Letters of George John, 2nd Earl Spencer, to Thomas Frognall Dibdin

Scope and Content

174 letters from George John, 2nd Earl Spencer (1758-1834), to the Reverend Thomas Frognall Dibdin (1776-1847), pasted into a bound volume and arranged chronologically. 172 of the letters date from 1802-1816; the last two letters are dated 1827 and 1832.

The correspondence charts the developing relationship between the two bibliophiles and includes information on Dibdin's works, especially the Bibliotheca Spenceriana, information on general bibliographic events such as auctions and publications, as well as specific information on individual booksellers, buyers and printers. Some family and personal information is also provided at times. The letters have been annotated in pencil by Dibdin.

A printed list of the published works of Dibdin, 1805-1844, has been pasted onto the verso of the front flyleaf.

Custodial History

The manuscript was acquired by Enriqueta Rylands with the Spencer Collection in 1892. There is an inscription on the front flyleaf, 'C. Boyle, June 58'. This is believed to be Captain Cavendish Spencer Boyle (1814–1868), 72nd Regiment. According to the British Library's online catalogue of the Spencer Papers, Boyle was a second cousin of Lord Spencer, who was concerned with the ordering of the papers at Althorp.