1414: John Neuton and the Re-Foundation of York Minster Library

The Matthew Benefaction

In 1628 Frances Matthew gave to York Minster the library of her husband, Archbishop Tobie Matthew, who had died earlier that year. With some 3,000 volumes, it was one of the largest private libraries in England at the time and the most significant gift of books received by the Minster since Neuton's bequest. Frances' donation appears to have been part of a wider attempt by her husband's friends and colleagues to provide a working library for northern clerics. It turned the Minster Library into a centre of learning in the north and one of the most important cathedral libraries in England. The size of the donation meant that new shelving and a reorganization of the collection was needed.

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