WITH ARMS PRINTED IN GOLD

A brief Account of the Blue Coat Hospital, and Public Library, in the College, Manchester, founded by Humphrey Chetham, Esq. in the Year 1651.

Manchester: Printed by Leech … 1826.

Small 4to. in twos, pp. 21, [1, blank], engraved frontispiece of the College by Leech & Cheetham, with tissue guard; Humphrey Chetham’s arms printed in gold on the title-page and the royal arms, also in gold, at the end; apart from some foxing a very good copy in the original marbled boards, red leather spine, somewhat worn.

£600

Approximately:
US $760€702

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A brief Account of the Blue Coat Hospital, and Public Library, in the College, Manchester, founded by Humphrey Chetham, Esq. in the Year 1651.

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Sole edition, privately printed and very rare. William Mullis was the deputy librarian of Chetham’s Library, the oldest free public reference library in the English-speaking world. It was founded in 1653, along with the Blue Coat School (two years earlier), by bequests from the merchant and banker Humphrey Chetham. Both charities occupied the ‘venerable edifice’ built in 1461 to accommodate the priests of Manchester’s Collegiate Church.

Mullis dedicates the book to the Governors of the Hospital and Library as thanks for their ‘recent act of kindness’ acknowledging his endeavours for twenty-five years. He reprints an account of our ‘generous benefactor’ from Fuller’s Worthies, provides an historical sketch of both the Library and the College, and appeals to ‘any gentlemen resident in the county’ who are possessed of manuscripts of general or local interest ‘to consider this library as a suitable depository for them’. In 1826 the Library consisted of about 20,000 volumes; there are now over 100,000.

OCLC and COPAC record copies at the British Library, National Trust (Tatton Park); and Newberry Library only.

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