Item 49 - Peacock and Thompson Family Autograph Album

Identity area

Reference code

Add. MS b/49


Peacock and Thompson Family Autograph Album


  • Aug. 1874 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

1 vol.; paper and 2 photographic prints

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Great-niece of George Peacock, through his sister Margaret Peacock. Married William Joseph Butler in 1882, mother of Mary, Annie, and Margaret Butler.

Name of creator

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Gift of Mary Katherine Butler, daughter of Mary Viner Ellis, 1959.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Album containing over 250 letters, notes, documents, unaccompanied envelopes, printed items, and photographic prints carrying the handwriting and/or autographs of sovereigns, prelates, government ministers, peers, authors, and Trinity College masters and professors, with a few unusual items in addition. The material appears to have been largely culled from the correspondence of George Peacock, his wife Frances Peacock, her father William Selwyn, and her second husband William Hepworth Thompson, with a few unrelated items. Most date from the 19th century but there are a few items from the 18th century.

Among those represented are King George III, Charles Babbage, E.W. Benson, the 15th Earl of Derby, the 7th Duke of Devonshire, W. E. Gladstone, Lord Houghton, Charles Kingsley, H. W. Longfellow, Lord Macaulay, Sir Robert Peel, John Ruskin, Adam Sedgwick, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Anthony Trollope, and William Whewell; there are in addition a miniature handwritten Lord's Prayer in a circle no larger than 15mm across, a carte-de-visite photograph souvenir 'balloon letter' from the Paris siege of 1870 with an image of the newspaper 'La Cloche', and a photographic print of Lane's portrait of George Peacock.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


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    Script of material

      Language and script notes

      Physical characteristics and technical requirements

      The album is lacking a spine and is therefore disbound but gatherings are still together.

      Finding aids

      Name entry cards are filed in the card catalogue and a typescript finding aid encompassing the three collections: the Letters to George Peacock, the George Peacock Letters to his Family, and the letters in this album, is available in a file at the library.

      Allied materials area

      Existence and location of originals

      Existence and location of copies

      Related units of description

      Letters to George Peacock (PEAC)
      George Peacock Letters to his Family (PEAC II)

      Notes area


      Decorated 'Autographs' title page with two names in an unidentified hand: Mary Georgiana Peacock at top and Mary Viner Ellis, Augt. 1874 at bottom of page


      Previously catalogued as 'George Peacock's autograph book'.

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          Accession area