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Letters from eminent people, surnames I-P, to Mary and William Somerville and others, and related papers, 1796?-1874 and n.d.

Dep. c. 371

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Folder MSI-1: letters received by Mary, 1832-1839 and n.d., from correspondents including [Sir] James Ivory, [mathematician], in appreciation of Mary’s work, [ The Mechanism of the Heavens], 3 Jan 1832, and in response to an enquiry from Mary about ‘the figure of the earth’, 9 Jan 1833. Other correspondents: Robert H. Ingles, Charles Irvine

Folder MSJ-1: Correspondents: Robert Jameson, F[rancis] Jeffrey, J. Gwyn Jeffreys, 1816-1869 and n.d.

Folder MSJ-2: letters received by Mary and others, 1831-1862, from correspondents including Alex[ander] Keith Johnston, [geographer], regarding the preparation of editions of Physical Geography, 28 Jun 1848 and 5 Feb 1862. Other correspondents: M.H. Jenkins, Wartan Josephus

Folder MSK-1: letters received by Mary and William Somerville, 1821-1834 and n.d., from Captain Henry Kater, [physicist], his wife, M[ary] F[rances], and [their son], Edward, including letters from Henry Kater regarding methods of astronomical observation and measurement, 16 Nov 1821, and in praise of Mary’s work, [ Preliminary Dissertation to The Mechanism of the Heavens], 23 Apr 1832

Folder MSK-2: Correspondents: Fanny Kemble, Adelaide Kemble, William B. Kinney, 1837-1854 and n.d.

Folder MSL-1: Correspondents: S.F. Lacroix, [Marquis de] Lafayette and other members of the Lafayette family, 1829-1834 and n.d.

Folder MSL-2: Correspondents: Marquis and Madame de Laplace, 1824-33. Includes a cutting from the Quarterly Review, n.d., relating to the opinion of Laplace on the mean depth of the sea.

Folder MSL-3: letters received by Mary and William Somerville, 1820-1839 and no year, from correspondents including William M. Leake, [antiquarian], in response to a question from Mary about hieroglyphed horoscopes, 19 Jun, no year. Other correspondents: [Dominique] Larrey, [Baron Larrey], William Lassell, Sir Thomas Lawrence, [Grand Duke] Leopold [of Tuscany]

Folder MSL-4: letters received by Mary and William Somerville, 1835-1857 and n.d., from correspondents including:
  1. [Sir] Coutts Lindsay, [artist], seeking Mary’s opinion on a tragedy which he has published privately, 1 Jan 1857
  2. J.G. Lockhart, [writer and biographer of Sir Walter Scott], regarding the acquisition of transcripts of letters by Sir Walter Scott, 20 Apr 1836
  3. Other correspondents: John Lindley, Sophia Lockhart
Folder MSL-5: letters received by Mary from J.W. Lubbock, [astronomer], 1832-1835 and n.d., described in a note by Mary as being ‘upon the Lunar Theory, the motion of comets, the motion and equilibrium of fluids etc.’

Folder MSL-6: letters received by Mary, her daughters, Martha and Mary, and Agnes Greig from [Sir] Charles Lyell, [geologist], Lady Lyell, and her niece, Susan Horner, 1831-1873, including letters from Charles Lyell to Mary referring to his research and her work [probably On the Connexion of the Physical Sciences], asking her permission to view the proofs then with [John] Murray, publishers, 23 Dec 1833, and offering corrections, 24 Feb 1834

Folder MSM-1: letters received by Mary, William and Thomas Somerville, 1822-1870 and n.d., from correspondents including:
  1. Lawrence Macdonald, [sculptor], regarding the production and delivery of a marble bust of Mary, 1870
  2. Robert Mallet, [geophysicist], thanking Mary for her comments on his report on the Naples earthquake, and his proposed work on Vesuvius, 10 Aug 1863
  3. Other correspondents: Charles Macintosh, Henry Mackenzie, James Mackintosh, [Francois] Magendie
Folder MSM-2: letters received by Mary, comprising
  1. letters from J[ane] Marcet, [science writer], of whom Mary says in a note ‘her series of scientific works for young people introduced that higher system of education which now prevails so universally’, 1833-1834 and n.d.
  2. letter from [Captain] F[rederick] Marryat, [naval officer and novelist], to Mary, thanking her for the gift of her ‘Introductory treatise’ [probably Preliminary Dissertation to the Mechanism of the Heavens] and informing her that he is now the proprietor and editor of a new magazine [probably The Metropolitan Magazine], n.d [1832]
Folder MSM-3: letters received by Mary and Martha Somerville, 1835-1866 and n.d., from correspondents including:
  1. Harriet Martineau, [social theorist and writer], seeking Mary’s support for her campaigning work and regarding her illness, c.1835-1845
  2. Nevil Story Maskelyne, [geologist, Keeper of Minerals at the British Museum], regarding the purchase for the Museum of Mary’s collection of minerals, 25 Jul 1866
  3. Other correspondents: M.F. Maury, C. Maulien, ?Markea
Folder MSM-4: letters received by Mary and William Somerville, 1822-1869 and n.d, from correspondents including J[ohn] S[tuart] Mill, [philosopher], regarding Mary’s support of his work on the extension of the franchise to women and her response to receiving a copy of a publication by Mill, 1868-1869. Other correspondents: [Earl of] Minto, G. Moll

Folder MSM-5: letters received by Mary, 1826-1869 and n.d., from correspondents including:
  1. [Sir] Roderick Murchison, [geologist], enclosing ‘a Souvenir from Dr Brewster’ and acknowledging the gift of a copy of The Mechanism of the Heavens, n.d. [c.1831], and regarding the death of Lady Murchison, 14 Feb 1869
  2. W. Morison, describing the Himalayan range, 23 Mar 1841, and referring to other matters concerning Mary’s studies and writing, n.d. [c.1860]
  3. Other correspondents: C.R.[?] de Montalembert, Domenico Morichini, [Charlotte Murchison]
Folder MSN-1: letters received by Mary and William Somerville and Woronzow Greig, 1831-1867 and n.d., from correspondents including Macvey Napier, [editor of the Edinburgh Review], regarding Mary’s publications and the writing of pieces relating to them for the Edinburgh Review, 1831-1846. Other correspondents: F.R. Nixon, Caroline Norton

Folder MSO-1: letters received by Mary and Martha Somerville from Richard Owen, [biologist], 1860-1873, indicating his opposition to ‘the gross abuse of vivisections’ in France, 30 Oct 1860; giving permission for the use by Mary of illustrations from his work, 12 Sep 1866; and acknowledging the gift of a copy of Mary’s autobiography sent to him by Martha Somerville, 6 Dec 1873

Folder MSP-1: letters received by Mary and William Somerville, 1821-1860 and n.d., from correspondents including William Parry, [explorer], inviting the Somervilles to visit his ship, 3 Apr 1821 [fragment only]; thanking Mary for a gift, described by her in a note as ‘orange marmalade for the Arctic voyage’, and sending her specimens from Melville Island and other places, n.d. [c.1821]. Other correspondents: Filippo Parlatore, George Peacock

Folder MSP-2: letters received by Mary and William Somerville, 1830-1836, from [Sir] Robert Peel, [Prime Minister], mainly regarding the grant to Mary of a pension of £200 per annum, 1835

Folder MSP-3: Correspondents: J.B. Pentland, [Thomas] Phillips, William Pitt, 1798-1857 and n.d.

Folder MSP-4: Correspondents: Jean Plana, Th[omas] Plateau, John Playfair, ? Plücker, 1832-1851 and n.d.

Folder MSP-5: letters received by Mary, 1832-1863 and n.d., from correspondents including:
  1. B[aden] Powell, [mathematician], regarding the dispersion of light, 9 Aug 1837 and 1 Dec, no year [c.1837]
  2. P. Prevost, enclosing comments on Preliminary Dissertation to the Mechanism of the Heavens, 1833
  3. Other correspondents: Carlo Poerio, Poisson


  • 1796?-1874 and n.d.


1 box (23 folders)


Dep. c. 371

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom