Bridges's Northamptonshire Collections

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 161 MSS. Top. Northants. c. 1-39, e. 1-8, f. 1-5
  • Dates of Creation
  • Language of Material
      Latin, and English.
  • Physical Description
      52 shelfmarks

Scope and Content

Collections of John Bridges relating to Northamptonshire. Most of his collections are neatly written and carefully indexed.

Administrative / Biographical History

Dr John Bridges was born in 1666 at Barton Seagrave in Northamptonshire, and was brought up as a lawyer at Lincoln's Inn. From 1718 until his death on 16 March 1724 he was an ardent collector of materials for the history of his native county, not only himself taking notes throughout the county but also employing agents to do the same and to make copies from original records and manuscript collections lent by friends. 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

In 1795 and 1796 37 folios, 8 quartos and one octavo volume were received as a donation from Dr Nathaniel Bridges, and the few remaining volumes were probably soon after added.


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. III, nos. 16618-16669.

Custodial History

The collections devolved to Dr Bridges's heirs, and were at different times in the hands of a Mr Gibbons, a law bookseller in London, Dr Samuel Jebb (who edited from them a small part of a history of the county, in about 1735), William Cartwright of Aynho, and the Rev. Peter Whalley. Under the editorship of the latter a first volume and part of a second were published in 1762-9, and at last a complete history in two folio volumes, The history and antiquities of Northamptonshire (Oxford, 1791).


See Custodial History.

Geographical Names