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Fitzwilliam contains:
BLUNT Wilfrid Scawen Blunt Archive
BURNE-JONES Edward Burne-Jones Papers
CAMILLE Michael Camille papers
GRANT Keith Grant Archive
JAMES Montagu Rhodes James papers
LINNELL Linnell Archive
MORRIS William Morris Collection
PERCEVAL Perceval Bequest
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Perceval Bequest

Title Perceval Bequest
Reference GBR/0280/PERCEVAL
Covering Dates 1671–1910
Extent and Medium 17 boxes
Repository Fitzwilliam Museum Archives
Content and context

At his death in 1922, the University of Cambridge inherited the property of Spencer George Perceval on the understanding that the annual income would be spent on 'the purchase of letters and other relics and portraits of distinguished members of Cambridge University prior to the 19th Century, and of objects of art of the same class as any of those in his collections' (Annual Report of the Fitzwilliam Museum, 1922).

The Perceval Bequest consists of correspondence and other papers (including engravings, clippings, a scrapbook and literary MSS) of some of the most important figures in the late seventeenth, eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, covering a broad range of fields (particularly antiquarianism, geology and natural history) and representing figures including Joanna Baillie, Sir Joseph Banks, Sir Mark Isambard Brunel, William Buckland, Eleanor Butler and Miss Ponsonby (the "Ladies of Llangollen"), Lady Margaret Cavendish (Duchess of Portland), Joseph Cottle, Sir William Hamilton, Hannah More, Spencer Perceval (Prime Minister of England, 1809-1812), Dr. Thomas Percy (later Bishop of Dromore, compiler of 'Percy's Reliques of Ancient Poetry'), Alexander Pope, John Ruskin, Richard Brinsley Sheridan.

Access and Use

The Perceval Bequest may be consulted in the Founder's Library of the Fitzwilliam Museum by advance request only. Material should be requested by lettered part (e.g. PERCEVAL B) and item number(s) if available.

Please cite as Fitzwilliam Museum Archives, Perceval Bequest, PERCEVAL

Fitzwilliam/PERCEVAL contains:
A Correspondence, lithograph plates, engravings, MS essays, etc. Includes: letters to Anne Craggs (later Mrs Newsham) dated 1711-20; biography of Spencer George Perceval.
87 items (+ biographical notes).
B Correspondence, signatures, misc. MSS, etc. Includes: letters of Spencer Perceval, Prime Minister of England (1809-1812) and family, with engravings, signatures, and a scrapbook; letters to archivist and collector Thomas Astle, dated 1766-1801, including letters from Richard Greene and a letter from Greene to James Boswell; letters to Welsh antiquarian R. Fulke Greville, dated 1789-1806, including letters from Hugh Davies Griffiths.
93 items.
C Correspondence, receipts.
29 items.
E Correspondence, etc.
76 items.
G Correspondence, etc. Includes: items by E. E. Middleton: letter, science pamphlet; letters from John Montagu, Fourth Earl of Sandwich, Edward Wortley Montagu, George Montagu Dunk, Second Earl of Halifax.
17 items.
H Correspondence, misc. MSS, engravings, etc. Letters mostly to and from Sir Joseph Banks, dated 1773-1815, esp. from John Dryander, James Lind, Sir Charles Blagden.
302 items.
J Correspondence, clippings, engravings, receipts, misc. MSS, etc. Includes: letters from Hannah More, dated 1824-1828; letters from Lady Eleanor Butler and Miss Ponsonby (the 'Ladies of Llangollen'), dated 1808-1829, with engravings; Martin Folkes: letter, signed flyleaf, newspaper cuttings, engravings, notices, etc.; letters from Joanna Baillie, Mary Linwood, Watts Phillips, Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Portland, Richard Brinsley Sheridan.
146 items.
K Correspondence, notices, misc. MSS, etc. Includes: letters to and from Dr. Thomas Percy, later Bishop of Dromore, (compiler of 'Percy's Reliques of Ancient Poetry'), dated 1769-1804; letters to and from Hugh Percy, the first Duke of Northumberland, dated 1759-1777, including letters from Joseph Emin ('the Armenian').
75 items.
L Correspondence, misc. MSS, advertisements, engravings, illustrations, etc. Includes: Sir Mark Isambard Brunel: letters, newspaper cuttings, signature with inscribed verses; William Buckland, President of the Geological Society: letters, MS minutes, MS poem; Charles Alexandre de Calonne, Finance Minister to Louis XVI: letters; Joseph Cottle, noted publisher: letters to Edward Moxon, Robert Southey, verse letter from poet Ann Yearsley; John Elwes Jr.: letters, engraved portraits, receipts, etc.; Emmanuel Mendes da Costa: letters, dated 1752-1772; letters from John Arbuthnot, Henry Baker, William Borlase, Richard Reynolds (on behalf of Hannah More).
163 items.
N Correspondence, etc. Letters from Sir William Hamilton to Joseph Banks, dated 1779-1794, and letters to Hamilton from various correspondents (many offering accounts in Italian of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius).
27 items.
O Correspondence, etc. Includes: MS of 'Toby Paunch' by Richard Warner, an unpublished satirical poem on the Prince Regent, dated 1814; Charles Waterton: letters, newspaper clipping, engraving; letters from Charles Townley (1789-1804), Sir Walter Calverley Trevelyan, (1813-1835).
21 items.
Q Correspondence, etc. Letters mostly to Thomas Webster, 1814-1838, from correspondents including G. Cumberland, William Buckland.
51 items.
R Correspondence, etc.
3 items.
X Correspondence, engravings, misc. MSS, etc. Includes: letters from Sir Ashton Lever, Friedrich Heinrich Alexander von Humboldt, Alexander Pope to (Dr. Cheselden, for the attention of Richardson); signature of Sir Isaac Newton with engraved portrait.
32 items.
Z Correspondence, misc. MSS, illustrations, etc. Includes: letters from Sir Henry George Elliot, Luigi Seltembrini, John Ruskin, Margaret Cavendish (Duchess of Portland); photographs of Francesco II.
42 items.

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