Beinecke Osborn c481

Title Select and Miscellaneous Poems, Scraps, Mottos &c.
Archive Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Call Number Beinecke Osborn c481
Complete Yes

John Freeman Milward Dovaston, 1773 and later.

Separate title page at the end for Odes by Thomas Gray.

75 poems, many original. 

A mix of English and Latin poems and mottos with a particular interest in classical figures and religious belief.

Book Size 19cm x 12cm
Filled Page Count 308 pages
Item Count 117
Poem Count 75
First Line Index Yes
Digitized No
Additional Genres Prose arguments; Prose - miscellaneous
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 c481.” Manuscript Verse Miscellanies, 1700–1820, edited by Betty A. Schellenberg, Simon Fraser University, Accessed .

Created 2021-05-25 3:15:09 PM
Updated 2023-07-19 4:45:21 PM
First Line Context
The Curfew tolls the Knell of parting Day

p. 47

Local title: Elegy written in a country churchyard.

Attributed author: n/a

Adaptation: n/a

Other variants: n/a

Other: n/a

Thou who dost all my worldly Thoughts employ

p. 271

Local title: Letter from a lady at Bath.

Attributed author: n/a

Adaptation: n/a

Other variants: First line: "Thou who dost all my Earthly thoughts Employ..."

Other: Incomplete.

Underneath this sable hearse

p. 53

Local title: Epitaph on Sir Henry Sidney's lady who died Sepr. 25th 1621 buried in Salisbury church.

Attributed author: n/a

Adaptation: n/a

Other variants: n/a

Other: n/a

Feature Note
Author attributions



No notes on binding.


Yes, frequent.

Decorations - hand-drawn

Pencil drawings: [first page] emblem with a ship; [opposite title page] cornucopia; [title page] lyre; [second title page] Strawberry Hill.



Indications of use

The drawing of the ship on the (first) title page is annotated: “On a Voyage in the above Ship [“Ship, Wo Fortmans; Robt. Mertin Commander”] from Jamaica to England, The Above Drawing was made by John Dovaston in the Ship Frydan May 13th. 1774 See My Journal, of that Voyage.”

Lengthy annotations and footnotes imply an assumed readership.

Annotations in a diff (faded red) ink pp. 289–291.

Item formatting

Lines between items. Dashes between shorter items (like mottos) that have been grouped together and some longer poems with numbered stanzas.

Titles are the same size as the body of the text with no underline, though normally at the top of the page or separated from the previous poem by a line.



Some informal thematic groupings, e.g., pp. ~241–265 religious material.

Original poetry

Yes, many poems original to the compiler. See page 72 for a long note on his paraphrasing the book of Job.

A lot of the other poems inspire FLI results, but only from the ESTC, which is an interesting testament to the uniqueness of this manuscript's selections.

Ownership mark

Prose letters (pp. 279–289) are signed by Jno Dovaston, as is the first title page; the drawing on the second title page is also signed by the compiler. 

Page layout


Not overcrowded, but most pages are full.

Table of Contents

Yes, at the end, though it is followed by a few more items and the Odes by Thomas Gray.

Title page

Yes, two: one at the beginning decorated with a pencil-drawing of a ship, and one at the end specifically for Odes by Thomas Gray decorated with a pencil-drawing of Strawberry Hill.