Carte Papers

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 161 MSS. Carte 1-290
  • Dates of Creation
      14th-18th century
  • Language of Material
      English, French, Latin, Italian, and Welsh.
  • Physical Description
      290 shelfmarks

Scope and Content

Papers of Thomas Carte, including:  

  • Papers relating to the Butler family of Ormonde, 16th-18th century, including correspondence and papers of James 1st Duke of Ormonde, chiefly relating to public affairs in Ireland, 17th-18th century
  • Correspondence, political papers, and other collections of Sir William Fitzwilliam, chiefly relating to public affairs in Ireland, where he was Lord Deputy, 1561-95
  • Chichester papers (Irish history, etc.), including correspondence, official papers and collections of Sir John Davies (Solicitor General of Ireland 1603-6, Attorney General 1606-19), chiefly relating to the public affairs of Ireland, 16th-17th century
  • Sandwich papers (English history, especially of the navy), including correspondence and papers of Edward Montagu, 1st Earl of Sandwich, 17th century
  • Wharton papers (English history), including correspondence and papers of Philip, 4th Lord Wharton and Thomas, 1st Marquis of Wharton, 17th century
  • Huntingdon papers (Irish history)
  • Nairne papers, chiefly relating to the exiled Stuarts, and comprising the correspondence of Sir David Nairne and the Earl of Middleton

Administrative / Biographical History

Thomas Carte, son of the Rev. Samuel Carte, MA of Magdalen College, Oxford, and brother of Samuel and Sarah Carte, was born at Clifton in Warwickshire in 1686. He matriculated at University College, 8 July 1698, and took his degree from Brasenose in 1702, but in 1706 incorporated at King's College, Cambridge, taking his MA degree from that college in the same year. He took Holy Orders in about 1714, but in that year refused to take the oath of allegiance and, when in 1722 he was accused of high treason, fled into France, and adopted the name of Philips, not returning until about 1728. In the interval he collected materials for an English edition of De Thou's History, which were used for the seven-volume Latin edition, London 1733. When he returned to England he commenced his Life of James Duke of Ormonde (published in 1735-36), his attention having been directed to Irish affairs from an early age. His History of England, to provide funds for which a Society of subscribers had been formed, was published in 1747-55. He died on 2 April 1754. 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 collection was acquired by the Library 1753-78.


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

Other Finding Aids

A complete Calendar of the papers made by Edward Edwards, 1877-83, is available in the Library.

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. 10447-10724.


C.W. Russell and J.P. Prendergast, The Carte manuscripts in the Bodleian library, Oxford. A report, by C.W. Russell and J.P. Prendergast (London 1871).

T.D. Hardy and J.S. Brewer, Report to the ... Master of the Rolls upon the Carte and Carew papers in the Bodleian and Lambeth libraries (London 1864).