Ballard Collection

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 161 MSS. Ballard 1-46, 46, 47-74
  • Dates of Creation
      16th-18th century
  • Language of Material
      English, Latin, French, and Old English (ca.450-1100).
  • Physical Description
      75 shelfmarks

Scope and Content

Ballard's manuscripts, including letters and papers of Dr Arthur Charlett (1655-1722), Master of University College, Oxford, and Thomas Rawlins (1620-1670), medallist and playwright. Many of the manuscripts have literary or historical content.

Administrative / Biographical History

George Ballard was born of humble parents at Chipping Campden, in Gloucestershire, in 1706. In spite of constitutionally weak health and apprenticeship to a woman's-habit maker at Campden, he developed a great desire for learning, and picked up at an early age a knowledge both of Old English and numismatics. In this way he attracted attention, and Lord Chedworth with some friends gave him 60 a year with which to live at Oxford. Accordingly we find that he matriculated at Magdalen College on 15 December 1750, being then 44 years of age and holding a clerkship at the college. He also became a bedell of the University. On 24 June 1755, he died from the effects of a too sedentary life. Further 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

Acquisition Information

Ballard bequeathed the collection to the Library. The manuscripts appear to have come to the Library in 1756.


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. III, nos. 10787-10858.


Geographical Names