Commonplace Book of Abraham Broomhead

Scope and Content

The volume is entitled Gems of Literature (tooled in gilt on the front cover), and contains poems, extracts from prose, memorials, quotations from scripture etc. The text is written in ink in a very small, fine hand. On many pages one or more pieces are set within elaborate circular or hexagonal frames, with decorative borders. Each page also has an overall decorate border, formed from minute dots, circles and dashes arranged in intricate patterns. The entries are subscribed, with one exception, with various dates between March 1848 and February 1849; the exception is dated at Salford, Lancashire, 28 June 1831. Broomhead gives the date of his birth as 16 April 1790 (folio 17) and on folio 31 he records the birthday (7 August) of Mary Cotton, perhaps his wife.

Conditions Governing Access

The manuscript is available for consultation by any accredited reader.

Acquisition Information

Presented to the John Rylands Library by Kenneth C. Ewen esq. of Altrincham in August 1952.


Description compiled by Jo Humpleby, project archivist.

Other Finding Aids

Catalogued in the Hand-List of the Collection of English Manuscripts in the John Rylands Library, 1952-1970 (English MS 1160).

Geographical Names