Papers of Edmund Gibson

Scope and Content

Papers include many letters to and from Gibson, including some to Robert Walpole, notes on canon law, papers on church administration, appointment of clergy, university lectureships, disposal of university prebends, on the Quaker Tithe Bill, on charity, ecclesiastical courts, commonplace books, accounts, receipts.

Administrative / Biographical History

Edmund Gibson (1669-1748), influential bishop and statesman. After studying atQueen's College, Oxford, he was appointed domestic chaplain to Thomas Tenison (1695-1715), archbishop of Canterbury. He had also begun his publishing career, producing devotional tracts, pastoral pamphlets and scholarly historical and theological works including a new English edition of William Camden's Britannia (1695), and 2 major works on ecclesiastical law, Synodus Anglicana in 1702 and Codex Juris Ecclesiae Anglicanae in 1713. Promoted to the see of Lincoln in 1716, Gibson was translated in 1723 to the bishopric of London, where he remained until his death. An intimate of Walpole until the rejection of the Quakers' Tithe Bill (1736), he was Sir Robert's closest counsellor on matters ecclesiastical and wielded great influence in church circles.

Access Information

By appointment with the Keeper of Manuscripts. Access to records containing confidential information may be restricted.

Acquisition Information

Given to the Library by C J Hill, 1928.

Other Finding Aids

Individual Manuscripts and Small Collections database available as part of Manuscripts Database.

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements


Archivist's Note

Description compiled by Maia Sheridan, Archives Hub project archivist, based on material from the Manuscripts Database

Conditions Governing Use

Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the Keeper of Manuscripts. Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use and condition of documents.

Custodial History

Gibson's papers passed to his grandson, Edmund Gibson, at whose death in 1798 the whole collection disappeared from public view to re-emerge, by chance, in 1889 when they were purchased for the library of St Paul's, London, by the sub-dean. In 1896 Gibson's descendants established at law their right in his papers, the greater part of which were accordingly dispersed from the library of St Paul's amongst the bishop's descendants, J C Dalton, Ernest Poore and C J Hill (of St Andrews). Of Mr Hill's portion of the papers, (volumes nos. 3, 4, 9 and 12), volumes 3, 4 and 12 were given to the University of St Andrews in 1928, volume 9 having been lost. Volume 3 comprises ms5234 to ms5317, Volume 4 comprises ms5179 to ms5233, while Volume 12 appears to have been boxed by St Paul's and has again been reboxed by St Andrews University Library. It contains ms5325 to ms5427 (plus later additions ms5428-9).