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Senate House Library

Graveley Parish Library

The Collection 

Subject: Theology 

This is the eighteenth-century library of the parish of Graveley, near Ely in Cambridgeshire, and is an excellent example of a moderately large parish library. It consists of approximately 1,150 volumes (rather more titles) published chiefly in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Most are in English, with some in Latin and French. Contents include some 23 STC items, 242 Wing items, eleven sixteenth-century continental books and 99 seventeenth-century continental books. The main subject is Anglican theology, with contents including nineteen volumes of separately published sermons. A significant minority were printed by Henry Hills ‘for the benefit of the poor’. All the prominent Anglican divines are present: for example, William Sherlock, Edward Stillingfleet, John Tillotson and Thomas Barlow from the seventeenth century; William Whiston, Benjamin Hoadly, Henry Sacheverell from the eighteenth. Many lesser lights join them. After theology come history and politics, particularly church history. There are also books on law, travels, antiquities, classics, dictionaries and grammars, science and medicine, including Newton’s Optice (1706), and a run of the Gentleman’s Magazine, 1733-64.  

Most books are bound in contemporary calf, much of it identifiable as having been bound in Oxford or Cambridge. Specific binding features includes books without pastedowns, and books with authors or titles inked on the fore-edge. The books are mainly the collection of Henry Trotter (d. 1766), a member of Jesus College, Cambridge and rector of Graveley Parish; Trotter bequeathed the library to his successors for the use of the neighbouring clergy. Some bear the inscription of Thomas Hawes of Emmanuel College, Cambridge (fl. 1679-1705) or other former owners. There are a few later additions. Jesus College, Cambridge (patron of the living) deposited the collection in 1960.


Catalogued online. For an overview, do a mixed classmark search on [Graveley]. English imprints to the year 1700 and all foreign imprints have been fully catalogued. Records have been imported from the ESTC for 18th-century English imprints; these books were catalogued from cards, do not include full subject headings or any copy-specific information, and do not conform entirely to standard cataloguing conventions. 

The text of other copies of most titles is available digitally via EEBO or ECCO. A few items from the Graveley Parish Library have been digitised for ECCO. 

Related material 

Further reading 

Perkin, Michael (ed.), A Directory of the Parochial Libraries of the Church of England and the Church in Wales, rev. edn. (London, 2004), p. 219.