Front Quad

Civil War pamphlets from the library of Thomas Marshall

The 77 parchment-bound volumes of pamphlets left to the College by Thomas Marshall, philologist, Christian Hebraist, and Rector of Lincoln from 1672 until his death in 1685, is one of the most important, and remarkable, collections in the Senior Library. Contemporary collections of English Civil War material are rare and these volumes (over 2000 individual pamphlets) are a rich resource for our understanding of printed ephemera in the Civil War period.

The majority of the pamphlets relate to the religious and political events of the Civil War: letters, sermons, speeches, royal proclamations, parliamentary orders, and political and religious propaganda, mostly printed between 1640 and 1649. While Marshall himself was part of the College’s royalist faction, and in 1644 joined the University regiment of Henry, Earl of Dover, the collection also contains a large amount of parliamentarian material. There are several possible explanations for this: perhaps Marshall bought this material on publication to gain a balanced view of the conflict or, like other collectors, later supplemented his collection. The volumes also include pamphlets from the reigns of Elizabeth and James I, among them tracts on English colonisation and religious conditions in the New World, as well as examples of contemporary literature, poetry, science, and medicine.

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