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2002 articles 1996 articles

The reconstruction of a burnt Cottonian manuscript: the case of Cotton Ms. Otho A. I

Simon Keynes

Abstract

THE manuscript designated 'Otho A. F in the library formed by Sir Robert Cotton (1571-1631) was almost completely destroyed by fire in the early hours of Saturday 23 October 1731. The Cottonian Library, and with it the King's Library, had been removed from Cotton House, in Westminster, to Essex House, in the Strand, in 1722, and had remained there for the duration of a seven-year lease; but latterly the landlord at Essex House had begun to agitate for payment of his rent, prompting the officers of the Board of Works, on 11 December 1729, humbly to acquaint the Lords Commissioners of His Majesty's Treasury ' that we have heard of a House in Westminster by its situation much more safe from fire & more commodious in all other respects belonging to Lord Ashburnham who is willing to let it to his Majesty'.

The reconstruction of a burnt Cottonian manuscript: the case of Cotton Ms. Otho A. I (PDF format), 33.4MB

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