[John Ratcliff]: Journals of Continental Tours

Scope and Content

Travel journals, written in the same hand, probably by John Ratcliff.

MS.Add.4215: Journal of a tour in France, written after 1727, 58 folios. The versos are blank throughout. There is no internal evidence of the writer's identity, apart from two references to Oxford on fos 24 and 34.

MS.Add.4216: Journal of a tour in Belgium and Holland made in the company of Edward Bentham and Robert Hoblyn, 1734, 135 folios. The only internal evidence as to the identity of the travellers consists of a reference to 'Mr. B.&Mr. H.' on fo. 57, and the references to 'our Oxford libraries and our Oxford halls' on fos 57 and 93. However, an entry in A. Chalmers, Biographical dictionary (1812), records that Edward Bentham, in company with Hoblyn and Ratcliff, 'made at different times the tour of part of France and other countries'. Internal evidence indicates the date to be 1734. The versos are blank throughout.

Administrative / Biographical History

John Ratcliff was the son of Robert Ratcliff of Stonehouse, Gloucestershire. He entered Pembroke College, Oxford, in 1718, at the age of 18 (B.A., 1722; M.A., 1725; B.D., 1737; D.D., 1739), and was Master of the College from 1738 until his death on 31 October 1775.

Access Information

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

Acquisition Information

Purchased 1903 and 1904 respectively.


Description compiled by Robert Steiner, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives. The biographical history was compiled with reference to the entry on John Ratcliff in Joseph Foster, ed., Alumni Oxonienses, 1715-1886, L-R (Oxford, 1888), p. 1177.

Other Finding Aids

Additional Manuscripts Catalogue.

Custodial History

The journals were purchased by Sir T. Phillipps, Bart, in 1838, and were nos 7416 and 7415 respectively in his library.

Geographical Names