Alan Isaac Rare Books

Lewis of Carleon – The Roots of Science in Wales. A Manuscript for the Nation?

The UK government has accepted the advice of the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art (RCEWA) and opened a window of opportunity to secure for the nation, and particularly for Wales, a manuscript of the 15th century scholar, Lewis of Carleon.

Lewis studied medicine at Cambridge University in the mid 1460’s. He went on to become a ‘servant’ of Henry Tudor (Henry VII) probably in a medical capacity and he received several lifelong grants from him for his service. The manuscript, which was valued at £300,000 concerns his studies in the realm of science,  in particular, what the RCEWA have called ‘ the progression from ancient theories of astronomy toward a modern, mathematical approach’.  The actions of the RCEWA indicate that it accepted that Lewis was  ‘a significant contributor to the study of astronomy and the development of science in the late medieval era’.  Further, the manuscript appears to be in the original ‘handsome presentation’ binding, quite likely for Henry VII.

The current economic climate is one in which fund raising of any kind will be a particular challenge, but this is a worthy cause, and one which deserves success.  If the target is reached, surely the book should reside in the National Library of Wales?

Posted by on March 21st, 2020 | Comments Off on Lewis of Carleon – The Roots of Science in Wales. A Manuscript for the Nation?
Posted in Manuscripts

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