Manuscript copy of the index to the third edition of Hymn-melodies for the whole year from the Sarum Antiphonal and other ancient English sources: together with sequences for the principal seasons & festivals (London: printed for the Plainsong and Mediaeval Music Society, 1914). Five letters from James Mearns to Henry Guppy, Librarian of the John Rylands Library, are inserted.
Index to Hymn Melodies
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Scope and Content
Administrative / Biographical History
James Mearns (1855-1922) was a clergyman and hymnologist who had a particular interest in early church music. He was born at Coldstream, Berwickshire, in 1855 and studied at the University of Glasgow and United Presbyterian College, Edinburgh. He was ordained a deacon in the church of England in 1884, and a priest in 1885. He held a series of curacies: in Owston, Lincolnshire (1884-6); Cholesbury, Buckinghamshire (1886-9); Monks Risborough, Buckinghamshire (1889-94); and Whitchurch, Oxfordshire (1894-6). He was vicar for Ashby-de-la-Launde in Lincolnshire from 1896 to 1906, and vicar of Rushden, Hertfordshire from 1906. Mearns was assistant editor for the second edition of John Julian's Dictionary of hymnology (1907), and he wrote several works on hymnology in his own right, including Early Latin hymnaries: an index of hymns in hymnaries before 1100; with an appendix from later sources (1913), The canticles of the Christian church, eastern and western in early and medieval times (1914), and Anthologia Graeca Carminum Christianorum (1915).
Conditions Governing Access
The manuscript is available for consultation by any accredited reader.
The manuscript was created for the John Rylands Library by James Mearns in 1919.
Description compiled by Henry Sullivan, project archivist, and Elizabeth Gow, with reference to:
- Catalogue entry for GB 0247 MS Gen 1673 on the University of Glasgow Special Collections manuscripts catalogue: http://special.lib.gla.ac.uk/collection/mearns.html;
- Crockford's clerical directory, 52nd issue (1921-2).
Other Finding Aids
Catalogued in the Hand-List of the Collection of English Manuscripts in the John Rylands Library, 1928 (English MS 411).