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Secret service papers of Sir Evan Nepean

 Single Item
MS. Eng. c. 7384
Held at the Weston Library

  • Request


(fol. 1, 13, 22, 45, 90, 119, 126) Typescript descriptions of the contents of each section

(fols. 2-12) Documents relating to the services of William Chalmers, who spied for the British in Morlaix, including personal references for Chalmers and a letter (fols. 9-10) detailing how he was planted in Morlaix, 1801-2

(fols. 14-21) Documents relating to the financing of a mission by Lt. Col. Wm. Ph. Colyear Robertson, who was sent to Holland to convey a message of support from Great Britain to local resistance, 1787-94

(fols. 23-44) Eleven affidavits authorising expenditures for secret services, nine signed by Nepean, the other two by Henry Dundas, 1789-1803

(fols. 46-89) Documents related to the foreign secret services of Capt. von Dirkinck. Including correspondence among Lord Spencer, George Hammond, Capt. von Dirkinck and John Mitchell, HM Consul at Christiansand, 1796-1803

(fols. 91-118) Ledgers relating to payment for secret services, including one ledger (fol. 115v) which mentions a payment to Sir Sidney Smith, who was kept in Temple prison in Paris for two years on charges of espionage, 1798-1803

(fols. 120-5) A number of letters written by Edward Hague to Nepean, concerning his secret services and a potential scandal involving Capt. Popham, 1796-7

(fols. 127-143) miscellaneous documents relating to secret services with which Nepean was involved, comprising:

  1. (fols. 127-8) A letter from Nepean about arranging for a packet boat, 1792
  2. (fols. 129-30) A letter from Henry Dundas to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland about the purchasing of corn and other provisions, 1793
  3. (fols. 131-2) A letter from a Mr. Riggs to Nepean about Capt. von Dirkinck (see also fols. 46-88), 1797
  4. (fols. 133-5) Agreement between Count Wedel and Nepean setting the value of two ships captured by Danish privateers at £2500 each, and receipt for same, 1797
  5. (fols. 136-41) Documents relating to the expenses incurred by Count Bentinck Rhoon during his secret services for Nepean, 1799
  6. (fols. 142-3) Letter from Admiral Michael Makaroff of the Russian Navy to Nepean recommending a certain Lieutenant Golownin who was coming on an exchange to the British Navy, 1802

(fols. 144-5) Letter from A. Waterhouse to Nepean in which Waterhouse describes a certain ship, 1794

(fol. 146) Letter from Manuel Flores, presumably to Nepean, in which he explains how he is going to transmit certain intelligence, as well as the two levels of confidentiality represented in the intelligence, 1819


  • Creation: 1787-1803, 1819


147 Leaves

Language of Materials

  • English

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MS. Eng. c. 7384, fols. 1-2].

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MS. Eng. c. 7384

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 6248


Secret service papers of Sir Evan Nepean

Biographical / Historical

Sir Evan Nepean (1752-1822) was Permanent Under-Secretary at the Home Office, 1782-91 and 1792-4. He had responsibility here for money paid for foreign secret service work. In 1794 he left the Home Office for the War Office, and in 1795 he was appointed Secretary to the Admiralty, continuing to take responsibility for foreign and home secret service work throughout. For further details see the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Bought, Christopher Edwards, Antiquarian Books and MSS. June 2008.

Secret service papers of Sir Evan Nepean
EAD version 2018
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom