Edward Gibbon: Papers

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 12 MSS.Add.8476, 8530 and 8531
  • Dates of Creation
      Late 18th century-1950
  • Name of Creator
  • Language of Material
      English French
  • Physical Description
      1 box-file, 1 portfolio and 1 volume

Scope and Content

A collection of material by or concerning Edward Gibbon, compiled by Sir Geoffrey Keynes.

MS.Add.8476: Annotated playing cards (1 box-file)

Six playing cards, with notes on the back by Gibbon relating to his reading, 18th century.

MS.Add.8530: Remarks on Decline and fall of the Roman Empire (1 volume)

'The decline and fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon Esq. A few remarks thereon and some of his authorities examined', anonymous, 18th century.

MS.Add.8531: Shoemaker's bill (1 portfolio)

A receipt account by David Roch, cordonnier, 1 January 1786, in French, with a transcription taken from Revue historique Vaudoise, December 1950, and 'The personal and household bills of Edward Gibbon', an article from Notes and queries, 29 October 1949, pp. 474-476.

Administrative / Biographical History

Edward Gibbon (1737-1794), historian, was born at Putney on 27 April 1737, and educated at Westminster School and Magdalen College, Oxford. He served in the Hampshire militia, 1759-1770, before settling in London in 1772. Gibbon was a Member of Parliament, 1774-1783, and Professor of Ancient History at the Royal Academy. He published The history of the decline and fall of the Roman Empire in 1788. He died in London on 16 January 1794.

Access Information

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

Acquisition Information

Received from the library of Sir Geoffrey Keynes, 1982.


Description compiled by Robert Steiner, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives. The biographical history was compiled with reference to the entry on Edward Gibbon in Leslie Stephen and Sidney Lee, eds, Dictionary of national biography, vol. VII (London, 1908), pp. 1129-1135.

Other Finding Aids


Custodial History

MS.Add.8476 was bought by Sir Geoffrey Keynes from the collection of Geoffrey Madan at Sotheby's, 1967. MS.Add.8530 was formerly part of the collection of Sir Thomas Phillipps, MS 1365.


MSS.Add.8530 and 8531 are nos 2251 and 2237 respectively in Sir Geoffrey Keynes, Bibliotheca bibliographici (London, 1964), p. 229.