John Donne: Poems and leaves

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 12 MSS.Add.8466-8468
  • Dates of Creation
      c. 1620-1633
  • Name of Creator
  • Language of Material
      English Latin
  • Physical Description
      2 volumes and 1 portfolio

Scope and Content

MS.Add.8466: Latin leaves (1 portfolio)

1. A leaf of eight lines, with an accompanying transcription. The leaf is signed 'Joannes Donne: ibidem Decanus. Sept. 27. 1623', and relates to John Donne, Dean of St Paul's.

2. A leaf from the Album Amicorum of Michael Corvinus. There is writing on the reverse in another hand, signed 'Johannes Donne 5 Octobr. 1633'. This relates to a different John Donne, possibly the Dean of Sion College. There are three accompanying pieces of related correspondence, 1939 and 1953.

MS.Add.8467: Poems (1 volume)

Manuscript poems in English, c. 1620, with an index. The poems were possibly written by the amanuensis of Henry Percy, 9th Duke of Northumberland (1564-1632), Donne's friend and probably the former owner of the volume.

MS.Add.8468: Poems (1 volume)

Manuscript poems in English, c. 1632, with the signature on the flyleaf, 'Nar. Luttrell His Book 1680'. The volume includes Donne's epitaph, a poem addressed to him by his son, and other pieces. It is accompanied by related letters addressed to Geoffrey Keynes, c. 1950-1970.

Administrative / Biographical History

John Donne (1572-1631), poet and divine, was educated privately and at Hart Hall, Oxford, and was admitted to Lincoln's Inn in 1592. He was ordained priest and deacon in 1615, and that year became royal chaplain. In 1616 he was appointed Rector of Keyston, Huntingdonshire, and of Sevenoaks, Kent, and became divinity reader at Lincoln's Inn. Donne was Dean of St Paul's, London, 1621-1631. He died on 31 March 1631.

Access Information

Open for consultation by holders of a Reader's Ticket valid for the Manuscripts Reading Room.

Acquisition Information

Received from the library of Sir Geoffrey Keynes, 1982.


Description compiled by Robert Steiner, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives.

Other Finding Aids


Custodial History

MS.Add.8467 was formerly part of the Leconfield Library, Petworth House, Sussex, which was sold at Sotheby's in 1928. MS.Add.8468 was sold with the Luttrell Library at Sotheby's in 1936.

Related Material

Cambridge University Library holds other papers relating to John Donne, MS.Ee.4.14 and MSS.Add.29, 5147, 5778, 8469 and 8470.


The collection is nos 1859-1861 in Sir Geoffrey Keynes, Bibliotheca bibliographici (London, 1964), p. 191. For further information about MS.Add.8467 see Peter Beal, Index of English literary manuscripts, vol. I, 1450-1625, part I, Andrewes-Donne (London, 1980), p. 250. For MS.Add.8468 see Beal, p. 252.