Monday 30 July 2012

The Three Bears


The story of the Three Bears is first recorded in narrative form by the author Robert Southey (1774-1843). The story appears in The Doctor, a rambling collection of miscellaneous articles and essays threaded together by episodes in the life of a Yorkshire doctor. The work was published in seven volumes from 1834 to 1847, and the edition displayed here is Southey's own proof copy from the early 1840s, showing corrections and additions in the hands of Southey himself, as well as his son-in-law John Wood Warter.   

Friday 27 July 2012

Not just an impressive projection...

As well as revolutionising how everybody looked at the world, Geradus Mercator also produced a lavish Atlas with beautifully illustrated maps... find out more on this week's 101 Treasures page...

Friday 20 July 2012

Urning their keep

These decorative urns are taken from James Gibb's 1728 Book of Architecture, in which he sets out designs and suggestions for country gentlemen wishing to erect a building of taste but without the wherewithal to employ a London architect. Gibbs became one of the most significant architects of the eighteenth century and helped to define what we now know as 'Georgian' architecture.

Read more on the 101 Treasures page.

Tuesday 17 July 2012

Happy Birthday to St Ann's


Today marks the 300th birthday of St Ann's Church in Manchester, which was consecrated on July 17th 1712 by the Bishop of Chester.

Here at the Library we are privileged to hold probably the only eye-witness account of the consecration service, from the diary of Edmund Harrold, a Manchester wig-maker. Typically, he relates how he nearly missed church due to the enjoyment of a swift half or two with his friends Mr Allen and Mr Coleburn. However, this might have turned out to be more fun than the service, which with the consecration, sermons, communion and readings in both Latin and English, apparently went on for about four hours.

We also have an early print of the church with its original spire, which was demolished within about a hundred years of its construction due to it being unsafe. Published in 1732, this is probably the earliest surviving image of the church.

From the Diary of Edmund Harrold, 17 July 1712:

Remarkable for St Anne's church conse[c]reation, and a great concourse of people, good business and I sober [at] 8 a clock at night. But was merry before I went to bed. Spent 3d with Mr Allen and [Mr H.] Coleburn etc. I was out about 3 hours, and 1/2 mist pub[lic] pra:[yer] 2 times, for wch I beg God pardon. I'm sorey. B[isho]p Dawes perform'd ye consecration. Mr Bagaly indow'd it, ye clergy responded at entrance. Mr Ainscough read prayers, [George] Beatman sponced, ye b[isho]p read ye gift both in Latin and English. Mr Bann preach'd on: Holiness becometh thine house, o Lord, for ever. Then ye b[isho]p and clergy and who would, stay'd sacrament. Thus ye was about 4 hours in this great work.

You can read more about Harrold and his diary here.

Friday 13 July 2012

A surprising discovery

Probably the most interesting and significant discovery at Chetham's of recent years was made around a decade ago by a work experience student sorting through a pile of old prints. Daniela Reimars, an Art History student at Manchester University, chanced upon a large album of dirty and dusty engravings, and quickly realised that what for many years had been thought an insignificant scrapbook actually contained almost two hundred prints by William Hogarth (1697-1764) and some of his contemporaries.

Read more on our Treasures Page this week.

Friday 6 July 2012

Lysons' Woodchester

This week's treasure is Lysons' enormous folio work about the Roman antiquities in Woodchester, Gloucestershire, published in 1797. It includes numerous exquisite hand-coloured aquatints like the one above, and is well worth a look.

Wednesday 4 July 2012

Law and order

Eagle-eyed viewer Matthew Yeo spotted Chetham's Library on the television recently and wrote to us all the way from Switzerland to let us know. Thank you very much Matthew!

The Library appears in Episode Two of the BBC series 'The Strange Case of the Law', and features some fine shots of our beautiful seventeenth-century printing press.