Fascinating discovery at Lichfield Cathedral Library

Friday June 24 2016

Staff at Lichfield Cathedral have discovered an exciting inscription in the Cathedral Library.

The inscription was found in a book belonging to the Earl of Hertford and dated 1553. It was written in Latin by ‘RA’, believed to be Roger Ascham. The inscription runs to over three pages and is dated 1554.

Roger Ascham (c.1515 – 1568) was an English scholar and writer and well-known for his theories on education. He was appointed as Greek and Latin Tutor to Princess Elizabeth (later Elizabeth I) between 1540 and 1550, and later Latin secretary to Mary I, a post he held until her death in 1558.

Interestingly, the book belonged to William Seymour, whose library collection forms the basis of the Cathedral’s current collection. The Seymour family were related to Jane Seymour, third Queen of Henry VIII and mother of King Edward VI.

Jason Dyer, Development Director at Lichfield Cathedral says: “This is a fascinating discovery written at a time when Roger Ascham was in the Service of Queen Mary.  This find reveals that we have much more to discover about the hidden treasures within our collection and much more that we can reveal to our visitors.”

The Cathedral is now working towards having this inscription translated.

The Cathedral Library is closed to the general public, however visitors are invited to explore the hidden library on one of the Cathedral’s Library Tours. The tours offer an exclusive glimpse into the Cathedral’s unique and special collection of historic treasures. For more information about the tours, visit www.lichfield-cathedral.org