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Collection of Caroline music, containing religious and secular songs and dialogues, copied over a period of years

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MS. Don. c. 57
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Collection of Caroline music, containing religious and secular songs and dialogues, copied over a period of years

Collection of Caroline music, containing religious and secular songs and dialogues, copied over a period of years
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Collection of Caroline music, containing religious and secular songs and dialogues, copied over a period of years, mid-17th century. Fols. 81v-9 were used in the reign of George I for copies of scurrilous verse and other notes. Between the staves on fols. 2-54 is an index of plants with 'time of sowing and planting', c.1800. Verse in Crum.

A considerable proportion is not found in the printed song books: but a section on Poll. 75-79v appears to have een copied from John Wilson's Cheerful Ayres, 1660, and scattered pieces are found, usually with variants, amongst the books listed by Day and Murrie in English Song-Books, 1651-1702.

The original plan of the manuscript, seen in the arrangement of staves, was for three sections! songs with bass accompaniment, fol1.2-b63 lute music, fol1.87-91v; and songs with lute accompaniment, fol1.92-117v. This plan was not fully carried out: the first section occupies fol1.2-bl!; the second is represented only by a page of 'Stops upon the Theorbo,' arranged by key, fol.91v; the third occupies fol1.92-99. On fol.l is an incomplete list of contents, including fol1.2-66v, which (with fol.67r) were paginated by the original copier.

The songs are listed here with the composers' names in round brackets where they are given in the manuscript, and in square brackets where they are known from other sources. Names of poets appear only exceptionally in the manuscript, and in such cases are given here sivithin inverted commas:

  1. 'Helpe 0 helpe kinde Abraham' (Robert Ramsay), fol1.2-3v; Charon o Charon heare a wretch opprest (Rawsay), fol1.4-5v; 'Woods rocks and Mountaines,' fol.6; Hobson.Dial: 'Charon come hither,' foll.6v-8; The witch of Endor: 'In guilty night' (Ramsay), fol1.8v-10v
  2. Herrick: 'Goe...perjur'd man'(Ramsay), fo1.11; 'Come my 0enone' (Ramsay), fol1.11v-12v and 42v-43; 'Vulcan oh Vulcan' (Ramsay), fol1.12v-13v and 43v-44v; 'Pitty of beauty,' fol.14
  3. 'Chloris sigh'd and sung,' fol.14v; 'Know Lady yt my Life depends,' fol.15; 'Sylly boy wert you but wise, fol.15v; Fletcher 'Weepe no more' (Stephen Mace), fol.16 and 42,reproduced by Fellowes, Songs and Lyrics from...Beaumont and Fletcher, 1928, pp.61-63; 'Since grations Ld if yu withold,' fol.16v; 'Come Vyolle come,' fol.17
  4. 'Loose no time nor yout., fol.17v; 'No say thought,' fol.18, and an unfinished copy, fol. 28; 'Pythagoras tha-rt right,' fol.18v; 'Why should passion lead thee blinde', fol.19; Pletcher: 'Care charming sleepe,' [R.Johnson] fol.19v,reproduced by Fellows, opl,cit.pp.54-56; Ralegh: 'What tears (deare Prince)' [on the death of Prince Henry,1612] (Ramsay), fol.20
  5. 'Be she faire as Lyllyes be,' fol.20; 'Excellent Mistress,' fol.20v; Carew: 'Ile gaze no more'[Henry Lawes],fol.21; 'Yeild not my love' fol1.21v-22; 'Lett higher thoughts to court,' fol.22v; 'My mistress bids me still,' fol.23; Carew 'Of wt mould did Nature frame me' (William Webb), fol.23v-24; 'Victory Victory Hell is beaten down fol.24; Shirley: 'Would you know wts soft,' fol1.24v- 25; (Dudley, 3rd Baron North) 'My Love to shew her cold desire,' fol.25; 'Come sorrow wrap me,' fol1.25v-26; Carew: Feare not deare Love' [H.Lawes], fol.26; 'Come Laura come letts live' (Webb), fol1.26v-27; 'What is love besides ye name,' fol.27
  6. 'Fra: Quarles 'Know my brethren,' fol.27v; 'I wish no more thou shouldst love me' [Nicholas Lanier], fol.28; Herrick: 'Am I dispis'd [H. Lawes], fol.28v; 'If thy Mrs be too coy,' fol.29; 'Heu quam durum est non amore,' fol.29; 'Lye still my Deare,' fol.29v; Wotton: 'Rouse up thy self,' fol1.29v-30; Strode: 'De tell you how the rose,' fol.30
  7. 'Goe empty joyes,' fol.30v; 'Threescore and ten ye life and age,' fol.31i Campion: 'Fire Fire Loe how I burne,' fol.31v; Fletcher: 'Hither we come,' fol.32; 'If you will Love,' fol.32; 'Thus sang Orpheus,' f ol. 32v; Quarles: 'My sinnes are like ye haires,' fol1.32v-33; 'Now may I see the time hath beene in vaine,' fol.33; (?) Strode: 'Draw not too neare,' fol.33v; Sir R.L'Estrange: 'Beate on proud billows,' fol.34
  8. 'See, see ye bright light shines' for two voices (John Jenkins),fol1.34v-35; Crashaw: 'Lord wn the sense of thie sweet grace,' fol.35v; Quarles: 'O the fickle state of Lovers' for two voices, no accompaniment (William Lawes), fol.36 (printed by Henry without ascription in his own Ayres and DiaLogues, 1653, pp.12-13); Carew:'Aske me no more', fol.36v; 'Shall I like a Hermit,' fol.36v; 'Wassell..thus we frolick,' fol.37
  9. Francis Andrews: 'How short a time of breath', on the death of the prince, 1629, fol.37v; 'Go and choose wt sport you will,' fol.38; 'Go thy waies sincelitu will go', fol.38; 'What is our life,' fol. 38v; 'Come come sweet love,' with chords in the bass clef, fol.39; Sir Henry Notton: 'You meaner beauties,' fol.39; 'Poore things be those vowes,' fol.39v; 'Let her give her hand,' fol.40; Cowley 'It is a punishment' [Webb], fol.40; Shakespeare: 'Harke Larke', fol.40v; Campion: 'Thou art not fair,' fol.40; Herrick': 'Thous maist be proud,' not in Hesperides, (Ramsay), fo1.41
  10. 'Wts a Cuckold,' fol.41v; (?) William Fowler: 'If when I die,' fol.44v; 'Lesser then I no God,' fo1.45; Henry Rainolds and Henry Kirg: 'Why lovely boy' and 'Black maid complaine not' [John Wilson], foll.45v-46; 'Hold cruell Love,' fol.46v; 'Wake oh my Soule,' fol.47; 'Cease thy wishes,' fol.47; Carew: 'Harke how my Caelia' [H.Lawes], fol1.47v-48; 'Downe too farre usurping day,' fol.48; Jonson: 'Come..with our voices let us warr,' foll. 48v-49; Drayton: 'I prethee leave Love me no more,' fol.49v; 'Observe ye Hellespont,' fo1.50
  11. 'Sylly heart forbeare',[Lanier] fol.50; 'Farewell all future hopes' and an answer 'Bid not farewell', fol1.50v-51; 'Sweet Muses nurses of delights,' fol.51; Wotton: 'How happy is he borne or taught' with an answer 'How wretched is he..', fol.51v-52;'I prethee Sweet'(W.Lawes), fol.52; Herrick: 'Musock yu soul of Heaven,' fol. 52v; Jonson: 'Come noble nymphs, fol. 53; 'There is a thing that much is us'd (counting songs 1882), fold. 53; 'Mr. Heyrick': 'Howle not you Ghosts,' not in Hesperides, (Ramsay), fol1.53v-55; 'I who erst while ye worlds sweet aire', fol.55
  12. 'Mr Rily' 'Woes me alas unblest' (Ramsay), fol1.55v-56v; Henry Reynolds: 'Yes yes 'tis Chloris sings,' fol1.56v-57; Herrick: 'Charon oitgentle Charon' [W.Lawesj, foll.57v-58v; 'Amaryllis teare thy haire,' fol. 59; King: 'I prethee turn that face away' [Wilson], fol. 59v; Habington: 'Nimble boy in thy warme flight,' fo1.60; Strode: 'I saw faire Chloris wake alone' (Joh4 Hilton), fol. 60v; Strada 'Love chill'd with cold,' fol.61
  13. King 'Tell me your starres' [Wilson], fol1.61v-62; 'Cease not thou heavenly voiced glorious Creature' (Jenkins), fol.62; 'Adieu ? why so ? dear Castaminda,' fo11.62v-63; Give simering whinings ore', for 2 voices:, no accompaniment, fol.63; Fletcher: 'Gee happy heart' (Wilson), fol.63v, reproduced by 2ellowes, op.cit. pp.51-53; 'Swift through the yielding air,' fol.64; 'thoughts do not vex,' fol.64v
  14. 'Ave rosa' (aobert Johnson), fol.65; 'Forbeare fond Swaine,' fol1.65v-65v; 'My sweetest bird' (H.Lawes), fol.66v; 'Who sees my face so pale' (H. Lawes), fol.67; Beaumont and Fletcher: 'Come away ...60 Lady gay' (Johnson), fol1.67v-68; 'Sorrow in vaine why dost thol seeke' (H.Lawes), fol.68; Carew: 'Ladyes fly from Loues smooth tale' and 'Young men fly' [H.Lawes] fol1.68v and 70; John Grange: 'A Louer once I did espy' (H.Lawes), fol.69; 'Tell me where the beauty lyes' [Wilson], fol.69v; 'Blow gently passion' (William Caesar), fol.70v; 'Transcendent Beauty' (H.Lawes), fol.71; 'O diuinest God of Loue' (4ilson), fol1.71v-72; Carew: 'Go thru gentle whispering winde' (H.Lawes) fo1..72; Herrick: 'A willow gar/and' fol.72v; 'Gae little winged Archer', fo1.73
  15. 'In a season' [Wilson], fol.73; Carew: 'Seek not to know my Love' (H.Lawes), fol1.73v-74; 'I know my redeemer lives' (H.Lawes), fol1.73v-74; Shakespeare: 'ihere ye bee sucks' (Wilson) [Air by Johnson] cf.Wilson's Cheerful Ayres or Ballads, 1660, Preface and p.8) fo1.75 Fletcher: 'Cast yon caps and cares' (Wilson), fol. 76v, reproduced by Fellowes, op.cit. pp.49-50;'Cupid thou art a wanton boy' (Nilson), fol.76
  16. 'I loue alas' (Wilson), fol.76v; N.Breton: 'In the merry month of May' (Wilson), fol.77;toast not blind boy' (Wilson), fol.77v;"No no.I tell thee' (Laniere)[set by Wilson] cf.op.cit. Preface and p.84),1-e fol.78; 'Since loue hath brought thee' (Wilson), fol.78v; Cavendish Duke of Ne castle: 'I sweare by muskadell' (Wilson), fol.79; 'Wherefore peepst thou' (Wilson) fol.79v; 'Tell me you wandering spirits' (air only: no bass part), fol.80; Strode (?): 'Ding alou: Harmonious Spheares,' fol.8Cv; Henry Noel: 'Gaze not on swans' [H.Lawes], fol.81.
  17. 'Come lovers all' [H.Lawes], fo1.92; Carew: 'When this fly liv'd' [H.Lawes], fol1.92v-93; Carew: Wh, on ye Altar of MY hand' [E.Iawes], fol.93v; Habington: 'Look back Castara' (with additional bass part), fol. 94; Herrick: 'Amaryllis by a spring's,' fol1.94v-95; 'Sing sing Syren,' fo1.95; Herrick: 'ilbout ye sweet bag of a Bee' [H.LaJes], fol.95v; Ian you know where pleasures,' fo1.96; P. Massinger 'Poore Cittizen if4Ou wilt be l'fol.96v; Herrick: 'Among ye 1,7yrtles as I walkt,' fo1.97; 'How wretched is ye state', (with additional bass part) fol1.97v-98; 'Shall I despaire of my resolv'd intent,' (with bass) fol.98; 'Damon my beauty doth adore,' fol1.98v-99.

Changes in the hand suggest that the copying extended over some years, and that the extracts from Cheerful Ayres (1660) are relatively late. The contents of the manuscript suggest a connection with Cambridge during the Civil War. Fol. lv, formerly a separate leaf, contains notes on music from the old Testament and classical authors, in a differnt hand. Blank pages were used in the reign of George I for copies of scurrilous verse and other notes, not catalogued in detail here. The book was used c.1800 for an index of plants with 'Time of sowing and planting:' this is written chiefly betaeen staves, on fol1.2-54.


  • Creation: mid-17th century


118 Leaves

Language of Materials

  • English

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MS. Don. c. 57, fols. 1-2]

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MS. Don. c. 57

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 16540


Collection of Caroline music, containing religious and secular songs and dialogues, copied over a period of years, mid-17th century

Biographical / Historical

Biographical details unknown.

Custodial History

Owned by W. G. Probert (see J.P.Cutts, Music and Letters XXXIV no.3, July 1953, p.192 and H. Macdonald E.Fellowes, Songs and Lyrics from ... Beaumont and Fletcher, 1928, pp.43 ff.).

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Bought from Quaritch and given by the Friends of the Bodleian, 1937.


  • A few pieces are found, usually with variants, among the books listed by C. L. Day and E. Murrie in English 'song-books', 1651-1702 (London, 1940); those on fols. 75-9 appear to have been copied from John Wilson, Cheerfull ayres (Oxford, 1660). The contents of the manuscript suggest a connection with Cambridge during the Civil War. The lyrics are printed in J. P. Cutts, Seventeenth century songs and lyrics (Columbia, Missouri, 1959).

Physical Facet


Collection of Caroline music, containing religious and secular songs and dialogues, copied over a period of years
EAD version 2019 by Alice Whichelow
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom