Mendham Manuscripts

Scope and Content

The Mendham collection is almost entirely connected with the Council of Trent (the main object of which was the definitive determination of the doctrines of the Catholic Church in answer to the heresies of the Protestants) and includes letters and diaries.

Administrative / Biographical History

Rev. Joseph Mendham was the son of a London merchant, born in 1796, and came to Oxford in 1789 (St. Edmund Hall, matriculated 27 January 1789, BA 1792, MA 1795). In 1793 he took Holy Orders, and from 1836 until his death on 1 November 1856 was incumbent of Hill Chapel, Arden, Warwickshire. Among his works (written from the Protestant point of view) are the Memoirs of the Council of Trent (London, 1834), An Account of the Indexes, both Prohibitory and Expurgatory, of the Church of Rome (London, 1826), and The life and pontificate of Saint Pius the fifth (London, 1832). Further details are given in the Dictionary of National Biography.

Access Information

Entry to read in the Library is permitted only on presentation of a valid reader's card (for admissions procedures see

Acquisition Information

The manuscripts were bequeathed to the Library by Mendham in 1856.


Collection level description created by Emily Tarrant, Department of Special Collections and Western Manuscripts.

Other Finding Aids

Falconer Madan, et al., A summary catalogue of western manuscripts in the Bodleian Library at Oxford which have not hitherto been catalogued in the Quarto series (7 vols. in 8 [vol. II in 2 parts], Oxford, 1895-1953; reprinted, with corrections in vols. I and VII, Munich, 1980), vol. V, nos. 24394-24430.