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Copy letter from Alfred C. Haddon to J. G. Frazer

22 St Peter's Green, Bedford. Dated July 20, 1889 - Offers a transcript of Mr Beardmore's answers to Frazer's anthropological questions [not transcribed]; is thinking of working up his own notes on the Torres Straits Islanders and the Daudai natives from New Guinea north of the Torres Strait; also encloses a newspaper cutting from 'Torres Straits Pilot' [not transcribed].

Copy letter from G. G. Ramsay to J. G. Frazer

6, The College, Glasgow. Dated February 25th, 1898 - Thanks him for ['Pausanias's Description of Greece']; admires the maps and the 'real English' that Frazer has managed in his translation; is translating Tacitus; is touched and honoured by the dedication, the 'highest satisfaction a teacher can have' that he has started an interest in classical work capable of leading to such results.

Letter from the Prince of Wales to the Master of Trinity, W. H. Thompson

Marlborough House. Informs the Master that he intends for his eldest son [Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence] to attend Trinity, as he did himself. This letter will be given to the Master by J[ohn] N[eale] Dalton, Albert Victor's tutor, whom the Prince of Wales proposes should accompany him to Cambridge in October.

Edward VII (1841-1910), King of Great Britain and Ireland

Letter from Carl Horstmann to W. Aldis Wright

10 Aldenham Street, St Pancras, London.—Professor Körting wishes to know which stanzas are contained in the fragment of the Chanson de Roland at Trinity (MS R.3.4), as he intends to publish a critical edition of the poem.



Dear Sir.

Professor Körting, of Münster, wishes me to give him information about a fragment of the old Anglonorman Chanson de Roland, contained in a Ms. of Trinity College Cambridge {1}. I only got his letter after I left Cambridge, and so I am not able to look after the Ms. myself. But, as I should like to comply with the wish of my friend, I take the liberty to ask you for the information required, as perhaps you know the Ms. of so important a poem in the library of your college—Mr. Körting cannot give the exact number of the Ms., nor can I find a Catalogue of the Mss. of Trin. Coll. here. I should feel much obliged to you if you would be so kind to tell me of which and of how many tirades or stanzas the fragment consists, compared with the text published by Müller or Kölbing {2}, and if you would copy just a few stanzas, especially the first and last of the fragment, so as to be able to form an adequate judgement of the age, language and dialect of the poem. Prof. Körting intends publishing a critical edition from the several Mss. known of this oldest frensh† poem and is in need of the information required; he would be very thankful indeed, if you could help him. I answered to his letter that I should apply to you, as the only means I knew of ascertaining what he wanted to know. I shall be in London till this day week.

Yours truly
Dr C Horstmann.

London | 10 Aldenham Street. | St. Pancras.


This letter must have been written during the period when Körting was at Münster, i.e. 1876-1892, and after the publication of Kölbing’s edition of the Chanson de Roland (see below). The sheet bears some notes in pencil by Aldis Wright.

{1} R.3.4, 15th c.

{2} Theodor Müller’s edition of the Oxford MS. of the Chanson de Roland (Bodleian Library, MS Digby 23, part 2) was published at Göttingen in 1863. Eugen Kölbing’s edition of the Venice IV MS. was published at Heilbronn in 1877.

† Sic.

Copy letter from J. [Israel?] Abrahams to Dr Frazer

11 St. Barnabas Road, Cambridge. Dated Nov. 11 1913 - Has had many letters praising Frazer's letter, and expresses his own admiration. With a MS note at bottom: 'Referring to Kiev trials, and J.G.F.'s letter disclaiming a belief in Jewish ritual murders.'

Letter from Robert H. Groome to W. Aldis Wright

Monk Soham.—Thanks him for a copy of his book (the Bible Word Book), and reflects on the death of William Whewell. Invites him to stay, to give him an opportunity of consulting manuscripts at Helmingham. Discusses connections between English dialects and East Frisian.



Monk Soham
March 9. 1866.

Dear Mr Wright,

Many thanks for your book {1} which I have looked over with very great interest, and shall hope to have an early notice of in the Christian Advocate.

You have lost a Great Man at Cambridge {2}. I thought him looking so handsome, when I saw him a month ago. Age had given dignity to the hard features, and his white hair gave him a venerable look.

All his foibles and failings will be buried in his grave and forgotten: but he will live, specially among you at Trinity.

As regards any Chaucer M.SS. at Helmingham, I only know of one a fragment on paper, and I cannot trust my recollection as to what it is.

The books and M.S.S are not accessible save when Mr Tollemache is there.

Perhaps he may come down during the Whitsun Holydays.

Can you come and stay a few days with me, in case the Library is then accessible.

I will ask Bradshaw to come down with you, and you shall rummage one or two closets &c, which I don’t think have been sufficiently gone over.

I quite hold to your project about the General Dialecticon—to coin a word—and will gladly help in it.

I think I can furnish some good specimens of old Harvest-songs, and such old songs as go to tuneless tunes.

Did you ever hear a true Suffolk tune—“never ending, still beginning.”

Do you know a book—of which I carried off Vol. 1. the other day from the P.L.—which mightily amuses me.

“Firmenich, J. W. “Germaniens Völkerstimmen.”

I cannot make out much system in it, except that the series of dialects are topographically arranged. Perhaps the third Volume contains results.

I have gathered some very curious illustrations and Bremen dialects.

Perhaps things all known before, only having the special flavour to me of game taken by my own hunting.


Do you know the Dorset Dialect? How constantly the words “I low” recur: “I low, twill rain tomorrow.”—I used to think this meant “I allow” by the figure of Tmesis—so convenient for amateur philologists.

But, lo ye {3}, in East Frisian. | (p. 18. Fermenich)

“De Dokter Liefpien het mi dar’n Dings an mien Schürdöer schreven, ich lör, ’t is Kremerlatien”

“Docter Liefpien had written me something about it on the — {4} door, I low, it is Kremer-(?) Latin.

(Elsewhere it is called “Dews-latien” = Dog-latin!!!

Then p. 42. Mundart Kiels.

Ich glöw, et sull en Amtsverwalter sien.”

I low, it was an Official.”

So here we have “Ich glaube”. and Dorsetshire “I low” = I believe.

Tög = heng {5} = Dress = Toggery.

Noch ein Wortchen!

Moor = Mother | = Mor, Suffolk.

Yours sincerely,
Robert. W. Groome

I know so little of your Cambridge politics; but who will be your new master.
Mathison, Vaughan, Thompson? {6}

Has W.H.T. any chance?

Have you read E.F.G. “Mighty Magician” yet? {7}

[Second postscript:]

I open my letter to obtrude some advice.

In your list of books appended to your W.B. {8} I miss one book, which may be after all well known to you, but if not a book of great value for your Shakspere Glossary, if you are meditating such a Magnum opus.

“The Courtier of Count Baldesar Castilio – – – – done into English by Thomas Hobby. | London Printed by John Wolfe | 1588.

I meant to have excerpt† it for the Big Dic {9}, during poor H. Coleridge’s Life, but since then “fresh fields”—I cannot “pastures gay”—for they are sad at times—have occupied me.


The first postscript was added at the head of the first sheet, the second on a separate slip. There are a few irregularities of punctuation, which have not been corrected. The letter was sent with two lists of notable words in Hoby’s translation of Castiglione’s Courtier (Add. MS b. 74/5/2).

{1} Wright’s Bible Word Book, first published this year.

{2} William Whewell, who died on 6 March.

{3} ‘lo ye’: reading uncertain.

{4} A question mark has been added above the dash.

{5} Reading uncertain.

{6} W. C. Mathison, C. J. Vaughan, W. H. Thompson, all Fellows of Trinity.

{7} Edward FitzGerald’s translation of Calderón’s play El mágico prodigioso, privately printed in 1865. There are six copies in Trinity College Library.

{8} i.e. the Bible Word Book.

{9} This is the apparent reading—perhaps short for ‘Big Dictionary’; but the reference is unclear.

Letter from Robert H. Groome to W. Aldis Wright

Monk Soham Rectory, Wickham Market, Suffolk.—Returns Crowfoot’s letter, and comments on it. Is planning to print an old ballad, which he heard recited by a local labourer. Encloses a related letter from Frank. Has received some poems from FitzGerald.

(With an envelope.)



Monk Soham Rectory, Wickham Market, Suffolk
Nov. 14th 1877.

My dear Wright

Many thanks for sending me Crowfoots interesting letter {1}, which I return herewith.

I am afraid the “spinam agens” or “spine-ache” will not hold water; since I suppose that the word is formed from its primal nouns in “-agium” {2}, like so many of our Latinized Words.

But the analogy between it and Rickets is curious and possibly the solution.

Rickets commonly leave some malformation, especially humptiness, so that the Somersetshire word “Spinnick” is quite in keeping.

I am always interested with such hints as that about nets and net; but I dare not put too much weight upon them.

I think that the cry of Simon Peter has a deeper feeling than the mere distinction, which is drawn between a part, and a perfect, fulfilment of the command.

Yet I would not say this to my dear old friend; since every tentacle, which lays hold on a reverent mind has its great value—especially for him.

And now I want your help, si licet, on another point.

I have unearthed, as I believe, a veritable old ballad, taken down last week from the mouth of the reciter, an old labourer of this parish.

It will appear, most likely, in Suffolk N. and Q, and so it was sent to Frank, at Edinburgh, who is, as you may remember, Mr Editor. I told him my views, and he has tried to verify them; and now wants more light, as you will see by his letter {3}.

But has the Ballad been ever in print? Much, as regards the interest of re-printing it, turns on this?

It has the veritable go of an old Ballad about it.

Can you give any light, or find up some Ballad-monger who can?

Only if it is a find, we must have the first prize in our Suffolk N. and Q.

I have got several more songs from our Bard {4}; one very pretty, but for the most part of an ordinary type—of the Billy Taylor type {5} rather.

You will greatly oblige us by any kind help in the matter.

Yours sincerely
Robert H. Groome

But “O the Hobby-horse”. Will you be willing to write a note concerning “Spinnage” for us? If so, pray do.

[Direction on envelope:] W. Aldis Wright Esq: | Trinity College | Cambridge [Redirected to:] Jerusalem Chamber | Westminster | London


The envelope was postmarked at Cambridge on 15 Nov. 1877, and at London, E.C., on the same day. Two postage stamps have been peeled off.

{1} Add. MS b. 74/8/2.

{2} Closing inverted commas supplied.

{3} FitzGerald.

{4} Add. MS b. 74/8/3.

{5} Perhaps a reference to the translations of William Taylor of Norwich (1765-1836).

Letter from Anna Deane Butcher to W. Aldis Wright

C/o Miss (Mary A.) Hollingworth, Leithen, Newnham Road, Bedford.—Asks him to write a testimonial to the Pitt Press in support of her system of ‘orthotype’ (‘a method of Printing Reform versus Spelling Reform’), and encloses related papers.

(With envelope. Undated. Postmarked 20 Nov. 1909.)



c/o of† Miss Hollingworth
Leithen, Newnham Road, Bedford

Dear Mr Wright,

The Pitt Press staff are now deciding whether they will publish my Orthotype Method or no. You will remember I asked your advice about it when we were staying at Dr Ginsburg’s. It is a method of Printing Reform versus Spelling Reform intended to save our international words such as “nation” “philosopher” {1} etc. from destruction at the hands of the Spelling Reformers. It is evident that if they succeed there will be no longer any English Language,—but an American, Anglo-Indian, Anglo-Chinese, Scotch, Irish, South British, {2} North British or Anglo-African—language etc. in these several countries. i.e. Our Empire will have no common language.

Could you send me a testimonial to the effect that you disapprove of the method of sacrificing what is permanent & international i e the spelling, to that which is local & transitory i.e. the sound, & that if a phonetic key is necessary for students & teachers you prefer Orthotype which does not alter the spelling. I enclose you a copy of a letter just received from W. St Clair Tisdall D.D. who is a well-known Orientalist & reputed to know 40 languages. You will see that he considers Orthotype indispensable.

I should be very grateful for a quick reply to the Pitt Press (the secretary has my manuscript) or to myself.

With very kind regards | Believe me
Yours sincerely
Anne Deane Butcher

[Direction on envelope:] Wm Aldis Wright Esq. L.L.D. | Trinity College | Cambridge


The envelope was postmarked at Bedford on 20 November 1909.

{1} Opening inverted commas supplied.

{2} Comma supplied.

† Sic.

Portion of a manuscript, containing, on one side, a note of a fine levied in 47 Edw. III (1373-4) between (1) William Curszoun of Berford (Barford), Robert Courszoun of Honyngham (Honingham), etc., and (2) Thomas Curszoun of Bintre (Bintree), in respect of various properties in Norfolk, and, on the other, part of an account of clothes and fabrics

The properties referred to are ‘the Mannor of Swantons in Folsham [Foulsham] 2 Messauages 1 Toft 120 acres of land & severall other parcells in Folsham [Foulsham] Norwich Bintre [Bintree] Geyst [Guist] Geystweyt [Guestwick] Twiford [Twyford] billingford Sparham & the advowson of Twiford [Twyford] Church’.

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