Skip to content

Morgan Colman’s big genealogy of James I and Anne

Browsing in my own hard drive I just unearthed Morgan Colman’s huge 1608 genealogy of King James I and his Queen, Anne. Of all the congratulatory heraldic and genealogical stuff prepared early in James’s reign, this might be the most impressive piece of genealogical diagrammatic typography. Great pity that a better version of this is not available online. Here is King Egbert from the left-hand side:

The title is given in STC as “Most noble Henry, heir but not the son…”, which is the first line of the dedicatory verse at top left. As far as I can see there are only incomplete copies of this at Oxford and in London. The version I have is a microfilm scan from the ‘Early Printed Books Online’ database, which is said to be taken from the British Library; though their catalogue lists it only as a microfilm from the Early Printed Books film set. They also note a copy at the Bodleian, but alas the Bodleian catalogue states that theirs is an incomplete copy as well. The thing was published as a set of quarto-sized bifolia, designed to be pasted up — explaining why there may be no complete copy that survives. It would be very nice to mockup a better digital version of what’s left! One might at least clone the decorative motif in the borders, and we can probably guess not a few of those left out of the stalks at bottom, and even the bordure. But who can say what King Alpin, holding the sinister pennon, might have looked like? I have taken the individual sheets, from the smudgy 1-bit film scan on EEBO, and pasted them up into a single large sheet (be careful to right-click; this is 8 megabytes). I’d love to hear from anyone who knows of the location of a better version of this.

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.