Thomas Man 1655-1690

From Book Owners Online

Thomas MAN 1655-1690

Biographical Detail

Born at Helmsley, Yorkshire, son of Thomas Man, vicar of Northallerton. BA Jesus College, Cambridge 1675, fellow 1676, MA 1678, MD 1687. Tutor to Thomas Willoughby of Wollaton Hall, Nottinghamshire, where he died in 1690.


Man is chiefly known for having given to Jesus College 47 medieval manuscripts in 1685, including 31 from Durham Priory, the others mostly originating from various other northern monastic houses. These had all been acquired by his father, the elder Thomas, for reasons not entirely clear; their content does not suggest antiquarian, historical interests as much as recusant piety in preserving relics of the old religion. Many of these manuscripts had clearly been circulating in lay ownership during the later sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. Man bequeathed his books "which have a place amongst Thomas Willoughbys" to him, and many of his books remained in the Willoughby/Middleton family library, partly dispersed in 1925.

Characteristic Markings

Many of the manuscripts at Jesus retain medieval bindings of manuscript waste wrappers. They are not marked by Man, and Hanna notes that "one striking feature of the Man collection is its absence of overt marks of any particular early modern use, or, indeed, interest".


  • Hanna, R., The Thomas Mans, their books, and Jesus College librarianship, The Library 7th ser 21 (2020), 46-73.
  • James, M. R. A descriptive catalogue of the manuscripts … of Jesus College, 1895.
  • Venn, J. & J. A. Alumni Cantabrigienses. Cambridge, 1922.