Fonds FIEL - Papers of Frederick Field

Identity area

Reference code



Papers of Frederick Field


  • c. 1819-c. 1885 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

12 boxes; paper

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Frederick Field was born in London on 20 July 1801, the son of Henry and Esther Field. After attending Christ's Hospital, he matriculated at Trinity College, Cambridge in 1819, and graduated as tenth wrangler, Chancellor's classical medallist, and Tyrwhitt's Hebrew scholar. He was elected a Fellow of Trinity in 1824, but did not teach, although he served twice as classical tripos examiner and took private pupils. He was ordained in 1828, and combined parochial work with academic work for many years. In 1842 he was presented with the living (in Trinity's gift) of Reepham, in Norfolk. His academic work was in the field of biblical and patristic studies, and his first work, an edition of Chrysostom's 'Homilies on St Matthew' was published in 1839, and was followed by an edition of Chrysostom's 'Homilies on St Paul's Epistles' (1845-62). In 1863 he resigned his living to devote his time to his work on an edition of the fragments of Origen's 'Hexapla' published in two volumes, 1867-1874. While working on the fragments he also published a pamphlet entitled 'Otium Norvicense' in 1864 with three more parts published in 1876, 1881, and (posthumously) in 1887, which served as a synthesis of his research into readings of the Greek text of the Old and New testaments. In part 4 he claimed to have been the first person to reintroduce the ancient interpretation of Mark 7: 18 which was adopted in the Revised Version of 1881. He died 19 April 1881 in Norwich, survived by his sister.

This summary owes much to Joanna Hawke's biography of Field in the Dictionary of National Biography.

Archival history

The collection has not yet been processed, and items may be arranged in a different order in future.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

The source of acquisition is unknown.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

The papers consist primarily of writings and notes, with a few printed items and letters documenting Frederick Field's studies at Cambridge as a student in the 1820s and his later work as a biblical scholar. The student notes include essays and notebooks on various subjects, including the Greek dramatic poets, mechanics, and a 'Syllabus of Newton'. Later work includes extensive notes on the books of the Bible in notebooks and in folded fascicles, notes on Chrysostom's Homilies, holograph manuscripts of his 'Origenis Hexaplorum quae supersunt' and 'Otium Norvicensi' part 3, which is also represented by printed sheets with manuscript annotations. Amongst the many other miscellaneous items are indexing slips and a notebook containing a list of subscribers to a unidentified volume.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

The collection is unprocessed.

Conditions of access and use area

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Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

  • Ancient Greek
  • Hebrew
  • Latin

Script of material

    Language and script notes

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    Finding aids

    Allied materials area

    Existence and location of originals

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    Related units of description

    There are a number of items in the Library's Adversaria Collection:
    A collection of manuscript notes on the subject of the Old Testament, some by or relating to F. Field, Adv.b.12.10.
    A collection of letters, offprints and manuscript notes, some by or relating to F. Field. Adv.b.12.11
    The Old Testament, with proposed corrections by F. Field. Adv.a.12.1-7
    New Testament in Greek. Adv.d.12.3

    Field's letters appear in a variety of locations in the collections:
    W. Aldis Wright miscellaneous letters ADD.Ms.c.69/46-55
    W. Aldis Wright Bible Revision ADD.Ms.b.63/13
    ADD.Ms.b.65/87-89, 235-9.
    Letter to William Carus, 8 May 1876: ADD.Ms.b.113/13
    The Houghton Papers
    An imposition paper meted out by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Undergraduates, for absence from Chapel [1838] is housed as C.13.75.

    Related descriptions

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    Level of detail

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        Archivist's note

        Collection level description created by Diana Smith in June 2019.

        Accession area