MC:PR30/1/C2/7 Letters from Demies elected 1780-3
Guardbook bound in dark green covers, with “Letters from Demies 1780 1783” on the spine. This guardbook contains letters from and concerning Demies elected between 1780 and 1783. It also includes those Demies who were later elected Fellows.
Fols. 1–10: Letters from and concerning William Agutter (d. 1835; D. 1780–93).
Fol. 1: Draft memorandum in Routh’s hand (undated) testifying to the good character of William Agutter for an unspecified purpose. This is written on the back of an undated letter (written in Latin) to Routh from Richard Lowndes apparently applying for a Demyship (unsuccessfully). Bloxam (Register vii. 57) suggests that this was written in 1797, in connection with Agutter’s successful application for the post of Chaplain and Secretary to the Female Orphans in London. [NB: Bloxam spells his name “Aguttar”, but the letters are all signed by him as “Agutter”]
Fol. 2: Letter from William Agutter (address, Northampton) to Martin Routh, 14 May 1791. Agutter congratulates Routh on his election as President.
Fol. 3: Letter from William Agutter (address, Fol. 7 Furnivals Inn Court, Holborn) to Martin Routh, 19 Oct 1791. Agutter thanks Routh for his testimonial (presumably Fol. 1 above). He is sorry that he cannot help Routh in his present work, but he has many other distractions at present.
Fol. 4: Letter from William Agutter (address, Furnivals Inn Court, Holborn) to Martin Routh, 6 Jan 1792. Agutter has heard that Dr. Bridges (Nathaniel Bridges, D. 1767–75; F. 1775–93) is going to accept a living, and that he might take his place at College (as a Fellow). Mr. Lawson is currently occupying Agutter’s rooms in College, and says that he is happy to share them with him, should he want to come to Oxford.
Fol. 5: Letter from William Agutter (address, Fol. 7 Furnivals Inn Court, Holborn) to Martin Routh, 21 Jul 1792. Agutter discusses the identity of a Joseph Bromehead (matr. Queen’s 1764). He is also pleased that the Republican party in Britain is so much reduced.
Fol. 6: Letter from William Agutter (address, Furnivals Inn Court, Holborn) to Martin Routh, 18 Oct 1792. Agutter sends Routh a sermon (by Agutter himself) which has been well received. He appreciates Routh’s efforts on behalf of French refugees, especially the clergy.
Fol. 7: Letter from William Agutter (address, Fol. 4 Furnivals Inn Court, Holborn) to Martin Routh, 8 Apr 1793. Agutter is wondering about applying to deliver the Bampton Lectures, and asks whether Routh and the College would support him. He was sorry to hear of the death of Thomas Hopkinson (D. 1774–8; F. 1778–93).
Fol. 8: Letter from William Agutter (address, Furnivals Inn Court, Holborn) to Martin Routh, 28 May 1793. Agutter announces his forthcoming marriage, and therefore his resignation from Magdalen. He asks for his name to remain on the College’s books. He will come and sort his affairs out at Magdalen as soon as he can.
Fol. 9: Letter from William Agutter (address, 4 Canonbury) to Martin Routh, 28 Jan 1797. Agutter thanks Routh for his testimonial (presumably Fol. 1 above). He would have reported the news of his election, but he has been unwell, but he can now report that he has been successful (in his application to become Chaplain and Secretary to the Female Orphans in London).
Fol. 10: Letter from William Agutter (address, 52 Upper Gower Street) to Martin Routh, 21 June 1832. Agutter seeks Routh’s opinion on the library of George III, which was given to the British Museum, supposedly as a sign of George IV’s regard for learning. Agutter, however, thinks the opposite: George IV should have carried out his father’s wish to create a royal library by the palace, not least because the British Museum already owns copies of most of these books. He expresses his anxieties about the troubles of the present age.
Fols. 11–15: Letters from George Hutton (d. 1817; D. 1781–5; F. 1785–97).
Fol. 11: Letter from George Hutton (address, Lincoln) to Martin Routh, 2 Oct 1792. Hutton thanks Routh for this letter, in which Routh apparently suggested that he take a private pupil, but would like to find out some more about his character.
Fol. 12: Letter from George Hutton (address, Plum tree [sic?]) to Martin Routh, 6 Aug 1798. Hutton thanks Routh for his advice over a possible vacancy. Sadly the living in question has now been disposed of. He reports on meeting Henry Best (D. 1785–92: F. 1792–7) at Lincoln, and now hears that he has converted to Roman Catholicism. He has also heard rumours that James Hurdis (D. 1782–8; F. 1788–1800) is planning to resign the Poetry Professorship at the end of his term, and asks Routh if this is true.
Fol. 13: Letter from George Hutton (address, Sutterton) to Martin Routh, 30 Jul 1808. Hutton thanks Routh for sending him an unnamed book.
Fol. 14: Letter from George Hutton (address, Sutterton) to Martin Routh, 29 Jan 1816. Hutton introduces to Routh his ward Basil Beridge (matr. Magdalen 1815), who is being tutored by Dr. Ellerton. He describes his ward’s character to Routh, and hopes that Routh will ensure that he keeps good company, not least because Beridge is intended for the Church (he was eventually ordained).
Fol. 15: Letter from George Hutton (address, Sutterton) to Martin Routh, 1 May 1816. As Basil Beridge is returning to Magdalen, Hutton sends this letter to Routh, to thank him for the third volume of Reliquiae Sacrae. Their friend Henry Best has borrowed the volumes, and joins Hutton in praising him (although they do not discuss Routh’s views on religion). Beridge seems to be settling in well at Magdalen, and Hutton hopes that he will behave himself.
Fols. 16–27: Letters from and concerning James Hurdis (1763–1801; D. 1782–8; F. 1788–1800).
Fol. 16: Letter from James Hurdis (address, Bishopstone) to Martin Routh, 28 Sep 1792. Having had to leave Burwash (where he had been curate, and where he chose to leave on the death of one of his sisters), Hurdis is planning to move to Oxford. He wonders whether Routh can recommend him to some potential pupils.
Fol. 17: MS copy in an unknown hand of a poem by Hurdis titled “Lines addressed to a Lady who removed the pins from her head-dress during a Thunderstorm.”
Fol. 18: Letter from James Hurdis (address, Bishopstone) to Martin Routh, 31 Jul 1796. Hurdis asks Routh for details about Magdalen’s scheme of terminal examinations. The reason for this request is that Hurdis plans to write a vindication of Magdalen against the attacks made on it by Edward Gibbon (in his recently published memoirs). He will publish his work anonymously because the husband of his patron, Lady Sheffield, was a good friend of Gibbon.
Fol. 19: Letter from James Hurdis (address, Bishopstone) to Martin Routh, 2 Dec 1796. Hurdis sends Routh a copy of his vindication of Magdalen College against Edward Gibbon. As well as writing it, Hurdis was also the work’s compositor and printer. He hopes to distribute 500 copies in Oxford, and has taken pains to retain his anonymity.
Fol. 20: Letter from James Hurdis (address, Horsham, Sussex) to Martin Routh, 12 Jan 1797. Hurdis replies to Routh’s letter Fol. 22 below concerning his letter to the then Vice-President which had been seen as offensive. He agrees to come to Oxford and apologise in person to those people who had attended the meeting at which the matter had been discussed.
Fol. 21: Letter from James Hurdis (address, Fulham) to Martin Routh, 19 Jul 1799. Hurdis reports on his marriage, and therefore the resignation of his Fellowship. He reflects on his time at Magdalen.
Fol. 22: Draft letter from Martin Routh (no address given) to James Hurdis, undated (presumably written in late 1796 or early 1797). Routh regrets to tell Hurdis that his letter to the Vice-President had been considered offensive, and requests that he make an apology for it. Fol. 20 above is Hurdis’s reply.
Fol. 23: Draft letter from Martin Routh (no address given) to James Hurdis, undated. It is almost illegible, but appears to be a reply to Hurdis’s letter Fol. 20 above. On the other side of the paper is a transcription, in an unknown hand of “Lines by Mr. Hawksworth”, dated 12 Dec 1809.
Fol. 24: Letter from Eliza Hurdis (one of James Hurdis’s sisters; address, Bishopstone) to Martin Routh, 24 Dec 1806. Miss Hurdis reports on her family’s intention to publish the poems of James Hurdis by subscription. Printed notices will be circulated soon, but she has sent Routh early notice of this plan.
Fol. 25: Letter from James Hurdis (address, Bishopstone) to Martin Routh, 4 Nov 1797. Hurdis has heard of the imminent death of Timothy Neve, the Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity (he died in January 1798), and seeks Routh’s advice on whether to stand as a candidate to replace him. He admits that he would be glad of the stipend, since he has to support his mother and sisters. On the other hand, he is cautious of standing against Septimus Collinson, Provost of Queen’s, who is another known candidate (and who was eventually elected), and he fears that he has enemies in Oxford.
Fol. 26: Draft letter from Martin Routh (no address given) to Eliza Hurdis, undated, but written some time in 1806/7 in reply to Fol. 24. Routh speaks warmly of Hurdis’s memory, and expresses his support for her initiative of publishing her brother’s poems. He asks to order ten copies for himself, and promises to circulate the printed appeals in the Common Room.
Fol. 27: Letter from Mary Hurdis (another of James Hurdis’s sisters; address, 16 Cheyne Walk, Chelsea) to Martin Routh, 28 Feb 1807. Miss Hurdis thanks Routh for his support for her brother. She asks where she might send a list of subscribers for her brother’s work. She reports that the Duke of Portland has supported her.
Fols. 28–44: Letters from Philip Bracebridge Homer (d. 1838; D.1783–1802; F. 1802–1806).
Fol. 28: Letter from Philip Bracebridge Homer (address, Rugby) to Martin Routh, 18 Apr 1791. Homer gives Routh his full support in his campaign to be elected President of Magdalen.
Fol. 29: Letter from Philip Homer (address, Rugby) to Martin Routh, 5 Aug 1791. Homer would like to congratulate Routh on his election, but does not wish to offend his brother Arthur (who opposed Routh). He assures Routh that he is content in his current situation. He also reflects at length on the death of his father, and regrets that he did not always behave well to him.
Fol. 30: Letter from Philip Homer (address, Rugby) to Martin Routh, 24 Sep 1792. Homer considers who to vote for in the forthcoming Chancellorship election, be it the Duke of Beaufort or the Duke of Portland.
Fol. 31: Letter from Philip Homer (address, Rugby) to Martin Routh, 12 Mar 1796. Homer regrets that he cannot come to Magdalen, as this would cause inconvenience at Rugby. He expresses his friendship to Routh, and hopes to see him soon. Homer also copies into his letter an extract from the first letter sent by his father to him at Oxford, and explains the change in his conduct.
Fol. 32: First page only of a letter from Philip Homer (address, Rugby) to an unnamed addressee, 3 Sep 1799. Homer asks his addressee to thank the President for an unspecified offer which he feels obliged to refuse.
Fol. 33: Letter from Philip Homer (address, Rugby) to Martin Routh, 8 May 1818. Homer writes in the support of the son of a neighbour, Mr. Tawney for a Demyship. The son had applied unsuccessfully last year (and was unsuccessful again; although a Richard Tawney from Warwickshire, who matriculated from Trinity College in 1819, was elected a Fellow of Magdalen in 1824; this might be the same person). His eldest daughter is very ill, but Homer may have to go to Rome to recover property that might descend to his children through his first wife. He fears it may be too late to ask Routh if he can seek out any books there on his behalf.
Fol. 34: Letter from Philip Homer (address, Rome) to Martin Routh, 26 Jul 1818. Homer reports on his attempts to find books for Routh out there. He reports on what he has seen in and around Rome, including seeing the sculptor Canova.
Fol. 35: Letter from Philip Homer (address, St. Paul’s School, London) to Martin Routh, 14 Oct 1818. Homer sends Routh the one book he was able to find for him on the continent. He reports on his journey home from Italy, during which he fell badly ill. He reports that he never had a chance to visit any Italians during his time in Rome. He also encloses a sonnet of his composition to Rome, in both an English and an Italian version.
Fol. 36: Letter from Philip Homer (address, Rugby) to Martin Routh, 24 Nov 1818. Homer reports on his lack of success in trying to recover his first wife’s property for his children.
Fol. 37: Letter from Philip Homer (address, Rugby) to Martin Routh, 4 Oct 1824. Homer remembers that, when he went to Rome, Routh asked him to procure two books for him, one of which he found. Homer’s Italian lawyer, Signor Cicognani tells him that he has found a copy of the second book (the Acta Gaij) in a library, and that, because it is not very long, he can arrange to have it copied for Routh. Homer now has that transcript. It appears to have errors in it, but it should be usable. He gives Routh a list of contents of the book, and discusses it.
Fol. 38: Letter from Philip Homer (address, Rugby) to A. Grimes 19 Oct 1824. Homer has sent Grimes a book he mentioned in his last letter, and a transcript of Gaius’s Decretal Epistle. He discusses the book’s contents once again.
Fol. 39: Letter from Philip Homer (address, Rugby) to Martin Routh, 2 Nov 1824. Homer has sent Routh the transcript of Caius’s Epistle and Acta, and looks forward to hearing Routh’s opinion on their authenticity. He also sends Routh a book about the church of St. Paul’s in Rome, which was recently destroyed by fire, as well as some editions of Fronto’s epistles. He thinks that, if Routh wants any books from Rome, his friend Cicognani would help him. Homer reports that he has resigned his post at Rugby, and his income has declined as a result. He also explains why he chose to resign his post there, namely that he was not being assigned enough pupils.
Fol. 40: Letter from Philip Homer (address, Rugby) to Martin Routh, 25 Nov 1824. Homer has been encouraged to produce a new Greek grammar based on his teaching experiences at Rugby, and he wonders about producing a new version of the Eton grammar. He seeks Routh’s advice on the propriety of this.
Fol. 41: Letter from Philip Homer (address, Rugby) to Martin Routh, 16 Nov 1825. Homer sends Routh a copy of the Eton Greek Grammar bearing his revisions. He asks Routh to let him know if there’s anything he should change for a second edition.
Fol. 42: MS (in an unknown hand) of a poem by Philip Homer titled “The Character of Dr. Parr”.
Fol. 43: Letter from Philip Homer (address, Rugby) to Martin Routh, 8 Oct 1829. Homer’s son Philip is coming up to Oxford. He is disappointed that his son failed to get a Demyship at Magdalen, but hopes to encourage him to try again next year (if his son did apply then, he was not successful; instead the younger Philip Homer went to Trinity College).
Fol. 44: Letter from Philip Homer (address, Rugby) to Martin Routh, 17 Jan 1833. Homer thanks Routh for sending him a copy of Scriptorum ecclesiasticorum opuscula. He reports on his son Philip, who has left Trinity without a degree, and admits that he is relieved that his son had not gone to Magdalen, where his departure would have been even more embarrassing. The younger Philip turned against studying at Oxford or joining the Church, and retreated to Wales where he died. Fortunately, a friend there took care of him, and later found his body and saw that he was buried.
Fols. 45–50: Letters from and concerning Thomas Monro (d. 1815; D. 1783–97).
Fol. 45: Letter (in Latin) from Thomas Monro (no address given) to Martin Routh, 3 Feb 1784. Monro writes of his admiration for Routh.
Fol. 46: Letter from Thomas Monro (address, Bedford) to Martin Routh, 9 Aug 1786. Monro has heard from Dr. Parr (see Fol. 47 below) that some drafts for cash which he had sent Routh were returned.
Fol. 47: Letter from Samuel Parr (no address given) to Thomas Monro, 3 Aug 1786, enclosing a transcript of a letter from Martin Routh (see Fol. 46 above). This relates to drafts for cash from Monro being returned.
Fol. 48: Letter from Thomas Monro (address, Selborne) to Martin Routh, 12 Sep 1796. Monro notes that Richard Chandler (D. 1757–70; F. 1770–80) currently appoints a gamekeeper in Selborne, and asks that, when Chandler wishes to resign this appointment, he be appointed to succeed him. He warns Routh that Chandler has grossly mismanaged the manor of Selborne, to the annoyance of the local gentry.
Fol. 49: Letter from Thomas Monro (no address given) to Martin Routh, 20 Sep 1796. Monro thanks Routh for his positive response to his last letter, and supplies some more details about the problems in Selborne.
Fol. 50: Letter from Thomas Monro (no address given) to Martin Routh, 19 Oct 1796. Monro thanks Routh for his interest in the Selborne business, and tells him more about what has been happening there. The matter is made more complicated, because Chandler has asked Monro to be his curate at Worldham, and then withdrawn the offer, and it may be feared that Monro has acted against him over the question of game because of this. Monro denies the supposition.
Fol. 51: Letter from Christopher Robinson (d. 1833; D. 1783–99).
Fol. 51: Letter from Christopher Robinson (address, Southampton Buildings) to Martin Routh, undated, but postmarked 15 Apr 1796. Robinson reports on his activities in London. He has been lobbying the Duke of Portland and William Windham for unspecified posts, but so far without success.
No. 1 was found loose within this volume:
No. 1: Booklet in the hand of James Hurdis containing an ode written in honour of the Duke of Portland, presumably on his being installed as Chancellor in 1792. Routh has added a note to confirm Hurdis’s authorship.
Return here to the introduction to this section.