Cotton, Sir Robert Bruce, 1571–1631, English antiquarian. The Cottonian collection of books, manuscripts, coins, and antiquities became a part of the British Museum when it was founded in 1753. Cotton collected especially Hebrew and Greek manuscripts and Anglo-Saxon charters. An unprinted classified catalog of the collection is in the Harleian MSS of the British Museum. Cotton was an antiroyalist parliamentarian whose opinions brought him two terms in prison. His magnificent library was sealed in 1630 and remained so until after his death.
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