The material chiefly comprises letters to William Windham Farr from his friends William Ewart Gladstone and Arthur Hallam, and others including G.S. Harcourt, H. Clifford, P.A. Pickering, James Milnes Gaskell, C. Sawbridge, Arthur Buckeridge and Thomas Gladstone. Most of the early letters are written from Eton. There are also original manuscripts of two speeches by Lord Arthur Charles Hervey (no. 63) and an unknown speaker (no. 65).
William Windham Farr Letters
Scope and Content
Administrative / Biographical History
William Windham Farr was born on 9 November 1808 in Christchurch, Hampshire, the only son of William Dale Farr of Lincoln's Inn and his wife Elizabeth. Around 1822 William went to Eton, where his circle of friends included the future Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone (1809-1898); Arthur Henry Hallam (1811-1833), poet and essayist; (Sir) Francis Hastings Charles Doyle (1810-1888), poet and civil servant; and Percival Andree Pickering (1811-1876). In 1826 Farr went up to Cambridge. He obtained a BA degree in 1830 and entered Lincoln's Inn. He was called to the bar in 1834. After practising law in London, Farr returned to Christchurch, settling at Ilford House, and he served as a justice of the peace for Hampshire. He died in January 1887 after a lengthy illness.
Conditions Governing Access
The collection is available for consultation by any accredited reader.
Acquired by the John Rylands Library as part of Mrs Rylands's bequest.
Description compiled by Henry Sullivan and Jo Humpleby, project archivists, and John Hodgson, Keeper of Manuscripts and Archives, with reference to M. Zamick, 'Unpublished letters of Arthur Henry Hallam from Eton, now in the John Rylands Library', Bulletin of the John Rylands Library, vol. 18 (1934), pp. 197-248.
Other Finding Aids
Catalogued in the Hand-List of the Collection of English Manuscripts in the John Rylands Library, 1928 (English MS 339).
The correspondence is discussed and ten letters transcribed by M. Zamick, 'Unpublished letters of Arthur Henry Hallam from Eton, now in the John Rylands Library', Bulletin of the John Rylands Library, vol. 18 (1934), pp. 197-248.
Gladstone's letters to Farr (1826-8) are printed in John Brooke and Mary Sorensen (eds), The Prime Ministers' papers: W.E. Gladstone. 1. Autobiographica (London: HMSO, 1971), appendix 1, pp. 179-205.