Originally posted on University of Glasgow Library:

Autograph of Richard Stonley on the titlpage of Elyot's The Castell of helth (Sp Coll Hunterian Au.4.11a)

Autograph of Richard Stonley on the titlepage of Elyot’s The castell of helth (Sp Coll Hunterian Au.4.11a)

Richard Stonley (1519 or 20-1600) boasts an interesting literary claim to fame: his acquisition of a newly printed copy of Venus and Adonis on 12th June 1593 makes him the earliest known purchaser of any Shakespeare work. We are fortunate to know this – and a lot more about Stonley’s library and purchasing habits besides – due to the survival of some fascinating Stonley documents, several of which are preserved in the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington DC. Additionally, a remarkable inventory of all the books and belongings from Stonley’s London home, compiled in 1597, survives at the National Archives at Kew. This unusual document was created after he became embroiled in a scandal and was locked up in the Fleet prison.

Stonley was one of four Tellers of the Exchequer…

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This is the journal of Adrian Harrington Rare Books and all who sail in her. Information, updates, rantings, musings and pretty pictures related (loosely I would imagine) to the world of rare and antiquarian books will be brought to you by a number of different personalities, some of whom cohabit in the same person's head. We welcome queries, comments and contributions of virtually any description, and in return we will attempt to rein in our multitudinous personality disorders and deliver wonders and joys beyond compare. At least that's the plan. View all posts by bibliodeviant

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