Thomas Urquhart (1611–1660)


Apollo and the Muses

See UrT 1.

Epigrams (‘Great Monarch, since the Worlds Nativitie’)

An edition of Epigrams: Divine and Moral, comprising three books of 132 epigrams in all, published in London, 1641. Reprinted in London, 1646. Most of Urquhart's epigrams unpublished.

*UrT 1

Autograph MS of ten books of epigrams. Containing over 1000 epigrams, on 266 large folio leaves (measuring c.35 x 24 cm and irregularly paginated 1-542), with a dedication to James, Marquess of Hamilton (pp. 1-6), an ‘epistle lectural’ to the Reader (pp. 7-10), a title-page (p. 19: ‘Ten Books of Epigrams, the Curiositie whereof, for Conception, stile, instruction, and other mixtures of show, and substance, being no lesse fruitfull, then pleasing to the diligent peruser, are intituled Apollo, and the Muses: Written by the right Worshipfull Sir Thomas Urchard knight’), an ‘Introduction’ (pp. 20-8), a ‘prolog’ (pp. 29-30), and an ‘invocation To Apollo and the Muses’ (p. 30); the various books also ushered in with separate title-pages, dedications (to the Marquess of Huntley, Earls of Arundel, Northumberland, Pembroke, Dorset, Holland, Newcastle, Strafford, and Lords Craven and Gowran), epistles to the ‘judicious’ or ‘gracious’ Reader, and invocations (to the Muses: Apollo, Clio, Euterpe, Thalia, Melpomene, Urania, Terpsichore, Erato, Poly[hi]mnia, and Calliope); concluding with ‘an epilog’ (pp. 361-2), ‘fareweil to the Patrons’ (pp. 362-3), ‘adiew to Apollo and the Muses’ (p. 364), and a ‘Corollarie’ including prose introduction, verse dialogue, prose ‘Animadversion’, draft notes and more verses (pp. 367-95), ‘A Consertarie from the Printer’ (p. 396), ‘A Table’ under alphabetical headings (pp. 397-449), a list of words (pp. 450-2), a prose ‘advertisement’ (p. 452), ‘An explicatarie index of the harshest and most difficult words contained in the preceeding epigrams’ (pp. 453-77), a prose ‘conclusion’ (pp. 478-9), ‘the aftershot’ (p. 480), another catalogue of words (pp. 481-94), and a prose essay ‘Of Lust, and anger’ followed by further draft epigrams (pp. 485-542); the text including a ‘chronogram of this present year 1640’. c.1640-1.

Owned in 1683 by George Ogilvie, Master of Banff. Sotheby's, 17 November 1920 (John Ferguson sale), lot 949, to Bain.

This MS discussed in Charles Whibley, Studies in Frankness (London, 1898), p. 245; Willcock (1899), pp. 5, 40-1, 109, 116-17, with quotations and (after p. 116) a facsimile example; Kelsie B. Harder, ‘Sir Thomas Urquhart's Definition of Wit’, N&Q, 199 (April 1954), 154-5; and Jack & Lyall, pp. 6, 38. Complete microfilm in the Bodleian (MS Film 86). Facsimile example also in Laurence Witten, ‘Contemporary Collectors XXIII: James Marshall Osborn’, The Book Collector, 8 (Winter 1959), 383-96 (after p. 392); and see Facsimile XVII in IELM, II/2.

Yale, Osborn MS fb 217.


A Challenge

Urquhart's letter to Sir Robert Farquhar, Laird of Cromarty, 1 July 1658, first published in Luttrell (1948).

UrT 2

Copy on fourteen quarto leaves (plus partly unopened blanks), badly stained. Headed (later) ‘Sr Thomas Wrquhart his Letter to the Laird of Cromartie’. c.1658.

This MS extensively quoted in HMC, 6th Report (1877), Appendix, pp. 686-7, and in Tayler, pp. 55-8. Edited from this MS in Luttrell, with a facsimile example after p. 12.

Yale, Osborn Gordonstoun Papers Box I, Folder 4.

The History of the Admirable Chrichton

First published in Ekskubalauron: or the Discovery of a Most Exquisite Jewel, Found in the Kennel of Worcester-Streets, Anno 1651 (London, 1652). Willcock (1899), pp. 215-39. The Admirable Urquhart, ed. Richard Boston (London, 1975), pp. 65-96. Jack & Lyall (1983), [pp. 100-37].

UrT 3

Copy, headed ‘Taken out of a little book found in the channill, in the street after the fatall battle of Worcester, written by Sr Thomas Vrquhart of Cromarty knight…’. c.1663.

In: A quarto composite miscellany, in Latin and English, associated with Oxford University, iii + 68 leaves. In three parts, the first (ff. 1-20) owned in 1669 and probably compiled by Francis Philips (b.1651) of Brasenose College, Oxford; the second (ff. 21-46), c.1663 or so; the third part (ff. 47 onwards) 19th-century. c.1669.

Once owned by the Rev. Philip Bliss (1787-1857), antiquary and book collector. Sotheby's, 2 August 1858 (Bliss sale), lot 172. Purchased from the executors of Dr John Griffiths (d.1885) in May 1886.

Bodleian, MS Add. A. 368, ff. 26v-38v.

The Jewel

See UrT 3.

Reasons why the Supreme Authority of the Three Nations

*UrT 4

An anonymous printed quarto pamphlet signed by Urquhart, the likely author of the work. c.1653.

Later owned by Hugh C.H. Candy (fl.1930s).

Recorded, with a facsimile of the signature, in Candy, ‘Milton, N.LL, and Sir Tho. Urquhart’, The Library, 4th Ser. 14 (1933-4), 470-6 (p. 473).

Untraced, [Urquhart pamphlet].



UrT 5

A letter of procuratory by Urquhart narrating the history of a contract made by his father in 1635, and appointing his own brother, Alexander Urquhart of Dunglas, to act as his procurator for the redemption of lands as specified in that contract, the letter signed in London, 15 February 1643. 1643.

Major Urquhart, Craigston Castle, Bundle 190, [unnumbered item].

*UrT 6

Letter by Urquhart, to Robert Farquhar of Mounie, the text in the hand of an amanuensis and signed by Urquhart (in partly elaborate monogram form), from Cromarty, 18 December 1648. 1648.

Edited in Jack & Lyall, p. 42.

Yale, Osborn Gordonstoun Papers Box 1, Folder 6, [unnumbered item].

*UrT 7

A letter by Urquhart, to Robert Douglas, Moderator of the General Assembly, the text in the hand of an amanuensis and signed by Urquhart, from ‘Chanonrie of Ros’, 14 November 1649. Among the working papers and collections of Robert Wodrow (1679-1734), ecclesiastical historian. 1649.

Edited in Jack & Lyall, p. 43.

National Library of Scotland, MS Wod Fol XXV, No. 63.

*UrT 8

Autograph letter siigned by Urquhart, to Robert Farquhar of Mounie, from London, 30 July 1653.

Recorded and briefly quoted in HMC, 6th Report (1877), Appendix, p. 687, and in Tayler, pp. 53-4. Facsimile in Luttrell (1948), facing p. xvii. Edited in Jack & Lyall, p. 44.

Yale, Osborn Gordonstoun Papers Box 1, Folder 7, No. 798A.

*UrT 9

Autograph letter signed by Urquhart, to John Macronald, Advocate, from London, 9 December 1653. 1653.

Edited (from photostats at Yale) in Jack & Lyall, p. 44-5.

National Archives of Scotland, RH9/2/258.

*UrT 10

Autograph letter signed by Urquhart, to John Macronald, Advocate, from London, 14 January 1653/4. 1654.

Edited (from photostats at Yale) in Jack & Lyall, p. 45.

National Archives of Scotland, RH9/2/259.

*UrT 11

A letter by Urquhart, to Alexander, Earl of Leven, the text in the hand of an amanuensis and signed and subscribed by Urquhart, from Middelburg, 10/20 September 1655. 1655.

Edited in Jack & Lyall, p. 46.

National Archives of Scotland, GD26/13/267.



UrT 12

A legal paper whereby Urquhart appoints Adam Smith to be his servitor and ‘special errands bearer’ to Sir James Fraser, bearing the monogram-signature ‘Th Urchard’, 1 April 1642. 1642.

Reproduced in Tayler, p. 44.

Major Urquhart, Craigston Castle, Bundle 177, [no item number].

Books from Urquhart's Library

Johnston, Arthur. Epigrammata (Aberdeen, 1632)

*UrT 13

A printed exemplum allegedly signed by Urquhart.

Owned in the late 19th century by the Rev. J.B. Craven of Kirkwall.

Recorded in Willcock, p. 57.

Untraced, [Urquhart volume].