<p style='text-align: justify;'>The <i>Liber</i> comprises copies by a professional scribe of transcripts by Robert Hare of royal charters, letters patent and other documents granting and confirming the University's privileges, partly from the University's records, but chiefly from those of central government in the Tower. The documents are arranged by reign, King Arthur to Queen Elizabeth. The Liber survives in three copies, of two, three, and four volumes respectively, the first, of which this is the digital copy, magnificently illuminated.</p> <p style='text-align: justify;'>Robert Hare (c.1530-1611) matriculated Fellow-Commoner from Gonville Hall in 1545, but left Cambridge without taking a degree and entered the Inner Temple. From 1560-71, he was Clerk of the Pells: an office of government with shared oversight of the Exchequer of Receipt. The remainder of his life was spent in antiquarian pursuits.</p> <p style='text-align: justify;'>This two volume illuminated set is probably that presented to the University by Hare in 1590, although it has been suggested that some of the heraldic devices included are of later date. It is known as ‘Hare A’ and is one of the three extant sets now in the University Archives. Annotations by Registrary Romilly, Vice-Chancellors Ashton and Parris and pasted-in lists of various kinds, eighteenth-nineteenth centuries, attempt to deal with the fact that both the contents and the deployment of the contents varies from set to set. Comparison suggests that A, the fine presentation copy, is derived from B, while C contains the fruit of further labour, but C is a fairer copy than B. It is suggested that there might have been a set D which was Hare's working copy from which A, B and C were taken with due exercise of selection, carelessness or conceivably censorship.</p> <p style='text-align: justify;'>Jacqueline Cox<br /> Deputy Keeper of the University Archives</p>
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