Acland-Troyte, J. E. "An Account of the Harmonies contrived by Nicholas Ferrar at Little Gidding." Archaeologia 51.1 (1888): 189-204.
begins "Nicholas Ferrar, the designer of the works now under consideration"
"This will be a good opportunity to describe the mechanical means employed in producing 'a harmony.' It was first of all necessary to get two copies of the same edition of the book on which they were engaged; and if, as in most cases, different types were employed, two copies of each type.  Mr. Ferrar then directed his nieces, the Miss Collets, to cut out roughly the particular verses required to perfect a certain subject or " chapter," and these were placed on a large table in the order in which they would make a consecutive historical narration. This being arranged satisfactorily, " each passage was fitted to the next belonging to it, with nice knives and scissors, and afterwards pasted on to the best and strongest white paper, so evenly and smoothly, by the help of the rolling-press, that many curious persons who saw the work when finished were deceived, and thought that it had been printed in the ordinary way."" (190-1)
"The first harmony made by Nicholas Ferrar and the handy maidens of Little Gidding, which unfortunately cannot now be traced, that of the Four Gospels, was designed merely as an aid to religious instruction. A portion of it (one of the 150 heads or chapters) was said "without book" in the oratory at the times of prayer ; it being so ordered that the whole harmony was repeated once in every month." (192)
"The king, at any rate, was so pleased with this " inestimable jewel," that he at once set them to work at another concordance for him, viz. Kings and Chronicles, which Charles said he had often moved his chaplains to undertake, but as they did not do it, he supposed it was attended with too much difficulty for them !" (192)
at the time Acland-Troyte was writing, 1635 was earliest harmony
"The history of my volume, though partly conjectural, is interesting. It is probable that it belonged originally to Sir R. Cotton, of Connington, whose property was near Gidding, and that afterwards it passed into the hands of the Bowdler family, one of whom married a daughter of the last Cotton baronet. The grandson of this Mr. Bowdler gave the book to my father, because he found the daughters of the family being encouraged in the same works which Mr. Ferrar taught his nieces." (193)
"Nicholas Ferrar died December 1637, and all the harmonies about which I have yet to speak were completed after his death, though it is very likely that he designed them. For the work he had organized was carried on for about ten years by his able lieutenants, and was indeed considerably extended by John Ferrar the brother and Nicholas Ferrar the nephew -- only 17 years old at his uncle's death, but a young man of extraordinary ability, and warmly supported by King Charles. We must therefore credit them with the works which have still to be mentioned, though probably the manual or mechanical part of all the harmonies was done by the Miss Collets." (193) <-- lack of acknowledging Mary's contributions
1640 Harmony owned by Lord Arthur Hervey -- "done by Virginia Ferrar, aged 12" inside the book
Monotesseron -- presented to Prince Charles by Nicholas Ferrar Jr on Good Friday, 1640; last line of title page, "done at Little Gidding," is covered with a piece of paperpasted over it
5 Books of Moses: "The present owner of this book is Captain Gaussen, who lives at Brookmans, near Hatfield, but its history is very obscure. It was found early in the present century, walled up in a secret cupboard at Brookmans, and the earliest record in the book is the following notice, which proves that a hundred years ago its history had been lost. " Dolendum neque authoris nomen, neque quo mirabile opus con- fectum est anno declarari." " Hoec ego scribebam paucis post librum coemptum mensibus." " Jacobus Bourdillon, V.D.M. 1776." He bought it from the Harleian library." (195)
"But there is little or no doubt that it was made for Prince Charles, and although nearly finished in 1642, was never actually given to him." (195)
books for Herbert, Jackson; a book "of an inferior kind" fo rLord Wharton, who paid 37l.
John Ferrar seeking patronage in letters, if "noble and learned personages knew of them, they might be willing to cast away their money upon them, as well as on other things." (qtd 197) -- callsthem "rarities in their kind, the handy work of women for their manufacture by way of pating" (qtd 197)
"Although it is an unpleasant task, I feel that I must brace myself to the duty of drawing attention to a mistake which even the accomplished Miss Collets made, and it is a very curious mistake too. In my harmony there is an index of chapters, numbered 1 to 150. It is also stated, more than once, in Nicholas Ferrar's life, that he arranged the Harmony of the Gospels under 150 heads. But in the body of the work there are 151 chapters, and one of these, No. 29, being left out of the index, of course throws out all the subsequent headings. What makes it still more curious is, that the very same mistake occurs in Miss Heming's copy; but in Lord Salisbury's, the error apparently having been detected, the matter is put right." (197-8)
qtding king: "Truly, I prize this as a rich and rare jewel, the substance of it is of the best alloy in the world, and ought to be the only desirable book. And for the skill, care, and cost used in it, there is no defect, but a superlative diligence in all about it. I very much thank them all. God's blessing on their hearts, and painful hands." (qtd 198)
Acland-Troyte, J. E. "Further Note on the Harmonies contrived by Nicholas Ferrar at Little Gidding. In a letter from Captain J. E. Acland-Troyte to Henry Salusbury Milman, Esq., M. A., Director." Archaeologia
"It is a curious fact, and shows how difficult it is to trace the history of these harmonies, that the volume which I now write about was deliberately kept secret by the lady to whom it belonged. She knew its value, and was afraid (being an invalid) that she might be worried by people coming to see it." (485)
woman also owned the Storybooks
Acland-Troyte, J. E. "Harmonies of the Gospels, and Other Works, Made at Little Gidding." The Library
details about harmonies are "incomplete and in some cases incorrect" (317)
"The art of bookbinding, gilding and lettering was taught regu- arly at Gidding as well as what they called " pasting printing," which was the process by which the Harmonies were produced. N. Ferrar set apart a large room for this purpose, and here he spent a part of every day directing his nieces (the Miss CoUetts and the Ferrars) how they were to arrange the verses or lines so as to perfect a chapter or subject; the Gospel history being divided for this purpose into 150 heads. First they cut the particular passages out of the printed copy roughly and laid them in their places on large sheets of strong paper, and when the subject was completed each piece was neatly fitted to the next belonging to it, and pasted evenly and smoothly together, and kept in its place by the help of a rolling press." (319)
the cutting up of each chapter of the bible into different episodes -- "This part of the work was probably arranged by Nicholas Ferrar himself, and may be termed the 'head work,' as compared with the mechanical fitting of the pieces together on which the younger members of the family were employed, and which may be appropriately called the 'handiwork'." (321)
"I will not now go into any further detail, and only trust that 1 have been able to convey some idea to my readers of the great pains taken, and the great industry necessary for the completion of one of the Harmonies. The more I study my own volume the more impressed I am with the skill and patience of the handy maidens of Little Gidding." (322)