Well-known women

Women’s Studies – Manuscripts relating to well-known women (those with entries in the Dictionary of National Biography or Dictionary of American Biography, or related to someone with an entry therein)


The autograph correspondence between Robert Franklin (1630-94) and Mary Franklin (d. 1713) while he was a prisoner in Aylesbury jail, 1670; Mary Franklin’s copies of letters written and speeches made by Elizabeth Gaunt (d. 1685), Alice Lisle (1614?-1685), and others, before they were executed for their complicity in Monmouth’s rebellion; and an anonymous commonplace book (in a number of different hands, 1772-74), including amongst other things a transcript of Mary Franklin’s writings, as “The Experience of a Ministers Wife, who lived in the last Century”.

Various writings by the mystic Jane Lead (1623-1704), or one of her disciples, 1688-90.

A collection of autograph letters of Philip Doddridge (1702-51), principally to Mercy Doddridge, but also to various other people including Mary (Polly) Doddridge; together with letters to Philip Doddridge from Mercy Doddridge, and also from Elizabeth Scott, afterwards Williams, afterwards Smith (1708?-1776), Elizabeth Nettleton, and others; to which are added letters to Mercy Doddridge from Mrs E. Smith and others: the collection as a whole covering the years 1723-75.

Miscellaneous letters and other documents, 1661-1819, the letters including ones from J. Slater to Philip Williams and Mrs Williams, 1719 and 1724, from Thomas Scott (d. 1746) to his daughter Elizabeth Scott, afterwards Williams, afterwards Smith (1708?-1776), from John Thorowgood (1748-1801) to Mrs Mitchell, 1789, and from Joseph Hussey (1660-1726) to Susan Handley (formerly Orlebar), with her declaration in reply, 1700; and the other items including a statement by Elizabeth Alston, who professed to have risen from the dead, 1705, and a farewell letter of Samuel Bury (1663-1730) to his congregation, 1720, with a prayer by Mrs Elizabeth Bury (1644-1720). [A later Mrs Bury was the niece of Elizabeth Scott.]

Miscellaneous letters, 1739-99, collected by the Revd Thomas Wills (1740-1802) and his wife Selina Margaretta Wills (1730-1814), to the latter of whom, then Miss Wheler, several are addressed; letters from Selina Hastings, Countess of Huntingdon (1707-91) to Mr and Mrs Wills, 1769-87; and a further collection of letters addressed to Mr and Mrs Wills, 1775-1813.

“A Conversation between a New York Gentleman & Phillis”, sc. Phillis Wheatley (c.1753-1784), the negro poetess.

Various letters addressed to Mrs Thomas Wilson [wife of Thomas Wilson (1764-1843)].

Documents, memoranda and letters assembled by Joshua Wilson (1795-1874) in connection with various Nonconformist endowments and charities, 1820s-1874, and especially concerning his involvement with the litigation surrounding Lady Hewley’s Charity, the bequest of Lady Sarah Hewley (1627-1710).

Nathaniel Rogers, “Reports of Sermons by Various Ministers”, 1827-29, nearly all male, but including Catherine McAuley (1787-1841), who in 1831 was to found the Order of the Sisters of Mercy. Her sermon, given at Grub Street, London, in 1828, is on James 1.26, “Primitive Religion of Jesus Christ”.

John Leifchild (1780-1862), “Original Hymns (many never printed, & contributed expressly to these pages)”, 1843, an unsuccessful hymn book, in which, however, many of the best contributions came from Mrs Ann Gilbert, née Taylor (1782-1866).

James Grant, etc., Collection of letters (and autographs extracted from letters), many of them from persons of rank and title, or of literary, musical, theatrical, military or political celebrity, 1759-1889, the principal addressees being James Grant (1812-79), James Spicer, Mrs Catherine Dickens, née Hogarth (1816-79), Mrs Wilson, Evan Edwards, the President of the Catch Club, and W. Martindale, as also their various spouses, relatives, etc.

Cecilia Stainer, Index to the Metres of the Chorales contained in Johannes Zahn, Die Melodien der deutschen evangelischen Kirchenlieder (6 vols, Gütersloh, 1889-93). [(Eliza) Cecilia Stainer was the daughter and assistant of Sir John Stainer (1840–1901).]


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