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Book owned by Gottes family in 1470-1500s


Louisa Foroughi from Fordham University in New York City got in touch with me two years ago. She has been researching a book in Columbia University Library referenced as Plimpton MS 259, a manuscript that once belonged to members of the Gottes family of Little Ryburgh. This manuscript is a notebook containing texts to which additional pamphlets have been added. It is a miscellany written in 15th and 16th century hands, originating in England c 1475.

In addition to a pamphlet on number theory and accounting practice, collections of Latin sayings, and religious tracts, this manuscript contains the account records of Robert, Nicholas, and Richard Gottes of Little Ryburgh. These are members of tree #036.


Images of the book are available on this weblink: Plimpton_259


The page for the Gottes accounts is here. Hover over to magnify it. You can zoom in with the mouse wheel:

Part of Louisa's Master's degree in Medieval History was to transcribe the first 32 folios of the manuscript, from the beginning of the book up to the two added pamphlets.  If you are an expert in medieval palaeography you’ll find this easy, however for most of us it is a struggle!


I have met Louisa a couple of times now, in the British Library, and we have shared information about the family tree and the sort of level in society they must have been.


Paul Acker published some initial research on the document, which focused on the Mathematics Treatise in a pamphlet at the end of the manuscript.  (Source: The Crafte of Numbrynge in Columbia University Library, Plimpton MS 259, Paul Acker, Saint Louis University 1993)


Louisa is now is researching English yeomen as a social group in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries using Little Ryburgh and Woodhall Manor as a case study for her PhD dissertation. In particular she is using records for the Gottes family and similar families in this area.

If you have any records or well-documented information about yeomen in that time she will be interested to hear about them.



Tudor Gottses in Norfolk - 3

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