Edward FitzGerald and the Howe family: Papers

Scope and Content

Papers relating to Edward FitzGerald and members of the Howe family. There is an accompanying catalogue entry describing the contents of the collection.

1. Note in the hand of Edward FitzGerald: 'October Two. 1867. Received of George Howe Five Pounds being 5 per cent interest on £100 due in May last. Edward FitzGerald.'

2. Promissory note, 5 May 1866, for 100 lent by Fitzgerald to George Howe (see no. 1), with FitzGerald's signature on the reverse.

3. Notebook containing text copied from Thomas Wright, The life of Edward FitzGerald (1905), with the name Grace Maud Howe at the front of the volume. There is also an eight-page manuscript document in the hand of Wright, containing questions put to Mrs Howe and her replies, which are in her own hand.

4. 'An inventory and valuation of the household furniture and effects of the Boat Inn, Woodbridge', 29 March 1852, 3 pages.

5. Eight stamped envelopes addressed to members of the Howe family at Woodbridge, 1875, five with FitzGerald's address, 'Little Grange, Woodbridge'.

6. Admission ticket to Woodbridge Horticultural Society's Grand Fete, 1875, made out 'Admit Edw. FitzGerald Esq.', and an unaddressed ticket to the consecration of St John's Church, 1846.

7. Photograph of a letter of recommendation for John Howe, written by Edward FitzGerald, March 1876.

8. Photograph of 'Posh Fletcher', FitzGerald's Lowestoft friend.

9. Five documents regarding the shipping activities of Captain George Howe, 1875.

10. Three copies of marriage and baptism certificates relating to different members of the Howe family, 1840-1862.

11. Press cuttings regarding Edward FitzGerald, 1909-1959, mentioning the Howe family.

12. Letter to Miss Grace Howe from M.R. Brown, Photographic Department, East Anglian daily times, 25 April 1959, thanking her for the loan of photographs.

Administrative / Biographical History

Edward FitzGerald (1809-1883), poet and translator, was born at Bredfield House, near Woodbridge, Suffolk, on 31 March 1809. He entered King Edward the Sixth's Grammar School, Bury St Edmunds, in 1821, and joined Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1826 (B.A., 1830). FitzGerald settled in Suffolk, and worked on the translation of classical texts, many of which were published anonymously. He moved to his house at Little Grange, Woodbridge, in 1874. His best known work is an English translation from the Persian of 'Rubiyt of Omar Khayym', published anonymously in 1859. FitzGerald died at Merton Rectory in Norfolk on 14 June 1883.

The Howe family of Woodbridge, Suffolk, were shipowners. Members of the family featured in the collection include Grace Maud Howe, housekeeper for Edward FitzGerald at Little Grange; John Amos Howe (b. 1840), mariner, and his wife Mary Ann, ne Lion or Lyon (b. 1842), whom he married on 29 December 1862; and Captain George Howe, who was engaged in shipping.

Access Information

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

Acquisition Information

Purchased from R.W. and C.R. Lamb, booksellers, 29 April 1981.


Description compiled by Robert Steiner, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives. The biographical history was compiled with reference to the entry on Edward FitzGerald in Leslie Stephen and Sidney Lee, eds, Dictionary of national biography, vol. VII (London, 1908), pp. 111-113.

Other Finding Aids


Related Material

Cambridge University Library holds other papers relating to Edward FitzGerald, MSS.Add.2744/5, 4504, 4505, 4507, 4510, 7062 and 7749-7756.