Whitehead Astrological Collection

Scope and Content

A collection of manuscripts relating to astrology, assembled by Joseph Whitehead of Hollinwood, near Oldham. The collection consists of a transcript of a series of horoscopes made for the Sparrow family during the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries (English MS 120); a more general collection of horoscopes (English MS 121); and a transcript of the seventeenth-century work by Thomas Tryon entitled A Discourse of Dreams and Visions (English MS 122).

Access Information

The collection is available for consultation by any accredited reader.

Acquisition Information

The 'Occult Collection' of Joseph Whitehead was donated by Mrs Enriqueta Augustina Rylands to the JRL, and came to the Library between 1903 and her death in 1908.


Description compiled by Henry Sullivan, project archivist, with reference to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography article on Thomas Tryon.

Other Finding Aids

Catalogued in the Hand-List of the Collection of English Manuscripts in the John Rylands Library, 1928 (English MSS 120-122).

Custodial History

The manuscripts were formerly owned by Joseph Whitehead of Oldham. They were part of his large collection containing printed books and ephemera of occult interest. The collection was purchased from his executors by Mrs Enriqueta Augustina Rylands in 1903.