A source of very old texts

4 Aug

Here’s a sample from “The Builder” of 25 January 1845:

St. Bartholomew’s Hospital is one of the most ancient, as well as the most important, of the numerous charities which distinguish England from all other countries in the world. Rahere, by whom it was founded, lived in the reign of Henry I. A curious document among the Cottonian MSS. (quoted at length by Malcolm in his Londinium Redivivum) describes the life of Rahere, and the circumstances which led him to build the priory of St. Bartholomew and the hospital near it. In his youth he is described as haunting “the hows-holdys of noblemen and the palices of prynces; where under everye elbowe of them, he spread ther coshyngs with iapys and flatteryngs delectably anoynting the eevyes, by this mean to draw to hym ther frendschippis,” and took the lead at all plays “and other courtly mokk’ys.”

Becoming impressed with a feeling of the wickedness of his life, he journeyed to Rome as a penance. Here he was overtaken by sickness, and being at the point of death, made a vow, that if he recovered, he would build “an hospitale in receation of poure men, and to them so ther gadered necessaries mynyster after his power.” He was afterwards commanded by St. Bartholomew, in a dream, according to legend, to build a church in his name in Smithfield; and recovering, returned to England to fulfil his vow, and comply with the command. Having obtained the king’s favour, he first built the church, and then “an hospital house a litell lenger of from the chirche by himself he began to edifie.”

This is one of the magazines digitised by “The Internet Library of Early Journals

A digital library of 18th and 19th Century journals

The core collection for the project are runs of at least 20 consecutive years of:

Three 18th-century journals

  •     Gentleman’s Magazine
  •     The Annual Register
  •     Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society

 Three 19th-century journals

  •     Notes and Queries
  •     The Builder
  •     Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine
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