One of the principal tasks of the Westminster Assembly of Divines, which met between 1643 and 1649, was to provide an authorized commentary on the scriptures to accompany the text of the English Bible which had been published in 1611. The notes of the Westminster Divines soon outgrew the margins for which they were intended, and thus had to be published separately. According to a note on the flyleaf of this copy, the annotations on Genesis were the work of John Ley (1583–1662), who had previously written in defence of the interpretations given in the margins of the Geneva Bible (see catalogue no. 4 ). Hartlib had petitioned the Westminster Assembly for support during the 1640s, and he seems to have approved of the work of the annotators.