The Athenae Cantabrigienses was the most ambitious of several large writing projects undertaken by Charles Henry Cooper, a keen historian, successful lawyer and town clerk of Cambridge in the mid-nineteenth century. He enlisted the help of his elder son, Thompson Cooper, for this book, a collection of carefully-researched biographies of distinguished figures with Cambridge connections, inspired by Anthony Wood's Athenae Oxonienses (1692). Two volumes were published during Cooper senior's lifetime, but only 60 pages of this third volume (which covers 1609-1611) were completed during his lifetime, and he died in 1866 leaving an enormous quantity of notes. Even in its incomplete state, the work contains about seven thousand biographies; their subjects include clergymen, military commanders, judges, artists, scholars and benefactors of the University. Volume 3 was finally published in 1913 and contains additions and corrections to the previous volumes and an updated index.