Professor Anthony Grafton delivered an enthralling plenary lecture to a memorable conference on ‘Historians and the Sacred: Late Medieval to Early Enlightenment’, organized by Felicity Heal and Paulina Kewes for the Centre for Early Modern Studies and the Centre for Early Modern British and Irish History (Jesus College, 19 June). Ecclesiastical history, he argued, was a distinctively innovative genre, bringing in new techniques of documentary research and also opening up the study of comparative religion, with deepening research into Hebrew studies and later into the religions of East Asia. The other papers were appropriately wide-ranging. Felicity Heal and George Southcombe discussed the languages of religious polemic in England, Diarmaid MacCulloch exposed a much-used source for ecclesiastical historians as a forgery, and Lori Anne Ferrell examined the role of the Parker Society editions in forming views of the English past. Peter McCullough demonstrated the breadth of Lancelot Andrewes’ scholarship including his Hebrew learning which, he concluded, prepared the way for Selden’s. Ian Maclean discussed the  role of church history in the European book trade. Nicholas Davidson explored reasons for the absence of ‘the sacred’ in Paolo Sarpi’s church history, while Irena Backus opened up the neglected area of Leibniz’s extensive writings on church history (her paper is available here). Discussing Alessandro Valignano, a leader of the Jesuit mission in Japan, M.Antoni J.Ucerler was struck by common concerns on the writing of church history with many of the other writers discussed in the conference. Such connections were a striking feature of a lively and productive conference. Originally planned to inaugurate Professor Grafton’s visit this term, in which he has been so generous in creating dialogue with Oxford scholars and graduate students, the postponed conference now formed a prelude to the swiftly-ensuing conferences on John Selden and on ‘Reading Hebrew and Jewish Texts in Early Modern Europe’.


John Selden, 24-26 June

June 10, 2010

There are still some places remaining for John Selden (1584-1654):

Scholarship in Context, 24th-26th June, 2010, Magdalen College, Oxford.

For details see

Historians and the Sacred: Late Medieval to Early Enlightenment

Conference sponsored by the Oxford Centre for Early Modern Studies and the

Centre for Early Modern British and Irish History

Jesus College, Oxford, Saturday 19 June 2010


9.45–11.45 am SESSION I

Nicholas Davidson, ‘Paolo Sarpi and the Use of History’

Irena Backus, ‘Leibniz and Sacred History’

Ian Maclean, ‘Church History and the Book trade, 1560-1630’

12:15 pm– 1:15 pm


Where did the Christian Church Come From? Tradition and Innovation in

Early Modern Church History

1:15–2:15 pm LUNCH

2:15–4:15 pm SESSION II

Felicity Heal, ‘Catholic and Protestant Use of History: A Case of English


Diarmaid MacCulloch, ‘Foxes, Firebrands and Forgery: A Source

Pollution in Reformation History’

Peter McCullough, ‘Lancelot Andrewes and Sacred History’

4:15–4.30 pm TEA

4.30–6.30 pm SESSION III

M.Antoni J.Ucerler, ‘Sacred Historiography and its Rhetoric in early

Modern Japan’

George Southcombe, ‘The Polemics of Moderation in the Late Seventeenth Century’

Lori Anne Ferrell, ‘The Parker Society and the nineteenth-century Battle

for the History of the Church of England’

Owing to volcanic activity in Iceland, several of our main speakers are unable to be in Oxford on 24 April and it has regrettably been necessary to postpone the ‘Historians and the Sacred’  conference: those who have registered or expressed interest will receive further information and any news of rescheduling will be posted on this blog and the CEMS website.

‘Pox on your flameship, Vulcan(Ben Jonson, ‘An Execration upon Vulcan’)

Border Families and their Books in Northern England and in Scotland, c.1480-c.1620

A Symposium. Merton College, Oxford, 16-17 April 2010

Day delegate (without conf. dinner) – £35.

Please note that the rate for day delegates includes attendance on both days.

We are only able to accept registration for day delegates. We will be accepting
a limited number of registrations on the 16/17 April, but please note that we
will not be able to provide lunch/dinner for those registering after 26 March.


Friday 16 April 2010

1100 Welcome and sandwich lunch

1230-1330 Plenary 1: Professor Priscilla Bawcutt (University of Liverpool). Lord William Howard of Naworth and British Library Additional MS 285.

1400-1530 Session 1: The Families of Northern England Professor A.S.G. Edwards (De Montfort University, Leicester). The Percy Family Books.

Dr Patricia Naylor (Reading). Patron and Scribe: A Percy Manuscript.

Dr Jared Sizer (Independent). Life, Literature and Freebooting in Dark Corners: the Lives and Book Collections of the Musgraves of Eden Hall.

1530-1600 Tea/Coffee

1600-1730 Session 2: The Families Of Lowland Scotland (I)

Emily Wingfield (University of Oxford). The Maitlands and the Cockburns. Some Literary Connections.

Sajeed Chowdhury (University of Sussex). ‘Thair is mair constancie in o[u]r sex / Than euer amang men hes bein’: The Metaphysics of Authorship in The Maitland Quarto Manuscript (c.1586)

Janay Nugent (University of Lethbridge). Kirk Family Literature in Lowland Scotland.

1745-1845 Tour of Merton College Library

1900 Dinner, Merton College Hall

2100-2300 Merton College bar open

Saturday 17 April 2010

900-1000 Plenary 2. Dr Sally Mapstone (University of Oxford): The Douglases and their Books.

1000-1015 Tea/Coffee

1015-1145 Session 3: The Families of Lowland Scotland (II) Dr Sebastiaan Verweij (University of Cambridge). Lothian and Fife Families and their Manuscripts.

Melissa Coll (University of Oxford). The Grahams of Montrose.

1145-1200 Break

1200-1300 Session 4: The Families of Gaelic, Highland and Island Scotland (I) Ryoko Harikae (University of Oxford). The Maitland and Sinclair Families: Early Book Collectors and their Books.

Dr Katherine Terrell (New York). ‘Kyndness of Blude’: Kinship, Patronage and Politics in Gavin Douglas.

1300-1345 Lunch

1345-1445 Session 5: The Families of Gaelic, Highland and Island Scotland (II) Dr Martin McGregor (University of Glasgow). The Campbells: Literature and Liminality.

Dr Bruce Durie (University of Strathclyde). Did John Lydgate Write the Original for the ‘Scotch Copy of A Poem on Heraldry’?

1445-1500 Break

1500 Closing Remarks and Discussion. Professor Roger Mason, University of St Andrews

1600 End of Conference and Departure

Please contact

John Donne conferences

April 2, 2010

I John Donne and Manuscript Circulation

Kingston University

15 April 2010 (registration deadline: 7 April 2010)


9.30 Arrivals and Coffee

10.00 Welcome Erica Longfellow, Kingston University

10.15 Editing Donne’s Poetry Then and Now

Gary Stringer, Texas A&M

Chair: Peter McCullough, Lincoln College, Oxford

11.30 Coffee

11.45 Donne’s Letters Dennis Flynn, Bentley College

Chair: Mary Morrissey, University of Reading

1.00 Lunch

2.00 Sermon Manuscripts Jeanne Shami, University of Regina

Chair: Emma Rhatigan, Queen’s University Belfast

3.10 Coffee

3.20 John Donne the Younger and the Revision of the Sermon Manuscripts Peter McCullough, Lincoln College, Oxford

Chair: Hugh Adlington, University of Birmingham

4.30 Closing Remarks

To register for the day please contact Erica Longfellow on or 020 8948 4112.

Cost for the day is £15 (£10 for post-graduates and unwaged).

This event is supported by the Kingston University Research Networking Fund.

II Sermons and Manuscript Culture

Lincoln College, Oxford, 19 June 2010

(registration deadline: 1 June 2010)

This event is supported by the Kingston University Research Networking Fund.

19 June 2010

Draft Programme

9.30 Arrivals and Coffee

10.00 Welcome Erica Longfellow, Kingston University

10.15 Donne’s Sermons in Manuscript

The Merton Manuscript Emma Rhatigan, Queen’s University Belfast

The Ellesmere Manuscript Hugh Adlington, University of Birmingham

11.30 Coffee

11.45 Clerical Manuscript Circles

‘The Parson of Enbourne’: A Manuscript Verse Libel Steve May, University of Sheffield

Dorothy Browne’s Sermon Notes Rebecca Bullard, St Hugh’s College, Oxford 1.00 Lunch

2.00 Sermons and Manuscript Forms Arnold Hunt, The British Library Mary Morrissey, University of Reading

3.15 Coffee

3.30 Sermons and Manuscript Circulation

Roundtable Discussion with Henry Woudhuysen, University College London Arthur Marotti, Wayne State University

4.30 Closing Remarks

To register for the day please contact Erica Longfellow on or 020 8948 4112.


Jesus College, Oxford; 12 – 14 April 2010

——— Programme ———


17.00 Welcome and opening of the Symposium
17.15 Doug Jesseph (University of South Florida)
Wallis and Hobbes

TUESDAY 13 April

9.30 Jackie Stedall (The Queen’s College)
Wallis as controversialist: the arguments with the French


11.15 Niccolò Guicciardini (University of Bergamo)
Wallis as correspondent and editor of Newton’s mathematical work

13.00 LUNCH

14.00 Conducted tour of the University Archives
HOST: Simon Bailey (Keeper of the Archives, University of Oxford)


16.15 Will Poole (New College)
Vectors in Oxford-London relations in later 17th-century scholarship
17.30 Philip Beeley (Linacre College)
‘At their majesties service’: Wallis as cryptographer and controversialist


9.30 David Cram (Jesus College)
Wallis and grammar


11.15 Jaap Maat (University of Amsterdam)
Wallis and Holder on teaching language to the deaf
Auditors are welcome.
Enquiries should be directed to David Cram at

Philip Beeley
David Cram
Jaap Maat