Litill, Clement Litill (1580)

Clement Litill's bequest charter, 1580
This large vellum document records the foundation of Edinburgh University Library - before the college itself had come into being. Clement Litill (c.1527-1580) was an Advocate and Commissary of Edinburgh. The younger son of an Edinburgh merchant and burgess, he was educated at the University of St Andrew's and at Louvain, eventually returning to Edinburgh in 1550 to practise as a lawyer. He had first met the opinions of the Reformers at St Andrews, and eventually embraced the reformed kirk. His bequest of 276 volumes, mainly theological, to the Toun and Kirk of Edinburgh, founded the Library. The collection, in which Catholic and Lutheran treatises are both well represented, was handed over by the Town Council to what was then called the Tounis College, in 1584, the year after the first students were admitted. Each book is stamped with a circular seal showing the arms and initials of Maister Clement Litill and another stamp which states: I AM GEVIN TO EDINBURGH & KIRK OF GOD BE MAISTER CLEMENT LITIL THAIR TO REMAN. 1580 The books listed here remain today at the core of the University's collections.
Litill, Clement

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