Catalogue Entry: THEM00021

Documents relating to Newton's preparation for appearance before Judge Jeffreys

Author: Isaac Newton

Source: Keynes Ms. 118, King's College, Cambridge, UK

[Normalized Text] [Diplomatic Text]

Custodial History

Bought at the Sotheby sale by 'Ulysses' (Jacob Schwartz?) for £9 and offered to Keynes by Bertram Rota on 5 March 1938 for £7.10s. On 9 April 1938 Keynes offered Rota £20 for lots 184 and 252 (now Keynes Ms. 8), which Rota accepted on behalf of his (unspecified) client on 12 April.

Sotheby Lot



Consists of four different texts, as follows:

1) Extracts from relevant legislation, in Latin and English, c. 400 words, 2 pp. This section is not in Newton's hand.

2) 'The case of ye Bps Courts', also concerning legal precedents, c. 300 words, 1 p.

3) A document beginning 'His Maties promise is no argumt for abrogating ye laws', c. 500 words, 1 p., plus a jotted list of names. This is an important composition by Newton relating to his strategy for preventing the admission of father Alban Francis to the degree of M.A. at Sidney Sussex College in 1687.

4) 'Rules': an incomplete draft list of proposed legislation concerning 'liberty' and 'Government' of conscience (in fact largely concerned with suppressing Roman Catholicism), c. 200 words, 1 p.


Described in the Sotheby catalogue as c. 1,100 words, a worse underestimate than usual.

Incomplete; partly in another hand.

See Westfall, Never at Rest, 478-9.

© 2020 The Newton Project

Professor Rob Iliffe
Director, AHRC Newton Papers Project

Scott Mandelbrote,
Fellow & Perne librarian, Peterhouse, Cambridge

Faculty of History, George Street, Oxford, OX1 2RL -

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