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Meen Manuscript

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0103 MS ANGL 9
Held at: University College London
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Full title: Meen Manuscript
Date(s): c1800
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 1 volume containing 442 leaves
Name of creator(s): Meen | Henry | 1744-1817 | prebendary of St Paul's and classical scholar
Wakefield | Gilbert | 1756-1801 | Unitarian and author


Administrative/Biographical history:

Henry Meen: a native of Norfolk; entered Emmanuel College Cambridge, 1761; graduated BA, 1766; MA, 1769; BD, 1776; Fellow of Emmanuel College; ordained; appointed to a minor canonry in St Paul's Cathedral; instituted to the rectory of St Nicholas Cole Abbey, with St Nicholas Olave, London, 1792; collated as prebendary of Twyford in St Paul's Cathedral, 1795; also held the office of lecturer there; obtained no other preferment, these posts leaving him ample time for literary pursuits; studied the writings of Lycophron, and proposed undertaking an edition of Lycophron's works; his criticisms on Lycophron appeared in the 'European Magazine', 1796-1813, but his complete translation was never published; died at the rectory, Bread Street Hill, London, 1817. Publications: while an undergraduate, published a poem in blank verse, 'Happiness, a Poetical Essay' (London, 1766); revised and completed the Revd Francis Fawkes's unfinished translation of 'Apollonius Rhodius' (1780), annexing his own version of Colothus's 'Rape of Helen, or the Origin of the Trojan War', afterwards also published elsewhere; 'A Sermon before the Association of Volunteers' (1782); 'Remarks on the Cassandra of Lycophron' (1800); collected the poems of Elizabeth Scot, 'Alonzo and Cora' (1801); 'Succisivae Operae, or Selections from Ancient Writers, with Translations and Notes' (1815).Gilbert Wakefield: an associate of Henry Meen; born in the parsonage house of St Nicholas, Nottingham, 1756; educated at the free schools of Nottingham and Kingston; obtained a scholarship at Jesus College Cambridge, 1772; followed a distinguished university career; elected Fellow of his college; ordained deacon, 1778; curate at Stockport and Liverpool; endeavoured to rouse public opinion against the slave trade; studied theology, which led him to adopt Unitarian doctrines; resigned his curacy; married and vacated his Fellowship, 1779; never formally connected with any dissenting body; classical tutor at the liberal Warrington Academy, 1779-1783; moved to Bramcote, near Nottingham, 1783; later moved to Richmond, Surrey, and to Nottingham; intended to take on private pupils, but these were not numerous; left Nottingham and became classical tutor in the newly established dissenting college in Hackney, 1790; resigned, 1791; continued to reside at Hackney, and devoted himself to scholarship; his political opinions were increasingly radical, and he sometimes defended them impulsively; Wakefield's 'Reply' to the tract of Richard Watson, Bishop of Llandaff ( 'Address to the People of Great Britain', 1798, which defended Pitt, the war, and the new income tax), opposing the war and contemporary civil and ecclesiastical system and accusing the bishop of absenteeism and pluralism, brought a prosecution for seditious libel; Wakefield defended himself, but was convicted and sentenced to two years' imprisonment in Dorchester gaol, 1799; corresponded with Charles James Fox, and pursued his scholarly work; released, 1801; returned to Hackney, but died of typhus fever soon after; buried in St Mary Magdalene's Church, Richmond. Publications: editions of classical works; New Testament translations; many tracts and pamphlets on religious and political subjects.


Scope and content/abstract:

Manuscript volume, c1800: Lexicon Lycophronicum, comprising manuscripts of Henry Meen. Prefixed is a letter from Gilbert Wakefield, dated Dorchester Gaol, 11 Aug 1800.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Conditions governing access:


Conditions governing reproduction:

Normal copyright restrictions apply.

Finding aids:

Dorothy K Coveney, A Descriptive Catalogue of Manuscripts in the Library of University College London (London, 1935); handlist at University College London Special Collections.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Meen's manuscripts, including his translation of Lycophron, were sold at Sotheby's in 1817.

Immediate source of acquisition:


Allied Materials

Related material:

Correspondence of Gilbert Wakefield is also held at the British Library, Manuscript Collections, and at Dr Williams's Library. For further details see the National Register of Archives.

National Register of Archives: Click here to view NRA record

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Sources: Dictionary of National Biography; National Register of Archives. Compiled by Rachel Kemsley as part of the RSLP AIM25 project.

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 2001

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