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THE following letter reveals what is not generally known, that a great part of the additions and corrections in the second edition of Wood's Athenæ Oxonienses were supplied by Dr. Tanner, the learned author of the Notitia Monastica.
It is copied from Archbishop Wake's manuscripts in the library of Christ Church, Oxford. See the Cracherode Copy in the library of the British Museum.
Febr. 22, 1719. May it please your Grace,
To accept of my most humble thanks for the hopes you are pleased to give me of helping my brother, when consistent with your former engagements. I must leave the manner to your Grace's pleasure; what I represented in my last, I thought the better of, because I would not press for greater, and if it could be brought about, would settle him in a competency to mine and his liking, with no mighty expense of preferment.
I verily believe your Grace is misinformed that the new edition of Mr. Wood's Athena Oxon. will have all the ill natured reflections which Mr. Harrington and other friends persuaded him to leave out in the first. For those truths (as he used to call some secret histories) were, I dare say, long since destroyed. I assure your Grace, that I never saw them among the papers which pass'd thro’ my hands after his death. Mr. Bennet having only the benefit of the first impression, the right of the copy came to Mr. Wood's neices and executrix's, who sold their interest in the same to Mr. Tonson some years since. He has talk'd a great while of reprinting this work; and sent several messages and letters to me, about the mss. additions which were bequeathed to me under some sort of confidence of having them publish'd one time or other. I have been backward enough in that affair, but Mr. Archd. Eachard being here last year prevailed upon me to comply with Mr. Tonson, and to improve his intended new edition with the papers which were design’d by A. Wood for a third volume. I would not suffer the bookseller to make use of my name as Editor, for some, I thought, good reasons; and obliged him to consent to the omitting or softning any hard expression or character I should think fit; so that, tho' I shan't care for answering for all things which will in haste pass; yet your Grace may depend upon it, that what goes out of my hands for the press, will not be worse than what was publish'd in his life time. I don't know
that there is any t'ing to lie inserted from other people. For my own part, I have all along declared, that I would not be so far a partaker in any other mans's guilt, as to send abroad into the world and hand down to posterity any thing contrary to od manners and religion; and which the Author in a good mind and upon better information would have himself altered.
On the other hand, there will be now publish'd many corrections and improvements to the old lives and writings; many additional accounts of writers before 1690, which Mr. W. found out since to bave been of our University; the Lives of all Oxford writers from 1690, where the qd printed volume ends, to 1695, when the old gent" died; and memoirs of all those persons who were then alive and had publish d any thing, ranged under their several colleges and halls.
As for a continuation, it can be expected from nobody that has been so long absent and lives at that distance from Oxford that I do. I did do a little, while I staid there, with this view, but not worth owning; so there will be nothing (except the title of a book now & then) but what is in Mr. W.'s own (but to your Grace I may confess there will not be quite all.) For as Lrould not have the world deprived of the usefull parts of my old friends pains, so I would mot be instrumental in aspersing the memories
other men. This is my intention : if any things thro inadvertence or otherwise escape, which should be untrue or unjust, it would be a grief to,
My good Lord,
AMONG many obligations which I owe to Mr. Chalmers for many valuable hints in the progress of this work, the following communication is certainly not one of the least which his kindness has conferred.
We have already, in a former part of this work, laid before the reader, Archbishop Parker's Catechism, of the year 1548, when the dawn of Reformation was fast approaching, in England. We now submit to the reader, as an useful Supplement, some account of the Catechism of Archbishop Hamilton, of the year 1552, when the reformation was advancing with hasty steps in Scotland. The origin of this curious book
may be traced to a provincial Synod of the Clergy which assembled at Edinburgh on the 26th of January, 1551-2, when an order was made for publishing a Catechism in the mother tongue; to contain a short explanation of the Commands, the Belief, and Lord's Prayer; and to enjoin the Curates to read a part thereof every Sunday and Holiday to the people. Archbishop Hamilton undertook this useful work. He seems to have induced some of the ablest of his clergy to compile this Treatise. And he certainly transplanted John Scott, the printer, from London