Trinity College and the Cavendish Laboratory

After the foundation of the Natural Sciences Tripos in 1851, the University of Cambridge found itself in need of a laboratory dedicated to experimental physics. As Chancellor of the University of Cambridge from 1861 to 1891, William Cavendish, 7th Duke of Devonshire, agreed to fund such a building. One of his conditions was that the …

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Building the Wren Library

In an earlier blog we learned how, by the seventeenth century, the existing library at Trinity was proving inadequate. The ambition to build a new library is popularly ascribed to Isaac Barrow, Master of Trinity from 1673 until his death in 1677. Barrow secured the services of his friend, architect Christopher Wren, for no charge. …

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The Sidney Psalms and Mary Herbert, Countess of Pembroke

Trinity College Library owns two manuscripts catalogued by M.R. James as ‘Sidney’s Version of the Psalms’ (O.1.51) and ‘Sir Philip Sidney's Metrical Version of the Psalms’ (R.3.16). In fact, these metrical paraphrases were authored by both Philip Sidney and his sister, Mary. It was Philip’s early death in 1586 which allowed his sister to emerge, …

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