Francis Withy's commonplace book. Printed, with an extensive supplement of manuscript additions; English, 1667-mid 1690s. The collection is built around a copy of the following publication, which is bound at the front of the volume:
This is preceded by an annotated stub and two annotated flyleaves, and followed by a textblock of 95 surviving folios (=190 pages), of which 116 have been used by Francis Withy (c. 1645-1727) as a musical commonplace book, largely for recording rudiments, cadence formulae, rules for canons, and other miscellaneous musical information. The composite nature of Mus. 337 (i.e. a printed book bound with an extensive textblock for manuscript additions) was probably conceived by John Withy (c. 1600-1685), whose name is written on ff. 1r and 2r of the textblock. However, no further material in John Withy's hand has been identified in Mus. 337, and it was used instead solely by his son Francis. (For a list of other music manuscripts at Christ Church copied by Francis Withy, see below.)
The textblock of 95 folios at the rear of Mus. 337 has never been paginated or foliated. Moreover, the important discussion of Withy's manuscript additions by Robert Thompson (see Bibliography below) cites pages using a number-system that refers only to pages actually used by Withy; thus Thompson's 'p. ' refers to the 104th page annotated by Withy, not the 104th page of the textblock. (The standard microfilm of Mus. 337 also reproduces only the pages used by Withy.) The situation may be clarified by the following concordance:
Upright format, 163 x 105 mm. Late 17th-century binding of dark brown leather over boards; upper and lower covers blind-tooled with fillets, small ornaments, and the initials 'F W' (= Francis Withy). Bookplate 2. 19th-century shelfmark: I.4.49.
Subsequent provenance: possibly from the Goodson bequest. The earliest reference to Mus. 337 in the 18th-century catalogues of the Christ Church music collections is in Malchair, which refers to it (at f. 14) as 'A Compendium of practical Music Simpson / London 1667 with this book are bound up Manuscript directions for Composing'. A copy of Simpson's treatise is known to have reached Christ Church as part of the Aldrich bequest, but the entry for it in Archives 1717 (item F6) makes no mention of manuscript additions, and Aldrich died before Withy; it is therefore likely that Aldrich's copy of Simpson is now probably missing. (It is not the copy of the 4th edition of 1706 now at shelfmark Os.3.30.)
Microfilm: The printed music of Christ Church, Oxford, reel 16.