MS Hyde 86
Percy, Thomas, 1729-1811. Thomas Percy additional papers, 1753-1804: Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138 USA
© President and Fellows of Harvard College
Location: b (shelved with bMS Hyde 85)
Call No.: MS Hyde 86
Repository: Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Creator: Percy, Thomas, 1729-1811
Title: Thomas Percy additional papers,
Quantity: 1 collection (.5 linear feet (1 box)
Language of materials: Collection materials are in English.
Abstract: Correspondence and manuscripts of writer Thomas Percy, Bishop of Dromore, mostly concerning
literature and history.
2003JM-58 (part). Bequest of Mary Hyde Eccles, Four Oaks Farm, Somerville, New Jersey; received: 2004.
Processed by: Rick Stattler
There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.
Thomas Percy Additional Papers, 1753-1804 (MS Hyde 86). Houghton Library, Harvard
Several related items are also part of the Hyde Collection, including six letters
from Samuel Johnson to Percy in MS Hyde 1, item (91); three letters from James Boswell
to Percy in MS Hyde 2, item (31); two letters from David Garrick to Percy in MS Hyde
6, item (15); two letters from Sir Joshua Reynolds to Percy in MS Hyde 9, item (10);
a letter from Percy to James Boswell, MS Hyde 24; two related Samuel Johnson manuscripts
in MS Hyde 50, items (53) and (55); Boswell's transcript of Percy's Samuel Johnson
bibliography, in MS Hyde 51, item (34); a letter from Percy to Samuel Hoole in MS
Hyde 57, page 28; six items in MS Hyde 75; fifteen items in MS Hyde 76; and thirty
items in MS Hyde 77.
See also MS Eng 891 and MS Eng 893 for Thomas Percy Papers held by the Houghton Library.
Thomas Percy (1729-1811) served as the parson of Easton Maudit, Northamptonshire,
England from 1753 to 1782. He was appointed the Bishop of Dromore (Ireland) in 1782.
He was a prolific author, best remembered for compiling The Reliques of Ancient English Poetry in 1765.
Organized into the following series:
- I. Correspondence
- II. Manuscripts
Series I, Correspondence, includes 16 letters by Percy, and 20 letters addressed to
him. Prominent correspondents include Thomas Apperley, item (4); James Grainger, item
(8); Edmond Malone, item (13); and George Steevens, item (16). Most of the letters
relate to Percy's scholarly and literary interests; many discuss his friend Samuel
Series II, Manuscripts, consists of three items in Percy's hand: a draft of his poem
Flavia, a draft of a biographical note on James Grainger, and his transcript of an ode by
- I. Correspondence, 1755-1804
- (1). Adams, William, 1706-1789. Autograph letter, signed, Oxford (England), to Thomas Percy, 1780 Feb. 18. 1s. in 1 folder.
Explains that he formerly kept open a servitor's place at Oxford's Pembroke College by the request of Samuel Johnson. Includes a list of prominent classmates of William Shenstone at Pembroke.
- (2). Allen, Edmund, 1726-1784, recipient. Autograph letter, signed, Carlisle (England), from Thomas Percy, 1783 Apr. 26. 1s. in 1 folder.
Percy announces the death of his son, and asks that the news be passed on to Samuel Johnson. Also asks whether Johnson could assist Mary Rolt with her request.
- (3). Anderson, Robert, 1750-1830. Autograph letter, signed, Heriot's Green [Edinburgh, Scotland?] to Thomas Percy, 1804 Sept. 15. 2s. in 1 folder.
Discusses a variety of authors, including William Herbert and Anne Bannerman.
John Nichols, Literary Anecdotes of the Eighteenth Century (London: 1812) VII, 131-134; W.E.K. Anderson, ed., The Percy Letters: The Correspondence of Thomas Percy and Robert Anderson (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1988) 159-164.
- (4). Apperley, Thomas, ca. 1730-1816, recipient. Letters from Thomas Percy, 1755-1760. 6s. in 1 folder.
Six letters describing Percy's travels and soliciting comments on his poems. The 1756
Mar. 17 letter describes scholar Edward Lye at length. The 1756 Oct. 10 letter describes his efforts to learn Portuguese. The
1757 Jan. 16 letter describes his work with James Grainger on A Poetical Translation of the Elegies of Tibullus, with the support of Samuel Johnson. The 1760 Feb. 28 letter refers to a delivery to Samuel Johnson, and includes his transcript of a valentine poem given to William Shenstone's servant, titled To Mrs. Hannah Farmer, My Own Sweet Love.
- (5). Brown, John, 1715-1766. Autograph letter, signed, [no place] to Thomas Percy, [1766 Jan. 6] 1s. in 1 folder.
Discusses his controversy with Robert Lowth, and defends Samuel Johnson's Preface to his Edition of Shakespear's Plays.
Partial transcript inThe R.B. Adam Library Relating to Dr. Samuel Johnson and his Era, Volume the Third
(London: Oxford University Press, 1929), 37.
- (6). Caldwell, Andrew, 1733-1808, recipient. Autograph letter, signed, Dromore House [Ireland] from Thomas Percy, 1798 Oct. 18. 1s. in 1 folder.
- (7). Cornwallis, Frederick, 1713-1783 (then Archbishop of Canterbury). Autograph letter, signed, Lambeth [London, England] to Thomas Percy, 1770 Jan. 15. 1s. in 1 folder.
Summoning Percy to preach before George III, King of Great Britain.
- (8). Grainger, James, 1721?-1766. Letters to Thomas Percy, 1758-1766. 8s. in 1 folder.
Seven letters, with several mentions of Samuel Johnson. Johnson's review of Grainger's Sugarcane is discussed in the 1764 Jan. 22 and Apr. 6 letters. Grainger mentions sending Johnson
a pot of St. Kitts ginger, 1765 Sept. 2; and mentions Johnson's Preface to his Edition of Shakespear's Plays, 1766 Dec. 4. The 1758 June 27 letter asserts that [Samuel?] Johnson "never thinks
of working if he has a couple of guineas in his pocket." The 1758 July 20 letter discusses
the death of young anatomy lecturer John Douglass. The last two letters, 1765 Sept. 2 and 1766 Dec. 4, are written from Grainger's plantation
in St. Kitts.
Partial transcripts of letters dated 1764 Jan. 22, 1764 Apr. 6, and 1766 Dec. 4 in
The R.B. Adam Library Relating to Dr. Samuel Johnson and his Era, Volume the Third
(London: Oxford University Press, 1929), 112.
- (9). Greene, Richard, 1716-1793, recipient. Autograph letter, signed, Northumberland House [London] from Thomas Percy, 1768 June 29. 1s. in 1 folder.
Apologizes for not sending Reliques of Ancient English Poetry.
- (10). Hamilton, Hugh, 1729-1805, recipient. Autograph letter, signed, Dromore House [Ireland] from Thomas Percy, 1794 Nov. 23. 1s. in 1 folder.
Concerning the funeral of Richard Robinson, Archbishop of Armagh.
- (11). Hoole, John, 1727-1803. Autograph note, Shire Lane [London] to Thomas Percy, [ca. 1769] Dec. 30. 1s. in 1 folder.
- (12). Jones, William, Sir, 1746-1794. Autograph note, [London?] to Thomas Percy, [1773?] June 19. 1s. in 1 folder.
Returns a book for Sir John Hawkins, offers an anecdote concerning the return of "Mr. J" (Samuel Johnson?) from Oxford the night before.
Garland Cannon, ed., The Letters of Sir William Jones (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1970) I, 127.
- (13). Malone, Edmond, 1741-1812, recipient. Letters from Thomas Percy, 1782-1803. 5s. in 1 folder.
Five letters. The 1782 Feb. 19 letter discusses Thomas Chatterton's source materials. The 1785 July 3 letter discusses Sir Joshua Reynolds and subscriptions for a monument to Samuel Johnson. The 1794 Apr. 4 and 1802 May 12 letters both discuss new editions of Oliver Goldsmith's works, and ask for news of the Literary Club.
Two of these letters were published in Arthur Tillotson, ed., The Percy Letters: The Correspondence of Thomas Percy and Edmond Malone (Louisiana State University Press, 1944), 27-30 (1785 July 3 letter) and 135 (1803
Jan. 10 letter).
- (14). Nash, T. (Treadway Russell), 1725-1811. Autograph letter, signed, Bevere [Worcestershire, England] to Thomas Percy, 1782 Jan. 11. 1s. in 1 folder.
Concerning the publication of the second volume of his Collections for a History of Worcestershire.
- (15). Robertson, William, 1721-1793. Autograph letter, signed, New Bond Street [London] to Thomas Percy, [1758?] May. 1s. in 1 folder.
Sending a list of books he wishes to consult at the British Museum.
- (16). Steevens, George, 1736-1800. Correspondence with Thomas Percy, 1796-1797. 6s. in 1 folder.
Five letters from Steevens, and one by Percy. The 1797 Mar. 10 and Apr. 12 letters
attack engraver Valentine Green. Several letters discuss the work of John Milton and the death of Richard Farmer.
- II. Manuscripts, 1753 and undated
- (17). Percy, Thomas, 1729-1811. Dr. Grainger : autograph manuscript, [ca. 1766?] 1s. in 1 folder.
Partial draft of a short biography of James Grainger, covering events of 1758 and 1759. Mounted on a sheet with an autograph note, signed,
by A.B. Burney, 1948.
- (18). Percy, Thomas, 1729-1811. Flavia : autograph manuscript poem, 1753 Nov. 6. 1s. in 1 folder.
Annotated draft of what became Cynthia, an elegiac poem, written on what appears to be an incomplete draft of a letter postscript.
- (19). [Thornton, Bonnell, 1724-1768] An ode on Saint Caecilia's Day : manuscript transcript, [not before 1749] 1s. in 1 folder.
Manuscript transcript by Thomas Percy, from a published work.