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Additional Wilberforce papers


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Comprises papers of William Wilberforce, 1771-1833, and correspondence of Robert Isaac Wilberforce, 1821-1856.


  • Creation: 1771-1872


5.06 Linear metres (46 physical shelfmarks)

Language of Materials

  • English

Preferred Citation

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

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Full range of shelfmarks:

MSS. Don. e. 164-165; Wilberforce b. 2, c. 33-67, d. 54-56, e. 24

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 15205, 15354


Additional Wilberforce family papers, comprising diaries and correspondence of William Wilberforce and correspondence of his second son Robert Isaac.

Biographical / Historical

William Wilberforce (1759-1833), politician, philanthropist and slavery abolitionist, was born at the Wilberforce house in Hull. William Wilberforce was the third child and only son of Robert Wilberforce (1728-1768), and his wife, Elizabeth (d. 1798). Robert Isaac Wilberforce (1802-1857) was the fourth child and second son of William Wilberforce and his wife, Barbara Ann (1777-1847).

Custodial History

These papers descended through the families of Robert Isaac Wilberforce and his younger brother Henry William, and was brought together by the late C.E. Wrangham of Rosemary House, Catterick, Yorks. To these papers which had descended to him from his father, Mr. Wrangham added others recorded in the 1960s as being in the possession of Mrs. Irene Wilberforce and Mrs. Judith Sandwith.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The entire collection was bought from the Wrangham family in 1988, with the help of the National Heritage Memorial Fund, the Radcliffe Trust, the Pilgrim Trust, the Friends of the Bodleian, the Friends of the National Libraries, Manor Trustees and Hymns Ancient and Modern.

MSS. Don. e. 164 and e. 165 (William Wilberforce diary, 1783-6, and the Canvass book for the Yorkshire election of 1784) were bought from Mrs. Monica Makra and given by the Friends of the Bodleian in June 1988.

Related Materials

The Library also owns those papers of William Wilberforce which had descended through his third son Samuel (MSS. Wilberforce c. 1-4, c. 30, d. 9, d. 13-17, f. 5) and were bought from the executors of Dr. Octavia Wilberforce in 1965 and 1966. A catalogue of those papers was duplicated and circulated by the National Register of Archives as 'Catalogue of Wilberforce Family Papers' in 1970. Where appropriate, reference is made to it (as the 1970 Catalogue) in the description which follows. The conspectus of shelf-marks includes the earlier acquisition.

Catalogue of additional Wilberforce papers, 1779-1872
Sarah Stockwell
Language of description
Script of description
Cataloguing was made possible by the generous support of the Friends of the Bodleian and The Arthur Andersen & Co. Foundation. Conversion to EAD supported by the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom