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Catalogue of books in London   [1689-91]

Location:   Bodleian Library, MS. Locke c. 44, pp. 27-193.

Description:   On his return from Holland in 1689, he regained possession of the books that he had left in London with his landlady, Mrs. Smithsby, and began to unpack the books that he had brought with him from Holland. In the words of Peter Laslett, he then “foraged for a suitable place in which to make a record of them … The document he hit upon was one of the paper-books supplied to his office when he had been Secretary of the Clergy to Lord Chancellor Shaftesbury in 1672.” [Harrison & Laslett, page 16]. This was the volume now designated MS. Locke c. 44. After his tenure in that office, Locke retained the volume and used it for medical notes. In 1689, most of the pages were still unused, and Locke proceeded to fill them with a listing of his books. He stopped using this catalogue when he moved to Oates in 1691 and began a new catalogue in his interleaved copy of Hyde.


  1. The library of John Locke / by John Harrison and Peter Laslett. – 2nd ed. – Oxford : Clarendon Press, 1971. – Appendix III.C.iii (page 286) lists 40 items included in this catalogue, but not in Hyde.

Discussions:   Laslett’s introduction to Harrison & Laslett, The library of John Locke (1972).

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