Maycock 1954

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Maycock, Alan. Chronicles of Little Gidding. London: SPCK, 1954.

history of Ferrar biographies (1-2)

Ferrar "seems to have felt that the life of the soul could be sustained and the soul itself raised to the fulness of contemplation by the mere use of vocal prayer." (6) -- Arthur Woodnoth's letter, quoted on 7, confirms this

"It was during the years immediately following his death that the great series of scriptural harmonies were planned and executed by his nephew, the younger Nicholas." (14)

Anna and Mary "had had charge, under Nicholas's supervision, of the dispensary and the instruction of the 'psalm-children'; they did a great deal of the exquisite needlework and embroidery for which Little Gidding was to become famous; in the preparation of the concordances they were responsible for the cutting-out, pasting, and arrangement of the sacred texts and for much of the decoration: they sustained leading parts in the remarkable family study-circle known as the 'Little Academy'." (17)

13 Harmonies survive; 12 completed during the younger Nicholas's lifetime, and the thirteenth was planned by him (18)

the planning of the harmonies fell on younger Nicholas after Ferrar's death; "There were, it is true, ample precedents to guide him; in the preparation of the cuttings, the decoration of the sheets and the binding, tooling and so forth he had the help of Mary Collett and other members of the family. But the master-mind was his; no other would have been capable of what was to be accomplished." (20)

Monotessaron made for the prince; two volumes to be presented at the same time to the King, a single Gospel in 8 languages and a New Testament in 24 languages, with a third volume that was a "proufe book" establishing young Nicholas's linguistic skills (21)

younger Nicholas stammered; King did also, and recommended singing as a cure (25)

Duke of York asks for a similar book, thanks the women of Little Gidding (25)

John Hacket, description of Little Gidding (31-6)

  • continual prayer (33)

Lenton's letter (40-48)

Arminian Nunnery tract (48-56)

John Ferrar sent at least 197 books to settlers in 1649; "there were Bibles, collections of sermons, copies of Herbert's poems, of Bishop Andrewes's Devotions and other spiritual works" (75)

letters to and from Virginia Ferrar regarding the colony (75-6)

  • Maycock claims most of the letters during this period were composed by John and only signed by Virginia, including all documents dealing with the cultivation of silkworks; "in all cases it is clear that the letters were drafted by John in his daughter's name; they were presumably copied out and signed by her for dispatch to the person concerned." (79)
  • "Virginia would have been incapable of writing the kind of reports that were needed." (79)
  • "It would have been one thing for an elderly man like himself to have urged Lady Berkeley to explore the overland route to the East Indies; it was quite another that the challenge should come from a young girl so fired with enthusiasm that she wished herself a boy only that she might join in so glorious an enterprise." (79)
  • broadsheet, sent to Virginia, regarding the silk trade (81) -- 1654; again Maycock claims authorship for John (82)

plans for a polyglot bible under editing of Brian Walton; Ferrar offered use of his late son's linguistic work (91-3)

John's life of Nicholas written probably during 1653 or 1654; history of that manuscript (94)