Rare Seventeenth Century Poetry Manuscript At Risk Of Export

Manuscript of works by the poet John Donne is at risk of being lost abroad unless a UK buyer can step in to save it

Stuart manuscript of works by the poet John Donne

Stuart manuscript of works by the poet John Donne

  • Manuscript of works by the poet John Donne is at risk of being lost abroad unless a UK buyer can step in to save it
  • Donne was a contemporary of Shakespeare and one of the best known poets of the Stuart period

An incredibly rare Stuart manuscript of works by the poet John Donne is at risk of leaving the UK unless a buyer can be found to match the £466,000 asking price.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has today announced a temporary export bar on the work in a bid to save it for the nation.

John Donne (1572 – 1631) was an English poet and cleric whose works were widely appreciated and circulated among his contemporaries in manuscript form. A contemporary of William Shakespeare, Donne was one of the best known poets of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

Donne was ordained in 1615 and became the royal chaplain to King James I. During his lifetime, Donne did not want to be thought of as a poet or author and was said to regret allowing his longer poems to be printed in 1611 and 1612 making this manuscript, a rare early surviving copy of his works.

His preference for publishing poems in manuscript form make it difficult to date Donne’s works, however experts believe this copy dates to around 1625. His first full collection of poems was not printed until 1633.

At the time of his death in 1631, Donne’s works were highly sought after by his contemporaries, however, by the end of the 17th century, his poems were judged to be undecorous and Donne fell out of favour until the late 19th century when his works were rediscovered. Today he is celebrated as one of the leading Renaissance poets.

Committee Member Peter Barber said:

John Donne is one of the greatest English poets of all time, and this recently-discovered volume contains one of the largest and earliest surviving groups of his verse – all lovingly transcribed by hand.

The volume also contains the work of later poets with at least one hitherto unknown poem: making it a testimony to British literary taste over 200 years. It is crying out for detailed investigation, not least because it also contains clues to the identity of its original, possibly female, compiler who would have been a contemporary of Donne. So further research might perhaps shed fresh light on Donne himself and his world. I do hope that the volume can be kept in this country so that its potential can be realised.

This manuscript is one of the five most significant and largest collections of Donne’s works ever to be identified and the most important to emerge in almost half a century. The manuscript includes a range of Donne’s works, including his famous works, ‘The Storm’, ‘The Calm’, ‘The Breake of Daye’ and ‘Sunn Risinge’. Only one poem in Donne’s own hand survives and is today held in the Bodleian Library, Oxford. Evidence of manuscript copies of Donne’s work are crucial for understanding of his works and his literary reputation.

The Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest (RCEWA) made its recommendation on the grounds of the manuscript’s outstanding significance for the study of John Donne’s poetry, for the story of collectors and literary tastes in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and for the study of the dissemination of poetic manuscripts in the period.

The decision on the export licence applications for the manuscript will be deferred until 23 August 2019. This may be extended until 23 November 2019 if a serious intention to raise funds to purchase the item is made at the recommended price of £466,000.

Offers from public bodies for less than the recommended price through the private treaty sale arrangements, where appropriate, may also be considered. Such purchases frequently offer substantial financial benefits to a public institution wishing to acquire.

Speech: Prime Minister’s Statement In Downing Street

PM Theresa May's statement in Downing Street

PM Theresa May

PM Theresa May

Ever since I first stepped through the door behind me as Prime Minister, I have striven to make the United Kingdom a country that works not just for a privileged few, but for everyone.

And to honour the result of the EU referendum.

Back in 2016, we gave the British people a choice.

Against all predictions, the British people voted to leave the European Union.

I feel as certain today as I did three years ago that in a democracy, if you give people a choice you have a duty to implement what they decide.

I have done my best to do that.

I negotiated the terms of our exit and a new relationship with our closest neighbours that protects jobs, our security and our Union.

I have done everything I can to convince MPs to back that deal.

Sadly, I have not been able to do so.

I tried three times.

I believe it was right to persevere, even when the odds against success seemed high.

But it is now clear to me that it is in the best interests of the country for a new Prime Minister to lead that effort.

So I am today announcing that I will resign as leader of the Conservative and Unionist Party on Friday 7 June so that a successor can be chosen.

I have agreed with the Party Chairman and with the Chairman of the 1922 Committee that the process for electing a new leader should begin in the following week.

I have kept Her Majesty the Queen fully informed of my intentions, and I will continue to serve as her Prime Minister until the process has concluded.

It is, and will always remain, a matter of deep regret to me that I have not been able to deliver Brexit.

It will be for my successor to seek a way forward that honours the result of the referendum.

To succeed, he or she will have to find consensus in Parliament where I have not.

Such a consensus can only be reached if those on all sides of the debate are willing to compromise.

For many years the great humanitarian Sir Nicholas Winton – who saved the lives of hundreds of children by arranging their evacuation from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia through the Kindertransport – was my constituent in Maidenhead.

At another time of political controversy, a few years before his death, he took me to one side at a local event and gave me a piece of advice.

He said, ‘Never forget that compromise is not a dirty word. Life depends on compromise.’

He was right.

As we strive to find the compromises we need in our politics – whether to deliver Brexit, or to restore devolved government in Northern Ireland – we must remember what brought us here.

Because the referendum was not just a call to leave the EU but for profound change in our country.

A call to make the United Kingdom a country that truly works for everyone. I am proud of the progress we have made over the last three years.

We have completed the work that David Cameron and George Osborne started: the deficit is almost eliminated, our national debt is falling and we are bringing an end to austerity.

My focus has been on ensuring that the good jobs of the future will be created in communities across the whole country, not just in London and the South East, through our Modern Industrial Strategy.

We have helped more people than ever enjoy the security of a job.

We are building more homes and helping first-time buyers onto the housing ladder – so young people can enjoy the opportunities their parents did.

And we are protecting the environment, eliminating plastic waste, tackling climate change and improving air quality.

[Political content removed]

Security; freedom; opportunity.

Those values have guided me throughout my career.

But the unique privilege of this office is to use this platform to give a voice to the voiceless, to fight the burning injustices that still scar our society.

That is why I put proper funding for mental health at the heart of our NHS long-term plan.

It is why I am ending the postcode lottery for survivors of domestic abuse.

It is why the Race Disparity Audit and gender pay reporting are shining a light on inequality, so it has nowhere to hide.

And that is why I set up the independent public inquiry into the tragedy at Grenfell Tower – to search for the truth, so nothing like it can ever happen again, and so the people who lost their lives that night are never forgotten.

Because this country is a Union.

Not just a family of four nations.

But a union of people – all of us.

Whatever our background, the colour of our skin, or who we love.

We stand together.

And together we have a great future.

Our politics may be under strain, but there is so much that is good about this country. So much to be proud of. So much to be optimistic about.

I will shortly leave the job that it has been the honour of my life to hold – the second female Prime Minister but certainly not the last.

I do so with no ill-will, but with enormous and enduring gratitude to have had the opportunity to serve the country I love.

Top International Award For ACT Awareness e-Learning

Counter Terrorism Policing's ACT Awareness e-Learning tool has scooped top prize at a prestigious European business resilience awards event

Awareness e-Learning

Awareness e-Learning

The product, developed in a ground-breaking partnership with retailer Marks and Spencer and learning provider Highfield, is now shortlisted for the world final in autumn.

Beating off rival submissions to scoop the Business Continuity Institute’s ‘Innovation’ category, ACT Awareness e-Learning provides organisations large and small with a free-to-access course which could help prevent and mitigate against terrorist attacks.

Since its launch just over a year ago, 4000 companies have registered to use ACT Awareness e-Learning and 250,000 individuals have taken part online, completing more than one million modules of training.

John Frost, Head of Business Continuity at Marks and Spencer, who collected the award in Hamburg, said:

The feedback we have received from users of this product has been overwhelmingly positive. Now we are getting a considerable amount of interest and plaudits from overseas.

The way the commercial sector and Counter Terrorism Policing have worked together on developing this product makes us world-leaders in this field.

Detective Superintendent Michael Orchard, National Co-ordinator for Protective Security, added:

We have seen that attacks can take place anywhere at any time. All locations that attract large numbers of people to their premises should take steps to help protect their staff and visitors.

Everyone working in crowded places – not just those who have a security role – can follow the course and be in a stronger position to help protect themselves, colleagues and the public.

Organisations wanting more information about the ACT Awareness e-Learning package, or to apply for registration, visit www.gov.uk/government/news/act-awareness-elearning.

Vehicle Checkpoint Screening Conference To Take Place At Aerospace Bristol

Innovative solutions that could transform the way vehicles are screened at airports will be unveiled at this unique event

FASS Airside Vehicles

FASS Airside Vehicles

Seven projects that are looking at new ways to prevent explosives, weapons and other threats hidden in vehicles from accessing the airside of an airport will be revealed for the first time on Thursday 13 June 2019.

The developers behind the low and mid-level Technology Readiness Level (TRL) proposals will present their novel concepts to experts from industry, academia and government against the backdrop of one of the finest examples of British innovation – Concorde.

Taking place at Aerospace Bristol in the heart of the South West’s aerospace industry, the Vehicle Checkpoint (VCP) Screening Conference concludes the first phase of the VCP competition that was announced by the Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) in June 2018.

To mark the occasion, all seven of the proposals that each received a share of the £1 million funding pot provided by the Future Aviation Security Solutions (FASS) programme will offer an exclusive look at the progress they have made since they were successfully awarded contracts in January 2019.

In addition to learning more about the science and technology behind some of the new screening techniques being developed, attendees will be given the opportunity to understand how existing technologies are being adapted to work within the VCP setting.

They will also be invited to engage in question and answer sessions with the individuals behind these novel ideas to help shape the future of airport vehicle security screening. Attendees will also have the chance to network and hear from representatives working in the aviation and security fields in an exclusive panel discussion.

This Vehicle Checkpoint Screening conference is free-to-attend. Please register your interest on our Eventbrite page where additional information is available.

RT Hon Dr Liam Fox MP Champions UK Digital Economy At Paris Meeting

The Secretary of State for International Trade, Rt Hon Dr Liam Fox MP, attended the OECD annual conference today in Paris to promote Britain’s digital economy in a global marketplace

Flight Paths

Flight Paths

Speaking at the international meeting alongside ministers from across the world, he spoke about the potential power of digital technologies to grow and transform our economies and to create accessibility to trade and commerce to groups currently unrepresented, such as women and people living in emerging economies.

The annual meeting saw ministers and officials from 36 member states come together, along with key partner and accession countries to discuss the theme of ‘harnessing digital transition for sustainable development: opportunities and challenges’.

Dr Fox, representing the UK, spoke of the importance of innovation and competition in modernising economies, and of recognising the value in world-leading digital hubs such as the UK, where last year artificial intelligence firms raised $1.3 billion, almost as much as the whole of the rest of Europe put together.

He also spoke of the necessity of strengthening the international, rules-based, multi-lateral trading system. And identified 3 priorities:

  • Connectivity and access to technology; improving access to the digital marketplace for unrepresented groups and small businesses by aligning trade and development policies.
  • The flow of data; across borders, in the way goods and services move as opposed to the localisation of data storage which can stifle connectivity and growth.
  • Regulation; necessary regulation for trade and consumer protection must protect people and businesses online and offline, however, restrictions must not be used to stifle competition.

The Secretary of State for International Trade also spoke of the need to protect intellectual property, of the importance of transparency between governments and online companies and the need to end the giving of illegal subsidies and disruptions to data flows, all of which can hinder growth and innovation.

Dr Fox also attended 2 bi-lateral meetings; one with Director General of the World Trade Organisation, Roberto Azevedo and one with Japanese Trade Minister, Mr Hiroshige Seko and his delegation.

RT Hon Dr Liam Fox MP, Secretary of State for International Trade said:

We need to have greater openness to world leading digital hubs and recognise they are an opportunity, not a threat.

We’re lucky in the United Kingdom, our start- up tech sector is attracting record levels of investment, last year our artificial intelligence firms raised 1.3 billion dollars. Almost as much as the rest of Europe put together.

Realising the potential of World-leading digital hubs like the UK and others is vital and reforming the rules-based trading system is essential in reflecting the developing needs of digital trade.

Notes to Editors
  1. The Department for International Trade (DIT) secures UK and global prosperity by promoting and financing international trade and investment and championing free trade. We are an international economic department, responsible for:
  • Bringing together policy, promotion and financial expertise to break down barriers to trade and investment, and help businesses succeed
  • Delivering a new trade policy framework for the UK as we leave the EU
  • Promoting British trade and investment across the world
  • Building the global appetite for British goods and services
  1. Latest statistics from the ONS show UK firms sold more overseas in the 2018/19 financial year, £639.9 billion, than at any time since records began
  2. The UK has now achieved 36 consecutive months of export growth on an annual rolling basis
  3. Separate OECD data shows UK exports grew faster than Germany, France and Italy between 2016 and 2018
  4. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development is an intergovernmental economic organisation with 36 member countries, founded in 1961 to stimulate economic progress and world trade. OECD is an official United Nations observer.
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