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The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume IX. From Steele and Addison to Pope and Swift.

XIII. Scholars and Antiquaries

§ 26. Baker’s collections: his History of St. John’s College, Cambridge

Thomas Baker, non-juring fellow of St. John’s college, Cambridge, added to accurate and wide knowledge the character of unselfish readiness to communicate to others his stores of learning. He made extensive collections towards a history of the university of Cambridge, including an Athenae Cantabrigienses; but, with the exception of the admirable history of his college, published, with large additions, by J. E. B. Mayor in 1869, the forty-two folio volumes in Baker’s remarkable hand-writing still remain in manuscript. His Reflections on Learning, which appeared anonymously in 1700 and went through seven editions, brought him considerable credit at the time, but is now happily forgotten. William Cole, the friend of Horace Walpole, ably followed Baker in the same path, and, though he published nothing, his hundred folio volumes of manuscript collections and transcripts attest his industry, and many contributions from his pen appeared in the works of contemporary writers.