Foreigners,” 10: “Truly I shall value myself by nothing more than in that it may please God to give me a heart and the honour of contributing my mite towards them.”

192. One way to determine such losses might be by undertaking a systematic cross-referencing of the documents described in Turnbull, HDC with those presently identifiable in the Sheffield archive today.

193. Armytage, “Valete,” 5; Greengrass, Leslie, Raylor, introduction, 9.

194. Sheffield University Library, Turnbull Papers, 70/31/5.

195. We might speculate that the papers were offered to Turnbull on permanent loan, with both parties reserving the right to cancel the agreement, with notice, under specific circumstances. So far, however, I have not been able to ascertain the precise circumstances of the agreement.

196. See (accessed 24 July 2014). Provision for the transfer of the papers is not made in Turnbull’s will of 14 September 1931 (copy on [End Page 63] file with the author), which was in any event created prior to Turnbull’s acquisition of the documents. Nor is there record of an appropriate bequest in Sheffield, University Administrative Archives, US/ALU/5 (Legacy and Bequest Files, 1910–2014). I thank Matthew B. Zawadski of the Administrative Archives for examining this folder on my behalf.

197. On Armytage see Pam Poppleton, “Obituary: Professor Harry Armytage,” Independent (London), 20 June 1998; Brian Simon, David Bradshaw, Gary McCulloch, and William Richardson, “Professor Harry Armytage,” History of Education 28, no. 9 (1999): 219–26.

198. Letter dated 29 November 1962, in the personal collection of Charles Webster. I thank him for kindly allowing me to see a transcription of this document.

199. In 1948, Maggs Bros. in London sold a single Hartlib bundle to James Marshall and Marie-Louise Osborn for the sum of £170. If offered for sale in 1961, the seventy-two bundles of Hartlib’s papers might well have commanded a significant amount. See further Sheffield University Library, Turnbull Papers, 70/43/190a (Turnbull to J. B. Whitmore, 14 July 1948), and the other documents in that bundle.

200. Greengrass, Leslie, Raylor, Hartlib, introduction, 9. An earlier and slightly different version of this account is given in Greengrass, “Hartlib Papers,” 81.

201. See Greengrass, “Three Foreigners.”

202. Webster recalls assisting in transporting some or all of the papers to Armytage’s office, although whether or not this was in connection with the initial return of the papers from Prestatyn cannot be ascertained with any certainty. Conversation with Charles Webster (Oxford, 7 March 2012).

203. One scholar who accessed the papers during this interim period was the linguist and historian Vivian Salmon (1921–2010), who in her “Language-Planning in Seventeenth-Century England: Its Context and Aims,” in In Memory of J. R. Firth, ed. Charles Ernest Bazell (London: Longmans, 1966), 395n6, stated: “I am greatly indebted to Mrs. Turnbull and Professor W. Armytage for access to the [Hartlib] manuscripts.”

204. Charles Webster, The Great Instauration: Science, Medicine and Reform, 1626–1660 (London: Duckworth, 1975). A second edition with new prefatory material was issued in 2002 by Peter Lang. Five years earlier Webster had edited a selection of important pedagogical documents from Hartlib’s papers and elsewhere, under the title Samuel Hartlib and the Advancement of Learning (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1970).

205. Michael Leslie, “The Hartlib Papers Project: Text Retrieval with Large Datasets,” Literary and Linguistic Computing 5, no. 1 (1990): 58–69 at 59.

206. Mark Greengrass, “Interfacing Samuel Hartlib,” History Today 43, no. 12 (1993): 45–49 at 49.

207. Greengrass, “Hartlib Papers,” 82.

208. For the history of the project see Greengrass, “Hartlib Papers”; Alasdair Paterson, “Windowing the Past: A Seventeenth Century Technological Archive and its Electronic Exploitation,” in New Technologies and Information Services – Evolution or Revolution? Proceedings of the 14th Biennial Conference of IATUL, Cambridge, Mass. USA, July 8–12 1991, ed. J. K. Lucker (Cambridge, MA: IATUL, 1991), 164–68. The records of the project, occupying several large boxes, are located at Sheffield University Library, MS 239.

209. The Hartlib Papers: A Complete Text and Image Database of the Papers of Samuel Hartlib (ca. 1600–1662) Held in Sheffield University Library, Sheffield, England, CD ROM. (Ann Arbor, MI: UMI, 1995).

211. Conversation with William R. Newman, who visited Sheffield in the course of the Project (Brisbane, 4 September 2014).

212. Prior to the creation of the transcriptions which were ultimately published on the 1995 CD ROM, it was customary to thank Lord Delamere for access to the manuscripts and permission to quote them, although manifestly without direct contact or permission from [End Page 64] Delamere himself. During the project, researchers were asked to acknowledge instead that “The Hartlib Papers are quoted from transcripts prepared by the Hartlib Papers Project, University of Sheffield, by permission of the project directors and the university librarian.” See for example David Norbrook, “Areopagitica, Censorship, and the Early Modern Public Sphere,” in The Administration of Aesthetics: Censorship, Political Criticism, and the Public Sphere, ed. Richard Burt (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1994), 29.

213. HP 28/1/44a, etc.

214. See HP 40/4/2b and the transcriber’s remark: “Note: this needs checking against the original for Hartlib’s alterations.”

215. See the metadata for HP 59/10/3 which indicates that the torn fragment is “Sewn sideways into beginning of booklet and torn; booklet bound in fragment of musical manuscript.” The metadata for 35/8, which prefaces a scribal copy of Comenius’s “Lux in tenebris,” notes that: “The MS is within a brown paper wrapper, on the front of which is written: No 1.; there are broken seals.” While it would have been preferable to have images of these items, the project should be applauded for at least including an indication of their physical presence.

216. See for example the use of watermarks and scribal practices to link two previously un-associated Paracelsian manuscripts in Leigh T. I. Penman, “Ein Liebhaber des Mysterii, und ein großer Verwandter desselben: Toward the Life of Balthasar Walther, a Wandering Paracelsian Physician,” Sudhoffs Archiv für Wissenschaftsgeschichte 94, no. 1 (2010): 73–99.

217. HP 31/23/56a-59b.

218. Most publications which describe the archive refer to seventy–one bundles on the basis of the electronic edition. See for example Dickson, “[Review of: The Hartlib Papers],” 167: “what survived until the twentieth century was seventy–one bundles of documents.”

219. Claire Warwick and Celine Carty, “Only Connect: A Study of the Problems Caused by Platform Specificity and Researcher Isolation in Humanities Computing Projects,” in Electronic Publishing ’01: 2001 in the Digital Publishing Odyssey: Conference Proceedings, ed. Arved Hübler, Peter Linde, and Jon W. T. Smith (Amsterdam: IOS Press, 2001), 36–47 at 37–39.

220. Warwick and Carty, “Only Connect,” 39; The Hartlib Papers: A Complete Text and Image Database of the Papers of Samuel Hartlib (c.1600–1662), 2nd ed. (HRIOnline: University of Sheffield, 2002).

221. Greengrass, “Archive Refractions,” 36.

222. Hunter, “Whither Editing?,” 312–16.

225. See for example the exemplary analysis of the implications of lost pieces of Hobbes’s correspondence in Noel Malcolm and Mikko Tolonen, “The Correspondence of Thomas Hobbes: Some New Items,” Historical Journal 51, no. 2 (2008): 481–95.

226. Apart from the metadata of varying quality in the various editions of The Hartlib Papers, and for epistles in the EMLO database, only partial catalogues are available, such as Wilbur Applebaum, “A Descriptive Catalogue of the Manuscripts of Nicolaus Mercator, FRS (1620–87), in Sheffield University Library,” Notes and Records of the Royal Society 41 (1986): 27–37.

227. Hunter, “Whither Editing?,” 814.

228. Such considerations have not only been documented in studies of specific archives, but are also generally accessible in library and information management publications such as that of Judith Ellis, ed., Keeping Archives, 2nd ed. (Melbourne: Thorpe-Bowcker, 2004). [End Page 65]

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