Trinity's copy of the First Folio was purchased at the sale of the library of the late Arthur Browne in 1805 and is the only copy of the book in Ireland. The sum paid by College was £26 11s. 6d. - a very good price at the time. Arthur Browne taught both Law and Greek at Trinity and was a Senior Fellow of the College. A contemporary account indicates that 'for many years no person in the university was more beloved than Dr Browne -- he was the idol of the students.' He had been born in New England, but his family was Irish. Browne's father was one of the twelve founding fellows of Rhode Island College -- now Brown University.
Trinity's copy of the First Folio shows many signs of the domestic life it lived before it made its way to the College Library. A candle had been dropped into the centre of the volume, burning through several pages. The pages have been repaired, with the missing text being carefully recreated in a manuscript facsimile of the original type. In the 'wooing scene' of Henry V, we find the paw print of either a small dog or a large cat. The most intriguing set of marks in the Trinity Folio are inscribed on a blank page opposite the first scene of King John. It may be that they are a form of shorthand, possibly the same as that used by the famous diarist Samuel Pepys.
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