Thomas Brand: Letters to his Sister from the Continent

Scope and Content

A series of letters written by Brand while travelling on the Continent, some of which are incomplete. 38 of the letters are to Brand's sister Susan, addressed until October 1788 as Miss Brand of Newmarket, thereafter, from Nov. 1789, as Miss Carr of Hadstock, near Lincoln. There is one letter from Brand to the Rev. Joseph Hall, Rector of Bartlow, who was Brand's brother-in-law, and another from G. Pretyman to Miss Brand, apparently about the possibilities of preferment for Thomas. Most of the letters are travelogues, describing the scenery, art galleries, concerts, and operas of the various cities visited.

1-12. Tour with Sir James Hall of Dunglass, 1779-1781.

13-16. Tour with Sir James Graham, 1782-1784.

17-27. Tour with Mr Duncombe, 1786-1787.

28-40. Tutor to Lord Bruce, son of the Earl of Ailesbury, 1788-1794.

Administrative / Biographical History

Thomas Brand (1751-1814) was born in Newmarket, the son of William Brand. He was admitted pensioner of Christ's College, Cambridge, in 1766, aged 15, and gained his B.A. (5th Wrangler) in 1771 and M.A. in 1774. He was ordained priest in 1775 and became Senior Greek Lecturer and Mildmay Preacher at Cambridge in 1778. He held various livings concurrently, becoming a Prebend of Lincoln in 1789 and from 1808 to 1814 Chancellor of Lincoln. He married, in the 1790s or 1800s, Deborah, daughter of Thomas Wharton of Old Park, near Durham. Brand died on 26 Apr. 1814 at Rodborough, on his way to Bath.

Brand's Cambridge Fellowship was declared vacant in May 1784. This followed a period from Michaelmas 1779 to Michaelmas 1784 when he was absent from all except two College meetings. The letters in the collection indicate that the reason for his absence was that he was acting as Tutor to a succession of young men doing the Grand Tour of Europe.

Access Information

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

Acquisition Information

Purchased 1987.


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

Other Finding Aids

Additional Manuscripts Catalogue.

Related Material

The National Library of Scotland holds a further 90 letters from Brand to his sister in (Acc.10061). The University of Durham has correspondence between Brand and Robert Wharton (d. 1808), which includes 227 letters from Brand, dating from the 1770s to 1795.