MS Hyde 88 (shelved with bMS Hyde 89)
Burney, Charles, 1726-1814. Charles Burney correspondence, 1755-1811: Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138 USA
© President and Fellows of Harvard College
Call No.: MS Hyde 88 (shelved with bMS Hyde 89)
Repository: Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Creator: Burney, Charles, 1726-1814
Title: Charles Burney correspondence,
Quantity: 1 collection (.5 linear feet (1 box)
Language of materials: Collection materials are in English.
Abstract: Letters to and from author and musician Charles Burney, including some which discuss
Samuel Johnson's final days and James Boswell's Life of Samuel Johnson, LL.D.
2003JM-58 (part). Bequest of Mary Hyde Eccles, Four Oaks Farm, Somerville, New Jersey; received: 2004.
Processed by: Rick Stattler
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Charles Burney Correspondence, 1755-1811 (MS Hyde 88). Houghton Library, Harvard University.
Several related items are also part of the Hyde Collection, including five letters
from Samuel Johnson in MS Hyde 1, items (14) and (126); four letters from Hester Lynch
Piozzi in MS Hyde 3, item (13); six letters to and from various parties in MS Hyde
57, pages 12 to 17 and 22; a letter to George Henry Glasse in MS Hyde 61, item (7.14);
two letters to Thomas Cadell in MS Hyde 69, item (10); a letter from Bennet Langton
in MS Hyde 77; and a letter from Hester Lynch Piozzi in MS Eng 1477, item (1).
Charles Burney (1726-1814) established a reputation as an organist and composer before
moving to London in 1760. There he became a central figure in the circle gathered
around author Samuel Johnson. Burney published numerous works of music scholarship,
most notably his four-volume A General History of Music (1776-1789). Eight of his children survived to adulthood, including novelist Frances
d'Arblay, generally known as Fanny Burney (1752-1840); Susanna Elizabeth Phillips,
generally known as Susanna Burney (1755-1800); and Charles Burney (1757-1817).
Alvaro Ribeiro, ed., The Letters of Dr Charles Burney, Volume 1: 1751-1784 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1991)
This collection consists of 13 letters by Burney, five letters received by him, and
two poems. Of special importance is a portion of Burney's notes on Samuel Johnson
sent to James Boswell, item (2), which were used in Boswell's Life of Samuel Johnson LL.D. The collection also includes letters to Fanny Burney, item (3); and Samuel Johnson,
item (8). Many of the letters discuss Samuel Johnson, including two that describe
his final days in detail, items (10) and (12).
- (1). [Banks, Joseph, Sir, 1743-1820, recipient] Autograph letter, signed, [no place] from Charles Burney, 1784 May 26. 1s. in 1 folder.
Concerning musical compositions by an unidentified friend of Banks.
- (2). Boswell, James, 1740-1795, recipient. Two letters from Charles Burney, 1787-1791. 2s. in 1 folder.
- Autograph manuscript fragment, [no place] [ca. 1787]
Pages 3 and 4 of a longer manuscript which Burney lent to Boswell, describing his
relationship with Samuel Johnson and summarizing several letters from Johnson to Burney. The fragment also includes
Burney's manuscript transcript of a letter from Johnson to Burney dated 1784 Aug.
Annotated by Fanny Burney.
Discussed in Roger Lonsdale, Dr. Burney and the Integrity of Boswell's Quotations,Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America, 53:4 (1959), 327-331. Portions of Burney's notes were used by James Boswell in his
Life of Samuel Johnson, LL.D. See L.F. Powell's 1934 edition, 1, 329; 2, 406-407; and 4, 360 and 545.
Pages 5 and 6 of Burney's manuscript are at Yale University. The original 1784 Aug.
2 Johnson letter is at the Wellcome Historical Medical Library, and is published in
Bruce Redford, The Letters of Samuel Johnson (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1994) IV, 357-358.
- Autograph draft letter, signed, [no place] [1791 July 16]
Offers extended praise for The Life of Samuel Johnson, LL.D., and discusses the Literary Club.
Annotated by Fanny Burney.
The final version of the letter is at Yale University, and was published in Charles
N. Fifer, ed., The Correspondence of James Boswell with Certain Members of the Club (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1976), 342-345.
- (4). Burney, Sarah Rose, 1759-1821, recipient. Autograph letter, signed, Chelsea College [Chelsea, London] from Charles Burney, 1791 Jan. 15. 1s. in 1 folder.
Offers his opinions of Joseph Priestley, Samuel Johnson, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Pope,and Laurence Sterne.
- (5). Carter, Mary, b. ca. 1730? 3 letters to Charles Burney, 1810 and undated. 3s. in 1 folder.
The 1810 Aug. 3 letter consists mostly of an untitled poem beginning Tho all agree you've had good schooling, and expresses the wish that Fanny Burney would write more novels.
- (6). Hague, Charles, 1769-1821, recipient. Autograph letter, signed, [no place] from Charles Burney,  1s. in 1 folder.
Has received Hague's ode on the 1811 installation of William Frederick, Duke of Gloucester, as chancellor of the University of Cambridge.
- (7). Hoole, John, 1727-1803. Autograph letter, signed, 12 Nassau Street, Soho [London] to Charles Burney, [1802 June 24] Thursday. 1s. in 1 folder.
Concerning the health of the Hoole family and of Burney.
- (8). Johnson, Samuel, 1709-1784, recipient. 2 letters from Charles Burney, 1755-1765. 2s. in 1 folder.
- (9). Langton, Bennet, 1737-1801. Autograph letter, signed, Norwich (England), to Charles Burney, 1795 Sept. 4. 1s. in 1 folder.
- (10). Lonsdale, William Lowther, Earl of, 1757-1844, recipient. Autograph draft letter, [no place] from Charles Burney, [ca. 1807 Apr.] 1s. in 1 folder.
Discusses at length his final meeting with Samuel Johnson. Thanks Lonsdale for his patronage to Johann Christian Hüttner, and discusses the appointment of George Canning as foreign secretary.
- (11). [Panton, Paul, 1727-1797, recipient?] Autograph letter, signed, St. Martin's Street [London] from Charles Burney, [1786 Jan. 31] Tuesday. 1s. in 1 folder.
Ready to return the early Welsh musical manuscript from the Richard Morris collection. Burney wrote a similar letter to Paul Panton concerning the same manuscript
on 1779 June 21 (Ribeiro, 275-276).
- (13). Reed, Isaac, 1742-1807, recipient. Autograph letter, signed, Hammersmith [and Fulham, England] from Charles Burney, 1787 Mar. 8. 1s. in 1 folder.
- (14). Burney, Charles, 1726-1814. To Mrs. Crewe, with the Bishop of Lincoln's introduction to the Bible : autograph manuscript poem, signed, 1802 Mar. 3. 2 leaves in 1 folder.
Sewn and glued to To Mrs. Kemble, on perusing, in consequence of her recommendations, Mrs. Inchbald's
Simple Story, an autograph manuscript draft poem, signed, Greenwich (London),
Date: 1795 Mar. 11. Poems dedicated to Mrs. (Frances Ann) Crewe and [Priscilla?] Kemble.