Clement Litil’s Bequest Charter
Gifted in 1580
Special Collections: Dd.3.16
This large vellum document records a bequest of Clement Litil’s library to the ‘Tounis College’ – before the college, which became the University, had come into being.
Clement Litil (c.1525-1580) was the son of an Edinburgh mercantile family. After studying at St. Andrews and Louvain, he returned to Edinburgh to practice as an advocate. He was among a small group who were working to found a college in the town. The aim was to the fulfil the Protestant ambition for a well-educated clergy, and soundly-informed laity. Litil died shortly before this plan came to fruition.
Each book is stamped with a circular seal showing the arms and initials of Maister Clement Litil and another stamp that states:
I AM GEVIN TO EDINBURGH & KIRK OF GOD BE MAISTER CLEMENT LITIL THAIR TO REMAN. 1580
Story by Rachel Hosker, Deputy Head of Special Collections and Archives Manager