Enfield Collections of Richard Gough

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Collections for a history of Enfield, Middlesex, made by Richard Gough.

Administrative / Biographical History

Richard Gough (1735-1809), antiquary, was born in London, received a private education, and was admitted a fellow-commoner of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, in July 1752, but left in 1756 without taking a degree. From the age of eleven he was a prolific writer, but after his Cambridge days devoted himself almost exclusively to British topography and antiquities, making annual tours through different parts of Britain, often in company with John Nichols, his printer and publisher, and employing artists such as Jacob Schnebbelie and James Basire to illustrate his notes. In 1767 he became FSA and from 1771-97 was Director of the Society of Antiquaries. In 1774, on the death of his mother, extensive estates fell to him, which his father (who died in 1751) had bequeathed to him in reversion.

Gough's chief works were his British Topography (1768, and 2 vols. 1780, an account of the literature of the subject), the Sepulchral Monuments of Great Britain (1786-99), and a greatly augmented edition of Camden's Britannia (3 vols. 1789; 4 vols. 1806; a third edition was begun in 1806, but not finished and never published). His numerous minor publications on classical, antiquarian and topographical subjects evince immense industry and activity, while his independent means enabled him to devote himself to his chosen pursuits. In the course of his life he amassed a large library of books and engravings, chiefly topographical, which included many volumes from the libraries of Ducarel, Lort, Blomefield, Peter Le Neve, Hutchins, West and others.

Conditions Governing Access

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 collections were purchased at Sotheby's in 1914.

Note

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. VI, nos. 36609-13.

Related Material

See also Correspondence of Richard Gough (MSS. Gough gen. top. 39-44) and Gough Collection (MSS. Gough).

Geographical Names