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Archive of Sir William Henry Gregory


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The papers comprise: Major correspondents, 1860-92; General correspondence, 1835-1891; Correspondence as National Gallery trustee, [1868?], 1874-1891; Correspondence concerning Ceylon, 1872-1891; Family correspondence and papers, 1811-1918; Miscellaneous papers, 1840-1890.


  • Creation: 1811-1918


2.55 Linear metres (27 shelfmarks)

Language of Materials

  • English

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MS. 5966/1, items 1-2].

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Full range of shelfmarks:

MSS. 5966/1-27 (formerly Dep. c. 1272-83; d. 970-83; e. 579)

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 5966


Correspondence of Sir William Henry Gregory (1816-1892) politician; with other miscellaneous Gregory family papers, 1811-1918.

Biographical / Historical

Sir William Henry Gregory (1816-1892) was the son of Robert Gregory and Elizabeth O’Hara of County Galway, Ireland. He was educated at Mr Iver’s School, Buckinghamshire, Harrow School and Christ Church, Oxford. From 1842 to 1847 he served as the Conservative MP for Dublin. Shortly before the loss of his parliamentary seat he inherited his father’s Coole Park estate, County Galway. In 1857 he was forced to sell half of the estate in order to settle gambling debts accrued from his passion for horse racing. In the same year he was returned to Parliament as the Liberal-Conservative MP for County Galway. He formally joined the Liberal Party shortly after the death of the Prime Minister, Lord Palmerston. In 1866 he declined the offer of an Admiralty post in the government of Lord Russell. In 1871 he was appointed Governor-General of Ceylon where in 1875 upon the visit of the Prince of Wales he was knighted. In 1877 he returned to Ireland and resumed the administration of his estate. Gregory was a passionate supporter of the arts and museums, serving as a trustee of the National Gallery from 1867 until his death. Gregory was twice married. His first wife Elizabeth Clay, whom he married in 1872, died in Ceylon in 1873. He married his second wife, (Isabella) Augusta Persee in 1880 with whom he had one son William Robert Gregory. He died in 1890. For a full biography see ODNB.


Each series is arranged chronologically.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

First deposited by the Naval and Military Club, 14 Mar. 2004. Donated by the executors of Major Richard Graham Gregory, MBE, 23 March 2018.

Catalogue of the archive of Sir William Henry Gregory, 1811-1918
Finding aid prepared by Matthew Neely
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom