Ignoramus - manuscript

Scope and Content

Handwritten copy of George Ruggle's play, Ignoramus (1615). Two bookplates include the date 1701.

Administrative / Biographical History

(1575-1622). Born in Lavenham, Suffolk, in 1575. He matriculated at St John's College, Cambridge in 1589 before migrating to Trinity and then gaining his BA in 1593-4. He was later a Fellow of Clare 1598-1620. He was also a Taxor, 1604 and was incorporated at Oxford in 1605. He vacated his Fellowship when he succeeded to some property but he died soon after in 1622. He is remembered as the author of the famous Cambridge play, which so delighted James I called Ignoramus. It was written in Latin in 1614-1615 by Ruggle and was modelled on an Italian Comedy by Giovanni Battista della Porta to caricature the pedantry of the legal profession. It was played before King James on 8 March 1615 on the occasion of his visit to the University and he then made a special journey to Cambridge on 13 May to see the play again. Afterwards Ruggle was tutor at Babraham, Cambridgeshire, to the two sons of Toby Palavicino. The latter was Executor to Ruggle and paid his bequest of �100 to the College on 3 March 1624-5. Ruggle bequeathed his valuable collection of French, Spanish and Italian books to the College. [Details from Harrison index and Book of Clare, pp. 76, 143-4].

Acquisition Information

Acc 1988/17 - Transferred from the Fellows' Library to the Archives by Roger Schofield in 1988.

Related Material

See CCHR/2/RUG for notes on Ruggle's will; See also list of the books bequeathed by Ruggle, compiled by Beck in 1908 at CCAD/9/1/6/7 (formerly Deed box 3:26) Other contemporary manuscripts of the play are extant (so presumably this is not autograph?), including at the Bodleian (Tanner MS306).