Pigott Manuscripts

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 161 MSS. Pigott b. 1-5, c. 1-6, d. 1-31, e. 1-9, f. 1-9, g. 1-25
  • Dates of Creation
      17th-19th century
  • Language of Material
      English, French, and Italian.
  • Physical Description
      85 shelfmarks

Scope and Content

Papers of Harriett Pigott, consisting of:

  • Diaries and personal notebooks
  • Correspondence and literary work
  • Miscellanea

Administrative / Biographical History

Miss Harriett Pigott was of an old Shropshire fmaily, the Pigotts of Chetwynd. Two of her uncles (Robert and Charles, both d 1794) were ardent reformers both in political and social matters. Her father, who married a Miss Arabella Mytton (d about 1779), was rector of Chetwynd. Harriet was born on 9 April 1775, and according to her own account was unhappily brought up and unkindly treated by some members of her own family. Having a small independence, she travelled about in the latter half of her life, and by her good looks, wit and sprightliness made friends wherever she went, and was a welcome guest at fashionable tables, especially in London and Paris. She was at Brussels in the summer of 1815, and her diaries show that she moved in good society in Holland, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy and France, as well as England and Scotland. In her anonymous work, The Private Correspondence of a Woman of Fashion (London 1832, 2 volumes) may be found an autobiography from 1814 to 1816, and in her Records of Real Life in the Palace and the Cottage (London 1839, 3 volumes) a similar account for 1817-19 and 1832-3. From 1840 until her death in July 1846 she lived in England, having on 9 March 1844 been received into the Roman Catholic Church. 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 http://www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/specialcollections).

Acquisition Information

The collection was bequeathed to the Library by Harriett Pigott in 1846. It arrived at the Library in July 1847.


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

Other Finding Aids

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. IV, nos. 23409-23494.