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Catalogue of books at Clytha Cottage


Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts [Contact Us]3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

This volume, entitled Catalogue of Books at Clytha Cottage, 1869, contains a list of books contained within a private library -in Monmouthshire, in Wales. Individuals who were known to live on the Clytha estate in the 18th century are Thomas Berkeley and his wife, Mary Davies (b. 1698) Berekely; their son John (1720-1778); and his son Robert (1771-1845). Robert Berkeley sold Clytha to his father-in-law, Richard Lee (1725-1805) father of Robert's wife Apollonia Lee and husband to Mary Jones), who sold it to his brother in law, William Jones (1732-1805). Jones lived in the house until his death in 1805, when it was left to his great-nephew, also named William Jones (1798-1885; son of John (1757-1828) and Mary Lee (1771-1855) Jones), who lived at the estate from 1822 to 1885. In 1873, the estate consisted of more than 4,500 acres.

It appears that a cottage was among the buidlings on the Clytha estate, along with Clytha Castle, a folly built by William Jones (1732-1805) in memory of his wife Elizabeth Morgan (1728-1787). In 1813, the cottage was the residence of "Miss Jones" and was referred to as "Clytha Cottage" in printed documentation. It is assumed that some of the volumes within the library were probably brought to the home in the 18th century, when it was built for the Berkeley family. In the 1820s, the original Georgian structure was torn down by William Jones (1798-1885) and replaced with the Greek Doric structure that stands today; and it is possible that the library was moved to the Cottage at that time.

William Jones (b. 1798), his wife Frances, and a daughter were probably living in the home at the time that this volume was created.

Works consulted:

Burke, John. A Genealogical and Heralidic History of the Commoners of Great Britain and Ireland … Volume IV. London: Henry Colburn. 1838.

Heath, Charles. Historical and Descriptive Accounts of the Ancient and Present State of Ragland Castle and a Variety of Other Particulars … London: Longman and Co., 1813.

This volume lists the books contained within Clytha Cottage in 1869. The books range in date from 1521 to 1869 and cover a wide range of topics. The books are listed by topic, and then alphabetically within each topic. Topics include: Agriculture, Arts and Science, Botany, Bibles and Religious Books, Biography and Memoirs, Classics, Chemistry, Dictionaries, Fiction, Grammars &c., Geology, Guide Books &c., History, Law, Medicine, Miscellaneous, Polite Literature, Poetry, Plays &c., Natural History, Periodicals, Travels and Voyages, and Trade and Commerce. For each title, there is column for number of volumes, size, case, shelf, date, and edition. For the most part, the columns for number of volumes, size, and date are completed; occasionally the edition is noted, but the case and shelf locations are never noted. Starting from the end on page 136, the volume starts upside down, with a sketch of a heraldic crest, a number of recipes for dogs, and a brief start of a copy of "Stories from English History, No. IV. King Alfred, Part I."

In addition to the titles listed in the volume, there are two additional lists of books laid in at the front of the volume. The first has a crossed-out title, "Block House Room," and contains the same type of information: title, number of volumes, size, and date. The second list, written in a distinctly different hand, lists only number of volumes and title. Titles on these lists are not contained in the lists written within the volume—and it unclear if the intent was to add or these were subsequently purchased; however, it is clear that these are working copies of lists versus the lists within the volume which are written in clear, formal handwriting with decorative initials.

There is one piece of music, titled "Gloria," in ink, also laid in at the front of the volume.

The volume is bound in half leather with marbled paper covers and the title in ink on a plain label the front cover. Pages are blank from page 88-123.

Sold by Jarndyce Antiquarian Booksellers, 2022.

University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Finding Aid Author
Holly Mengel
Finding Aid Date
2023 February 3
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