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Clift and Owen families: Correspondence and Papers

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0114 MS0238
Held at: Royal College of Surgeons of England
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Full title: Clift and Owen families: Correspondence and Papers
Date(s): Late 18th century-late 19th century
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 1 box
Name of creator(s): Clift | William | 1775-1849 | museum curator and scientific illustrator
Owen | Sir | Richard | 1804-1892 | Knight | naturalist


Administrative/Biographical history:

William Clift was born in Cornwall in 1775, and was educated locally. He became an apprentice anatomical assistant to the celebrated surgeon John Hunter (1728-1793) in 1792. He was appointed conservator of the Hunterian Museum after Hunter's death. He became a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1823, and was a member of the Society for Animal Chemistry. He died in 1849.

Sir Richard Owen was born in Lancaster in 1804. He was educated at Lancaster grammar school, the University of Edinburgh, and St Bartholomew's Hospital. He was a comparative anatomist, a palaeontologist, conservator of the Hunterian Museum, and superintendent of the Natural History collections of the British Museum. He died in 1892.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers relating to the Clift and Owen families, late 18th century-late 19th century, comprising a file of correspondence and papers between the Clift and Owen families. Including material relating to the parish placements of Sir Richard Owen's grandson, Richard Startin Owen, at St Giles Church, and the Parish of Mortlake; a manuscript copy of the inscription from Sir Richard Owen's great grandmother, Elizabeth Froysell's tomb; William Owen's certificate of admittance to the Royal Arch Masons, 1869; a manuscript settlement made between Sir Richard Owen's great grandparents, Richard Eskrigge and Elizabeth Froysell on their marriage, 1725; a letter from John Hunter to Brigadier Lambart, Commander in Chief of his Majesty's Forces at Belle Isle, and Brigadier Lambart's reply, 1762; correspondence between Sir Richard Owen and his family; 2 pencil drawings by Mrs Clift; correspondence between William Clift and his family; correspondence of Sir Richard Owen from the Jessie Dobson estate; other letters to Sir Richard Owen; a diary belonging to William Clift recording activities in the museum, [1806-1816]; a letter from Antonio Scarpa, 1823 [including a transcription and translation]; sheet music for a song with lyrics by Eugenius Roche Esq and music by Gme Tronsson du Coudray, dedicated to Miss Caroline Amelia Clift; letter from Joshua Brookes to Nathan Pointer [1831]; 4 attendance cards for John W MacNee for lectures given by James Armour on Midwifery (1828), John Burns on Surgery (1827), the structure and diseases of the eye by William MacKenzie (1828), and lectures on anatomy by Robert Hunter (1826-1827); invitation card from E M van Butchell to view the embalmed remains of his wife, and a transcribed letter by William Clift from E M van Butchell regarding the display of his wife's remains, 1815; and various other Clift and Owen manuscripts.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

As outlined in Scope and Content.

Conditions governing access:

By written appointment only.

Conditions governing reproduction:

No photocopying permitted.

Finding aids:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

The collection was found in the Hunterian Museum in 2000.

The letter from John Hunter in Belle Isle was donated by Frederick Wood Jones, in 1918. The drawings by Mrs Clift were donated by Mrs Frances Hirtzell, Sir Richard Owen's great granddaughter. Some of the correspondence of Sir Richard Owen came from estate of Jessie Dobson.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Compiled by Anya Turner.

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
Sep 2008

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