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Dobson, Henry Austin: scrapbooks

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0096 AL293
Held at: Senate House Library, University of London
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Full title: Dobson, Henry Austin: scrapbooks
Date(s): c 1786-1914
Level of description: fonds
Extent: 2 volumes
Name of creator(s): Dobson | Henry Austin | 1840-1921 | poet and literary biographer


Administrative/Biographical history:

Henry Austin Dobson, civil servant and poet, was born on 18 January 1840. After leaving school at the age of 16, he joined the Board of Trade where he remained until his retirement as Principal in 1901. He had an enduring enthusiasm for the eighteenth century and for poetry. He composed a large quantity of his own poetry and was well known for his adaptation of old French verses. His earliest volume of poetry was Vignettes in Rhyme, (1873). Later in his life, Dobson turned his attention increasingly to prose, resulting in several volumes of essays including Eighteenth Century Prose (in 3 series; 1892, 1894 and 1896). He died in 1921.

Frances Mary Beardmore was the daughter of the civil engineer Nathaniel Beardmore (1816-1872) and his wife Mary. She married Henry Austin Dobson in 1868 and they had 10 children.


Scope and content/abstract:

2 scrapbooks of letters, fragments of letters, stamped or franked envelopes, and autographs, collected by Henry Austin Dobson and his wife Frances. Selected individuals represented are listed below. Volume 1 includes letters written by: Sir Walter Besant; Thomas Hall Caine; Sir Edmund Gosse; Sir Mountstuart E Grant-Duff; Coventry Kersey Deighton Patmore; Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington; and Samuel Wesley (the composer). Additional signatures in volume 1 include: Robert Browning and Bret Harte. The volume also contains a religious poem by Hannah More (probably not in her own hand). Volume 2 includes letters written by: Sir George Biddell Airy; Richard Ansdell; Anthony Ashley-Cooper, Earl of Shaftesbury; Edward Bickersteth (the evangelical leader); Richard Doddridge Blackmore; Marc Isambard Brunel; Sir Andrew Buchanan; William Carus Wilson; William Henry Cavendish-Scott-Bentinck, Duke of Portland; William Courtenay, Earl of Devon; Edward John Eyre; John Fane, Earl of Westmorland; Robert FitzRoy; Giuseppe Garibaldi; Sir Mountstuart E Grant-Duff; Kate Greenaway; William Walter Legge, Earl of Dartmouth; Charles Gordon-Lennox, Duke of Richmond; Robert James Mann; Friedrich Max Müller; Florence Nightingale; Clara Novello, Countess Gigliucci; Edward Bouverie Pusey; James Meadows Rendel; Edward Sabine (later Sir Edward); Alfred Tennyson, Lord Tennyson; Frederick Benjamin Twistleton[-Wykeham-Fiennes], Baron Saye and Sele; Rev Christopher Wordsworth (later Bishop of Lincoln); and Charlotte M Yonge. Additional signatures in volume 2 include: William George Armstrong; Sir Charles Barry, Nathaniel Beardmore (Mrs Dobson's father) and other members of his family; Sir Charles Tilston Bright; Randolph Caldecott; George Canning; Sir Francis Leggatt Chantrey; Richard Cobden; Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (Lewis Carroll); William Eward Gladstone; Benjamin Robert Haydon; William Hilton; Tom Hood (Thomas Hood the younger); Jean Ingelow; Sir William Jenner; Charles Kingsley; Henry Kingsley; Sir Charles Lyell; Giuseppe Mazzini; Horatio Nelson; Sir James Paget; Sir Robert Peel; George Ponsonby; Edward Sieveking (later Sir Edward); Sir William Smith ('Dictionary of the Bible' author); Richard Chevenix Trench, Archbishop of Dublin; Anthony Trollope; Horace Walpole (later Earl of Orford); Willoughby Hunter Weiss; Professor William Whewell. The volume also contains a hymn written by James Montgomery for a member of the Beardmore family. Many of the letters and autographs are undated.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

See hard copy catalogue

Conditions governing access:

Access to this collection is unrestricted for the purpose of private study and personal research within the supervised environment and restrictions of the Library's Palaeography Room. Access to individual items in Senate House Library archives collections may be restricted under the Data Protection Act or the Freedom of Information Act. Please contact the University Archivist for details. 24 hours notice is required for research visits.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copies may be made, subject to the condition of the original. Copying must be undertaken by the Palaeography Room staff, who will need a minimum of 24 hours to process requests.

Finding aids:

Typescript catalogue available in the Library's Palaeography Room.

Archival Information

Archival history:

See archivist

Immediate source of acquisition:

Purchased as lot 276 in Sotheby's sale, 1960.

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:
July 2008

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