Alexander John Ellis: Poems and Notes

Scope and Content

MS.Add.6145: Poems, in German, English and French, 1836-1843, 78 folios. The text (fo. 4) is preceded by an extract from Goethe's Faust and a list of contents (fo. 2). The poems were possibly intended for publication as a supplementary volume to the author's Verses (Cambridge, 1836), but seem never to have been printed.

MS.Add.6146: Poems and notes, 1836-1840, 128 folios: extracts, laws of various Cambridge societies, including the Theatrical Club, sketches, verses, examples of phonetic script and other material. There are autographs of members of Shrewsbury School (fo. 98) and a letter from Ellis to Mrs Severn (fo. 112).

Administrative / Biographical History

Alexander John Ellis (1814-1890), philologist and mathematician, was born on 14 June 1814 at Hoxton Middlesex, the son of James Birch Sharpe. He attended Shrewsbury School and Eton College, before matriculating at Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1833 (B.A., 1837). In 1825 he changed his name to Ellis by Royal Licence. He was admitted to the Middle Temple in 1835. Ellis produced works on phonetics, pronounciation, dialects and orthography, and in 1843 arranged a new system of printing called phonotypy in collaboration with Sir Isaac Pitman. He was president of the Philological Society, 1872-1874 and 1880-1882. He died on 28 October 1890.

Access Information

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

Acquisition Information

Presented by Francis Jenkinson, 1917.


Description compiled by Robert Steiner, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives. The biographical history was compiled with reference to the entry on Ellis in J.A. Venn, Alumni Cantabrigienses, Part II, Vol. II (Cambridge University Press, 1944), p. 407.

Other Finding Aids

Additional Manuscripts Catalogue.