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Scrap album relating to Lucy Townsend, slavery abolitionist, and her family

 Single Item
MSS. Brit. Emp. s. 5
Held at the Weston Library

  • Request

Scrap album containing letters (including from Maria Edgeworth, page 328), drawings, plans, photograph of a church (page 319), news cuttings, printed ephemera, poems, recipes and copies of documents on various subjects including the education of children, cures for ailments, the history of France, instructions for sewing and knitting, and botany. Many of the letters are to Lucy Townsend and some letters and documents are written by members of her family including her daughter Charlotte and her grandfather William Jesse (page 333).

A number of items relate to anti-slavery campaigning including:

  1. Page 94: letters from Elizabeth Fry, 1825, and Amelia Opie, 1827.
  2. Page 102: letters from Thomas Chalmers, 1825, and Elizabeth Heyrick, 1826.
  3. Page 116: letter from Thomas Clarkson, 1830.
  4. Page 168: letter from Thomas Clarkson, 1825.
  5. Page 170: letter from George Stephen, 1831.
  6. Page 176: letter from S. Wedgwood, 1835.
  7. Page 204: two letters from E. Allen, 1830.
  8. Page 234: letter from Lucy Townsend, 1841.
  9. Page 268: letter from Margaret Roberts, n.d.
  10. Page 278: letter from J.J. Gurney, 1825.
  11. Page 292: letters from J. Sturge, n.d., and Samuel Roberts, 'Chief Bard of Wales', 1840.
  12. Page 298: letter from M. Scoble, 1835.
  13. Page 300: letter from Rev. John Roberts sending Welsh Address on slavery, 1829.
  14. Page 318: letter from Rev. John Philip, 1829.
  15. Page 328: letter from Elizabeth Fry, 1831.
  16. Page 331: letter from Thomas Pringle, n.d.


  • Creation: c.1775-1881


1 box

Language of Materials

  • English

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MSS. Brit. Emp. s. 5, page 1].

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MSS. Brit. Emp. s. 5

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 23039


Scrap album relating to Lucy Townsend, slavery abolitionist, and her family.

Biographical / Historical

Lucy Jesse was born in 1781 and in 1807 married Reverend Charles Townsend (1780-1865), an anti-slavery campaigner who was perpetual curate of West Bronwich, Staffordshire. Lucy Townsend became active in the anti-slavery movement and the first meeting of the 'Ladies' Society for the Relief of Negro Slaves' was held at her house on 8 April 1825. As joint secretary of the society until 1836 she led campaigns on behalf of women under slavery and promoted education for those who had been freed. Her daughters Charlotte and Louise were involved in the campaigns. Lucy Townsend died in 1847 in Thorpe, Nottingham.

For further information see the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated to the Bodleian by L.H. Irvine in 1951.

Related Materials

Bodleian: MSS. Brit. Emp. s. 4, scrap album of Lucy Townsend and MSS. Brit. Emp. s. 18, C1/67 and C3/74, letters from Lucy Townsend in the Anti-Slavery Society archive.

Catalogue of a Scrap Album relating to Lucy Townsend, Slavery Abolitionist, and her Family
Lucy McCann
Language of description
Script of description
Edition statement
First edition.

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom