Sir Henry Ellis: Correspondence

Scope and Content

9 items of correspondence, loose in a volume:

1. J. J. Conybeare (possibly John Josais Conybeare) to [Sir] Henry Ellis, 1820.

2. Hudson Gurney to the Sir Henry Ellis, undated.

3. Sir Henry Ellis to [ ], 11 March 1833.

4. Hudson Gurney to Sir Henry Ellis, 14 March 1833.

5. 'Memorandum for Mr. Gurney'.

6. Pencil notes.

7. Sir Henry Ellis to [ ], undated.

8. Sir Henry Ellis to Hudson Gurney, 17 February 1834.

9. Note on a quotation from Roger Bacon.

Administrative / Biographical History

Sir Henry Ellis (1777-1869) was born in London on 29 Nov. 1777, and educated at Merchant Taylors' School. He matriculated at St John's College, Oxford, in 1796, where he later held a fellowship until 1805. In 1798 he was appointed one of the two assistants in the Bodleian Library, and in 1800 became a temporary assistant in the library of the British Museum. He took the degree of B.C.L. in 1802, and in 1805 became the museum's assistant-keeper of printed books, and in 1806 the head of the department. He began on the reconstruction of the library's printed catalogue in March 1807, in collaboration with his assistant the Revd H.H. Barber, and continued to attend to the catalogue after his transfer to the department of manuscripts in 1812. The catalogue was completed in December 1819. In 1814 Ellis obtained the office of secretary of the museum, and in the same year became secretary of the Society of Antiquaries. His catalogue of the society's manuscripts was published in 1816, and in the same year he edited the 'Additamenta' to Domesday Book. In 1827 he became the museum's principal librarian. Ellis remained in the post until his retirement in February 1856. Between 1853 and 1857 he was director of the Society of Antiquaries. He died at his home in Bedford Square on 15 June 1869.

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 Ellis in Leslie Stephen and Sidney Lee, eds., Dictionary of national biography, Vol. VI (London, 1908), pp. 698-700.

Other Finding Aids

Additional Manuscripts Catalogue.

Custodial History

The volume was previously a part of MS.Add.6860.