Colenda Digital Repository

A philosophical treatise of a somnambule upon God: man: & nature

Rainsford, Charles, 1728-1809 (former owner); Northumberland, Hugh Percy, Duke of, 1742-1817 (former owner)
Charles Rainsford Collection of Alchemical and Occult Manuscripts (University of Pennsylvania)
Early works to 1800
Collection of treatises purported to be written in French by a young woman while in a state of somnambulation in the year 1786 and translated into English in Gibraltar in 1794 by a student of magnetism (v. 1, p. 36-37), most likely by Charles Rainsford. Sections include the definition of the Holy Trinity (v. 1, p. 1-36), discussion of mankind and nature (v. 1, p. 37-172), an overview of magnetism (v. 1, p. 173-218) and magnetic sleep (v. 1, p. 219-267; v. 2, p. 1-28), spiritual and natural magnetism and instructions on how to magnetize (v. 2, p. 29-71), a translation of a letter originally printed in French at Stockholm in 1787 that gives an explanation of animal magnetism and somnambulism (v. 2, p. 73-171), and extracts from the works of Emmanuel Swedenborg that explain animal magnetism and somnambulism (v. 2, p. 172-215). Also includes a list of contents for the first volume (v. 1, p. [268].
Formerly owned by Charles Rainsford (British army officer, fellow of the Royal Society, and alchemist); bequeathed by Rainsford to Hugh Percy, Second Duke of Northumberland.; Owned by the 2nd through 12th Dukes of Northumberland, ms. 616.1 and 616.2, Alnwick Castle, Northumberland, 1809-2014 (bookplate, inside upper cover; stamps throughout).; Sold at auction at Sotheby's (London), 15 July 2014, as part of Lot 411.
Unique at Penn blog post:
Animal magnetism -- Early works to 1800; Animal magnetism; Sleepwalking -- Early works to 1800; Occultism -- Early works to 1800; Occultism; Sleepwalking
Resource Type:
Codices; Treatises; Manuscripts, English; Manuscripts, European
Physical Description:
2 volumes (138, 177 leaves) : paper; 193 x 160 mm bound to 203 x 165 mm
Ms. codex.; Title from title page (v. 1, p. 37).; Pagination: V. 1: Paper, 138 leaves; [iv], 1-241, [ii], 257, [ii], 258-267, [268]; contemporary pagination in ink, upper outer corners from p. 1-36, and upper center from p. 37-267. Second set of contemporary pagination in ink, 1-213, upper outer corners. starting on p. 58 of first set of pagination. V. 2: Paper, 177 leaves; [ii], 1-215, [216-352]; contemporary pagination in ink, upper outer corners.; Layout: Written in 16-18 long lines.; Script: Written in a cursive script in the hand of Charles Rainsford.; Binding: Contemporary parchment.; Origin: Written in Gibraltar in 1794 (v.1, p. 37).; Purchased with support from the B. H. Breslauer Foundation.
Physical Location:
Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts, Manuscripts, Ms. Codex 1698