Leeds Brotherton Lt 53

Title Untitled
Archive Brotherton Library
Call Number Leeds Brotherton Lt 53
Complete Yes

Benjamin Coles, 1740–1741.

This manuscript is entirely devoted to poetry, whereas Lt 24, by the same compiler, is a more mixed book. This book was intended as a gift to his brother.

40 items. 

Largely religious and/or Latin poetry.

Book Size
Filled Page Count 156 pages
Item Count 40
Poem Count 32
First Line Index Yes
Digitized Yes
Additional Genres Prose arguments, Prose biography, Prose letters, Prose prayer
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.


Leeds Brotherton Lt 53.” Manuscript Verse Miscellanies, 1700–1820, edited by Betty A. Schellenberg, Simon Fraser University, https://mvm.dhil.lib.sfu.ca/manuscript/300. Accessed .

Created 2019-09-04 1:13:45 PM
Updated 2023-07-25 11:38:28 AM
First Line Context
If you by Theft, this Book should take

p. 11.

Local title: On this. Mss. to the Courteous Reader.

Attributed author: Benjamin Coles. At Great Forster's near Egham. in Surry. 

Adaptation: n/a

Other variants: n/a

Other: Attributed date: 23d. Janry. 1740/1.

Say, Mighty Love, and teach my Song

ff. 39–40r.

Local title: The happy Pair.

Attributed author: n/a

Adaptation: n/a

Other variants: n/a

Other: n/a

Feature Note
Author attributions

Rare; though he frequently implies his own authorship, almost no other authors are ever attributed. 


Pre-bound from two paperbooks. Subsequently rebound after compilation. Writing never goes into the spine, and there are no blanks; in a note to his brother [p. 71], Coles writes “I cannot go on wth it, for want of another Book; wch I hope you will be so good as to send.”

Limp green sheepskin.





Indications of use

Intended as a gift for his brother, p. 71 : “Dear Bror./ According to my Promise, I have now Psented you wth the first Part of my Life; I have had a great Deal of Pleasure in Writing of it thus far, & that you may have some in reading it, is the sincere Desire of him who is/ yr. most affectiont.”

The dates of the Foster brothers’ ownership of the book (1780—only 39 years later) suggest his brother did not have the book for long, or it never reached him. p. 54 was seemingly left blank and filled-in in pencil with random letters and phrases by the Foster men (the bottom of the page says “Foster/ Thulston/ Derbyshire.”)

The above note to his brother also contrasts with the metapoem on p. 11 which threatens death to anyone who steals the book. This seems like an odd poem to put into a gift-book.

Latin/ English religious notes on inside front-cover and front-flyleaf.

Item formatting

A signature and date after most items (not just the original poetry).

Frequent use of decorative crosses on either side of titles and dates eg. pp. 81–82.

If an item fills more than one page, the title is often written at the top of each page it occupies.

Frequently includes date of copying at the end of the poem eg. p. 72.

Original poetry

Yes, at least seven poems (pp. 8–9, 11, 15–22, 27–31, 32–35, 51–53, and 54–56).

Ownership mark

Frequent Benjamin Coles ownership marks throughout (as in Lt 24), frequently accompanied by a decorative mark.

Autobiographical account on pp. 1–47. Also p. [2] at the beginning seems to be a latin epitaph for himself.

Ownership marks/ signatures of Joseph and Pal[?] Foster, Trunsley 1780 on p. 53. “Pal[?] Foster Trusley Derbyshire Jos. Foster Thulston Derbyshire 1787” written on the inside back-cover.

Page layout

Paginated (pp. 1–82, then pagination begins again for the biographical section, pp. 1–47, and continues past that section, pp. 48–70, to the end of the manuscript, excluding the flyleaf). (Pages 51–52 of the second section are missing, likely torn out, not a pagination error, because p. 53 continues an item not on p. 50).

Thick, decorative striped borders on pp. 57–58b.

Table of Contents

Yes, at the front of manuscript. Includes both the miscellany and biographical sections.