Sarpi’s History of the Council of Trent and Captain Nicholas Humfrys

Inscription in Sarpi's "Council of Trent"None of the books from the first library of William & Mary survived the 1705 fire, except, that is, for this one, Paolo Sarpi’s History of the Council of Trent (BX830 1545 .S323 1676b), found in England during the Second World War. How it ended up there is a mystery, especially in light of its inscription, which indicates that the book was the gift of Captain Nicholas Humfrys to William & Mary in the year before the fire. An answer to the question of how this book survived – or whether it ever made it to the College – may never be possible, but in looking at Humfrys’s life we may be able to put some of the pieces together.

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