Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge: Statutes

Scope and Content

Statutes of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, transcribed by John Freeman, with an English preface (fo. iii), an index (fo. iv-viii) and the emendations and letters of King James II (fo. 94-111), 120 folios. The versos are blank, except for occasional variant readings and notes.

Inside the front cover are the following: 'Charles Abdy 1806'; 'Samuel Sandars Trinity Coll. Camb. A.M. London 1888'; and a cutting from a bookseller's catalogue lot 128, with the note 'From Library of F. H. Dickenson Kingsweston Somerset'. On fo. ii: 'Charles Boyd Abdy, Jesus College, Cambridge' (19th century). Inside the back cover: 'Charles Boyd Abdy, 24 Kensington Square, Middlesex July 23rd 1806' and 'X Bennett'.

Administrative / Biographical History

Sidney Sussex College was founded by Lady Frances Sidney (1531-1589), wife of Thomas Radcliffe, Earl of Sussex, who left a bequest of 5000 for the establishment of a new college in Cambridge. Lady Frances' plans were put into effect by her executors, the Earl of Essex and Sir John Harrington, who also contributed generously to the new college, and were responsible for the production of its statutes. The college was built on the site of the Grey Friars', which was obtained from Trinity College, and was designed by Ralph Symons. The college opened in 1598, with James Montagu, D.D., of Christ's College, as master.

John Freeman (1712-1746) was born at Ringstead, Northamptonshire, on 29 September 1712. He attended Oakham School, before entering Sidney Sussex College in 1731 (B.A., 1735; M.A., 1738; D.D., 1745), where he became a Fellow in 1736. He was ordained deacon in 1735, and died on 30 December 1746.

Access Information

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

Acquisition Information

Bequeathed by Samuel Sandars, 1894.


Description compiled by Robert Steiner, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives. The biographical history was compiled with reference to C.W. Scott-Giles, Sidney Sussex College, a short history (Cambridge University Press, 1951), and the entry on John Freeman in John Venn and J.A. Venn, Alumni Cantabrigienses, Part I, Vol. II (Cambridge University Press, 1922), p. 177.

Other Finding Aids

Additional Manuscripts Catalogue.


The Statutes are printed in Documents relating to the university and college of Cambridge, Vol. III (London, 1852), pp. 535-580.