LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

The Life of William Roscoe
Chapter XIII. 1812-1815
Sir James Edward Smith to William Roscoe, [3 October 1814]

Vol I. Contents
Chapter I. 1753-1781
Chapter II. 1781-1787
Chapter III. 1787-1792
Chapter IV. 1788-1796
Chapter V. 1795
Chapter VI. 1796-1799
Chapter VII. 1799-1805
Chapter IX. 1806-1807
Chapter X. 1808
Chapter XI. 1809-1810
Vol II. Contents
Chapter XII. 1811-1812
Chapter XIII. 1812-1815
Chapter XIV. 1816
Chapter XV. 1817-1818
Chapter XVI. 1819
Chapter XVII. 1820-1823
Chapter XVIII. 1824
Chapter XIX. 1825-1827
Chapter XX. 1827-1831
Chapter XXI.
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“I had intended,” says Sir James Smith (October 3. 1814), “writing to you a few days since, but many things have prevented me. I hope I am still time enough for the main purpose of my letter, which is to make another attempt, at the desire of Mr. Coke, to induce you to visit Holkham. We have spent a delightful fortnight there lately, and two hours almost every day were devoted to an examination of the manuscripts. I am going there on Monday with our good bishop, for a few days, for the express purpose of looking further into these treasures, and if you would join us, you would complete the joy of the whole party.

“I must tell you a part of our discoveries: besides beautifully illuminated MSS. on vellum of many of the Latin classics, a most exquisite Boccacio, a very fine and old Dante, a Chronique d’Henault, in two immense folios, richly illuminated, and other valuable things of that kind, there is a very valuable collection of historical Italian MSS., fairly copied at Florence, Venice, &c, for Lord Leicester; and there are partial or local chronicles, memoirs, &c., very curious. Amongst others is a complete copy of Burchard’s Diary. This delectable treasure will surely tempt you of itself. I think you know nothing of it but what Gordon has printed:—am I right in this?”


There is one original monastic chronicle itself of the date of 1300 or 1400. There are also many things which we want you to tell us the value of. The printed books are inestimable in value and number.”