Letters to Edward Gripper, Mayor of Nottingham, on the ceremonial occasion of the openingof University College Nottingham, 1881

Scope and Content

The collection comprises a series of 47 letters addressed to the Mayor of Nottingham and the towncouncil replying to an invitation to attend the opening of University College Nottingham on 20 June1881. Despite the presence of letters from many prominent people of the day, the collection islimited in scope. Most of the letters are short, usually two pages in length, in which the writersthank the mayor and council for the invitation, accept or decline, and occasionally sendcongratulations to the council on the occasion of the opening of the college. Among those who wereinvited but could not attend was William Gladstone, the Prime Minister, who wrote in his own hand on18 April 1881 (MS 678/10).

There are acceptances to the invitation from the following: Lord Newark (MS 678/4-5), Duke ofPortland (MS 678/15), Lord Granville (MS 678/20), Arnold Morley (MS 678/21), A.J. Mundella (MS678/28), Lord Belper (MS 678/29), Duke of St Albans (MS 678/31), Thomas Huskinson (MS 678/32),Viscount Galway (MS 678/35-36), Professor Tyndall (MS 678/37), Sir Sydney Waterlow (MS 678/38-39),Arthur Dyke Ackland (MS 678/41), James Smart (MS 678/43), Earl Manvers (MS 678/44), and the Bishopof Lincoln (MS 678/46).

Administrative / Biographical History

Edward Gripper was born at Layer Breton Hall near Kelvedon, Essex in 1815. He was a farmer in thecounty until the age of 40 when he moved to Nottingham and took charge of the Mapperley topbrickyard. In about 1866, Gripper and others negotiated for the exclusive local use of Hoffman'scontinuous burning kilns. With a Mr Burgess, he formed the Patent Brick Company and oversaw themechanisation of the business. Output reached 27 million bricks in one year and The Patent BrickCompany's bricks were sold to London County Council and to the Midland Railway for the constructionof St. Pancras Station.

Gripper, an alderman, justice of the peace and chairman of the Water Committee, was Mayor ofNottingham for the year 1880-81. Gripper also served on the Nottingham School Board for 16 years andwas chairman for 13 of them during which time 25 schools were built, transformed or extended.

University College in Shakespeare Street, Nottingham was opened by Prince Leopold, Duke ofAlbany, the youngest son of Queen Victoria, on 30 June 1881. Lunch followed at the Albert Hall,Nottingham.


The letters in this collection have been maintained in the order in which they were received bythe Department of Manuscripts and Special Collections.

Access Information

ACCESS: Accessible to all registered readers.

REPROGRAPHIC: Reprographic copies can be supplied for educational use and private study purposesonly, depending on access status and the condition of the documents.

Conditions Governing Use

COPYRIGHT: Permission to make published use of any material from this collection must be soughtin advance in writing from the Keeper of the Department of Manuscripts and Special Collections(email mss-library@nottingham.ac.uk). TheDepartment will try to assist in identifying copyright owners but this is often difficult and theresponsibility for copyright clearance before publication ultimately rests with the person wishingto publish.


Custodial History

This series of letters relating to the ceremonial opening of University College Nottingham wasseparated from the rest of the family archive and given to The University of Nottingham's Departmentof Manuscripts and Special Collections in October 1997.


Geographical Names