Warburton's List

Warburton’s List (Lansdowne MS 807).


In a marginal note in the British Library's Lansdowne MS 807, John Warburton (1682-1759), Somerset Herald, reports that his extensive collection of unprinted MS drama from the early seventeenth century was entrusted to his cook, who (failing to recognise their value) apparently used the manuscripts in the course of her kitchen duties, burning them or otherwise destroying them in the process of baking. Only 3 full plays (and one MS fragment) ‘survived’: The Queen of Corsica, The Second Maiden’s Tragedy, and Bugbears in full; Benefice in fragmentary form.

Bibliographic description

“It is a thin foolscap folio bound in Russia. The end papers are modern. An original flyleaf is preserved, but not numbered; then comes a leaf with the Warburton and Shelburne book-plates on the verso, then Warburton’s list, mounted and reckoned as folio 1. The plays follow: the ‘Queen of Corinth’ occupying folios 2-28, the ‘Second Maiden’s Tragedy’ folios 29-56, the ‘Bugbears’ folios 57-77. at the end is an imperfect play in quarto occupying folios 78-88. it is a fragment of the ‘Benefice’ by R. Wild containing III.iv. to the end. That completes the collection as now extant” (Greg, “The Bakings of Betsy” 230).


The following images from British Library Lansdowne MS 807, fo. 1r-v are reproduced by permission of the British Library.

Lansdowne ms 807 f001r.jpg Lansdowne ms 807 f001v.jpg
British Library Lansdowne MS 807, fol.1r. British Library Lansdowne MS 807, fol.1v.


The following transcription of Warburton’s list is based on Greg, “The Bakings of Betsy” 230-32. Hover over titles for links to LPD entries, where relevant.

Manuscripts [recto]

The Honr. Loves by Will. Rowley
Henry ye 1st. by Will. Shakespeare & Rob. Davenport
The fair favourit
Minervas Sacrifise Phill. Masenger
Duke Humphery Will. Shakespear
Citty Shuffler
Sr. Jon Suckling’s Workes
Nothing Imposeble to love T. C. Sr Rob. Le Green
The forc’d Lady A T. Phill. Massinger
The Governer T. Sr. Corñ. Fermido
The Lovers of Loodgate
The Flying Voice by Ra. Wood
The Mayden Holaday by Chris. Marlowe
The Fatal Love
The Puritan Maid ye. Modest Wife & ye. Wanton Widow by Tho. Middleton
The London Marchat (sic) A Com. By Jon Ford.
The King of Swedland
Love hath found out his Eyes by Tho. Jorden
Antonio & Vallia by Phill. Massinger
The Dutches of Fernandina T. Hen. Glapthorn
Jocondo & Astolfo C. Thõ. Decker
St. Geõ. For England by Will. Smithe
The Parliamt of Love by Wm. Rowley
The Widows Prise C. Wm Sampson
The Inconstant Lady Wm. (sic) Wilson
The Womans Plott Phill. Massinger
The Marchants Sacrifice Crafty Marchat (sic) C Shack. Marmio[n
An Interlude by Ra. Wood worth Nothing
The Tyrant A Tragedy by Phill. Massenger
The Yorkshire Gentlewoman & her Son T.
The None Such A C. Wm Rowley
The Royal Combate A C. by Jon. Forde.
Philenzo & Hipolito A C. by Phill. Massenger
Beauty in a Trance A C. Jon. Forde.
The Judge A C. by Phill. Massenger.
A good beginning may have A good end by Jon. Ford
Fast and Welcom C. by Phill. Massinger
Belive as you. list C. By Phill. Massinger
Hist. of Jobe by Rob. Green
The Vestall A Tragedy by H. Glapthorn
The Noble Tryall. T. H. Glapthorn

After I had been many years Collecting
these MSS Playes, through my own
carelesness and the Ignorace (sic) of my S[er
in whose hands I had lodged them they
was unluckily burnd or put under
Pye bottoms, excepting ye three which followes.
J. W.

Manuscripts [verso]

Yorkshire Gentlewoman and her Son T
The Honr. of Women A C. by Massinger
Alexias or ye chast Glallant (sic) T. P Massinger
The vestal a Tragedy H. Glapthorn
The Noble choise T.C. P. Massinger
A Mask R. Govell
2d. pt. Maidens Trag. Geo. Chapman
The Great Man T.
The Spanish Purchas C.
The Queen of Corsica T. by F. Jaques
The Tragd. of Jobe     Good
The Nobleman T.C. Cyrill Turnuer
A Play by Will Shakespear
Bugbear C. Jon. Geffrey
Orpheus C.
Tis Good Sleeping in A Whole Skin W. Wager
Farry (sic) Queen

Works Cited

Greg, W. W. “The Bakings of Betsy.” The Library, 3rd series. 7.11 (1911): 225-259.

Site created and maintained by David McInnis, University of Melbourne; updated, 19 April 2017.