Gilpin Papers

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 161 MSS. Eng. misc. b. 73, c. 387-93, d. 556-88, e. 486-539, f. 178-378
  • Dates of Creation
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      295 shelfmarks

Scope and Content

Correspondence and papers of William Gilpin, with later Gilpin family papers, consisting of:  

  • Manuscripts of and relating to Gilpin's published works, 1763-94, including:  
    • Observations on the coasts of Hampshire, Sussex, and Kent, relative chiefly to picturesque beauty ... 1774 (London, 1804)
    • Observations on several parts of the counties of Cambridge, Norfolk, Suffolk, and Essex. Also on ... North Wales; ... in two tours ... 1769 ... [and] 1773 (London, 1809)
    • Observations on the River Wye, and several parts of South Wales ... 1770 (London, 1782)
    • Observations, ... 1772, on several parts of England; particularly the mountains, and lakes of Cumberland, and Westmoreland (2 vols., London, 1786)
    • Observations on the Western parts of England ... [and] the Isle of Wight (London, 1798)
    • Observations ... made in the year 1776, on several parts of Great Britain; particularly the High-lands of Scotland (2 vols, London, 1789)
    • The life of Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury (London, 1784)
    • Remarks on forest scenery, and other woodland views ... illustrated by the scenes of New-forest in Hampshire. In three books (2 vols, London, 1791)
    • Three essays: on picturesque beauty; on picturesque travel; and on sketching landscape: to which is added a poem, On landscape painting (London, 1792)
    • Three dialogues on the amusements of clergymen (London, 1796)
    • Moral contrasts: or, the power of religion exemplified under different characters (Lymington, 1798)
  • Other papers of Gilpin, ca. 1759-1803, including Gilpin's punishment book kept at Cheam School, Surrey, 1759-66
  • Correspondence of Gilpin, 1741-1853
  • Papers of William Gilpin the younger, 1779-1848, including his journal, and related notebooks, 1793-1847
  • Papers of other members of the Gilpin family, 1658-1829
  • Miscellaneous papers, 1670-1927, including the diary of Samuel Benson, 1835-79

Administrative / Biographical History

William Gilpin (1724-1804) was a clergyman, educationist, biographer and topographer. His son was William Gilpin (1757-1848), Rector of Pulverbatch. Details of William Gilpin (1724-1804) are given in the Dictionary of National Biography.

Access Information

Entry to read in the Library is permitted only on presentation of a valid reader's card (for admissions procedures see

Acquisition Information

The papers came to the Library in three separate donations, 1962-3. MS. Eng. misc. d. 566/1 was bought at Sotheby's in 1981.


Collection level description created by Emily Tarrant, Department of Special Collections and Western Manuscripts.

Other Finding Aids

M. Clapinson and T.D. Rogers, Summary Catalogue of Post-Medieval Western Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library Oxford. Acquisitions 1916-1975. (Oxford, 1991), vol. I, nos. 42402-697.

Related Material

See also Papers of William Gilpin (MSS. Eng. lett. b. 36, c. 534; Eng. misc. d. 1204-7, e. 1318-26; Eng. poet. c. 71, d. 221-4, e. 175-8; Lat. misc. c. 94).


Geographical Names