University of Edinburgh

The Documents

Christopher Goodman's letter book

Most of the new documents on this site come from one source, Christopher Goodman’s Letter Book. It has survived in an early 18th-century copy in the Plas Power MSS deposited in Denbighshire Record Office in Ruthin (DD/PP/839). The letter book is a volume bound in white leather [30.5cm x 19cm] probably copied by Thomas Lloyd, a Welsh clergyman, resident at Plas Power during the early 18th-century. He was a faithful copyist as can be seen when his versions can be checked against the few surviving originals from the 16th century. A full discussion of Lloyd’s work can be found in Dawson & Glassey’s article [see Bibliography].

Additional letters from other collections have been added to the site under 'Resources.' They include a translation by Dr Jamie Reid-Baxter of a Latin letter written to John Calvin by ‘Tinoterius’, who has been firmly identified as John Knox. Two documents from the pen of John Bale [Petyt MSS in the Inner Temple Library] have been re-located and re-dated to Frankfurt during the winter of 1554-5. They now fit neatly into the middle of the ‘Troubles’, expressing Bale’s vehement opposition to Knox and his supporters. Also included is a letter sent in March 1557 by the Geneva exile congregation to the Frankfurt congregation that was drafted on the back of a book list [Rawlinson MSS in the Bodleian Library].

This website offers downloadable working versions of these translations and transcriptions to provide the basis for future research. It has not been possible to produce a scholarly edition with full apparatus and the transcriptions are accompanied by "work in progress" footnotes. It is hoped to add further interpretative material to the site at a later date.

Transcription Rules

In the transcriptions modern usage has been followed in the following instances

  • capital letters e.g. ffrankford is rendered Frankford
  • 'u' is transcribed as 'v' where appropriate but 'i' and 'j' remain as written
  • minimal punctuation has been added to preserve the sense