Difference between revisions of "Esther Inglis (1569?– 1624)"

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| Christ Church, Oxford || MS. 180 || 7 || *InE 30 || Le Livre des Pseaumes || 1599 || Queen Elizabeth (1533-1603) || Type 1 || [https://digital.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/inquire/p/5a1b96f9-13f4-49f9-94cb-7baef16d8e54 180 - 162 openings] || Crimson velvet, embroidered, Tudor rose & crown || [https://digital.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/inquire/p/9c90861e-1944-46b4-bc20-e9f5affd6f3c Digital Bodleian catalog record] ||
 
| Christ Church, Oxford || MS. 180 || 7 || *InE 30 || Le Livre des Pseaumes || 1599 || Queen Elizabeth (1533-1603) || Type 1 || [https://digital.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/inquire/p/5a1b96f9-13f4-49f9-94cb-7baef16d8e54 180 - 162 openings] || Crimson velvet, embroidered, Tudor rose & crown || [https://digital.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/inquire/p/9c90861e-1944-46b4-bc20-e9f5affd6f3c Digital Bodleian catalog record] ||
 
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| Royal Library, Windsor || Royal Library || 27 || *InE 17 || Cinquante Octonaires || 1607 || Prince Henry (1594-1612) || Type 2 || || Pinkish velvet|| NA ||
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| Royal Library, Windsor || RCIN 1047001 || 27 || *InE 17 || Cinquante Octonaires || 1607 || Prince Henry (1594-1612) || Type 2 || [https://www.rct.uk/collection/1047001/cinquante-octonaires-sur-la-va-sic-vanite-et-inconstance-du-monde-dediez-agrave Selections digitized] || Pinkish velvet|| NA ||
 
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| Wormsley Library || RH158 || 18 || *InE 26 || Les Proverbes de Salomon || 1601 || Catherine de Bourbon || Type 1 || Fully photographed and printed for Roxburghe Club, 2012 || 18th c French calf || NA ||
 
| Wormsley Library || RH158 || 18 || *InE 26 || Les Proverbes de Salomon || 1601 || Catherine de Bourbon || Type 1 || Fully photographed and printed for Roxburghe Club, 2012 || 18th c French calf || NA ||

Latest revision as of 07:38, 8 July 2019

Esther Inglis is an important, indeed possibly unique, "early modern British female book artist." Born around 1569 in Dieppe to French Huguenot parents fleeing religious persecution, she was raised in Edinburgh where she learned the art of calligraphy from her mother, Marie Presot. Her father, Nicholas Langlois, was Master of the French School in Edinburgh, under the patronage of James VI. Inglis married Scottish clergyman Bernard Kello around 1596 and used her calligraphic skills to make copies for him in his position as Clerk of Passports and other foreign correspondence. Some of her small, jewel-like calligraphic volumes appear to have supported Kello's involvement with the secret negotiations for the succession of James VI to the English throne. The volumes also figured in the patronage system, where Inglis and her husband hoped for remuneration for her work. Many of her little books are dedicated to members of the Protestant circles in England and Europe, including Elizabeth I; James VI and I; Prince Henry; Prince Charles; Lucy Harington, Countess of Bedford; Robert Cecil, Earl of Salisbury; Sir Anthony Bacon; Prince Maurice of Nassau; Catherine de Parthenay, Duchess of Rohan; and Catherine de Bourbon, sister of Henri IV.

She was not only an adept calligrapher, using over forty styles of handwriting, but she also illuminated her manuscripts with self-portraits, flowers and birds, or exquisite black-and-white title pages, historiated initials, and printer's devices copied from printed books. Many of her volumes are bound in velvet or silk which she likely embroidered herself, as her skill with needle as well as pen was remarked upon by a contemporary. One of her last works was a sumptuous copy of Emblemes Chrestiens by Georgette de Montenay, made for Prince Charles in 1624, the year of her death.

This census was compiled by Georgianna Ziegler, Thalheimer Associate Librarian & Head of Reference Emerita.

Inglis's sources

Inglis mostly copied out Biblical texts in English, French or Latin from Ecclesiastes, Genesis, Psalms, Proverbs, and the Book of Solomon. She also made copies of French religious poems:

  • Quatrains by Guy du Faur, Sieur de Pybrac (1529-1584)
  • Octonaires . . . sur la Vanité et Inconstance du Monde, by Antoine de la Roche Chandieu (1534-1591)

For a full discussion of her textual and design sources, see the Scott-Elliot and Yeo Catalogue.

Selected further reading

Folger Shakespeare Library, The Collation


Barker, Nicolas. Introduction to Esther Inglis's Les Proverbes de Salomon: a Facsimile. Arundel, England: Roxburghe Club, 2012.

Bracher, Tricia. "Esther Inglis and the English Succession Crisis of 1599." Women and Politics in Early Modern England, 1450-1700. Ed. James Daybell. Aldershot, England; Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2004. 132-146.

Frye, Susan. Chapter 2 in Pens and Needles: Women's Textualities in Early Modern England. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2010.

Ross, Sarah Gwyneth. "Esther Inglis: Linguist, Calligrapher, Miniaturist, and Christian Humanist." Early Modern Women and Transnational Communities of Letters. Ed. Julie D. Campbell and Anne R. Larsen. Farnham, England; Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2009. 159-181.

Tjan-Bakker, Anneke. "Dame Flora's Blossoms: Esther Inglis's Flower-Illustrated Manuscripts." English Manuscript Studies 1100-1700. Vol. 9, ed. Peter Beal and Margaret J.M. Ezell. London: The British Library, 2000. 49-72.

[Tjan]-Bakker, Anneke. "Esther Inglis & Maurice of Nassau." Quaerendo 48:1 (2018) 39-76. On Folger MS V.a.93.

Ziegler, Georgianna. "'More than Feminine Boldness': The Gift Books of Esther Inglis." Women, Writing, and the Reproduction of Culture in Tudor and Stuart Britain. Ed. Mary E. Burke et al. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2000. 19-37.

Ziegler, Georgianna. "Hand-Ma[i]de Books: The Manuscripts of Esther Inglis, Early-Modern Precursors of the Artists' Book." English Manuscript Studies 1100-1700. Vol. 9, ed. Peter Beal and Margaret J.M. Ezell. London: The British Library, 2000. 73-87.

Manuscripts chart

The chart lists 64 known manuscripts by Esther Inglis, four of which are untraced, and two of which have recently been identified and are in neither of the standard bibliographies listed below. The Folger Shakespeare Library and the Houghton Library at Harvard each own five of her manuscripts, the largest collections in the US. (Folger X.d.533 is not counted as a separate manuscript as it was part of V.a.93 and not numbered separately by Scott-Eliot and Yeo.)

The chart is organized by:

  • Location
  • Shelf-mark
  • E-Y No., referring to the Catalogue prepared by A.H. Scott-Elliot and Elspeth Yeo, Publications of the Bibliographical Society of America 84:1 (March 1990), 10-86.
  • CELM No.: Catalogue of English Literary Manuscripts 1450-1700
  • Title: see note on Sources above
  • Date
  • Dedication
  • Self-Portrait: Scott-Elliot and Yeo identified 4 basic types, which are identified if possible
  • Digital or other images available: Perdita refers to the subscription database of manuscripts by early English women writers; unfortunately, many of the images, made from microfilm, are grainy and difficult to see
  • Binding: unusually, most of the manuscripts are in their original bindings
  • Catalog Record
  • Notes: "Barker" refers to the substantial Introduction by Nicolas Barker to his facsimile edition of Esther Inglis's Les proverbes de Salomon (Roxburghe Club, 2012)

Esther Inglis manuscripts census

United States of America

Location Shelfmark E-Y No. CELM No. Title Date Dedication? Self-portrait? Digitized? Images? Binding Catalog record Notes
Folger V.a.91 12 *InE 15 Octonaries 1600/01 No Type 4 V.a.91; Perdita b&w Leather, gold-tooled Hamnet catalog record
Folger V.a.92 33 *InE 20 Octonaries 1607 William Jeffrey (active 1607) No V.a.92; Perdita b&w Leather, gold-tooled Hamnet catalog record
Folger V.a.93 8 *InE 31 Les CL Psames de David 1599 Prince Maurice of Nassau (1567-1625) Type 1 [X.d.533] V.a.93 (selections) Brown velvet, embroidered Hamnet catalog record
Folger V.a.94 36 *InE 36 Argumenta Psalmorum Davidis 1608 Prince Henry (1594-1612) No V.a.94 (selections); Perdita b&w Red velvet, embroidered, pearls Hamnet catalog record
Folger V.a.665 0 0 Psalms of David 1612 Prince Henry (1594-1612) Type 3 Pink or yellow velvet, embroidered Hamnet catalog record
Folger X.d.533 *InE 32 Self portrait from V.a.93 Type 1 [V.a.93] X.d.533 Hamnet catalog record
Harry Ransom Center (University of Texas-Austin) Pforz MS 0126 21 *InE 27 A New Yeers Guift. [Book of Proverbs] 1606 Robert Sidney, 1st Earl of Leicester (1563-1626); no written ded. No Perdita color Leather, gold-tooled NA
Houghton (Harvard) MS Typ 428.1 2 *InE 34 Penmanship specimens [Psalms] 1605 Susan de Vere, Countess of Montgomery (1587-1629) No Limp vellum HOLLIS catalog record
Houghton (Harvard) MS Typ 212 25 *InE 35 Argumenta Psalmorum 1606 Thomas Egerton, Baron Ellesmere (1540?-1617) Type 2 MS Typ 212 Leather, gold-tooled HOLLIS catalog record
Houghton (Harvard) MS Typ 428 35 *InE 11 Argumentum singlorum capitum Geneseos 1608 Sir Edward Stanhope (1546?-1608) No Leather, gold-tooled HOLLIS catalog record
Houghton (Harvard) MS Typ 347 44 *InE 50 Les six vingts et six quatrains de Guy de Faur 1615 No No Leather, gold-tooled HOLLIS catalog record
Houghton (Harvard) MS Typ 49 46 *InE 58 Verbum sempiternum [by John Taylor] 1615 Samuel Kello (d. 1680) No MS Typ 49 Green velvet, embroidered HOLLIS catalog record
Huntington Library mssHM 26068 3 *InE 2 Discours de la Foy 1591 Queen Elizabeth (1533-1603) No Digital Scriptorium, no images Limp vellum, gold-tooled Huntington Library catalog record
Huntington Library 283000. Vol.5:III. 52 *InE 7 Emblematical drawing of Mary Queen of Scots 1622 John Erskine, Earl of Mar (c1562-1634) No Huntington Library catalog record
The Morgan Library and Museum MA 2149 28 *InE 6 Argumenta singuloru[m] capitum Eccles 1607 Thomas Puckering (1592-1636) No Leather, gold-tooled Corsair catalog record
The Morgan Library and Museum B1 350 A MS W.72 47 *InE 19 Octonaires sur la vanite 1615 Andrew Ramsay (1574-1659) No Leather, gold-tooled Corsair catalog record
Newberry Library Wing MS miniature ZW 645 .K29 23 *InE 29 A New Yeeres guift [Book of Proverbs, select.] 1606 Lady Erskine of Dirleton No Perdita - b&w Leather, gold-tooled Newberry catalog record
Newberry Wing MS miniature ZW 645 .K292 31 *InE 47 Les Quatrains du Sr. de Pybrac 1606? Sir Thomas Hayes? No Perdita - b&w Leather, gold-tooled Newberry catalog record
New York Public Library Spencer Coll. French MS. 008 17 *InE 3 Le Livre de l'Ecclesiaste 1601 Catherine de Parthenay-Larcheveque, Vicomtesse de Rohan Type 1 Spencer Coll. French MS 008 (selections) Leather, gold-tooled NYPL catalog record
New York Public Library Spencer Coll. MS. 14 13 *InE 14 Octonaries upon the Vanitie 1609 John, first Baron Petre Yes Spencer Coll. MS 14 (selections) Leather, gold-tooled NYPL catalog record
Private Library Julian I. Edison, St. Louis 11 *InE 43 Quatrains 1599 No No Two images b&w - Bibliotheque Raphael Esmerian, vol. 1, lot 9 Leather, gold-tooled NA
Private Library Julian I. Edison, St. Louis 43 *InE 21 Octonaires sur la Vanite 1615 Prince Charles (1600-1649)  ? Three images in color - Sotheby's Cat. 5 Dec. 1989, London, Lot 65 Red velvet, embroidered NA
Private Library Julian I. Edison, St. Louis 45 *InE 51 Quatrains 1615 Robert Karr, Earl of Somerset (1584/6-1645) Formerly Leather, gold-tooled NA
Private Library USA 0 *InE 46 Quatrains 1600 Henri, Vicomte de Rohan (1579-1638)  ? One image in Sotheby's Cat. 13 Dec. 1994, London, Lot 21 Leather, gold-tooled NA

United Kingdom (England)

Location Shelfmark E-Y No. CELM No. Title Date Dedication? Self-portrait? Digitized? Images? Binding Catalog record Notes
Bodleian Library MS. Bodl. 990 9 *InE 24 Les Proverbes de Salomon 1599 Robert, 2nd Earl of Essex Type 1 MS. Bodley 990 (14 openings) Rebound: Leather, gold-tooled Digital Bodleian catalog record
Bodleian Library MS. Bodl. 987 50 *InE 52 Les six vingts et six quatrains de Guy de Faur 1617 Joseph Hall, DD Unique type - photographed as p.006 with MS. Bodl. 990 Leather, gold-tooled Perdita record
British Library Sloane MS 987 1 *InE 33 Livret contenant diverses sortes de lettres [Psalms] 1586 No No Perdita - b&w Modern leather British Library catalog record
British Library Add. MS 27927 10 *InE 4 Le Livre de l'Ecclesiaste / Cantique de Salomon 1599 Anthony Bacon (1558-1601) Type 1 Perdita - b&w Brown velvet, embroidered (set in rebind) British Library catalog record
British Library Harleian MS 4324 40 *InE 48 Les Quatrains de Guy de Faur 1614 Sir David Murray of Gorthy No Perdita - b&w Leather, 19th c Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts record
British Library Add. MS 19633 41 *InE 49 Les Quatrains de Guy de Faur 1615 Prince Charles (1600-1649) Yes Perdita - b&w Maroon velvet, embroidered British Library catalog record
British Library Add. MS 22606 51 *InE 53 Les six vingts et six quatrains de Guy de Faur 1617 Walter Balcanquall, BD No Perdita - b&w Leather, gold-tooled British Library catalog record
British Library Royal MS 17.D.XVI 54 *InE 8 Ce Livre contenant cinquante Emblemes Chrestiens 1624 Prince Charles (1600-1649) Type 4 Perdita - b&w Crimson satin, embroidered, Prince of Wales feathers & crown British Library catalog record
Christ Church, Oxford MS. 180 7 *InE 30 Le Livre des Pseaumes 1599 Queen Elizabeth (1533-1603) Type 1 180 - 162 openings Crimson velvet, embroidered, Tudor rose & crown Digital Bodleian catalog record
Royal Library, Windsor RCIN 1047001 27 *InE 17 Cinquante Octonaires 1607 Prince Henry (1594-1612) Type 2 Selections digitized Pinkish velvet NA
Wormsley Library RH158 18 *InE 26 Les Proverbes de Salomon 1601 Catherine de Bourbon Type 1 Fully photographed and printed for Roxburghe Club, 2012 18th c French calf NA
Wormsley Library BM1851 38 *InE 37 Psalms of David 1612 Sir David Murray Yes Purple silk; yellow, white, silver thread stripes NA
Wormsley Library BM1850 55 *InE 39 The Book of the Psalmes of Davide in prose 1624 Probably Prince Charles (see Barker) Type 4 White velvet, embroidered NA
Private Library PL Northamptonshire 26 *InE 12 Argumenta in Librum Geneseos 1606 Thomas Wotton, Baron Wotton of Marley (1587-1630) No Leather, gold-tooled NA
Private Library PL Norfolk 37 *InE 1 A Book of the Armes of England 1609 Prince Henry (1594-1612) Yes Green velvet, embroidered NA

United Kingdom (Scotland)

Location Shelfmark E-Y No. CELM No. Title Date Dedication? Self-portrait? Digitized? Images? Binding Catalog record Notes
Aberdeen University Library MS 277 0 0 Quatrains 1600 No - see description in Barker No No Leather, gold-stamped Aberdeen catalog record
[National Library of Scotland] MS 2197 5 *InE 54 Specimens of writing [moral sententia] (not by Inglis) No No Perdita - b&w Vellum, gold-tooled NLS catalog record Barker says "not by Inglis"
National Library of Scotland MS 20498 19 *InE 5 Le Livre de l"Eclesiaste . . . Lamentations de Ieremie 1602 Archibald Campbell, 7th Earl of Argyll (1575-1638) Type 1 Perdita - b&w Original Dutch paper; rebound leather 20th c NLS catalog record
National Library of Scotland MS Acc. 11821 32 *InE 56 Argumenta singulorum . . . Evangelii Matthaei 1607 William Douglas, Earl of Morton (d.1648) No Perdita - b&w Leather, gold-tooled NLS catalog record
National Library of Scotland MS 8874 42 *InE 41 Les Pseaumes de David 1615 James VI and I (1566-1625) Type 3 Perdita - b&w Maroon velvet, embroidered NLS catalog record
National Library of Scotland MS 25240 0 *InE 16 Cinquant Octonaires 1607 Gilbert Talbot, 7th Earl of Shrewsbury (1553-1616)  ? Leather, gold-tooled NLS catalog record
National Library of Scotland MS Acc. 11624 22 *InE 28 Une Estreine . . . [Proverbs] 1606 Lucy Harington, Countess of Bedford (d. 1627) No Leather, gold-tooled NLS catalog record
National Library of Scotland Adv. MS 33.1.6, Vol.20, no.11 0 *InE 61 Autograph copy of poem by David Hume 1605 James VI and I [no dedication but bound with letters to him] No Modern leather NA
National Library of Scotland Adv. MS 33.1.6, Vol.20, no.21 p.84 *InE 62 Autograph letter signed to James I on behalf of Inglis's son 1620 No No Facsimiles of National MSS of Scotland (1871), III, No. XCIII Modern leather NA
Edinburgh University Library MS La.III.440 4 *InE 13 Livret traittant de la Grandeur de Dieu 1592 No No Perdita -b&w Vellum, gold-tooled Edinburgh catalog record
[Edinburgh University Library] MS La.III.522 6 *InE 55 Specimens of writing  ? No No - portraits of Henri IV & Gabrielle d'Estrees Perdita -b&w - see also link to one page in catalog record and to a further three pages Leather, gold-tooled, 18th c Edinburgh catalog record not by Inglis (see Barker)
Edinburgh University Library MS La.III.525, f.8 p.84 *InE 60 Inscriptions in album amicorum of George Craig 1604 Edinburgh catalog record
Edinburgh University Library MS. La.III.249 20 *InE 59 Vincula Unionis . . . David Hume 1605 By Hume to James VI and Prince Henry No Perdita -b&w Leather, gold-tooled Edinburgh catalog record
Edinburgh University Library MS. La.III.439 30 *InE 42 Les Quatrains du Sieur de Pybrac 1607 Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury (1563-1612) No Perdita -b&w Leather, gold-tooled laid in modern bind Edinburgh catalog record
Edinburgh University Library MS. La.III.75 34 *InE 57 Treatise of preparation to the Holy Supper 1608 Sir David Murray of Gorthy (1567-1629) No Perdita -b&w Leather, gold-tooled laid in modern bind Edinburgh catalog record
University of St Andrews MS 38830 49 *InE 23 Les Cinquante Octonaires 1616 John Spottiswood, Archbishop of St Andrews Formerly - removed No Leather, gold-tooled St Andrews catalog record Unusually annotated with Greek & Latin epigrams
National Archives of Scotland GD 18/4508 29 *InE 18 Cinquante Octonaires 1607 Ludovic Stuart, 2nd Duke of Lennox (1574-1624) Type 2 No Green velvet NAS catalog record
National Trust for Scotland - Culzean Castle 45.3597 (see Barker) 0 0 Cinquante Octonaires 1616 "Madamoiselle de Trochrig" Anna Maliverne de Lavignolle, wife of Robert Boyd  ? No Leather, gold-tooled NA
National Trust for Scotland - Culzean Castle 45.3596 (see Barker) 0 0 Les Six vingts et six quatrains 1616 Robert Boyd, sieur de Trochrig  ? No Leather, gold-tooled NA

Europe

Location Shelfmark E-Y No. CELM No. Title Date Dedication? Self-portrait? Digitized? Images? Binding Catalog record Notes
Royal Library, Copenhagen GKS 3380 oktav 53 *InE 38 The Booke of the Psalme[s] of David 1624 Prince Charles (1600-1649) Type 4 No White velvet, embroidered, pearls REX catalog record
Royal Library, Copenhagen Thott 323 oktav 0 0 Quatrains du Sieur de Pybrac 1606 Robert Devereux, 3rd Earl of Essex (1591-1646)  ? Litt.ref.: Carl Elberling. breve fra en bogelsker s.68, pl IX - binding image Leather, gold-tooled REX catalog record
Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris MS. Francais 14849 16 *InE 25 Les Proverbes du Roy Salomon 1601 Henri, Vicomte de Rohan (1579-1638) Type 1 Gallica Modern leather BnF catalog record
Staatsbibliothek, Berlin MS. Lat. oct. 14 24 *InE 10 Tetrasticha selecta historiae Geneseos 1606 Christian Friis (1556-1616) Type 2 May order PDF or TIFF Leather, gold-tooled Record in printed 1905 catalog
Royal Library, Stockholm Cod. Holm. A.781 39 *InE 40 Les Pseaumes de David 1612 Prince Henry (1594-1612) Type 3 No White silk, embroidered No catalog record
Untraced- formerly British Library Sloane MS 808 0 0 Quatrains 1615  ? Not listed in 1904 Index of Sloane MSS or current online numeric list
Untraced 14 *InE 9 Historiae memorabiles Genesis 1600 No NA
Untraced 15 *InE 45 Quatrains 1600 No Leather, gold-tooled NA
Untraced- formerly Advocates Library, Edinburgh Adv. MS. 19.3.46 48 *InE 22 Cinquante Octonaires 1616 Robert Frenche, Clerk of Kircaldie ("my cousin") Leather, gold-tooled NA