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PREFACE

TO THE

FIRST EDITION OF THE CATALOGUE.

THE Trustees of the late Lord Crewe's Estates are not willing that a Catalogue of the extensive and valuable Library, now deposited in Bamburgh Castle, should be made public without some account being prefixed of the manner in which they became possessed of it.

In the year 1778 the then Trustees laid the first foundation, by the purchase of the entire collection of the Rev. Thomas Sharp, Curate of Bamburgh, then lately deceased, and were thus enabled to offer to the neighbourhood, and particularly to the Clergy, the use of a considerable number of excellent books in all branches of literature. This purchase was made at an expense of £360, and a Librarian was afterwards appointed, as well for the care of the books as to attend to such applications as might be made for them. Some additions were occasionally made in subsequent years by the late Rev. Dr. John Sharp; but it was not till after his death, which happened April 28, 1792, that the Trust acquired the largest and most valuable part of this literary treasure, in virtue of those clauses in his last will and testament which are subjoined to this preface.

In this munificent donation is comprehended the most

valuable part of the library of Dr. John Sharp, Archbishop of York, a prelate whose learning and integrity can be unknown to those only who are strangers to the history of this Church and Nation. It was formed in the latter end of the last and the beginning of this century; and besides a very comprehensive collection of the most esteemed works in Theology and Ecclesiastical History, the best Editions of all the Classic Authors, and of our own Historians, contains a very curious assemblage of Tracts and Pamphlets, chiefly historical and controversial, during a period of more than thirty years. On the death of the Archbishop, which happened at Bath on the 2nd February, 1714, the principal part of his Library descended to his son Dr. Thomas Sharp, Prebendary of Durham, and at his decease, in 1758, to his grandson the late Dr. John Sharp, during which succession it was from time to time enriched by valuable additions.

The preceding narrative contains all the information which the Trustees have to give concerning the Library at Bamburgh Castle. They cannot, however, omit such an opportunity as is here offered to them of testifying their additional obligations to its most excellent Donor. With little assistance from the Trust, in comparison with the large sums, which from the year 1758 to his death he constantly expended from his own purse, he restored the great Tower from a state of ruin, and converted it into a comfortable and convenient mansion for himself and his successors : and that it might never want a sufficient fund for future reparation, he purchased, in his lifetime, lands in the neighbourhood to the amount of £365 158., yielding an annual rent of £17 188. 6d., and at his death bequeathed the sum of £895 118. 9d. to be vested in land or other securities, and directed the rents and interest to be applied to such repairs. He also made ample provision for the occasional residence of the Trustees by a further bequest to them of all the Furniture in the great Tower.

Extracts from Dr. SHARP's Will respecting some of the Bequests

to Lord Crewe's Trustees, 80 far as they relate to his Library, dated 17th April, 1792:

Also, I give to my dear Wife any English Books to the number of one hundred that she shall chuse out of my Library.

“I likewise give and bequeath to the Trustees of Nathanael late Lord Crewe, all my Books in my Library at Hartburn; and in my house at Durham (except as before and hereinafter excepted), which contain the most valuable part of my Grandfather's Collection, to be kept in Bamburgh Castle.

“As also all my Music Books which shall be found at Hartburn and Durham at the time of my Decease.”

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