Two New (?) Lost Piers Manuscripts (?).
Only seven allusions to lost copies of PPl are known from wills and inventories. Two more may now be added. Allusions to two cheap copies are contained among the estate of Sir Richard Brereton, Esq. (ob. c. 1559) of “Ley” or Lea Hall (near Middlewich, Cheshire), son of Sir William Brereton Green (ob. 1541), sometime Lord Justice in Ireland. The inventory of the estate does not designate the books as manuscripts and they might have been copies of Robert Crowley’s prints. The library included “practical household books, legal and medical materials, and . . . three books of logic” in addition to the usual literature of aristocratic pretension—romances, hunting manuals, chronicles, etc. Brereton’s “primary interests were in scripture and pious reading” and he had at least eleven volumes of “scripture” including a Lollard translation. Brereton’s books “imply a healthier interest” in PPl in the northwest than has been hitherto understood. Finally, the books and the family may well be connected with the note to be found on fol. 93 of Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS. Laud Misc. 581.