MC:P274 Papers concerning William Lord (1743-1817), including the sale of the “spur royals”
A reserve fund was provided by the Magdalen College Founder, William Waynflete, Bishop of Winchester, which included coins minted in the reign of Edward IV called ‘spur-royals’. A spur-royal is a gold coin of the value of 15 shillings, so called from having on the reverse the form of the sun with rays which resemble the spur-rowel, the revolving, pricking wheel of a spur. The papers originate from William Lord who was Vice-President in 1789 when the spur-royals were sold. William Lord (1743–1817) matriculated from Brasenose in 1762. He was a Demy of Magdalen 1764–73, and a Fellow 1774–1804. He achieved his D.D. in 1782. He was Bursar in 1779, 1788, 1794 and 1799. More detail can be found in Bloxam, Register vi, p. 341.
The correspondence concerning the spur-royals and other financial matters is transcribed in the Vice-President’s Register for 1789 (ref. MC:VP1/A1/3, pp. 42–47).
These papers were given in 1944 by Christopher Price whose ancestor was John Lord, the brother of William.
Catalogued by Jennie de Protani in November 2005.
MC:P274/C1/1 11 Feb 1789
Copy or draft letter (folded sheet with two completed sections) without writer’s name, but presumed to be William Lord, (no address) to the Visitor (Bishop of Winchester). The letter refers to the Magdalen’s financial reserves, which included the Founder’s gold reserve containing spur-royals. The thrust of the letter is a plea to the Visitor to give permission for the money to be invested for growth. The writer cautions that New College had unexpected expenses of nearly £3,000 to re-roof their chapel, and that the great age of Magdalen’s original buildings meant that the Society should be prepared for similar expenses.
MC:P274/C1/2 17 Feb 1789
Letter (folded foolscap with one half-side completed) from the Bishop of Winchester (address: Albermarle Street) in reply to MC:P274/C1/1. The Bishop agrees that the money should be invested, with the spur-royals being sold for profit.
MC:P274/C1/3 25 Apr 1789
Copy or draft letter (folded foolscap with two half-sides completed) without the writer’s name, but presumed to be William Lord, (address: Magdalen College) to the Bishop of Winchester. The letter says that the Society will act on the Bishop’s letter (MC:P274/C1/2) and sell the spur-royals for profit. It also contains a request for advice relating to ‘onera’ and the estimation of livings.
MC:P274/C1/4 2 July 1789
Letter (folded foolscap with three half-sides completed) from the Bishop of Winchester (address: Chelsea) in reply to MC:P274/C1/3, giving the Bishop’s general views on ‘onera’.
MC:P274/C1/5 No date
Paper containing a Latin grace for mealtimes, entitled: ‘Gratiarum actionis formula’. ‘Magd: Coll: Oxon:’ is written on the reverse.
MC:P274/C1/6 n.d. (1789)
Undated paper written in Latin concerning an ancient and historic oak tree, which had fallen at the entrance to the College Grove. The dimensions are logged because of the tree’s historical importance, it having been mentioned by the Founder when he set the College boundaries. More detail can be found in Macray Register, v, p. 28, which dates the fall to 1789.
MC:P274/C1/7 6 July–1 August 1944
Correspondence concerning the donation of papers to Magdalen College. Two letters are from the College and one is from Christopher Price of Worcester. In his letter, Mr. Price says that the copies of letters were written by William Lord, the brother of his ancestor, John Lord. [3 items]