George Ruggle, (1575-1622), was born in Lavenham, Suffolk, in 1575. He matriculated at St John's College, Cambridge in 1589 before migrating to Trinity and then gaining his BA in 1593-4. He was later a Fellow of Clare 1598-1620. He was also a Taxor, 1604 and was incorporated at Oxford in 1605. He vacated his Fellowship when he succeeded to some property but he died soon after in 1622. He is remembered as the author of the famous Cambridge play, which so delighted James I called Ignoramus. It was written in Latin in 1614-1615 by Ruggle and was modelled on an Italian Comedy by Giovanni Battista della Porta to caricature the pedantry of the legal profession. It was played before King James on 8 March 1615 on the occasion of his visit to the University and he then made a special journey to Cambridge on 13 May to see the play again. Afterwards Ruggle was tutor at Babraham, Cambridgeshire, to the two sons of Toby Palavicino. The latter was Executor to Ruggle and paid his bequest of £100 to the College on 3 March 1624-5. Ruggle bequeathed his valuable collection of French, Spanish and Italian books to the College. [Details from Harrison index and Book of Clare, pp. 76, 143-4].
Handwritten copy of the play, Ignoramus, in one gathering. Two bookplates include the date 1701.
1988/17 - This manuscript appears to have been part of the group of volumes and papers transferred from the Fellows' Library to the Archives by Roger Schofield in 1988. But it was not formally accessioned at the time.