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The 'Merton' and 'Dowden' Manuscripts relating to John Donne


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The 'Merton' and 'Dowden' manuscripts of the sermons of John Donne, used by G.R. Potter and E.M. Simpson in The sermons of John Donne (10 vols., Berkeley & Los Angeles, 1953-62), and the 'Dowden' manuscript of Donne's poems, used by Sir Herbert Grierson in The poems of John Donne (2 vols., Oxford, 1912) and by Dame Helen Gardner in The divine poems (2nd ed., Oxford, 1978).


  • Creation: Early 17th century


0.33 Linear metres (3 boxes)

Language of Materials

  • English

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MS. Eng. th. c. 71, fols. 1-2].

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Full range of shelfmarks:

MSS. Eng. th. c. 71, e. 102; Eng. poet. e. 99

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 9037, 9038, 9039


The 'Merton' and 'Dowden' Manuscripts relating to John Donne

Biographical / Historical

See the Dictionary of National Biography for information on Edward Dowden.

Custodial History

The 'Merton' MS. was owned by a H.F. during the 17th century; in the 19th century the MS. appears to have been the property of Mr. J.P. Collier, whose address is inscribed inside the upper cover.

The first 'Dowden' MS., MS. Eng. th. e. 102, was given by [William] Gregg of Ilkeston Park to ?J.W., [possibly John Wylson, rector of Ilkeston, Derbs.], 29 May 1683. Both Dowden MSS. were later owned by Edward Dowden. All three MSS were subsequently owned by Wilfred Merton.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Given to the Library in 1960.

The 'Merton' and 'Dowden' Manuscripts relating to John Donne
Collection Level Description by Susan Thomas; EAD version 2019 by Pauline Soum-Paris
EAD version 2019
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom