Augustine Lindsell d.1634

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Augustine LINDSELL d.1634

Biographical Note

Born at Steeple Bumpstead, Essex. BA Clare College, Cambridge 1596, MA and fellow 1599, DD 1621. Rector of Molesworth, Huntingdonshire 1606, of Wickford, Essex 1610, prebendary of Lincoln 1610. Prebendary of Durham 1619, supported by the patronage of Richard Neile, Bishop of Durham; Lindsell was a member of a group of up and coming clergy sponsored by Neile, supporters of Arminian thinking, including John Cosin and Richard Montagu. Lindsell (like Cosin) was one of the targets of Peter Smart’s criticisms of ecclesiastical ceremonies introduced at Durham, which became a public controversy in 1628. He was appointed Dean of Lichfield 1628, Bishop of Peterborough in 1633, and translated to Hereford in 1634, where he died shortly afterwards, in the midst of a quarrel with his Dean and Chapter over the position of the altar.


Lindsell is someone for whom we have tentative evidence of having had a significant library, but little that can be traced. A letter of 1635 refers to his collection being brought to London (for sale?), and to Lindsell valuing his printed books at £800, and his manuscripts at £500. This would be a substantial library (Matthew’s 3000 books were valued at £600 in 1628). Lindsell was noted as a Greek scholar, and his edition of Theophylact was published posthumously in 1636 (STC 23948).

Lindsell’s will, made in 1624, includes a number of detailed bequests of particular books to friends, including John Buckeridge, John Cosin, William Laud, Richard Neile, Robert Newell and Sir William Paddy. To Sir Robert Cotton he left a manuscript history of Ely Cathedral, though this cannot now be traced. He also bequeathed to Clare College “all my Greek manuscripts my Greek rhetoricians” and a number of other specified Greek books. The fate of the library as a whole, beyond these named books, is not covered by this will; a codicil of 1634 directed that any residue of his estate should be divided out across his various legatees.

The 1635 letter (from John Houghton to John Walker of Bury St Edmunds) states that the bulk of Lindsell’s manuscripts were given to Laud, although this has been doubted. There are six manuscripts among Laud’s gift to the Bodleian Library in 1633 which have Lindsell’s inscription, which obviously passed to Laud before Lindsell’s death, but there is no evident Lindsell association among Laud’s later Oxford donations. A few books can be traced today, including some mentioned in his will as bequests, but most of what must once have been a significant library is now untraced. Examples: Cambridge UL MS Ff.3.2; Peterhouse, Cambridge O.3.9 (bequeathed to Cosin).