Papers of Edward Augustus Freeman, historian. The Freeman papers have a two-fold value to the student of Victorian Britain. First, they throw much new light on the religious, political, architectural, educational and cultural life of the period, and the careers and opinions of many of its prominent figures. Secondly, they contain contributions towards a knowledge and an understanding of a versatile, contentious and paradoxical scholar; a man who brought a complex blend of passionate humanitarianism, fierce intolerance and broadly-ranging erudition to bear upon the issues of his times.
Freeman is best remembered as one of the leading writers of his time on English medieval history, and his most enduring monument is his six-volume The History of the Norman Conquest of England published between 1867 and 1879. The virtually complete original manuscript of this work is preserved among Freeman's papers (EAF/3/1/4), along with that of The Reign of William Rufus and the Accession of Henry I (1882) (EAF/3/1/6) and his Old English History for Children (1869) ( EAF/3/1/3).
Freeman was also an authority on the history of the ancient world, especially the development of Greek civilization, and this theme, which featured in his History of Federal Government (1863), of which the manuscript survives as (EAF/3/1/1 ), came to dominate his later years. As well as the manuscripts of two works on Sicily published between 1891 and 1892 (EAF/3/1/7-8 ), there are early chapters of an unpublished 'European History' extending only to early Roman times ( EAF/3/2/1), and chapters intended for two works on Greek history ( EAF/3/2/2-3).
Freeman's historical interests are reflected in much of his correspondence, which includes letters from his publisher, Alexander Macmillan, and the historians John Richard Green, William Stubbs and A.W. Ward ( EAF/1/7), and also 106 letters from Freeman to Green (EAF/1/8 ). The large general series of correspondence (EAF/1/7/1-849 ) consists of incoming correspondence on a very wide range of topics, reflecting the diversity of Freeman's interests and acquaintances. EAF/1/8 comprises copies of Freeman's own letters.
Freeman made three attempts to obtain a professorship at Oxford before his very belated appointment in 1884 to the Regius Professorship of Modern History. He had previously failed to secure this post in 1858 and was also unsuccessful in his application for the Camden Professorship of Ancient History in 1861 and the Chichele Professorship of Modern History in 1862. A collection of correspondence and testimonials relating to the latter post ( EAF/1/3) provides much insight into the workings of nineteenth-century university 'politics'.
In the 1840s, Freeman seriously considered entering the profession of architecture, and his first published book was in fact A History of Architecture (1849), dealing principally with ecclesiastical buildings. His life-long interest in the subject is reflected in his correspondence with such men as Lord Dunraven, perhaps better known for his interest in spiritualism; the Conservative politician and prominent Anglican Alexander James Beresford Hope; the Gothic architectural artist John Louis Petit; the antiquary and draughtsman Albert Way; the MP and antiquary Sir Stephen Glynne; and, above all, Sir George Gilbert Scott, one of the great Victorian Gothic architects whose work included the restoration of several medieval cathedrals and Westminster Abbey, and the building of St Pancras Station and the Albert Memorial.
The collection also contains over 6,200 of Freeman's pen-and-ink sketches, mainly of ecclesiastical architecture ( EAF/4). These have been arranged by county for England & Wales, and otherwise by country. About 3,600 are of English locations, mainly from the South and Midlands, with Northamptonshire (695 items), Somerset, Freeman's home county from 1860, (415 items), Gloucestershire (230 items), Oxfordshire (182 items), Norfolk (181 items), Leicestershire (178 items) and Kent (170 items) particularly well represented. A wide range of drawings from other parts of Britain and Western Europe also feature, in particular, Wales (446 items), France (906 items), Germany (380 items), Italy (299 items), and Switzerland (213 items), as well as a few items for Greece and Austrian Dalmatia (now Croatia/Slovenia/Italy).
Freeman's enthusiasm for ecclesiastical architecture was closely bound up with his High Anglican beliefs at a time when the Oxford Movement was making its greatest impact upon the Church of England. His correspondence contains letters from prominent churchmen involved in the ecclesiastical controversies of his day, including Henry Parry Liddon, canon of St Paul's and Oxford lecturer; Walter Farquhar Hook, dean of Chichester and author of Lives of the Archbishops of Canterbury; and Richard William Church, dean of St Paul's and friend of Cardinal Newman. With the exception of Sir Stephen Glynne, who appears in general correspondence section (EAF/1/7 ), these men figure prominently in the special section of correspondence concerning ecclesiastical architecture and related topics (EAF/1/1 ). Freeman was appointed to the Royal Commission on Ecclesiastical Courts (1881-82), and his papers contain a collection of printed Minutes of Evidence and miscellaneous related documents (EAF/6 ).
Freeman's concern for Christian history and tradition, and his enthusiasm for the classical world combined to determine his principal interests in contemporary international affairs. His enduring interest in the past and present government of Greece is reflected in the letters of George Finlay, a friend of Lord Byron and an early advocate of Greek independence who eventually took up residence in Athens and who wrote to Freeman at length on contemporary Greek constitutional and political matters. The converse of Freeman's love of Greek civilization was his hatred of the Turkish Empire, which came to a head in his passionate support for the independence of the Christian Balkan peoples during their struggle with Turkey between 1875 and 1878. A separate section of correspondence ( EAF/1/2) deals primarily with Greece and the Eastern Question, and includes letters from the Serbian politician Philip Hristik Humphry Sandwith, an army physician involved in relief operations and in campaigning for the Serbian cause; the marquess of Bath, an opponent of Disraeli's 'pro-Turkish' eastern policies; and Adeline Paulina Irby, who was actively involved in the welfare of Balkan refugees. Other references to the Eastern Question may be found throughout the general correspondence section ( EAF1/7), notably in the letters of Henry Parry Liddon and Professor Wilhelm Ihne of Heidelberg, while the early letters from Sir Arthur Hallam Elton deal with the controversies of the Crimean War. Freeman's own views, which were to involve him in personal publicity at the national level, may be found among the compilations of newscuttings in his scrapbooks, especially those listed as ( EAF/5/2-4). His support for the Greek and Balkan causes was acknowledged by his receipt of a number of diplomas and medals (see EAF/7/1 ).
Freeman's support of the Orthodox Christian peoples against the Muslim Turks was only the most obvious, and in some respects the least controversial, facet of his highly idiosyncratic attitudes of national and racial prejudice. His great work on the Norman Conquest had reflected his bias towards an Anglo-Saxon culture challenged by alien Latin influences, and his belief in the corporate identity and racial superiority of the Germanic peoples influenced his support, in 1870, for the Prussians against the French under Napoleon III, whom he despised and detested. His correspondence with the German expatriate philologist Friedrich Max Müller, and letters from the geographer Sir Clements Robert Markham (EAF1/7 ), record different attitudes to a war which divided English political opinion. Freeman's more extreme racial prejudices relating, for instance, to American blacks and Indians, and to the Chinese and Jews are not immediately evident in the absence of a substantial body of his own correspondence within this collection, but deserve serious examination in conjunction with this material.
There were few contemporary issues on which Freeman was not prepared to offer an opinion. He was an indefatigable contributor to virtually all the major periodical publications of the second half of the nineteenth century, most particularly the Saturday Review, but also the Edinburgh Review, Fortnightly Review, Pall Mall Gazette, British Quarterly Review and Contemporary Review, as well as the Evening Star, Manchester Guardian and Archaeological Journal. Many of his articles have survived in his papers (EAF/2/2/1-268 ), and see also Scrapbooks, (EAF/5/1), predictably dealing with architecture, the University of Oxford, archaeology, the Eastern Question, and the Church, but also parliamentary affairs, constitutional issues, the Greek, Latin and English languages, and travels in France and Sicily. If the Eastern Question was Freeman's 'great cause', the lesser cause for which he was most popularly known was his campaign against cruelty to animals, especially in blood sports. This can be traced here both in published articles expressing opposing viewpoints (Freeman's leading adversary in the debate was the novelist Anthony Trollope), and in a small group of letters to Freeman from sympathizers (EAF/1/5 ) including correspondence on vivisection.
Amongst Freeman's correspondents on a wide variety of subjects (EAF/1/7 ), mention should be made of Walter Bagehot, the economist, political analyst and journalist; Sir Henry James Sumner Maine, prominent jurist and a leading contributor to the Saturday Review; Viscount Strangford, eccentric traveller, oriental scholar and philologist; John Byrne Leicester Warren, 3rd Baron de Tabley, poet, botanist, numismatist, and acquaintance of many literary and political figures; the Revd Henry Thompson, religious author, classical scholar, and translator; Richard Holt Hutton, theologian and journalist, and contributor to many nineteenth-century periodicals; Friedrich Max Müller, mentioned above in connection with the Franco- Prussian War, best known as a Sanskrit scholar and student of Eastern religions and of comparative philology; Mountague Bernard, international lawyer and a leading participant in the redrafting of the 'constitution' of the University of Oxford; and Alexander Fraser, Scottish philosopher and editor of the North British Review.
Miscellaneous material in the papers includes Freeman's journal, unfortunately only covering his last years 1888-92 (EAF/3/8 ); manuscripts of poems and other writings of his youth (EAF/3/3 ); newscuttings relating to his tour of the United States in 1881-82 (EAF/5/10); and printed material relating to his writings and career, including obituary notices (EAF/6/2 ); similar material is also covered in the series of scrapbooks ( EAF/5).