Brooke Foss Westcott and family: Papers

Scope and Content

MS.Add.8315: Sermons of B.F. Westcott (1 box)

Sermons preached in Peterborough Cathedral, 1878-1879, and Westminster Abbey, 1884-1889, and a few as Bishop of Durham. There are also some Greek prize poems, the manuscript of Westcott's commentary on Hebrews, and a memorandum on foreign missions.

MS.Add.8316: Family papers (3 volumes and 2 boxes)

Papers relating mainly to B.F. and Arthur Westcott. Bishop Westcott's papers are comprised primarily of personal and professional letters sent to him, some of which were kept for their autograph value, supplemented by letters belonging to other individuals and signatures cut from letters and papers. The correspondents include many peers, several bishops and a few scholars. There are series of letters from the 3rd Marquess of Bute; County Durham landowners such as the 9th Lord Barnard, the 6th Marquess of Londonderry and the 2nd Earl of Ravensworth; and Arthur Westcott in India, 1889-1901. Amongst the autographs is a series to Marjoribanks (probably Dudley Marjoribanks, 1st Baron Tweedmouth), and a collection of proxy voting forms for peers, 1804-1820. The papers also include a collection of Westcott's pamphlets.

Arthur Westcott's papers include personal and professional letters from friends whom he met at Pembroke College, Cambridge, and St Augustine's College, Canterbury, and letters to him as a missionary priest in India. There is a long series of letters written to his mother, 1881-1901, and a set of letters received from his younger brother, Foss Westcott, 1885-1934. There are also letters about the Life of Westcott, in appreciation and contributing information, and a series from George A. Macmillan of Macmillan&Co. about the publication of the Life and other works. As well as correspondence, the papers include two scrapbooks of newcuttings from Indian newspapers, 1888-1903, on aspects of Christianity and Hinduism.

MS.Add.8317: Letters to B.F. Westcott (1 box-file)

Letters from, among others, Dorothea Beale, George Bradley, William Moore Ede, George Kitchen, William Lake, Henry Savage, Arthur P. Stanley, Charles Vaughan, Henry Wace and Gerald Wellesley. There is also a collection of autographs containing many letters of German, French and Italian theologians and Church historians.

Administrative / Biographical History

Brooke Foss Westcott (1825-1901) was Regius Professor of Divinity at Cambridge University, 1870-1890, and Bishop of Durham, 1890-1901. His children included Arthur Westcott (1859-1946), who wrote a Life of Westcott (1903) and edited works by his father, and Foss Westcott (1863-1949), successively Bishop of Chota Nagpur and Calcutta.

Access Information

Open for consultation by holders of a Reader's Ticket valid for the Manuscripts Reading Room.

Acquisition Information

Presented by members of the Westcott family through W.G. O'Dea, 1972.


Description compiled by Robert Steiner, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives.

Other Finding Aids

A catalogue of the collection is available in the Manuscripts Reading Room.

Custodial History

The collection was assembled by William O'Dea in the course of preparing his Cambridge M.Litt. thesis, 'Westcott the theologian' (1977). He obtained the papers from three descendants of Bishop Westcott: MS.Add.8315 belonged to the Revd Arthur Brooke Westcott, son of Arthur Westcott; MS.Add.8316 belonged to Miss A. Margaret Westcott; and MS.Add.8317 belonged to George Foss Westcott, eldest son of Arthur Westcott.

Related Material

Cambridge University Library holds Bishop Westcott's memoir of Archbishop Benson, MS.Add.7683. A collection of letters from B.F. Westcott to Arthur Westcott and manuscripts of the Bishop's theological works, sermons and addresses, formerly at Selwyn College, Cambridge, was transferred to Westcott House, Cambridge, in 1990. A summary list of this material is included in the catalogue of this collection.

MS.Add.8316/X, a minute book of the Cambridge Philological Society, which was formerly part of this collection, has been placed with the society's other minute books, MSS.Add.7579-7581.

Family Names

Corporate Names

Geographical Names