Trevelyon Miscellany, 1608


Thomas Trevilian, or Trevelyon, a London craftsman of whom little is known, created his miscellany in 1608 when he was about the age of 60. The bulky manuscript of 290 double-sided folios contains texts and images appropriated from books, woodcuts, and engravings of his day. Part one of the manuscript (leaves 3–36) consists of historical and practical information: a time line; an illustrated calendar; moralizing proverbs; a series of computational tables and astronomical diagrams; lists of families linked to William the Conqueror; distances between London and cities around the world; a rule for determining the dates of legal terms; a list of fairs; geographical accounts of Britain, Wales, and Cornwall; descriptions of the Cambridge and Oxford colleges; a list of the shires, cities, and boroughs of England; a list of the wards and parish churches of London and environs; and a table of distances between London and other notable towns in England. Part two (leaves 37–126r) consists of a series of biblical and monarchical chronologies, beginning with the account in the Bible of the creation of the world and the fall of man, followed by the generations of Adam, the sons of Noah, the kings of Israel, the genealogies of Mary and Joseph, the 12 tribes of Israel, the early rulers of Britain, the kings and queens of England, and the kings and queens of Scotland. Part three (leaves 126v–213) contains edifying and cautionary verses, with illustrations, on the Twelve Degrees of the World, the Five Alls, the Ten Commandments, the Nine Worthies, the Nine Muses, the Seven Deadly Sins, the Seven Virtues, the Seven Liberal Sciences, and the Twelve Apostles; figures important to Protestant history; the six Gunpowder Plot traitors; pagan, Jewish, and Christian heroes; and additional parables, proverbs, and lists of virtues and vices accompanied by scriptural and secular verses. Part four (leaves 215–307, 310v, 311v, and 312v) is devoted to patterns, most without text, of caps, mazes, lettering, floral and abstract borders and motifs, and other objects or designs suitable for embroidery, plasterwork, woodwork, painting, and garden design. The fifth and final part of the manuscript (leaves 308–27) is a list of sheriffs and mayors of London from 1190 to 1601. Eight years after finishing this compilation, Trevilian created a second manuscript containing many of the same images, now held by the Wormsley Library in England.

Last updated: February 12, 2016