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Poems and letters by Sarah Candler and others

 Single Item
MS. 20153
Held in our offsite storage facility

  • Request

There are 18 manuscript poems by Sarah Candler in total, with a further 20 manuscript poems by her relatives and other writers. The poems are enclosed in a sheet of marbled paper. Eight of Sarah Candler's poems are contained in a booklet held together with a single pin entitled 'Verse occasioned by the Scarlet Fever and sore Throat which prevailed at Ackworth school in the Spring and Summer of 1803. Composed by Sarah Candler aged 13 years, a Pupil at the above school'. During the outbreak of scarlet fever at the school, seven pupils tragically died and Sarah names some of these children in her verse, including Edward Holborn who was the first to succomb to the disease.

The remaining manuscript poems and letters are loose and include 10 poems by Sarah Candler and 20 poems written by her relations (such as 'M. Candler of Bath') or others, as well as poems copied out by Sarah. Many of the poems and letters refer to marriage, such as 'Lines written by a Friend in America on hearing of the intended Marriage of her Sister in England'. Another poem 'Verses return’d with Montgomery’s Poems, The West Indias &c.' [watermarked 1808] relates to the abolition of the slave trade in 1807 and was written to accompany the return of James Montgomery’s verses, The West Indies. There is also an account of Samuel Fothergill's Dream, as related 'at the Crown Inn in Woodunderedge at y[e] time of the circular yearly Meeting the 9 mo[nth] 1760'.


  • Creation: c.1760-1823


1 box

Language of Materials

  • English

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MS. 20153].

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MS. 20153

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 20153


Poems and letters by Sarah Candler and others, c.1760-1823.

Biographical / Historical

Sarah Candler (1790-1816) was originally from Ipswich, Suffolk. In 1801, she and her brother Isaac were admitted into Ackworth School, a Quaker boarding school located in the village of High Ackworth (near Pontefract) in West Yorkshire. Sarah left the school in 1804; her brother left two years later in 1806.

Custodial History

The collection was passed down by descent to the previous owner, who was a descendent of the Judkins family. Caroline Sarah Judkins (1808-1877), was born in St Leonards, Shoreditch, and married James Elisha at the parish chapel in St Pancreas on 15 March 1849; she died in West Ham, London in 1877. Like the Candlers, the Judkins were Quakers, but no further link between the two families has been established.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased by the Bodleian Library in 2020 from Dean Cooke Rare Books Ltd.


  • Darton, Harvey & Darton, Buds of Genius; Or, Some Account of the Early Lives of Celebrated Characters Who Were Remarkable in Their Childhood : Intended as an Introduction to Biography (London, 1818).
Catalogue of poems and letters by Sarah Candler and others, c.1760-1823
Rachael Marsay
Language of description
Script of description
Catalogued with the generous support of the Roy Davids bequest

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom