Ralph Widdrington: Epistolae Cantabrigienses

Scope and Content

'Epistolae Cantabrigienses', written in various hands, 70 folios: (fo. 2) title-page; (fo. 4) text of epistles. Among the addressees are Johann Hevelius; King Charles II; Margaret, Duchess of Newcastle; Edward, Earl of Clarendon; William, Duke of Newcastle; Prince Rupert; Tobias Rustat; Sir William Morice; Duke of Buckingham; Edward, Earl of Manchester; Humphrey, Bishop of London; Gilbert, Archbishop of Canterbury; Richard, Archbishop of York; Grand Duke of Tuscany; James, Duke of Monmouth; George Monk; Sir Thomas Hussey; Thomas Widdrington; Sir Orlando Bridgman; and Ralph, Bishop of Exeter. There is also an address and speech of the Duke of Buckingham to Cambridge University; a letter of King Charles II to the same; a speech of Humphrey Gower to King Charles II; and a letter from Edmund Boldero to Edward, Earl of Manchester. On fo. 1 is 'E libris Edwardi Leedes magistri Cantab. 8o kalend. maias 1674'.

Administrative / Biographical History

Ralph Widdrington (d. 1688) was born at Stamfordham, Northumberland, the younger son of Lewis Widdrington, and brother of Sir Thomas Widdrington (d. 1664), Speaker of the House of Commons. He was educated at Christ's College, Cambridge, graduating B.A. in 1635, and M.A. in 1639, and become a fellow. In 1647 he was appointed taxer of the university, and in 1650 public orator. He became regius professor of Greek at Cambridge in 1654. He was presented to the rectory of Thorp by the dean and chapter of Lincoln in February 1661, and became Lady Margaret's professor of divinity at Cambridge in March 1673. In December 1675 he was instituted to the rectory of Great Munden, Hertfordshire. He died on 10 June 1688. Many of Widdrington's Latin letters and copies of verses, published on official occasions between 1637 and 1685, were deposited in the various university collections.

Access Information

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

Acquisition Information

Purchased 1936.


Description compiled by Robert Steiner, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives. The biographical history was compiled with reference to the entry on Widdrington in Sidney Lee, ed., Dictionary of national biography, Vol. XXI (London, 1909), p. 180.

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Corporate Names