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A book inscribed on the cover 'Divisions for the Bass Violl, Decemb. 3d. Anno Domini 1687'

 Single Item
MS. Mus. Sch. c. 61 (Former reference: Music School B. 6. 39)

  • Request

Besides divisions, the book contains sonatas and musical examples used in teaching written in score by Francis Withy, 1688-1697. The main and ascribed or titled items are:

  1. (p. 1) [E. Withy]. Bass viol exercises. [In the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, MU. MS. 647, p. 1, 'Mr Wythy's Trumpet Tune'].
  2. (pp. 2-3) 'Mr. R.' Divisions on a ground for bass viol, 'May 2 [16]88'.
  3. (p. 4) Henry Purcell. Opening bars of the air on a ground bass 'What makes the spring', from the Elegy upon the Death of Mr. Thomas Farmer [c 1690], [Z. 473/2].
  4. (p. 4_ 'J: Ban: Bow:' [13 bars of a treble part. By Banister?].
  5. (p. 5) Daniel Purcell. Minuet in C for 2 trebles and bass, and other fragments.
  6. (pp. 6-7) Peter Young. [Divisions for bass on Polewheele's Ground].
  7. (pp. 8-9) 'F.W.' [Francis Withy]. Divisions for bass in G minor [VdGS 1].
  8. (pp. 10-11) [Francis Withy]. Divisions for bass in G minor [VdGS 2].
  9. (pp. 14-15) 'F.W' [Francis Withy]. Divisions for treble in D minor on a ground [VdGS 4]. Incomplete.
  10. (pp. 16-17) [Nicola Matteis?]. Divisions for treble and bass in D minor on La Folia.
  11. (pp. 18-19) 'N.M.' [Nicola Matteis?]. Divisions for treble and bass in D minor on La Folia. Incomplete.
  12. (pp. 20-21) Divisions for bass in D minor on La Folia [VdGS Anon 31].
  13. (p. 22) 'A Division for a Violin and a Bass to a Ground' in D major [VdGS Anon 97].
  14. (p. 23) 'Sola', 'Slow', for two basses in G major [VdGS Anon 301] and a fragment of a saraband for solo bass viol [VdGS Anon 302].
  15. (p. 24) 'Adagio' and 'Vivace' [for bass in G minor, VdGS Anon 303].
  16. (p. 25) 'H.P.' [Henry Purcell]. Jig, 'And all things in nature are mad' [Z. 257 (really 608), from The Richmond Heiress. (Excerpts)].
  17. (pp. 26, 28-31) 'I am the Duke of Norfolk', ground and divisions for bass viol, and violin, bass viol and continuo [VdGS Anon 84].
  18. (pp. 32-33) 'G.L1' [George Llewellyn]. 'Se Lelicolista', sonata for violin with figured bass.
  19. (pp. 34-37) 'R.K.' [Robert King]. 'Sola', sonatas for treble with figured bass.
  20. (p. 37) 'F.W.' [Francis Withy]. Incomplete divisions for bass viol [VdGS 6].
  21. (p. 38) 'Preludium in Ab3d' [fragment].
  22. (pp. 40-43) 'Sign. Corelli'. Sonata in D major for violin with figured bass [Marx Anh. 34].
  23. (pp. 44-47) Sonata in D major for violin with figured bass.
  24. (pp. 48-49) [G. Finger]. Sonata in B flat major for violin with figured bass [RI 96]. Published as no. 14 in A collection of Musick in Two Parts (London, 1691).
  25. (pp. 50-54) [G. Finger]. Sonata in D major 'for ye Flu[te] in F key. 1st set in F' [for flute with figured bass. Op. 3 no. 8, RI 109].
  26. (p. 88 rev.) 'J.J.' [John Jenkins]. Ayre for two basses, in D minor [VdGS 32].
  27. (p. 88) 'Almand' in A minor [VdGS Anon 295].
  28. (p. 87 rev.) [John Withy]. Air in G minor 'for 2 basses' [VdGS 21], cf. MSS. Mus. Sch. c. 59-60, no. 13.
  29. (p. 86 rev.) Corant for 2 bass viols [VdGS Anon 491].
  30. (p. 86 rev.) '89 Closes'. 9 cadences in G minor for bass viol and continuo. 'C:/S:' at end. The last five were probably copied from examples in C. Simpson's Chelys (1665).
  31. (pp. 85-84 rev.) Examples copied from T. Mace's Musick's Monument (1676), pp. 102-110, 251-253. A note about Mace's book is written inside the back cover.
  32. (pp. 83-82 rev.) 'Dr. B.' [Blow]. Treble air on a ground in G minor [Ground in Gamut flatt], incomplete.
  33. (pp. 81-78 rev.) 'Mr. D.P' [Daniel Purcell]. 'Overture', 'Round O', and 'A March' in C for two trebles and bass. Note in Withy's hand: 'Sent this to Wo[r]c[ester]'.
  34. (pp. 77 rev.) [C. Simpson]. 'For two basses' [Divisions on a ground, VdGS 24]. Incomplete score of MSS. Mus. Sch. c. 59-60, no. 32.
  35. (pp. 73-64 rev.) 'H.P.' [Henry Purcell]. My song shall be alway [Z. 31]. [Copied] '9 Sep [16]90'.
  36. (pp. 63-60 rev.) 'H.P.' [Henry Purcell]. Fly swift ye hours [Z. 369].
  37. (pp. 59-58 rev.) 'Seg. Bap' [Lully]. Piece for two trebles on a varied ground [LWV 76/3]. Probably by Withy.
  38. (p. 58 rev.) 'F.W.' [Francis Withy]. Canon à 3 in C.
  39. (p. 57 rev.) 'Mr. Arnald a Denmark Gen[tleman], July 30 [16]92'. Variations on a ground.
  40. (pp. 57-56 rev.) [G. Finger]: 'By G. F.'. Divisions on a ground in G minor [RI 140].


  • Creation: 1688-1697


92 pages

Language of Materials

  • English
  • Latin

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MS. Mus. Sch. c. 61, pp. 1-2].

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MS. Mus. Sch. c. 61 (Former reference: Music School B. 6. 39)

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 17294


Divisions, sonatas and musical examples used for teaching, written in score by Francis Withy, 1688-1697.

Biographical / Historical

Francis Withy (c 1645-1727) was a cathedral singer, string player, music copyist, teacher and composer. See Grove Music Online for further details.

Other Finding Aids

Robert Hake, [Catalogue of the Music School Collection], c 1850-1855. No. XXXV.

Falconer Madan, et al., A summary catalogue of western manuscripts in the Bodleian Library at Oxford which have not hitherto been catalogued in the Quarto series (7 vols. in 8 [vol. II in 2 parts], Oxford, 1895-1953; reprinted, with corrections in vols. I and VII, Munich, 1980), vol. V, no. 26426.

RISM 800262818

Custodial History

This item is part of the Music School collection of printed and manuscript music, which was originally bequeathed to the University of Oxford by William Heather (c 1563-1627), and gradually added to until the end of the 18th century. The present item is inscribed to Francis Withy: 'The gift his loving Scholler Hen[ry] Knight A:B: è Coll. Wadh. [Wadham College] A:D: 1687 Decemb[er] 4th. Nat. Octob[er] 24th 1662' (p. i). Inscribed 'A. Bassoon' on p. ii. 'Mr. Tho. Mace's book, 1676' inside back cover. Various other inscriptions from the 1690s on back flyleaf.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was transferred to the Bodleian in 1885.


  • Ashbee, Thompson and Wainwright, The Viola da Gamba Society Index of manuscripts containing consort music (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2001-2008) [and online (VdGS)], vol. 2, pp. 138-143.
  • Robert G. Rawson, From Olomouc to London: the early music of Gottfried Finger (c 1655-1730)PhD dissertation, Royal Holloway, University of London, 2002 [RI], p. 367.
  • Robert Shay and Robert Thompson, Purcell manuscripts: the principal musical sources (Cambridge University Press, 2000)

Physical Facet

ii + 90 pages. Formerly 4 quires of 12 plus end papers. Watermark, Fools' Cap, somewhat resembling Heawood 2002, countermark P T; two sheets have coat of Arms resembling Heawood 350, initials GG. Ruling uniform, 12 staves to a page with red marginal ruling at both edges. White vellum binding.


Upright folio

A book inscribed on the cover 'Divisions for the Bass Violl, Decemb. 3d. Anno Domini 1687'
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