PHILLIPPS, THOMAS, SIR. Manuscripts and documents relating the Phillipps' family, 1749-1870
Sir Thomas Phillipps: Manuscripts and Documents
Relating the Phillipps’ Family, 1749-1870
RLIN ID No.
Phillipps, Thomas, Sir, 1792-1872, compiler.
Manuscripts and documents relating to the Phillipps family, 1749-1870 (bulk 1800-1864)
Ca. 30 items ; 40 x 50 cm. and smaller
English antiquary and bibliophile. Phillipps began collecting while at Rugby School and Oxford and on inheriting his father’s estate at Middle Hill in Worcestershire he embarked on a career of collecting manuscripts and books. His collection eventually contained over 30, 000 printed books and 60,000 manuscripts. The manuscripts included oriental, Greek and Latin as well as English and Continental. In the 1820s he made trips to the Continent where he visited many libraries in France and Switzerland and purchased manuscripts. On his return to England Phillipps continued to collect, frequently buying up entire estate libraries at auction. He printed a number of the manuscripts, as well as other works, at the Middle Hill Press he established on his estate. His second wife was Elizabeth Mansell. During 1864-1865 he removed his household and all his collections to Thirlestaine House, Cheltenham. Phillipps was made a baronet among the creations for the coronation of George IV in 1821.
Scope and Contents Note
School notebooks and bills and genealogical items including documents concerning the Grant of Arms made to Sir Thomas Phillipps in 1821, a Grant of Altered Arms (1857), a genealogy of the Phillipps family and two colored drawings of shields and crests. Material relating to the Mansell family consists of a printed dedication of a history by William Mansell with holograph corrections in the hand of Sir Thomas. Also: account books and documents relating to Phillipps’ properties at Middle Hill (Worcestershire) and Buckland Manor (Gloucestershire). Legal documents concern Phillipps’ role as administrator of the estate of William Phillipps and a warrant ordering him to serve on the Grand Jury for Worcestershire (1848). Among the miscellaneous items are a calling card of Benjamin Disraeli, and an invitation to a ball at Buckingham Palace (1856). Topographical items include prospectuses for a continuation of Ralph Bigland’s work on Gloucestershire and Richard Colt Hoare’s History of Modern Wiltshire. Phillipps’ magnifying glass, seal, and a lock of his hair, along with the engraving plates for his armorial bookplates, are among the objects related to his personal life.
Oversize items housed in portfolio boxes.
Finding Aid Note
Published and unpublished finding aid available in repository.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Gift; Jean Mermin Horblit, widow of collector Harrison D. Horblit; 1995.
Portions exhibited: “Sir Thomas Phillipps, Portrait of a Collector: An Exhibition of the Greatest Book Collector of All Time,” organized by the Grolier Club, 1972-1973.
Portions exhibited: “The Collector Collected: The Horblit Archive of Sir Thomas Phillipps at the Grolier Club,” organized by the Grolier Club, 1997 May 20 to July 31.
Bigland, Ralph, 1711-1784. Historical Collections Relative to the County of Gloucestershire.
Disraeli, Benjamin, Earl of Beaconsfield, 1804-1881.
Hoare, Richard Colt, 1758-1838. History of Modern Wiltshire.
Horblit, Harrison D., collector.
Horblit, Jean Mermin, donor.
Phillipps, Thomas, Sir, 1792-1872.
Phillipps, Thomas, Sir, 1792-1872. Correspondence.
Fladbury School (Worcestershire)
Book collectors. England. 19th century.
Book collecting. England. 19th century.
Buckland Manor (Gloucestershire, England)
Middle Hill (Estate : Worcestershire, England)
Account books. England. Worcestershire. Broadway. Middle Hill. 19th century.
Broadsides. England. 19th century.
Calling cards. England. 19th century.
Grants of arms. England. 19th century.
Invitations. England. London. 19th century.
Labels. England. Worcestershire. Broadway. 19th century.
Library cards. England. London. 19th century.
Personalia. England. 19th century.
Prospectuses. England. 19th century.
Shelf lists. England. Worcestershire. Broadway. Middle Hill. 19th century.
Warrants. England. England. Worcestershire. Worcester. 19th century.
Occupation (as reflected in collection)
Book collectors. England. 19th century.
Grolier Club, 47 East 60th Street, New York, N.Y. 10022-1098.
NOTE: Items in appraisal list of Horblit collection prepared by Lionel and Philip Robinson, Ltd of London are identified by list section and number, i.e. Robinson Misc. MS #123. Some items appear in both the Phillipps catalog and the Robinson list.
Sir Thomas Phillipps's School Notebooks and Bills
Fladbury School (Worcestershire). Bills for schooling of Sir Thomas Phillipps, 1802 and 1805. TP entered Fladbury in 1800 when he was eight years old.
Fladbury School notebook with inserted bills, etc. Parchment covers. 20 cm. The notes are on mathematics. First page contains within scroll decoration in pen: “Thomas Phillipps Aug. 9, 804.” Inserted material includes a holograph copy of “Evening Hymn, “the text of the words sung to the Tallis Canon. (Robinson School Books, #3)
Rugby School notebook. 1806. Parchment covers. 20 cm. Cover title: Notes at Rugby School. Dos a dos arrangement with front portion devoted to mathematical rules and calculations; section opening from back of book contains “Verses composed at school between 1807 and 1811,” etc. (Robinson School Books, #4)
Genealogical and Topographical Items
“Sir Thomas Phillipps Genealogy in His Own Hand, showing descent from William the Conqueror and Henry I of England.” Pencil on folio sheet. 36 x 45 cm.
Leaf out a book of the Parish Clerk at Broadway [Worcestershire], 1749. Copy given to TP by John Justin, Parish Clerk, 1839 May 14. (Robinson Misc. MS #12)
Richard Colt Hoare. Prospectus regarding a history of Wiltshire. Stourhead [Wiltshire]: 1821 August. TP was to work on material dealing with the northern part of the county.
William Mansell. Printed dedication of for his Historical and Genealogical Account of the Ancient Family of…Mansell…. Holograph corrections by Sir Thomas Phillipps. Ca. 1850.
“On the Change of Names proving a Change of Dynasty (sic). 3 p. Holograph manuscript not in the hand of TP.
“The Bible and the Monks of Broadway [Worcestershire]. London: Printed by William Watts, 1851. 7 p.
Prospectus for Bigland’s Gloucestershire, 1870 Sept. 30. Notes in the hand of TP. Phillipps published nine parts of this continuation of Ralph Bigland’s Historical Collections Relative to the County of Gloucestershire (1791-92)
“Tables of the British Sovereigns from the year 800.” N.d. [Table drawn down to George IV: 1820] Printed in black and white and colored by hand. London: The Strand: J. P. Brisley. Price: 3/6 coloured.
Colored drawings of shields and crest featuring castles and dragons. N.d. On verso: N 10750.or 58. 26 x 21 cm.
Colored drawing on paper with yellow wash with historiated initials: “Charters”. Includes small colored drawing of Middle Hill House with motto: Fumus Eramus. Possibly prepared as title-page for a collection. 34 x 21 cm.
Grant of Arms to Sir Thomas Phillipps
Royal License authorizing Sir Thomas Phillipps and his issue to continue to use the surname and bar the arms of Phillipps. 1821 July 19. 3 p. 21 x 31 cm.
Grant of arms to Sir Thomas Phillipps. 1821 August. 35 x 38 cm. Painted and engrossed on vellum. Made, signed and sealed by Sir Isaac Heard, Tarter King of Arms and Sir George Naylor, Clarenceux King of Arms.
List of expenses involved in Sir Thomas Phillipps’ baronet creation. (Jonathan Hill, not numbered)
Grant of altered arms to Sir Thomas Phillipps, 1857 August 29. 40 x 50 cm. Patent of arms painted and engrossed on vellum. Made and sealed by George Young, Garter King of Arms and James Pulman, Clarenceux King of Arms.
Land and Tenants of Sir Thomas Phillipps
Account book and agreement about selling of trees on estate. 1808-1825. Spine title: Sold book 1808-1825.
Buckland Manor (Gloucestershire). Agreement between Sir Phillipps and the Cottage Allotment Tenants. Middle Hill Boards. [Sir Thomas Phillipps’ father purchased Buckland Manor in the 1790s and it was one of entailed properties the collector inherited. Document includes a printed agreement dated 1837 Oct. 2. (Robinson Misc. MS #2)
Calling card of Mr. Benjamin Disraeli with notes in TP’s hand on tasks to be done. N.d.
Calling card of Mr. H Cuming with notes in TP’s hand on tasks to be done. N.d.
“Chapter of Noses” [poem]. Five verses on one folio sheet. (Robinson Misc. MS #25).
Funeral expenses for Lady Harriott Phillipps. 1832.
Great Britain. Stamp Office. Somerset Place (London). Legacy Duty. New Dept. (sic) Administration 1817 March 8. Concerns administration of estate of William Phillipps.
Broadside for play Man & Wife (sic) presented under the patronage of Thomas Phillipps, 1825 July 19. [TP was High Sheriff of Worcestershire in 1825.]
Labels for TP’s pictures. Pasted down on sheets. 33 labels on 2 folio sheets.
Worcestershire. Office of the Sheriff. Warrant for TP to serve on Grand Jury at Lent Assizes. 1848.
Buckingham Palace. Engraved invitation to a ball to be held 1856 June 17. 19 x 13 cm.