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Legacy Library: Massachusetts Bay Colony

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Commentarius in libros Regum: quos vulgo duos priores Regum nominant : in quo distincte ordine proponuntur: I. Analysis logica singulorum capitum II. Scholia III. Observationes locorum communium by Johannes Piscator

An arrovv against idolatrie Taken out of the quiver of the Lord of hosts by Henry Ainsworth

Moses vnuailed: or, Those figures which serued vnto the patterne and shaddow of heauenly things, pointing out the Messiah Christ Iesus, briefly explained Wherevnto is added the harmonie of all the prophets, breathing with one mouth, the mystery of his comming, and of that redemption which by his death he was to accomplish.... by William Guild

In diuinam ad Romanos S. Pauli Apostoli epistolam commentarivs quo praeter accuratam textus sacri analysin atque interpretationem, de quaestionibus controversis dubia CLXXIX. explicantur, & antiqua Romanorum fides adversus nunc-Romanistarum opiniones, praecipuè Roberti Bellarmini Jesuitae argutias, & Thomae Stapletoni antidota : nec non Socini, Enjedini, & Ostorodii haereticorum Samosatenianorum blasphemias vindicatur ... : cum indice gemino, uno dubiorum, altero verborum & rerum locupletissimo by David Pareus

Popish glorying in antiquitie turned to their shame Where-by is showne, how that where-vnto they pretend to carrie greatest reverence, they wrong, vilifie, and disgrace; and are most guiltie of that which they vpbrayde to others. Collected and proven out of themselues, for the singular profit both of pastors and professors by William Guild

The rasing of the foundations of Brovvnisme Wherein, against all the writings of the principall masters of that sect, those chiefe conclusions in the next page, are, (amongst sundry other matters, worthie the readers knowledge) purposely handled, and soundely prooued. Also their contrarie arguments and obiections deliberately examined, and clearly refelled by the word of God by Stephen Bredwell

The pourtraiture of the image of God in man In his three estates, of creation. Restauration. Glorification. Digested into two parts. ... by John Weemes

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Member: MassBayColony

CollectionsYour library (61)


TagsReligion (54), Biblical Commentary (31), Conduct Books (6), Languages (5), Brownism (3), Prayer (3), Grammar (3), Catholicism (2), Dictionaries (2), Bibles (2) — see all tags

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About meThis library was sent along with the 400 Massachusetts Bay Colony settlers who left England in April, 1629 and settled at Salem.

About my libraryThe books in this collection, documented in the records of the Massachusetts Bay Company, were given in part by Company "adventurer" (investor) William Backhouse (~1593-1662), described as a "renowned chymist, Rosicrucian, and a great encourager of those that studied chymistry and astrology, especially Elias Ashmole, whom he adopted as his son." The remainder of the books were purchased by Rev. Samuel Skelton (1593-1634), a minister who came with the fleet to Salem and preached there until his death.

The eight books given by Backhouse are not listed with a monetary value, but the 54 purchased by Skelton are assigned prices. The individual prices are noted in Comments for each book; in total they come to £3-3-6 for the first section; £3-15 for the second; and £3-10-4 for the third.

The books are believed to have been shipped aboard the George Bonaventure and housed in John Endicott's house at Salem. George Littlefield then speculated that they would have been removed to John Winthrop's house at Charlestown when he took over as governor, and eventually moved to the Town House at Boston. Littlefield surmised that the books were destroyed in the 1711 fire. He believed that this library was that referred to in a 1638 report by Rev. Edmund Browne to an English patron, but Browne is probably discussing the college library at Harvard instead, as Jesse Hauk Shera notes in his Foundations of the Public Library.

Given their religious nature these books, at least those purchased by Skelton, were almost certainly designed for church use. The extra catechisms ("2 dussen & ten") may have been intended for use in Indian conversions or for circulation among the colonists. Unfortunately the records are unclear; we will never know how or if this library was put to use, or its ultimate disposition.

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Questions? Comments? Concerns? Please contact Libraries of Early America coordinator Jeremy Dibbell.

GroupsLibraries of Early America

Real nameMassachusetts Bay Colony


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Account typepublic, lifetime

URLs /profile/MassBayColony (profile)
/catalog/MassBayColony (library)

Member sinceJan 22, 2010

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