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Samuel Doody and his Books



The title page inscriptions 'J. Doody' or 'John Doody' in several volumes held in the Sloane Printed Books collection, have typically been taken as indicating ownership by either John Doody (1616-1680) or John Doody (1687-1753), his grandson. In fact, I suggest that these items found their way to Sloane from the library of the apothecary Samuel Doody, son of the elder John Doody and uncle of the younger. Several, indeed, contain notes in Samuel Doody's hand and correspond to his purchases recorded in the 'hammer' catalogues of books auctions held in the 1680s. In this article, I discuss Samuel Doody's books that survive in the British Library, his acquisitions at public book sales, and the collaborative project of cataloguing nature in which Doody and other eminent botanists and Fellows of the Royal Society were engaged during the seventeenth century's closing decades. In three appendices, I provide book lists offering a partial reconstruction of Doody's library catalogues based on the volumes in the Sloane collection and his recorded purchases at two auctions.


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