Catalogue of William Cole Manuscripts in the British Museum

Scope and Content

Catalogue of the William Cole manuscripts in the British Museum, transcribed for George A. Matthew from Frederic Madden's list.

Administrative / Biographical History

George A. Matthew is probably George Alfred Matthew (1856-1905), who attended St John's College, Cambridge, before becoming a partner for 22 years in the firm of Ginn and Matthew in Cambridge. He was the President of the Cambridgeshire Law Society.

William Cole (1714-1782), Cambridge antiquary, studied at Eton, before attending Clare Hall and King's College, Cambridge. He was rector of Bletchley, Buckinghamshire, 1753-1767, and the non-resident vicar of Burnham, Buckinghamshire, 1774-1782. Cole bequeathed his manuscript collection, which consisted of material relating to Cambridge and its university, Huntingdonshire and Buckinghamshire, to the British Museum.

Sir Frederic Madden (1801-1873), antiquary, collated the manuscripts of Caedmon for Oxford University in 1825, and worked on the preparation of the British Museum's catalogue of printed books, 1826-1828. He became assistant-keeper of manuscripts at the museum in 1828, and was the head of department, 1837-1866.

Access Information

Open for consultation by holders of a Reader's Ticket valid for the Manuscripts Reading Room.

Acquisition Information

Presented by Mrs G.A. Matthew, 1909.


Description compiled by Robert Steiner, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives. The biographical history was compiled with reference to the entries on William Cole in Leslie Stephen and Sidney Lee, eds, Dictionary of national biography, Vol. IV (London, 1908), pp. 734-737; on Sir Frederic Madden in Sidney Lee, ed., Dictionary of national biography, Vol. XII (London, 1909), pp. 735-736; and on George Matthew in J.A. Venn, Alumni Cantabrigienses, Part II, Vol. IV (Cambridge University Press, 1951), p. 361.

Other Finding Aids

Additional Manuscripts Catalogue.

Corporate Names