Clark MS 1986.003

Title Negotiolum bellae.
Archive Clark Library
Call Number Clark MS 1986.003
Complete Yes

Catherine Springett (with contributions by her daughter and granddaughter, Mary Boys and Mary Sankey), ca. 1742–1749.

149 poems.

Quite a few enigmas, riddles, but mostly poems, almost all contemporary. Seemingly indicative of a coterie with original poetry by "T.T." and other friends.

Book Size 20cm x 15.6cm
Filled Page Count 207 pages
Item Count 150
Poem Count 149
First Line Index No
Digitized Yes
Additional Genres Prose
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.


Clark MS 1986.003.” Manuscript Verse Miscellanies, 1700–1820, edited by Betty A. Schellenberg, Simon Fraser University, Accessed .

Created 2019-09-04 1:13:44 PM
Updated 2023-07-20 3:56:34 PM
Contributor Role
Mary Harvey Boys
  • Owner

    Transferred to her by her mother, the compiler. 

Mary Boys Sankey
  • Owner

    Transferred to her by her mother, Mary Boys.

    Likely the author of the pencil annotations. 

Catherine Springett
First Line Context
Blest be the Man! his Memory at least

pp. 169–172

Local title: To A Friend In Praise Of The Invention of Writing Letters.

Attributed author: n/a

Adaptation: n/a

Other variants: n/a

Other: n/a

Lock'd in the arms of balmy sleep

pp. 199–203.

Local title: A Sacred Lyric. Wrote on being waked in the Night of Febry ye 3d 1749, by a violent Storm of Thunder and Lightning.

Attributed author: n/a

Adaptation: n/a

Other variants: n/a

Other: n/a

Oh, spotless paper, fair and white!

pp. 74–75

Local title: A Young Lady of 12 years of age having promised her Brother who was making his exersise[sic] to write him some verses if he would tell her what to write upon what replied he smartly but upon paper, her answer and performance wear as follows.

Attributed author: n/a

Adaptation: n/a

Other variations: n/a

Other: n/a

Feature Note
Author attributions

Regular; author or source identified regularly, though not always correctly.


Mottled calf.

"Negotiolum Bellæ" on spine. 

Latin motto on an engraved plate on front inside cover. 


Single, with contributions in other hands.

There is a primary hand throughout the book – these items generally have “Finis” written at the end of them; it is a young, somewhat variable hand, but still distinguishable; there are also multiple contributors of individual or several items.

Indications of use

Loose inserted sheet could be in the hand of daughter or granddaughter.

Annotations of married names and/or relationships to Catherine Springett for some contributors provided in pencil, seemingly by granddaughter, Mary Sankey.

There are also pencilled-in solutions to a number of the riddles/enigmas, suggesting the book was read, and used for entertainment by successive owners.

Item formatting

The primary hand generally writes “Finis” at the end of an item. 

Original poetry

Yes. Those by "T.T." and others, as well. 

Ownership mark

Leather label on front paste-down endpaper: "Albus nunc liber es; studium per virginis acrum cum multi maculis, immaculatus eris. Catherina Springett 1742."

"This book was given to me by Mr. Thomas Mercer in 1742. Cath. Springett." on p. 216.

On p. 4: "Given by Catherine Springett Harv[ey] to her daughter Mary Boys" in one hand, followed by "Transferred from her to Mary Sankey her daughter" in another hand.

Page layout

Paginated (by the compiler; pagination skips from p. 90 to p. 100 with no sign of pages removed, unless it was an entire gathering).