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Newton’s Grantham and the Hall Book 1649-1689

Background

The project to transcribe part of the Grantham Corporation Minute Book covering the years 1649-62 derives from a series of conversations during the 2012 Gravity Fields Festival. The transcription links to the Newton Project at the University of Sussex led by Professor Rob Iliffe which aims to publish on-line Newton’s extensive writings on science, philosophy and theology. The period chosen includes the years Newton was at school in Grantham from 1655 to 1661 but the start for this project has been in 1649 which was the end of the period for which a published transcript exists. Grantham during the Interregnum: the Hall Book of Grantham, 1641-1649 was transcribed by the late Bill Couth and published as Volume 83 of the Lincoln Record Society in 1995. This transcription forms part of a Heritage Lottery Funded project supported by South Kesteven District Council called Lincolnshire in the Age of Scientific Discovery. This project has provided funding for a range of lectures and activities looking at the county’s intellectual and scientific development in the seventeenth century. One activity has been a Grantham-based U3A group led by John Down which has undertaken the transcription using a team of local volunteers. One volunteer has been responsible for each year and their work has been checked systematically by other team members. The transcriptions have then been edited for publication on the LincstothePast website by Dr John Manterfield who, in 1981, completed a doctoral dissertation on the development of Grantham and has now returned to Lincolnshire to continue further research.

The thirteen years 1649-1662 were published between September and December 2014. In January 2015, the transcription group began work on transcribing the period 1662-1676 and these years were published in installments as they were transcribed, up to November 2015. All completed years can be accessed by clicking on the tabs below.

The Aldermanic year began at the end of October following the election of a new Alderman, which took place in the Corpus Christi Choir of St Wulfram’s church in Grantham, and ended with the last Alderman’s Court at which financial accounts were received from various officials. For further information on the Hall Book, please refer to Newton’s Grantham - The Hall Book and Life in a Puritan town, edited by John Manterfield, published by Grantham Civic Society (2014).

Editorial Method

The on-line edition appearing here on the Lincs to the Past website has the original image of each folio of the Hall Book on the left-hand side and the transcription on the right-hand side in a pdf format. Readers are therefore expected to use their computer zoom facilities to read the texts. Readers may also search for words or names using the Edit Find facility. Font sizes vary according to the number of words on the individual folios of the Hall Book. Dates have been given in Old Style with the year beginning on 25 March. The language of the Hall Book is English with the headings of some Courts given in Latin although dates have been standardised in English. Less well known Latin words have been translated and shown in square brackets. Some continuation folios are headed in Latin, for example ‘adhuc sexta Curia A… B…, Aldermani’, which has been retained but may be translated as ‘Still the sixth Court of A… B…, Alderman’ and so forth. A majority of Courts end with ‘By the Court’ or in Latin ‘Per Curiam’.

The transcription reproduces the original spelling except that missing words have been supplied and abbreviations silently expanded where their meaning is certain. The ‘thorn’ has been replaced by ‘th’. The use of the letters ‘i’, ‘j’, ‘u’ and ‘v’ has been standardised. Punctuation has been modernised but capital letters have been retained as in the original. Personal names and abbreviations for forenames have been transcribed as they appear with exact spellings. Monetary sums have been given in either arabic or roman numerals as in the original and are standardised as ‘li s d’. Italics have been used for the marginal notes given in the Hall Book which generally summarise accurately the body of the text which in the transcription follows immediately below. The editor has attempted to follow the advice given in R F Hunnisett, Editing Records for Publication (British Records Association, 1977).

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Last updated: 23 November 2015

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