It also caused the loss of records of what the library had once contained.
However, one rare guide to its early holdings is to be found in A New Catalogue of Books in the Publick Library of the City of Norwich. Published locally in 1732, Benjamin Mackerell’s 54pp catalogue also contains an account of ‘Mr John Fitzpatrick’s Roman and other Coins’.
The only two copies listed in auction records were both sold before that disastrous fire – one making £900 at Bloomsbury Auctions in 1992 – but in a July 12 sale held by Cheffins (22.5% buyer’s premium) another emerged.
It was lotted with a 1712 edition of Sir Thomas Browne’s Posthumous Works, but it was surely that catalogue in its later vellum binding that really pushed bidding way past estimate to £1200.