The Library

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. The earliest records of the Cathedral are housed in the Muniment Room at the southern end of the Library.

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Featured Book of the Month : DECEMBER

FOXE, John  

Acts and Monuments    (3 volumes, 1684)  

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John Foxe (1517-1587) first published the Book of Martyrs, as it is popularly known, in 1563. It is an English Protestant account of the persecutions of Protestants by Roman Catholics from medieval times to the reign of Queen Mary and the Marian Persecutions.

The book remains a witness to the sufferings of faithful Christians at the hands of Catholic zealots and of their endurance unto death sustained and comforted by their faith. The passionate intensity of its style and the vivid and picturesque dialogues made it very popular among all Protestant readers from its publication to the 19th century.

Our copy is a later edition which belonged to Richard Busby (1606-1695), who was Treasurer of Wells Cathedral, and his armorial emblem is on the binding.

There is an amusing engraving in Vol. 1 P. 675 of “a monstrous owle” disturbing the Council of Constance, which Bishop Bubwith (1355-1424) attended, and there is an interesting account of the Council.

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