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ADDITIONS AND CORRECTIONS
INSERTED BY BACON IN A MANUSCRIPT COPY OF CAMDEN'S ANNALS OF QUEEN ELIZABETH.
(COTT. FAUST. F. VIII. IX.)
THE three first books of Camden's Annals of Queen Elizabeth, extending from the beginning of her reign to the end of the year 1589, were published by order of James I. in 1615. The rest he completed soon after, and lodged a copy of it in the hands of his friend Petrus Puteanus;-to be preserved, but not published till after his death. He died in November 1623; and the fourth book (printed, if I understand the story right, from Puteanus's copy) appeared in 1627. It appears however that a better copy was in existence; that after the three first books were published, and the fourth copied, Camden had revised and corrected the whole; that a fair copy of the three first (described as "the first part of Mr. Camden's Elizabetha enlarged for the next impression ") passed through the representatives of Sir Robert Cotton into the hands of Dr. Thomas Smith; and a corrected copy of the fourth, through what channel we are not informed, into the hands of Dr. Rawlinson 1; and that both of these were ultimately entrusted to Thomas Hearne, and used in his edition of the entire work, published in 1717.
In Hearne's edition the differences between Dr. Rawlinson's MS. and the printed copies are pointed out in foot-notes, but no further particulars are given. A considerable number however of the additions and more material alterations are found in the blank pages of a copy of the fourth book of Camden's
1 Both these copies are in the Bodleian Library. The first (Smith MS. No. 2.) is a printed copy of the original folio, with the alterations and additions inserted in Camden's own hand. The second (8vo. Rawlinson, 707.) has the following note on the blank leaf at the beginning: -"This book belongs to my honoured and learned friend Thos. Rawlinson, Esq. Tho. Hearne, Aug. 25th,.1716." It is a copy of the Elzevir edition, Lugd. Batav. MDCXXXIX, containing many alterations and additions inserted between the lines or leaves, in manuscript. They are very clearly written in a small, firm, regular hand; whose, I could not learn.
Annales, which is now in the Cottonian Library (Faustina F. viii. ix.); and are in the hand-writing of Francis Bacon. I suppose that Camden had lent the MS. to Bacon to read and criticise; that Bacon had returned it with these passages suggested for insertion; and that they had been inserted accordingly, either by Camden himself or by some one to whom the MS. was entrusted, in the copy which came into possession of Dr. Rawlinson.' At any rate the manner in which they are entered in the Cottonian MS. sufficiently proves that they are of Bacon's own composition, and therefore have a right to a place in this collection. And though many of them have but little independent value, I have thought it better to include them all; the rather because the insertion of two or three immaterial words is enough to show that Bacon had read the passage, and his inserting no more may be taken as a kind of evidence that he had no material correction to suggest. A note on the cover in Camden's hand states that he began to read the MS. over again on the 18th of May, 1620: but at what time Bacon read it I know no means of ascertaining.
Any one who had access to the Cotton MS. might have made the alterations in his own copy.