Scott manuscript: copies or transcripts
- April 23, 2020 at 8:42 am #18996Mark PParticipant
Good Morning to all Forum members;
I am attempting to locate a copy or transcript of what is known as the ‘Scott Manuscript’, which is a treatise on ship design or building (or both; I am not sure exactly) This was reportedly set down in around 1600, and was last known of in the library of the Royal Institute of Naval Architects. Unbelievably, they sold it via Christie’s in 1999, seemingly without keeping any kind of record of its contents. It was purchased by a private buyer, and its whereabouts now appear to be unknown.
A doctoral thesis on the subject of the Nautical archaeology of a 17th century shipwreck in US waters, produced by a student at Texas AMU, Daniel Mark Brown in 2013, mentioned that a scholarly work was supposedly forthcoming on the manuscript; but of this there is no public sign.
If any member has knowledge of a copy or transcript of the Scott manuscript, I would be very grateful for their help in obtaining a copy. This would be a great aid in my researches into 17th & 18th century warship construction.
All the best to everyone;
Mark PorterApril 23, 2020 at 4:01 pm #18997Phillip ReidParticipant
From Larrie Ferreiro (with his permission)–I used the Barker article mentioned below in my own work, but I have never seen the original:
Scott Manuscript: A most excellent brief and easy treatise teaching the manner of building ships. (Formerly RINA Ms 798, but now privately owned. British Library xerox RP6709, for consultation only).
Title: SHIP-BUILDING. Manuscript of ‘A most excellent breife and easie treatise teaching the manner of building ships of all kinds …’. Christie’s, 6 Nov 1997, Lot 95 Creation dates: Circa 1600 – 1620
Collection Area: Western Manuscripts
Reference: RP 6709
Creation Date: 13 Feb 1998
Extent and Access:
Contents and Scope:
SHIP-BUILDING. Manuscript of ‘A most excellent breife and easie treatise teaching the manner of building ships of all kinds …’. Christie’s, 6 Nov 1997, Lot 95
Creation dates: Circa 1600 – 1620
See John Coates, “The Authorship of a Manuscript on Shipbuilding, c. 1600 –1620” Mariner’s Mirror 67, no. 3 (1981): 285– 86.
The Scott manuscript is an important and still unpublished document,
number 798 in the library of the Royal Institution of Naval Architects, dating
from 1590 to 1605 judging by the watermarks on the paper. Since it seems to
have been written by a very well informed expert, it has been suggested that
its author may have been the English shipwright Phineas Pett.
A document similar in content but by no means a direct copy of the Scott
manuscript is in the Cambridge University Library, with the reference MSS.
Add. 4005 Part 12. A copy of one or two late sixteenth- or early seventeenth century
manuscripts on shipbuilding in Isaac Newton’s hand, it encompasses
a section on shipbuilding, with proportions, dimensions, and rules for the
building of ships, and a section on the proportions of masts and spars. A reference
to the Queen’s ship Beare, rebuilt between 1598 and 1603, in the section
with the proportions on masts and yards places this document around 1600.
See Barker, “A Manuscript on Shipbuilding, circa 1600, Copied by Newton,”
Mariner’s Mirror 80, no. 1 (1994): 16 –29.
You can post this on the forum.
Dr. Larrie D. FerreiroApril 23, 2020 at 4:40 pm #18998Mark PParticipant
Thank you Phillip for your reply, and to Dr Ferreiro also.
I have today received confirmation from the RINA that they did not keep any copy or transcript of the manuscript before putting it up for sale, which seems somewhat more than negligent on their part.
If it runs to 110 pages, it must be quite a comprehensive treatise. All the more sorrow that it has vanished from public view.
I was not aware of John Coates’ article, and I will print off a copy and read it.
I have a very good digital copy of the Newton Treatise, given to me by Cambridge University Library. I first became aware of this through Richard Barker’s article concerning it in the MM.
All the best,
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