Papers of John Salvio

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 206 Brotherton Collection MS Lt q 46
  • Dates of Creation
      ca. 1698-1736
  • Name of Creator
  • Language of Material
      English Italian French Latin Greek
  • Physical Description
      1 box (5 envelopes). Largely written in a single hand, probably that of John Salvio.

Scope and Content

Comprises: (1) Miscellaneous manuscript and printed items of various sizes, including orders and receipts, a page of calligraphic writing exercises, pages of geometrical and navigational drawings, a recipe, a printed list of prints by Giacomo Freij, an engraved advertisement (with vignette) for a seller of silks in Cheapside, and other notes, drawings, and ephemera, about 26 pieces; (2) Transcript by Salvio of two verse dialogues in French, 22 pp., contained in a quarto exercise book; (3) Collection of some thirty English poems, mostly in Salvio's hand, with a few verses in French and Italian probably by him, on unbound leaves of various sizes, 46 pp.; (4) A neat calligraphic transcript of the Elements of Euclid, in French, complete with drawings, transcribed by Salvio at Hooton Pagnell Hall near Doncaster in 1736 from a French manuscript written in Paris in 1633, together with some 'Geometrical definitions' in English, 176 pp., plus blanks, on unbound quires, quarto; (5) A letter-book of Salvio's correspondence between May 1698 and 8 September 1729, written in his elegant Italic hand in English, Italian, French, Latin, and Greek, 354 pp., in unbound quires, quarto. In them Salvio describes himself, attempts to curry favour with the upper classes to obtain employment or receive payment, comments on his work and pupils, on his attempts to find a wife, and on his own health and books, and gives accounts of his travels on the Continent with detailed impressions of cities in Italy, France, and elsewhere.

Administrative / Biographical History

John Salvio is possibly to be identified with a European and Oriental linguist and traveller, and early eighteenth-century private tutor, whose funeral on 19 June 1749 was commemorated in Nott da Porta's publication (in Romansch) La Spartida in pasch, Scuol, 1750, according to the British Library Catalogue.

Access Information

Access is unrestricted.

Acquisition Information

Purchased at Sotheby's on 8 August 1980.


In English, Italian, French, Latin, and Greek.

Other Finding Aids

The poems are indexed in the BCMSV database

Personal Names