Skip to main content

Archive of the Townesend family

 Collection

  • How to
    request
The archive comprises: papers of John Townesend I, 1687-1727; papers of William Townesend, 1702-1729; papers of John Townesend II, 1737-1745; papers of William Townesend, Bursar of Trinity College, Oxford, 1772-1778; papers of William Ives, 1722-1765; papers of Mary Ives, 1759-1785; papers of Thomas Stevens and his wife Mary Townesend, 1779-1804.

Dates

  • 1687-1804

Extent

2.0 Linear metres (55 Shelfmarks)

Language of Materials

English

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, where available, e.g. MS. Don. b. 41, fol. 1].
Please see our help page for further guidance on citing archives and manuscripts.

Full range of shelfmarks:

MSS. Don. b. 41-43, c. 208-229, d. 211-214, e. 216-245

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 6816

Overview

Accounts of the Townesend family, master masons, mainly concerning their work in Oxford for the University and Oxford colleges, 1687-1804.

Biographical / Historical

John Townesend I (c.1648-1728) was the son of a labourer, Thomas Townesend. He served his apprenticeship under Bartholomew Peisley and in 1674 became a freeman of the city of Oxford. By the 1690s, he was Oxford's leading stonemason and builder. His major commissions were Queen's College Library, the Master's Lodgings at Pembroke College, and the Kitchen Court at Blenheim Palace. He served as Mayor of Oxford, 1720-1721. He married Elizabeth Morrell (d. 1726) in 1672. They had three sons and a daughter. He died 23 May 1728.

William Townesend (1676-1739) was the eldest son of John Townesend I and his wife Elizabeth. He was apprenticed to his father. His major works in Oxford included the construction of Peckwater Quad at Christ Church and the Codrington Library at All Souls College. He was the master-mason responsible for much of Oxford's architectural transformation during the early eighteenth century. He died 22 September 1739.

John Townesend II (1709-1746) was the son of William Townesend and his wife Mary. He inherited the family business from his father. He took over the construction of the Radcliffe Library upon his father's death in 1739.

William Ives (1709-1764) was the son of William Ives, apothecary, and his wife Elizabeth Pearson. He served as Mayor of Oxford, 1738-1739, 1749-1750, and 1763-1764. He married Mary (d. 1783), daughter of William Townesend (1676-1739) and his wife Mary.

William Townesend (c.1738-1785) was the son of John Townesend II and his wife Elizabeth. He served as bursar of Trinity College, Oxford, and rector of Rotherfield Grays, Oxfordshire.

Thomas Stevens (1733-1800) married Mary (d. 1802), daughter of John Townesend II and his wife Elizabeth. He was a fellow of All Souls College, Oxford. Thomas and Mary Stevens had a son Henry Stevens (1766-1842).

Arrangement

The archive is arranged chronologically.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased and catalogued with the generous support of the Friends of the Bodleian, the Hulme Fund and the Oxford Preservation Trust, March 2012.
Title
Catalogue of the archive of the Townesend family
Status
Completed
Author
Finding aid prepared by Matthew Neely
Date
2013
Language of description
English
Sponsor
Purchased and catalogued with the generous support of the Friends of the Bodleian, the Hulme Fund and the Oxford Preservation Trust.

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Contact:
Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom