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Letters of Samuel Palmer to the Redgrave family

 Single Item
MS. Eng. c. 7385
Held at the Weston Library

  • Request

In these letters to various members of the Redgrave family, Palmer writes both about personal matters and about his art. Among other art-related topics, Palmer writes about the trials he encounters in having prints made of his etchings and his experimenting with different varieties of paper. Palmer also writes frequently about his youngest son, Alfred Herbert (1853-1931). Comprises:

(fols. 1-64) 29 Letters from Palmer to Richard Redgrave (1804-88), 1857-80, including:

  1. (fols. 6-7) letter about Palmer's watercolour techniques 14 July 1865 (published in Lister pp. 735-6 and Palmer pp. 273-4)
  2. (fols. 10-11) letter, 1 Oct. 1866 (Lister p. 747, Palmer pp. 281-2)
  3. (fols. 35-6) letter about exhibiting his own etchings and his favourite of Redgrave's etchings 18 Mar. 1873 (Lister pp. 873-4, Redgrave pp. 327-8)
  4. (fols. 41-4) letter with advice on how to deal with illness, 26 July 1873 (Lister pp. 880-2, Redgrave pp. 328-30)
  5. (fols. 51-4) letter about Palmer's painting techniques and observations on the public response to art, Mar. 1876 (Lister pp. 927-9, Palmer pp. 363-5)

(fols. 65-134) 33 letters from Palmer to Samuel Redgrave (1802-76), 1857-75, including (fols. 125-30) three letters mentioning William Blake, 5 Nov. 1870-12 Jan. 1871

(fols. 135-205) 35 letters from Palmer to Frances (Cecy) Redgrave (1845-1932), daughter and biographer of Richard Redgrave, 1864-80, n.d., including:

  1. (fols. 135-6) letter dated June 1864 (Lister pp. 719-20)
  2. (fols. 141-2) letter about various works of art in galleries in London, 6 July 1866 (Lister pp. 741-2, Palmer pp. 277-8)
  3. (fols. 146-8) letter dated May 1869 (extract in Lister p. 744)
  4. (fols. 150-1) letter dated Sep. 1869 (Lister p. 805, Palmer, pp. 305-6)
  5. (fols. 177-8) letter in which Palmer shares his views on non-Anglican art, architecture, and music, Jan. 1876 (Lister pp. 925-6, Palmer pp. 361-2)
  6. (fols. 199-200) letter concerning the situation of the widow of Francis Oliver Finch, 4 June 1880

(fols. 206-14) 4 letters from Palmer to Evelyn Redgrave (1849-1932), daughter of Richard Redgrave, 1877-80, n.d.

(fols. 215-80) 29 letters from Palmer to Rose Redgrave (1811-99), wife of Richard Redgrave, 1861-80, n.d., including:

  1. (fols. 223-4) thank you note, 16 Nov. 1867 (Lister pp. 766-7, Palmer pp. 293-4)
  2. (fol. 243) letter about the catalogue of a William Blake exhibition, 2 May 1876
  3. (fols. 270-1) letter mentioning a planned biography of William Blake by Mr. Strange of Streatley Mill, July 1880


  • Creation: 1857-80


280.0 Leaves

Language of Materials

  • English

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MS. Eng. c. 7385, fols. 1-2].

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MS. Eng. c. 7385

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 6169


Letters of Samuel Palmer to the Redgrave family

Biographical / Historical

Samuel Palmer (1805-81), painter and etcher. Although he started his career as a painter, in his later life Palmer focused on etching, much of it in connection with the Etching Club established by Richard and Samuel Redgrave. He was married in 1837 to Hannah Linnell (1818-93), the daughter of John Linnell (1792-1882), a friend and mentor. The death of the couple's eldest son, Thomas More (1842-61) in 1861 greatly affected Palmer, and precipitated a move from Kensington to near Redstone Wood, first to a cottage in Park Lane, Reigate and then to Furze Hill House, Mead Vale, where he stayed until his death. Although it is not mentioned in his biography, the letters imply that in the late 1870s Samuel Palmer looked after Annie May Redgrave (b. 1876), granddaughter of Richard Redgrave. For more information see the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Bought, Nicholas Lott of Larkhill Fine Art Ltd, Apr. 2007, with the help of the Friends of the Bodleian, Friends of the National Libraries, the V&A Purchase Grant Fund.

Letters of Samuel Palmer to the Redgrave family
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