John Malcolm Forbes Ludlow: Papers

Scope and Content

Papers of John Ludlow and of the Ludlow, Liot and Des Graz families.

Ludlow's correspondence includes bundles of letters from Thomas Hughes, author of Tom Brown's Schooldays, 1850-1896; Charles Kingsley and his wife, 1848-1868, with Ludlow's letters to them until 1855; Norman Macleod, editor of Good Words, 1860-1871; Charles Blachford Mansfield, chemist, 1848-1854; and Frederick Denison Maurice, theologian, 1847-1871, with Ludlow's replies from 1852. Other correspondents, represented by a smaller numbers of letters, include John Llewelyn Davies, theologian (7 letters); William Edward Forster, statesman (20); James Anthony Froude, historian (6); Elizabeth Gaskell (14); Lord Goderich, Marquis of Ripon (11); Richard Holt Hutton of the Spectator (8); Alexander Macmillan, publisher (26); John Stuart Mill (5); Sir Stafford Northcote, Lord Iddesleigh (5); E.H. Plumptre, Dean of Wells (6); and N. Story-Maskelyne, mineralogist (4).

The collection also includes Ludlow's unpublished autobiography. This contains a large amount of information for the first half of Ludlow's life, and in particular on the Christian Socialist period. There is less material for after the 1850s, and only an appendix for his seventeen years at the Registry of Friendly Societies.

Additional material relating to Ludlow includes periodicals containing his articles and biographical and obituary notices about him; poems, including a batch of his poems submitted to Charles Kingsley for criticism; transcripts of German and English poems written in a fellow student's lecture notebook; material collected for an annotated edition of the memoirs of Edmund Ludlow, the seventeenth-century regicide, to whom he was related; Ludlow's diary in French, 1838-40 and 1840-1845; and photographs of him.

Other members of Ludlow's family are represented in the collection. There is correspondence and other papers of Ludlow's father Colonel John Ludlow, including a series of letters while on campaign in the Gurkha War, 1814-1815, and in Central India, 1818-1819, written to his wife. There are also papers relating to the British India Society, founded by John Malcom Ludlow's uncle, Frank Brown, and a series of letters from Brown to Ludlow, including information on local affairs in India. The diaries of Ludlow's sisters, Eliza F. Ludlow (1825-1832) and Maria E.S. Ludlow (Mrs. Liot) (1828-1831) are also included, as are letters to his cousin, Lieutenant-Colonel E.H. Ludlow (d.1850) from various writers, with other papers, 1849-1850. The collection also includes Ludlow's correspondence with other members of his family.

The Liot and Des Graz families are also represented in the collection. There are letters and papers of Charles Liot, Ludlow's brother-in-law, and of his family. The papers of Louis Des Graz include a file relating to a scheme for improving the harbour at Marseilles in the 1830s, drafts of articles and poems, correspondence, and papers connected with his literary works. There are also papers relating to Des Graz's sons, including Edouard Des Graz's correspondence and papers, 1837-1850, and the letters of Csar Des Graz, including some from his time as secretary to the French navigator Dumont D'Urville on the latter's last voyage around the world in the Astrolabe, 1837-1840. Maurice Des Graz's correspondence is included, as are the papers of Sir Charles Des Graz, including a copy of a diary running from the beginning of 1914 to the middle of 1916. Ludlow's letters to and from members of the two families can also be found in the collection.

Administrative / Biographical History

John Malcolm Forbes Ludlow (1821-1911), barrister, was the son of Lieutenant-Colonel John Ludlow (d.1821) of the Indian Army. Ludlow played an important part in the Christian Socialist movement of 1848-1854. He was Secretary to the Northcote Commission on Friendly Societies, 1870-1874, and from 1875-1891 was Chief Registrar of Friendly Societies.

Ludlow's sisters, Eliza F. Ludlow and Maria E.S. Ludlow, are represented in the collection, as is his cousin Lieutenant-Colonel E.H. Ludlow (d.1850). Maria Ludlow married Charles Liot, Treasurer of the French West Indian island of Martinique. Their daughter married Csar Des Graz (d.1865). Members of the Des Graz family represented in the collection include Csar's father J.F.L. Des Graz (d.1853), a Swiss by birth, who spent some years as a merchant in Turkey before settling in Marseilles, and who published a work called Paroles d'un Ngociant and various articles and poems; Csar's brother Edouard, who followed his father as a merchant in Smyrna and Constantinople; and Csar's sons Maurice Des Graz (d.1935) and Sir Charles Des Graz (d.1940), who was British Minister to Serbia throughout the First World War.


Much of the collection came to the Library in a state of some confusion. This is due partly to Sir Charles L. Des Graz, who went through the papers in pursuit of his ancestors. John Malcom Ludlow is also known to have gone through his own papers in old age and destroyed much of the material, which probably accounts for the lack of his correspondence after 1874. In the sorting and listing of the collection, the two parts of the collection were treated as a whole. Original bundles were retained where these could be recognised, but a good deal of rearrangement was unavoidable.

Access Information

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

Acquisition Information

MS.Add.7348 was presented to Cambridge University Library by C.G.M. Des Graz, 1953; MS.Add.7450 by his executors, 1954.


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

Other Finding Aids

Additional Manuscripts Catalogue.


Ludlow's biography by N.C. Masterman, J.M. Ludlow: The Builder of Christian Socialism (1963), is based partly on these papers, which had not, however, been fully sorted when Masterman wrote his work.

Corporate Names