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Papers of William Beckford, 1787-1811


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The papers consist of correspondence, a commonplace book and an agreement for the purchase by Beckford of a house in Lisbon. The papers relate to Beckford's affairs in Jamaica and Portugal.


  • 1787-1811


5 shelfmarks

Language of Materials

English and Portuguese

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MSS. Eng. lett. c. 499].
Please see our help page for further guidance on citing archives and manuscripts.

Full range of shelfmarks:

MSS. Eng. lett. c. 499-501; Eng. misc. e. 1236; Portuguese c. 1

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 12785

Biographical / Historical

William Beckford (1760-1844) was the author of the oriental tale Vathek and of several volumes of travel writings, the builder of Fonthill Abbey, and an important collector of paintings, objets d'art and books. Details are given in the Dictionary of National Biography.

Other Finding Aids

A full description is available in the Library.

Custodial History

The papers were bought by Boyd Alexander in 1968 and 1975, except for MS. Eng. lett. c. 501, which was bequeathed by Charles Robin Hollway to Gerald Wellesley in 1921.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The papers were bequeathed to the Library by Boyd Alexander, 1980.

Related Materials

See also:
  1. Papers of William Beckford (1760-1844) are MSS. Beckford a. 1-4, b. 1-8, c. 1-89, d. 1-29, e. 1-5, f. 1-5, g. 1-2.
  2. Papers of Boyd Alexander relating to William Beckford are MSS. Eng. lett. c. 687-95; Eng. misc. c. 888-93, d. 1288-98, e. 1446-58, f. 857-8; Facs. d. 291; Film 1766; Photogr. c. 5, d. 2; Top. gen. a. 23, fols. 1-2.
  3. Papers of John Hodgkin are MSS. Eng. misc. c. 146-8, d. 218-25, e. 198, f. 59-61; Lat. misc. d. 55-62, e. 84; Eng. lett. c. 11, d. 36.
Papers of William Beckford, 1787-1811
Emily Tarrant
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom