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

Neuton's Library

Neuton's library was one of the largest personal libraries of its time. Its contents indicate that Neuton was up-to-date with scholarship in a range of areas. As well as religious and legal texts, he owned books on history, philosophy, politics, rhetoric, and warfare. His collection included several books produced in Italy, suggesting the possibility that he had been there at some point during his career. In his will, Neuton made major book-bequests to York Minster (35 manuscripts), future descendants of his brother (35 manuscripts), and Peterhouse, Cambridge (16 manuscripts). The Minster books were to 'help in the making of a library', and if the descendants' books were not required they too were to pass to the Minster. Most of the Peterhouse bequest survives in the college library, but only a few of the Minster and descendants' books survive.

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