Collection Crewe MS - Crewe Manuscripts

Zone d'identification


Crewe MS


Crewe Manuscripts


  • 16th-20th c. (Production)

Niveau de description


Étendue matérielle et support

c. 200 volumes

Zone du contexte

Nom du producteur


Notice biographique

Richard Monckton Milnes was born on 19 June 1809, son of Robert Pemberton Milnes, MP for Pontefract, and his wife Henrietta Maria Monckton, daughter of the 4th Viscount Galway. Milnes was admitted to Trinity College Cambridge in 1827 and graduated MA in 1831. While at Cambridge he was one of the founding members of the Cambridge Conversazione Society (The Apostles) and was a friend of Tennyson, Hallam and Thackeray. He pursued an active literary life, both by publishing in prose and verse and maintaining an active correspondence with many of the prominent writers of the age. His regular breakfast parties also played a part in bringing many figures of note from all walks of life together

Milnes was the son and grandson of Members of Parliament and in 1837 he was elected to the Commons to represent his father's old constituency of Pontefract. Initially a follower of Peel, he moved towards the Liberal side of the House, and became a supporter of Lord John Russell. Though never rising to high office, he was prominent in legislation concerning copyright, the Deceased Wife's Sister Marriage Bill and the abolition of capital punishment. In 1845 he succeeded in getting a pension paid to Tennyson

Having courted Florence Nightingale, Milnes married Annabella, daughter of the 2nd Baron Crewe; they had three children. He was created Baron Houghton in 1863. He died in Vichy in 1885.

Histoire archivistique

Nearly all of these manuscripts were collected by Richard Monckton Milnes, later Lord Houghton. Those he acquired loose he had bound; those bought as volumes were either re-bound or left as they were. After Lord Houghton’s death in 1885 the manuscripts descended, with the rest of his library, firstly to his son the 1st Marquess of Crewe, and eventually to Lord Crewe’s daughter the Duchess of Roxburghe. The duchess died in 2014, having bequeathed the contents of the library to Trinity College, of which both her father and grandfather had been members.

Source immédiate d'acquisition ou de transfert

Mary Innes-Ker, Duchess of Roxburghe

Zone du contenu et de la structure

Portée et contenu

The collection includes manuscripts in various European languages, dating from the sixteenth century to the twentieth. Most of them are, broadly speaking, of a literary, historical, or religious nature, but it is not easy to summarise the range of subjects they cover. They include, for instance, from the seventeenth century, notarial instruments in French relating to Charlotte de Beaune, an English translation of Den Spegel der Gherechticheit by Hendrik Niclaes of the so-called ‘Family of Love’, and a collection of English court poetry; from the eighteenth, papers on British trade, literary copyright, notorious criminals, and the French revolution; and from the nineteenth, a collection of papers and prints relating to the history of ballooning, items collected by Richard Burton on his travels, and a series of volumes recording the transactions of the Philobiblon Society.

Évaluation, élimination et calendrier de conservation


Mode de classement

As the manuscripts vary widely in subject, date, language, and other re-spects there was no obvious principle by which to arrange them. They have therefore been numbered in simple height order, which is the order in which they are set on the shelves in the Wren Library. This arrangement was chosen in order to provide the best support for the volumes, as there is a large difference in height between the tallest and the shortest.

Zone des conditions d'accès et d'utilisation

Conditions d’accès

Conditions de reproduction

Langue des documents

Écriture des documents

Notes de langue et graphie

Caractéristiques matérielle et contraintes techniques

Instruments de recherche

Zone des sources complémentaires

Existence et lieu de conservation des originaux

Existence et lieu de conservation des copies

Unités de description associées

The Library also owns a large proportion of Lord Houghton’s collection of printed books, which were bequeathed to the college together with the manuscripts. See the catalogue of printed books.

Zone des notes

Identifiant(s) alternatif(s)


Mots-clés - Sujets

Mots-clés - Lieux

Mots-clés - Noms

Mots-clés - Genre

Identifiant de la description

Identifiant du service d'archives

Règles et/ou conventions utilisées

Dimensions are given in the order height by width, and rounded up to the nearest centimetre. Unless otherwise stated, the leaves of the books are paper, and half-bound and quarter-bound volumes are bound partly in leather and partly in paper or some other material.


Niveau de détail

Dates de production, de révision, de suppression

This catalogue was begun by A. C. Green in 2016 and is still being compiled.




Zone des entrées