MC:F23/C1 Letters from John Bloxam, 1874-1889
(Bloxam, John Rouse (1807-1891). Demy 1830-35, BA 1832, MA 1835, BD 1843, DD 1847. Fellow 1835-62, bursar, vice-president and librarian (1851-1862) See ODNB). Most of these letters are addressed to Wilson, but some are addressed to other correspondents. As these were found with the Wilson papers, a decision was taken to catalogue them in this collection. In one case we know that Bloxam sent a letter from another correspondent to Wilson, and it is possible that this is the case with all such letters.
MC:F23/C1/1 11 November 1874
Letter from John Bloxam to a General (perhaps General Rigaud, d.1885) concerning the portrait copies in the Old Library, copied from originals by Van Dyck belonging to the Duke of Buccleuch. (This letter was found amongst the Wilson papers. It is unclear how it came to Wilson, as seems to have happened, or how it came to Magdalen).
MC:F23/C1/2 11 November 1880
Letter from John Bloxam to Wilson concerning portraits in the library, enclosing MC:F23/C1/3. Bloxam writes that some time ago he responded to an enquiry about the portraits but could only draw upon his memory. He reports that he has recently come across a letter from the donor, which he encloses, in order for it to be preserved in the library, if appropriate.
MC:F23/C1/3 29 November 1841
Letter from William Johnstone White to Martin Routh ‘or the Senior Fellow resident in College’. White presented copy portraits of originals held in the collection of the Duke of Buccleuch to the Library, as the father of John Scott White, the copier. White sent forty pictures to Magdalen, according to the letter, including his son’s self-portrait and a portrait by John Jackson. (This letter was sent by Bloxam to Wilson with MC:F23/C1/2).
Fragment of an envelope sent to Wilson (address Magdalen) from John Bloxam. There are notes added in pencil about the letters MC:F23/C1/2 and MC:F23/C1/3.
MC:F23/C1/5 15 November 1880
Letter from John Bloxam (address Beeding Priory, Hurstpierpoint) to Wilson. Bloxam gives his account of the circumstances surrounding the offer of some Vandych [sic.] portraits. The account concerns a Mr. Black of the Record Office, who compiled a catalogue of the Ashmolean in 1845. Bloxam purchased this catalogue from Dr Daubeny for the library. Mr. Black was friends with Dr. Richard Sewell (then living in Coll). Black, Sewell or both knew Mr White, and persuaded White to donate the portraits. Bloxam expresses his hope that Wilson will visit Beeding priory, as he has certain manuscripts and books that he wants for the College library.
MC:F23/C1/6 19 February 1881
Letter from John Bloxam (address Beeding Priory, Hurstpierpoint) to ‘Mr Librarian’ (i.e. Wilson), concerning the College registers. Bloxam copied out a quotation about lack of regular entries of admission of members to commons or on the foundation until the time of President Mayew. He discusses Registers ‘A’ and ‘B’, outlining a theory that B may be in the Vatican library. He explains that the Vatican Library doesn’t have a catalogue and that his friend the Librarian, Cardinal Pitra, doesn’t understand English. Bloxam also discusses Registers ‘2’ and ‘3’. He mentions his project of copying out a Register of admissions of Fellows and Demies beginning in 1649 and ending in his own day. He has the Vice President’s register covering 1777-1846, and plans to return it to Magdalen along with Kennet’s Register. He discusses his progress with extracting information from the VP’s Register. Bloxam mentions that he has had material back from the printers’, which is now being checked by Macray, and discusses the progress of his book. Bloxam says that he has many manuscript volumes of his own respecting the College and hopes that these might one day join the collections in the Manuscript Room.
MC:F23/C1/7 3 March 1881
Letter from John Bloxam (address, Beeding Priory, Hurstpierpoint) to ‘Mr. Librarian’ (i.e. Wilson). Bloxam writes that he thinks that there were only two regular VP registers previous to that which he started. He gives the dates they cover. Bloxam says that he has noted a Bursarial register of Elections. He asks to arrange to find Register A in the manuscript room, saying that he recalls its appearance as he had to take it to a trial respecting the School, as Anthony Wood did before in the cause re: Magdalen Hall. He discusses his progress with his register.
MC:F23/C1/8 12 May 1883
Letter from John Bloxam to W.A.B. Coolidge mentioning Coolidge’s article on the College library in Notes and Queries, and also referring to the Tower bells, and some presidential letters that Bloxam was working on in connection with his register of Presidents. Bloxam also discusses ‘old Ellacombe’ (see ODNB) and reminisces about Cardinal Newman. (This letter was found amongst the Wilson papers. It is unclear how it came to Wilson, as seems to have happened, or how it came to Magdalen).
MC:F23/C1/9 9 June 1883
Letter from John Bloxam (address, Beeding Priory, Hurstpierpoint) to W.A.B. Coolidge. Bloxam gives Coolidge notes on his article concerning Magdalen College Library in that day’s edition of Notes and Queries. These concern Throckmorton, the Sarum Missal, and Fox’s letter. He asks Coolidge to read Dr. Parr’s opinion of Lord Byron in the volume containing Byron’s autograph. He discusses a fragment of the Founder’s vestments and his work on a Register of Presidents. Bloxam ends by noting the death of John Alington, rector of Candlesby and his reminiscing about the former rector, Dr Francis Mead. (This letter was found amongst the Wilson correspondence. It is not known how it came into Wilson’s possession or to the College).
Fragment of an envelope sent by John Bloxam to Wilson (address Magdalen).
MC:F23/C1/11 10 June 1884
Letter from John Bloxam (address Beeding Priory, Upper Beeding, Sussex) to the ‘Rev. H. A. Wilson (librarian)’, concerning MSS relating to James II, which Bloxam proposed to give to the Library. He also lists other items that he proposes to send: George Hurst’s account of the Visitation, the Diary of Baron Jenner ‘one of the three commissioners’, the anthem composed by Sir Frederick Ouseley for the funeral of the Duke of Wellington, and a copy of William Palmer’s Latin commentary on the 39 Articles.
MC:F23/C1/12 ‘Feast of S. M. Magdalen’ 1885
Letter from John Bloxam (address, Beeding Priory, Upper Beeding, Sussex) to ‘Dear Mr. Vice-President’(i.e. Wilson). Bloxam briefly discusses ‘prison payments’ and payments made to St Bartholomew’s almsmen and gives a reference to a statement made about College charities. Bloxam says that Wilson’s combined duties as Vice President, librarian and bursar must be onerous and relates a story about his own time as Vice President. He discusses the May Morning tradition and the changes that he made to it. He mentions that he encountered ‘Knight of Washington’ and that he was attending the Gaudy. Bloxam himself was marking the feast day with a treat for Sunday School children.
MC:F23/C1/13 28 July 1886
Letter from John Bloxam (address Beeding Priory, Upper Beeding, Sussex)to ‘ Mr. Vice-President’ (i.e. Wilson). Bloxam thanks Wilson for copying out Mayew’s will and makes some comments about the document. He sends his account of changes made to the College buildings, noting that the Founder’s chambers were repaired after Bulley became president. Bloxam discusses Gaudies, a Sunday school event (See MC:F23/C1/12) and Commemorations. He remembers that some Commemorations were suppressed after President Routh’s death.
MC:F23/C1/14 10 December 1889
Letter from Bloxam (address Beeding Priory, Upper Beeding, Sussex) to ‘Mr. Librarian’ (i.e. Wilson). Bloxam tells Wilson that one Mr. Parker is thinking of publishing a small account of the May morning ceremony. He asks for the College’s permission to go ahead with the project and to supply Parker with a book. He mentions the ‘sensation’ caused by Holman Hunt’s painting of the ceremony. Bloxam also asks for the College recipe for Frumenty.
MC:F23/C1/15 12 December 1889
Letter from Bloxam (address Beeding Priory, Upper Beeding, Sussex) to ‘Mr. Librarian’ (i.e. Wilson). Bloxam thanks Wilson for his co-operation with lending a book to Parker and confirms arrangements related to this loan. He asks Wilson to send him a Madan’s collection of papers related to May morning. In a postscript, Bloxam discusses the death of one ‘Tyndale.’
Return here to the introduction to this catalogue.