SIMON TRIPPE (fl.1559-1581), Christianus Medicus, in Latin, MANUSCRIPT ON PAPER
[Oxford or London, c.1572]
207 x 140mm. ii + 89 leaves. 12, 23(of 4, i cancelled blank), 36, 4-128, 138(including final blank and pastedown), 19th-century pagination 1-178 followed here, COMPLETE, 25 lines written in black ink in two humanistic cursive bookhands within bounding verticals and horizontals ruled in brown (small losses from lower corners of three leaves, not touching text). Contemporary English panelled calf gilt, cornerpieces of large cornucopias joined by scrolling tendrils within ruled fillets around semé flowerheads and a central arabesque of the cornucopia tools addossed with small paired cornucopias above and below (spine restored, lower joint cracked, lacking ties).
1. Almost certainly Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester: dedicatory address to the Earl of Leicester preceding the text on pp.3-4 -- 'Antiqua nobilitate clarissimo Viro, Leycestria comiti honorato, Domino Roberto Dudlaeo, regia maiestati a consiliis, e Oxiensis Academia summo Cancellario'. Trippe refers to this work -- 'libello meo' -- as dedicated in Leicester's honour in a letter to the earl that he wrote in July 1572. The binding supports the likelihood that this is the dedication copy: it is very close to those by the MacDurnan Gospels Binder on six books, printed between 1567 and 1581, owned by Leicester. The cornucopia cornerpieces and the scrolling tendrils of the binding are almost identical to two of the tools identified as used by the MacDurnan Gospels Binder at the end of the 16th century: Mirjam M. Foot, The Henry Davis Gift: A Collection of Bookbindings, 1978, pp.37-41, tools K1 & 2 and v.
2. Rev. Edward Turner (1794-1872), Rector of Maresfield, Sussex, and antiquarian: his presentation of the book in 1870 to the Sussex surgeon, meteorologist and antiquarian, Charles Leeson Prince MRCS (1822-1899), is recorded on the first endleaf.
3. Robert Hoe: his sale Anderson Auction Company, New York, 1 May 1911, lot 2181.
4. Thomas Jefferson Coolidge Jr (1863-1912) of Manchester, Mass. or his son of the same name (1893-1959): armorial bookplate inside upper cover.
5. Episcopal Divinity School, Cambridge, Mass.
Simon Trippe, Christianus medicus pp.3-178; titlepage p.3, dedication to Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester pp.5-7; Christianus medicus pp.9-178.
The original manuscript is preceded by an inserted bifolium with the transcription of a 1581 letter from Trippe -- by then a physician in Winchester -- that was found among the Loseley papers and published in 1835: The Loseley manuscripts, ed. A.E. Kempe.
Simon Trippe, originally from Devon, was at Corpus Christi College, Oxford from 1559 and was reader in Logic and Humanities in 1568. His letters to the Earl of Leicester, Chancellor of the University (register of his letters BL, Add. Ms 6251, pp.55 and 57) referring to this work provide the context for its production. In July 1572 Trippe's continuance at Oxford was under threat amid rumours of his papist sentiments. He sought to demonstrate that he was a good Christian and to gain Leicester's support for his application to be appointed physician at the college so that he might continue to study there. Leicester duly wrote to the Bishop of Winchester and to Mr Cole, President of Corpus, but in a letter of August Trippe, thanking him for his 'speciale regard of me, a pore, and seely simple scholer', informed him that Mr Cole had concealed Leicester's wishes from the fellows and that he 'unhappy man, am driven to my shiftes, and must perforce forsake the university'. By the end of the year he had left Oxford and, under the patronage of the Bishop, was subsequently recorded as a physician in Winchester.