Catalogue of the Library of George Cumberland

  • Reference
      GB 133 Eng MS 420
  • Dates of Creation
  • Name of Creator
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      188 x 234 mm. 1 volume (89 folios);

Scope and Content

Manuscript catalogue of the library of George Cumberland, collated in 1793. Subjects covered in the collection include art history, theology and history.

Administrative / Biographical History

George Cumberland (1754-1848) was a man of artistic, antiquarian and literary tastes. Between 1793 and 1798, while living at Bishopsgate, Egham, Cumberland published seven works, including earlier works of poetry, A Plan for the Improvement of the Arts in England (1793), which included proposals for a national gallery of sculpture in Green Park; and other works illustrated by William Blake. Cumberland bought many of Blake's publications, pressed booksellers to take them, and found work for the artist. In 1803 Cumberland moved to Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, before settling at 1 Culver Street, Bristol, in 1807, where he lived until his death.

Source: Francis Greenacre, ';Cumberland, George (1754-1848)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004. By permission of Oxford University Press -

Access Information

The manuscript is available for consultation by any accredited reader.

Acquisition Information

Purchased by the John Rylands Library from the bookseller J.E. Cornish in March 1927.


Description compiled by Henry Sullivan, project archivist, and Elizabeth Gow with reference to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography article on George Cumberland.

Other Finding Aids

Catalogued in the Hand-List of the Collection of English Manuscripts in the John Rylands Library, 1928 (English MS 420).

Related Material

British Library, Manuscript Collections, holds the Cumberland Papers: correspondence of the family of Cumberland, with papers, diaries and notebooks of George Cumberland of Bristol, 1748-1836. Most of the letters are of a purely private nature, and consist mainly of the correspondence of George Cumberland with his two sons, George and Sydney, and his brother Richard (ref.: GB 0058 Add MSS 36491-522 ).

National Library of Wales, Department of Collection Services, holds Cumberland's journal of a tour of Wales, 1784.


See G.E. Bentley, A bibliography of George Cumberland (1754-1848) (London and New York: Garland, 1975).