Tour on the continent,

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 210 NLW MS 12707E.
  • Alternative Id.
      (alternative) vtls004961564
  • Dates of Creation
      [1764x1798] /
  • Name of Creator
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      450 pp. Bound in calf, with gilt and blind tooling, and gilt lettering and edges.
  • Location
      ARCH/MSS (GB0210)

Scope and Content

A folio volume lettered on the spine 'Pennant's Tour on the Continent . . . 1764', and containing an account of a tour in France, Savoy, Switzerland, Germany, Holland, and the Netherlands, undertaken by Thomas Pennant, February - August 1765, followed by a table of the 'Itinerary' and an index. The title-page is inscribed 'Tour on the Continent by Thomas Pennant, Esqr.', and, like the spine, bears the date 1764, although the actual tour was undertaken in 1765. An engraved portrait (inlaid) of Thomas Pennant (published post 1793) serves as frontispiece. The volume, as in the case of the preceding and following manuscripts, NLW MSS 12706E and 12708E, may have been transcribed by Thomas Pennant's secretary - copyist, Thomas Jones. Subsequent to its acquisition by the National Library of Wales in 1938, the text of the present work was edited and published, with an introduction and foot-notes, as vol. 132 of the publications of the Ray Society [G[avin] R[ylands] de Beer (ed.): Tour on the Continent 1765, by Thomas Pennant, Esqr. (London, 1948)]. In his introduction the editor states, 'It is clear that the body of the text rests on daily notes made by Pennant during the actual course of his tour', and adds that 'Pennant went over his text afterwards, for many of the elaborations of his narrative refer to books published, or events which occurred, subsequently to 1765'. References, such as those to Voltaire in 1768 (p. 184), to the reported discontinuance of the custom of producing the album or visitors' book at the Carthusian monastery of La Grande Chartreuse 'a few years after the time I was there' (p. 127), and to 'the late subversion of all things, wrong as well as right, in the Kingdom of France', and its effects on the monastery of La Grande Chartreuse (pp. 128- 9), are obviously later insertions. So, too, would appear to be the references to works by M. Bourrit (pp. 175, 178) [probably Marc Théodore Bourrit: A Relation of a Journey to the Glaciers in the Dutchy of Savoy. Translated from the French by Charles and Frederick Davy (Norwich, 1775)], and by the Reverend Mr. Coxe (p. 193) [William Coxe, author of Sketches of the Natural, Civil, and Political State of Swisserland (London, 1779), and Travels in Switzerland (London, 1789)].


Title based on contents.

Formerly known as Pennant[-Feilding] 2.

Preferred citation: NLW MS 12707E.

Other Finding Aids

The description is also available in the Handlist of Manuscripts in the National Library of Wales, Volume IV (Aberystwyth, 1971).

Custodial History

The inside, upper cover bears a small label inscribed 'Downing Library'.

Additional Information