On the day after the Royal Wedding, Trinity Hall hosted its own festivities – a celebration of benefaction. Members of the Nathanael Lloyd Society were joined by Supporters of the Old Library for a delightful afternoon.
Drinks in the Master’s Lodge and a convivial lunch were followed by Dr John Pollard’s fascinating talk on the history of benefaction at Trinity Hall – starting at the very beginning with our founder, Bishop Bateman, who financed the establishment of the College in 1350 and also donated a number of his own books to the College library. During the talk, Dr Pollard showed us the Founder’s Cup (brought out of the silver vault especially for the occasion and handled carefully with white gloves). It was a real treat to see this great treasure!
Nathanael Lloyd was another great benefactor of Trinity Hall and his generosity left a permanent stamp on the College. Through his sponsorship, the medieval buildings of Front Court were brought up-to-date by re-facing them with ashlar blocks. Lloyd’s benefaction is responsible for the pleasing aspect of Front Court as we know it today.
We also have a number of books in the Old Library given to us by this former Master (1710-1735) identified either by the librarian’s inscription or by Lloyd’s distinctive signature.
The afternoon continued with a visit to the Old Library, an exhibition of recent gifts and conservation work in the Chetwode Room and was rounded off by a relaxing tea on the terrace outside the Old Library. Undoubtedly, the highlight of the afternoon was the chance to talk to the rare books conservators, Melvin Jefferson and Edward Cheese of the Cambridge Colleges’ Conservation Consortium. They answered many questions and also brought along a variety of conservation materials for people to touch and see: from vellum and Japanese paper to native dyed Nigerian goatskin and examples of medieval binding structures.
On the day we were particularly fortunate to receive donations of rare books from two Supporters of the Old Library. Alumnus Dr Philipp Mohr (TH 1990) brought us three superb (and by no means light) volumes of Papal Bulls all the way from his home in Germany.
They complement the volumes on Papal Councils already in our collection and are a valuable addition to our collection of canon law (historically a speciality of the College). The earlier volumes of “Magnum bullarium Romanum” were published in Lyon in 1655 and are illustrated with engraved portraits of the Popes.
The later volumes, published in Luxembourg between 1725 and 1730, have a pleasing view of the Castel Sant’Angelo in Rome on the title page.
At one point in the past this set of volumes belonged to B. Vanden Boom – whom I have been unable to identify. If anyone can help do let me know!
Two years ago we were fortunate to be the recipients of a magnificent three-volume work on theology by the great lawyer Hugo Grotius, also given to us by Dr Mohr. These books joined the Old Library’s existing volumes on law by Grotius that have been in the collection for centuries. It is nice that this previous donation has been joined by a further donation of books from Dr Mohr’s library. Some book collectors start young and Dr Mohr is no exception. He purchased his first rare book at the age of twelve!
The other donation on the day was of four books from alumnus, the Reverend Bill Cave (TH 1973). One of these was found at the bottom of a box in a Cumbrian junk shop and is now valued at over £2,000. Of these books, more anon!
Thanks are due to Glen Sharp, Joss Poulton and Trinity Hall for the photos of Front Court, the exhibition and Nathanael Lloyd respectively.
And to Wikipedia for additonal information.