The Cathedral Library was built in the mid-fifteenth century over the East Cloister.

It houses the book collection of the Chapter in two areas: the Chained Library and the Reading Room.

Featured Book of the Month : SEPTEMBER

RALEGH, Sir Walter    History of the World (1652)

RALEGH, Sir Walter: History of the World (1652)

Sir Walter Ralegh (1552-1618) was a favourite of Queen Elizabeth I and is best known for bringing back tobacco and potatoes from North America.

When she died in 1603, Ralegh was imprisoned in the Tower of London by King James I on charges of treason and there he remained until 1616, when he was released to lead an expedition to the Orinoco River in search of gold. The failure of the expedition led to his re-arrest on his return and execution on the original charge in 1618.

Whilst in the Tower he began writing his Historie of the World. The first and only volume was published in 1614 and we have a first edition as well as two later editions. Unfortunately, his history covers only the Greek and Roman period ending at the second Macedonian War of 130 BC.

Sir Walter had Sherborne Castle built on the estate granted to him by a grateful Queen and his nephew, also Walter Ralegh, was Dean of Wells Cathedral from 1642-44.

This copy was given by Dr John Davis, a Prebendary of Wells cathedral from 1704-18.


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