William George Searle: Historical Papers

Scope and Content

MS.Add.5983: W.G. Searle, tracings and notes, c. 1881, 34 folios: (fo. i) tracings of Westminster paving tiles; (fo. 21) notes on Cottenham.

MS.Add.5984: A series of notes on the parishes, churches, vicars, manors, charities and meeting houses of Oakington and Westwick compiled by W.G. Searle, c. 1881, 35 folios. Sewn inside the back cover is a printed pamphlet, The three graves. A narrative of the proceedings at the commemoration festival at Oakington, Wednesday, July 24, 1867, with a biography of the Rev. Messrs Holcroft, Oddy and Oasland (Cambridge, 1867).

MS.Add.5985: Transcript of Petrus Blesensis, 'Vita S. Guthlaci', from Trinity College Dublin MS B 2.7, fos 145-158v, made by W.G. Searle, 27 April - 6 May 1892, in Latin. Fos i, ii and 104-120 are blank, as are the versos throughout.

MS.Add.5986: W.G. Searle, notes on Ingulf and the history of Croyland Abbey, in English and Latin, c. 1894, 232 folios. The volume concerns the continuations by various writers of the history of Crowland Abbey attributed to Ingulf. This is evidently the draft for Part II of Searle's Ingulf and the historia Croylandensis: an investigation (Cambridge, 1894), announced in the text (p. iv) as 'in preparation', but never published. The numbering of chapters and sections in the manuscript continues that of the published portion, but several of the later sections are blank, apart from a heading, and the work seems to have been abandoned unfinished. Many pages are blank.

MSS.Add.6599-6600: W.G. Searle, 'Collectanea in Petrum Blesensem', in English and Latin, 1895-1900.

Volume I, 204 folios: (fo. 1) introductory note; (fo. 2) essay on 'The Historical Peter of Blois'; (fo. 35) essay on 'The epistolary of Peter of Blois'; (fo. 157) appendices; extracts from manuscripts; (fo. 173) list of authorities and of editions of the works of Peter of Blois. The writing is on the rectos only.

Volume II, lists and comparative tables, 176 folios: (fo. 1) incipits of epistles; (fo. 2v) incipits of opuscula; (fo. 3v) comparative table of the order of the epistles in J.A. Giles's and other editions and the manuscripts; (fo. 103) persons addressed by Peter; (fo. 107) other persons whose letters are included in the collation of Peter's epistles; (fo. 110) authors quoted by Peter; (fo. 113) geographical names occurring in Peter's works; (fo. 118) classical and mythological names in the same; (fo. 120) Biblical names in same; (fo. 122) contemporaries mentioned by Peter; (fo. 133) persons referred to by title only; (fo. 135) forms of greeting; (fo. 137) unusual words in the writings of Peter; (fo. 142) words frequently used in the same; (fo. 147) historical mistakes and Biblical errors; (fo. 149) misprints in J.A. Giles's edition; (fo. 154) anonymous verses quoted by Peter; (fo. 157) manuscripts of the epistles.

MS.Add.6601: W.G. Searle, 'Vite S. Guthlaci, transcripte', in Latin, 1896-1900, 132 folios: (fo. iv) list of contents; (fos 1-118) transcripts of various lives of St Guthlac and accounts of the saint from various sources.

MS.Add.6602:Notes on Petrus Blesensis, in English and Latin, 1890-1900, 32 folios. A collection of loose notes taken from W.G. Searle's 'Collectanea in Petrum Blesensem', and bound into a volume of leaves of various sizes, numbered 1-32. They include the following: no. 4: list of manuscripts of Petrus; no. 16: extract from a deed of Archbishop Richard of Canterbury (1174-1185); no. 21: notes upon certain Archdeacons of Wells in the 12th century; no. 27: notes concerning manuscript collections of the letters of Petrus; no. 30: comparative table of the order of the letters in various manuscripts and printed editions; no. 31: notes on the Lives of St Guthlac.

MS.Add.6951: Catalogue of the manuscript library of John Bale, transcribed from Bale's Scriptorum illustrium maioris Brytanniae posterior pars (Basle, 1559), pp. 159-167, written in Latin in the hand of W.G. Searle, c. 1880, 20 folios. Fos 17-20 are blank. There are references and dates on the versos.

MSS.Add.6952-6954: W.G. Searle, notes on the history of Crowland Abbey, c. 1890.

Indexes to the places (pp. 3-97) and persons (pp. 101-313) found in Ingulph's chronicle of the Abbey of Croyland with the continuations, 1 volume, 338 folios. Many pages are blank.

Notes on the text of Ingulph's chronicle of the Abbey of Croyland with the continuations, 2 volumes. Page 549 of the second volume and onwards are headed a 'continuation of the History of Croyland Abbey from 1486', and contain notes on the later history of the Abbey, arranged chronologically.

Administrative / Biographical History

William George Searle (d. 1913), historian, fellow of Queens' College, Cambridge.

Access Information

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

Acquisition Information

MSS.Add.5983-5986 and 6599-6600 were presented by Miss Searle, 1916; MSS.Add.6601, 6602 and 6951-6954 were presented by W.G. Searle, 1912.


Description compiled by Robert Steiner, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives.

Other Finding Aids

Additional Manuscripts Catalogue.

Custodial History

MSS.Add.5983 and 5984 were formerly part of the library of W.G. Searle.

Related Material

Cambridge University Library holds Searle's own copy of H.T. Riley's edition of Ingulph's chronicle of the Abbey of Croyland with the continuations, interleaved and extensively annotated, Adv.d.94.5-6 (see MSS.Add.6952-6954).


For further information about the original of MS.Add.5985 see T.K. Abbott, Catalogue of the manuscripts in the library of Trinity College, Dublin, no. 172, p. 22. Ingulph's chronicle of the Abbey of Croyland with the continuations was translated with notes by H.T. Riley (2 vols, London, 1854).