New Milton Manuscript: Transcript

Joad Raymond, Transcript of Thomas Margetts’ contemporary translation of Milton’s First Defence


This is the earliest known translation of Milton’s Defensio, made by Thomas Margetts, who worked alongside Milton in the Commonwealth and Protectorate governments of the 1650s. It is kept by the Alexander Turnbull Library in the National Library of New Zealand / Te Puna Matauranga O Aotearoa, shelfmark MS-1649.

This plain transcription of the manuscript I publish here for the benefit of the scholarly community. I hope it may also prove useful for teaching Milton (especially as Defensio, the book that made Milton famous, isn’t included in the recent editions of selected prose). The text here is unannotated, and this uncorrected transcription may contain a few errors. I am presently preparing a scholarly edition of the manuscript to compose part of my edition of Defensio for the Oxford Complete Works of John Milton, volume 7. The present edition can be cited thus:

Joad Raymond, ‘Transcript of Thomas Margetts’ translation of Milton’s First Defence’, <;

Milton’s Defensio, translated by Margetts