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Chadwick Papers

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0103 CHADWICK
Held at: University College London
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Full title: Chadwick Papers
Date(s): 1798-1923
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 191 boxes
Name of creator(s): Chadwick | Sir | Edwin | 1800-1890 | Knight | sanitary reformer
Detailed catalogue: Click here to view repository detailed catalogue


Administrative/Biographical history:

Chadwick was admitted to the Middle Temple in 1823. In 1832 he was appointed Assistant Commissioner to the Poor Law Enquiry and the following year Royal Commissioner to the same Enquiry, and to enquire into the employment of children in factories. In 1834 he was appointed Secretary to the Poor Law Commission, and in 1836 Royal Commissioner to enquire into a rural constabulary. In 1842 Chadwick published the Report on the Sanitary Condition of the Labouring Population (known as the 'Sanitary Report'). In 1847 he lost his position as Secretary of the Poor Law Commission, but was appointed Royal Commissioner on London sanitation, and Metropolitan Commissioner of Sewers. In 1848 he was created CB and was appointed Commissioner to the General Board of Health. He resigned from the Metropolitan Commission of Sewers in 1849 and from the General Board of Health in 1854. In 1857 he became interested in standing for Parliament and in 1859 stood as candidate for Evesham. In 1865 he stood as candidate for London University but withdrew before the poll. In 1868 he stood for Kilmarknock Burghs. He was created KCB in 1889. See also S E Finer, The life and times of Sir Edwin Chadwick (London, 1952).


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers, 1798-1923, of Sir Edwin Chadwick. Over half of the collection consists of correspondence dating from around 1820, but most of the letters were written after 1834. Some of the earliest papers in the collection are notes on the police. There are papers relating to Chadwick's service as Secretary of the Poor Law Commission, including material on his troubled relationship with the Poor Law Commissioners and his unsuccessful attempts to be made a Commissioner. There is a good deal of material on public health and sanitation. There are also drafts and notes for many of his published writings to do with the reform of central and local government and military training and education.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

This collection is divided into papers and correspondence. Chadwick's correspondence is not listed in this online catalogue but an index of correspondents is available on request.

Conditions governing access:

Open. The papers are available subject to the usual conditions of access to Archives and Manuscripts material, after the completion of a Reader's Undertaking.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Normal copyright restrictions apply.

Finding aids:

The papers of Sir Edwin Chadwick (1800-1890), compiled by Janet Percival (The Library, University College London, Occasional Publication no 3, 2nd edition, 1983). Also catalogued on UCL Special Collections CALM system to item level.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Presented in March 1898 by the executrix of Chadwick's friend and biographer Sir Benjamin Ward Richardson.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Chadwick bequeathed some of Jeremy Bentham's papers on the Poor Law to University College London, and these and various letters to Chadwick were added to the Bentham Papers at University College London Special Collections (Ref: BENTHAM). University College London Special Collections also holds an undated fragment of a letter from Chadwick to an unnamed correspondent on the labouring classes [c1872] (Ref: MS MISC 3C); a letter to Chadwick from George Grote, 1838 (Ref: MS MISC 2G); inscriptions from Florence Nightingale to Chadwick [1859], 1871 (Ref: S.R.E.950.N4, S.R.E.950.N41); letters from Chadwick on University College London business, 1833 (Ref: COLLEGE CORRESPONDENCE 2826, 2903); books and 16 boxes of pamphlets (c500 items in total) collected by Chadwick and relating to his interests; archives of the Chadwick Trust, founded by Edwin Chadwick (Ref: CHADWICK TRUST). Two medals and a brass plate of the Chadwick Trust are retained elsewhere in University College London.

British Library, Manuscript Collections, holds letters to Macvey Napier, 1835-1845 (Ref: Add MSS 34617-25); correspondence with Florence Nightingale, 1857-1883 (Ref: Add MSS 45770-71); correspondence with Sir Robert Peel, 1841-1846 (Ref: Add MS 40537). Public Record Office holds correspondence with Lord John Russell, 1836-1866 (Ref: PRO30/22). Royal College of Surgeons of England holds letters to Richard Owen, 1840-1848. Oxford University, Bodleian Library, Special Collections and Western Manuscripts, holds correspondence with Lord Kimberley, 1883 (Ref: MSS Eng a 2013-14, b 2047-49, c 3933-4514, d 2439-92, e 2790-97). Durham University Library, Archives and Special Collections, Palace Green Section, holds correspondence with the 3rd Earl Grey, 1836-1886 (Ref: GRE/B80/17). West Sussex Record Office holds 13 letters to the Duke of Richmond, 1834-1842 (Ref: vol 3). National Library of Scotland, Manuscripts Division, holds letters from Chadwick to John Burton, 1840-1880 (Ref: MS 9406).

National Register of Archives: Click here to view NRA record

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:

Date(s) of descriptions:
1999, revised May 2001 Modified 24/01/2018

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