Beinecke Osborn fc124

Title Untitled
Archive Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Call Number Beinecke Osborn fc124
Complete Yes

Mary Harris Cornwallis, ca. 1790–1820.

Approximately 108 poems.

Many occasional poems by the compiler and her family; this manuscript is also packed with print insertions, many of which are (prose) news items about the deaths of royals.

Format Folio
Book Size 32.2cm x 20.5cm
Filled Page Count 155
Item Count 147
Poem Count 108
First Line Index Yes
Digitized No
Additional Genres Prose - anecdote; Prose - news
Print Sources
Major Themes

Major themes prominent among the manuscript contents in alphabetical order.

Minor Themes

Other themes of interest among the manuscript contents in alphabetical order.


Beinecke Osborn fc124.” Manuscript Verse Miscellanies, 1700–1820, edited by Betty A. Schellenberg, Simon Fraser University, Accessed .

Created 2019-09-04 1:13:44 PM
Updated 2024-03-15 6:37:03 PM
First Line Context
Stop, passenger! until my life you read

p. 78

Local title: Curious Epitaph at Dalkeith, Edinburghshire, Scotland. To the Memory of Margaret Scot, who died 1788.

Attributed author: n/a

Adaptation: n/a

Other variants: First line: "Stop, passenger, until my life you read..."

Other: This is a print insert but the source publication is not specified.

Feature Note
Author attributions

Occasional; many original poems are attributed to Mary Cornwallis and her family, but many attributions are also scratched out by the compiler or neglected entirely.


Pre-bound paperbook. Signs of print and manuscript inserts, as well as uneven pagination and excised pages.

Full parchment. 

Decorations - hand-drawn

Pasted on the first flyleaf: two watecolor drawings of birds, signed Q.H. Pasted inside back cover: two watercolor drawings of birds, drawn by "John Harris, aged 14, 1822."

The volume also contains many drawings, including a detailed pencil drawing of a peacock, chicken, and turkey; a pen sketch of Duns Scotus accompanied by a humorous poem; and a small series of colored sketches labeled "Drawn by Caroline when a little girl on hearing a conversation upon the powers of the absorbent vessels in the human frame."

Decorations - printed

p. 2 three strips of colored braided paper.



Indications of use

p. 1 note next to the bird drawings: “These were the occupations of dear Quarles Harris during a long & suffering illness, which carried him to the grave at the age of fourteen— 1817—"

Clear editorial notes, i.e. not a clean copy (e.g., p. 3, 15, 55, 68, 86, etc.)

Some of the print inserts seem to be covering up text (e.g., p. 4, 7, 8, 54, etc.)

Miscellaneous additions, e.g., p. 41 pencil drawing of a house’s layout; p. 54 scrap of what appears to be a journal entry; p. 89 a letter (with the mark of a red seal) pasted-in.

Family book—contains poetry and drawings by a number of the compiler's children.

Item formatting

No standard lines after titles or between items; no stanza numbers. Items are back-to-back if not pasted on top of each other.


The manuscript begins and ends with two bird drawings by Quarles Harris.

Original poetry

Yes; plenty of original poetry by Mary Cornwallis and her family, largely occasional (more specifically, birthdays).

Ownership mark

Items attributed to Mary Cornwallis, a few annotations towards the end of the manuscript initialed "MC."

Page layout

No rules, very crowded pages. Items are often on-top of each other.

Paginated, but only up to about p. 126, and up to p. 126 the pagination is irregular and often inconsistent, perhaps because of excisions.

Printed items

Many newspaper clippings have been pasted into the volume. Most of the clippings are of poetry; other items include epitaphs; notices of the death of Princess Charlotte; and news of the royal family.