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This gentleman and his book seem to have been the prototypes of Mr. Astley and his performances at Westminster Bridge. He is represented as leaping over three horses, and as performing various acts of equestrian skill and activity.

His book is inscribed
To the truly noble Gentleman,
Mr. Henry Percy,
Master of the Horse to the Prince his High-


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THIE British Museum can hardly be said to possess any literary treasures of greater curiosity and value than this collection of Traçts, usually designated by the name of the King's Pamphlets.

I find the following account of them in a paper annexed to the first folio volume of the manuscript index, which seems to have been printed with a view of promoting their sale at some subsequent period.

"A Complete Collection of Books and Pamphlets Legun in the year 16+0 by the special com. inand of King Charles I. of blessed memory, and continued to the happy Restauration of the Government, and the Coronation of King Charles II. There hath been

very much money disbursed, and great pains taken, and many hazards run in making an exact collection of all the Pamphlets that were published from the beginning of that long and rebel-parliament which began Novemb. 1640, till his late Majesties happy Restauration and Coronation, consisting of near thirty thousand several sorts, and by all parties.

They may be of very great use to any gentleman concerned in publick affairs, both for this present and after ages, there being not the like


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in the world, neither is it possible to make such a collection.

The collection contains above two thousand bound volumes, all of them uniformly bound, as if they were done at one time, and all exactly marked and numbred.

The method that has been observed, as time*, and such punctual care was taken, that the very day is written upon most of them when they came out.

The catalogue of them, fairly written, is in twelve volumes in folio, and though the number of them be so great, (when the books are set in their order, according to the mark set upon each of them) the smallest piece, though but one sheet of paper, being shewn in the catalogue, may be found in a moment; which method is of singular use to the reader.

In the whole are contained near one hundred several MS. pieces that were never printed, all or most of them on the King's behalf, which no man durst then venture to publish without endangering his ruine. But the peruser now may, by them, be let into the knowledge of many ocs currences in those times, which have passed hitherto unobserved.

This collection was so privately carried on, that it was never known that there was such a

* Sic.

design in hand; the collector designing them only for His Majesties use that then was : His Majesty having occasion for a pamphlet, could no where compass the sight of it but from him, which His Majesty having perused, was very well pleased with the design, and commanded a person of honour to restore it with his own hands, and withal, expressed his desire of having the collection continued. This was the great encouragement to the undertaker, who had otherwise desisted prosecuting so difficult and chargeable a work, which lay a heavy burden upon himself and his servants for above twenty years.

To prevent the discovery of them, when the army was northwards, he packed them up in several trunks, and by one or two in a week, sent them to a trusty friend in Surry, who safely preserved them; and when the army was westward, and fearing their return that way, they were sent to London again, but the Collector durst not keep them, but sent them into Essex, and so according as they lay near danger, still by timely removing them, at a great charge, secured them, but continued perfecting the work.

And for a farther security to them, there was a bargain pretended to be made with the University of Oxford, and a receipt of a thousand pounds, given and acknowledged to be in part for them, that if the Usurper had found them out, the University should claim them, who had


greater power to struggle for them than a private man.

All these shifts have been made, and difficulțies encountered to keep the collection from being embezeld and destroyed; which, with the great charges of collecting and binding them, cost the undertaker so much, that he refused four thousand pounds for them in his life time, supposing that sųın not sufficient to reimburse

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That what is asserted in the above paper, uş far as relates to the University of Oxford, is true, appears evident, from a letter from Barlow, Bishop of Lincoln, the original of which, is preserved in the Museum,

Barlow was keeper of the Bodleian Library, from which situation he was removed to the Sec of Lincoln. He was a friend of the


who collected these Tracts, to whom he addresses the following letter:

My Reverend Friend,

I am about to leave Oxford (my dear mother) and that excellent and costly col: lection of bookes which have so long beene in my hands: now I entreat you, either to remove them, or speake to my successor that they may continue there till you can otherwise conveniently dispose of them. Had I money to my minde I would be your chapman for them, but the col


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