PHILLIPPS, THOMAS, SIR. Letters and bills, ca. 1820-1870
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Sir Thomas Phillipps: Letters and Bills, ca. 1820-1870


Main Entry
Phillipps, Thomas, Sir, 1792-1872, correspondent.

Letters and bills to Sir Thomas Phillipps, ca. 1820-1870.

Physical Description
Ca. 75 items (ca. 200 p.) ; 33 cm. and smaller

Historical/Biographical Note
English antiquary and collector. He began collecting while at Rugby School and Oxford and on inheriting his father’s estate, Middle Hill, in Worcestershire he embarked on a career of collecting manuscripts and books. His collections eventually contained over 60,000 manuscripts and included many in Greek, Latin and Eastern languages as well as English and Continental manuscripts. In the 1820s Phillipps made trips to the Continent where he visited many libraries and purchased manuscripts. On his return to England he continued to collect, frequently buying up entire estate libraries at auction. He printed a number of the manuscripts as well as other works the Middle Hill Press he established on his estate. During 1854-1865 he removed his household and all his collections to Thirlestaine House, Cheltenham.

Scope and Contents Note
Primary correspondence topics include: book and manuscript collecting, genealogy, postal history and the history at Sir Thomas’s museum at Middle Hill. Miscellaneous material includes two autograph letters signed by the blind poet Ann Webster and a copy of her “Ode to Genius.” Also: 25 other bills and letters concerning repairs at Middle Hill, printing and bills for books, personal and household expenses. Some letters include penny postage stamps.

General Note
Title devised by cataloger.

General Note
Laid in modern folding cloth box with spine lettered in gilt; Phillipps Private Papers/Letters and Bills to Sir Thomas.

Finding Aid Note
Unpublished inventory available in repository.

Immediate Source of Acquisition
Purchase; Sotheby’s auction no. 3243,Lot 0061, London; 2003/12/02.

From the collection of Martin Schoyer of Spikkestad, Norway who purchased it from the dealer H. P. Kraus of New York City. Previously owned by W. H. Robinson, Ltd of London. It would have been one of the many Phillipps manuscrip9ts sold at one of the numerous sales of his manuscripts conducted by Sotheby’s starting in 1886.

Bell, John Gray (of Manchester), 1823-1866. Correspondence.
Freeling, Francis, Sir, 1764-1836. Correspondence.
Gray, John, Sir. Correspondence.
Hoare, Richard Colt, Sir, 1758-1838.Correspondence.
Lewis, Thomas H. Correspondence.
Phillipps, Thomas, Sir, 1792-1892.
Rodd, Thomas, 1796-1849. Correspondence.
Royez, Jean François, 1757?-1823. Correspondence.
Salmon, André, d. 1856. Correspondence.
Sims, Richard, 1816-1898. Correspondence.
Sneyd, Walter, 1809-1888. Correspondence.
Somerset, William, Lady. Correspondence.
Taylor, James. Correspondence.
Webster, Ann. Correspondence.
Witt, F. E. Correspondence.
Caslon letter foundry.
Lamy fils, T. A. Correspondence.
Middle Hill (Estate: Worcestershire, England). Museum.

Book collecting. England. 19th century. Correspondence.
Book collectors. England. 19th century. Correspondence.
Postal service. History. Correspondence. 19th century.

Bills of sale. England. 19th century.

Occupation (as reflected in collection)
Book collectors. England. 19th century.

Grolier Club, 47 East 60th Street, New York, N.Y. 10022-1098.

Collection Inventory

I. Correspondence Concerning Book Collecting

Lamy fils. ALS. Berne, 1821 June 4. 2 p. Concerns TP’s order for picture frame and offers of two breviaries. Manuscript note by TP on integral leaf.

Royez Booksellers (Paris). 38 ALS by Royez and his widow, 1822-1827. In French with autograph letter from Sir Thomas Phillipps to Royez on the version of his dated 1822 Dec. 18. Also some printed cat agues, autograph quotations for charters, cartularies and rolls.

Walter Sneyd. ALS . 1861 Nov. 26. 2 p. Thanks TP for sending him the second part of the printed catalog of his collection.

James Taylor. 2 ALS 1824 Sept. 30; 1826 June 7.

II. Correspondence Concerning Postal History

Sir Francis Freeling. LS. 1826 June. 2 p. Autograph letter in clerk’s hand signed by Freeling. He was a book collector, post office official and one of the original members of the Roxburghe Club.

III. Correspondence Concerning Middle Hill Museum
John Gray. ALS London 1824 Mar. 2. 3 p. The naturalist presents a list of stuffed birds with prices. Also attached undated manuscript list of stuffed birds and serpents with their case numbers preserved in the Middle Hill Museum. 4 p.

IV. Correspondence Concerning Genealogy and History
John Camden Hotten. ALS. 1861 Nov. 29. 5 p. Hotten, an author, bookseller and publisher, indicates that he has laid aside material relating to old English families for TP.

Richard Colt Hoare, 4 letters to and from Sir Thomas Phillipps regarding Hoare’s history of Wiltshire and genealogy: Those by Sir Thomas are copies of the originals.
ALS to TP. Worthing, Sussex, 1826 May 5. 3 p. Describes his work arranging
Wiltshire parish records and requests genealogical information.
TP to Hoare. N.d. 2 p .
Hoare to TP. ALS Salisbury, 1824 2 p.
TP to Hoare. 1826 May 5.

Andre Salmon. ALS London 1849 July 20. 2 p. The antiquary from the École des Chartres writes concerning his work on manuscripts from the Toraine (France). Includes short autograph reply by TP on integral leaf and a manuscript list of French works on manuscripts.

Lady William Somerset (Elizabeth Molyneux), ALS. 1824 April 24. 2 p. Lady William was Sir Thomas’s sister-in-law. Attached is an ALS from “your affectionate niece Caroline F. E. Somerset.” 2 p.

Thomas Lewis. ALS Rilsant, 1861 Oct. 31. Concerns a pedigree of the Phillipps family.

Richard Sims. ALS. 1863 Aug. 9. Thanks TP for his offer to look proofs of a work by Sims on English cartularies. Reply from TP 1853 Aug. 15 included.

V. Bills
John Gray Bell. 4 ALS. Manchester 1861 24 Oct.-20 Nov. Bills in the form of letters that request payment and express frustration at delay.

Caslon Letter Foundry, London. Bill for 11 items. Manuscript and printed document; signed by Henry Caslon.

VI. Miscellaneous Material
Ann Webster. 2 ALS with autograph poems. 1826 Oct. 23 and Nov. 21.Also a copy of her poem “Ode to Genius,” addressed to Sir Thomas and a proof printed at the Middle Hill Press annotated by TP with a draft of a letter concerning an election.
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