Notes on an educational method by Philip Doddridge

Scope and Content

Manuscript volume containing 'An account of Mr [John] Jenning's method of academical education, with some reflections upon it, in a letter to a friend who had some thoughts of reviving it. Written in the year 1728', and dated at Market Harborough, 31 Oct 1728. This may be the original account written by Philip Doddridge and sent to Isaac Watts.
This manuscript text is followed, in another hand, by copies of two letters from Robert Nelson, one, of 27 July 1708, to George Hanger giving moral advice on Hanger's departure for Turkey on business; the other, dated Epiphany 1713, to Gabriel Hanger on the same subject. There are also, in other hands, extracts from dissenting authors, one dated Oct 1821.

Administrative / Biographical History

Philip Doddridge was born in 1702, and orphaned by the age of 13. The Duchess of Bedford decided to finance his entire education providing he would promise to become an Anglican clergyman, but Doddridge was set on becoming a Dissenting minister. Samuel Clark came to the rescue and offered to finance Doddridge's studies, obtaining for him a place at a Dissenting college at Kibworth, Leicestershire, run by John Jennings. Jennings died in c 1722?, and the college was closed down until April 1729, when Isaac Watts and several other ministers met at Lutterworth for a day of fasting and prayer and felt moved to invite Doddridge to reopen the academy in Market Harborough, which he did. By 1730, the Academy had moved to Northampton, and developed such a good reputation that Anglican clergy began to send their sons there. Doddridge died in 1751.


Single item.

Access Information

Access to this collection is unrestricted for the purpose of private study and personal research within the supervised environment and restrictions of the Library's Palaeography Room. Uncatalogued material may not be seen. Please contact the University Archivist for details.

Acquisition Information

Bought from F. Norman in 1963.

Other Finding Aids

Collection level description.

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

7¾" x 6¼"

Archivist's Note

Compiled by Sarah Aitchison as part of the RSLP AIM25 Project.

Separated Material

Further material relating to Philip Doddridge may be found in Northampton Central Library; Dr Williams's Library, London; the British Library, London; Harris Manchester College Library, Oxford University; Beinecke Library, Yale University; Devon Record Office; and the John Rylands University Library of Manchester. Papers of Robert Nelson are also held at the National Library of Ireland, Dublin, and the British Library.

Conditions Governing Use

Copies may be made, subject to the condition of the original. Copying must be undertaken by the Palaeography Room staff, who will need a minimum of 24 hours to process requests.

Custodial History

According to the Dictionary of National Biography , an account of John Jennings' method, drawn up by Philip Doddridge, was submitted to Isaac Watts, who thought the scheme of opening an academy at Market Harborough might fairly be entrusted to one who had 'so admirably described it'. No printed version of this text is however included in the collected edition of Doddridge's works. It is not clear if this manuscript is the original account made by Doddridge.