Travel memoirs of Nicholas Lee Torre
Half-page engravings of topographical views bound into two albums and annotated by Nicholas Lee Torre with descriptions of his travels in England and the Channel Islands between 1803 and 1857. The engravings (dated 1840-1851) were previously published by J. & F. Harwood, Rick & Co., W. Leppard and others, and are here arranged by place names in roughly alphabetical order. Torre records (in the 1850s in third person) his first and subsequent visits to the places depicted in the engravings, sometimes with direct references to them. He reflects on changes over time to some of the landscapes and on improvements in transport. He also names people he meets and describes church services he attends. The manuscript records numerous concerts arranged by Torre in 1843 and 1844 for John Braham and his brother Charles Braham, occasionally commenting on attendance and recording takings. Mentioned are also concerts Torre organised for the 'Infant Sappho' (Louisa Vinning), for Samuel Lover, Miss Rollo Dickson, Frederick Phillips and the American minstrel groups Ethiopian Harmonists and Ethiopian Serenaders. Other comments are more personal and include reminiscences about his honeymoon and subsequent family visits to Malvern, his elder daughter's birth in Leamington Spa, his younger daughter's confirmation at Malvern Abbey Church [sic], a visit to the Great Exhibition with his son, and his brother Charles's murder in Demerara in 1818. He recalls sighting Prince Metternich, Field Marshall Bluücher and other European dignitaries at the Radcliffe Camera, Oxford in 1814; sailing around the Isle of Wight in 1819, 1821 and 1843; visiting Valle Crucis Abbey with the Cambrian Archaeological Society in 1854 and one of the first trips on a steamer from London to Ostend in 1829. 78 engravings out of 168 are annotated, with two additional bifolia inserted one in volume 1 and one in volume 2.
1 box (2 volumes)
Language of Materials
Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MS. 15530].
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Collection ID (for staff)
CMD ID 15530
Travel memoirs of Nicholas Lee Torre's trips to various towns and cities in England and the Channel Islands, 1850s.
Biographical / Historical
Nicholas Lee Torre was probably born in 1795 and raised in Beverley, Yorkshire. Educated at Winchester and New College, Oxford, he held a fellowship at the College between 1815 and 1818. He married in 1826 and his two sons attended St John's College, Cambridge. Torre was a Latinist and author of Translations of the Oxford Latin prize poems (1831), Translations of the Oxford and Cambridge Latin prize poems (1833), Cantus Hibernici (1835) and Palaestina (1844). Well known in notable musical circles of the time, he was involved in organising concerts with the tenor John Braham (ca. 1777-1856) and his son Charles, Louisa Vinning, Rollo Dickson and others.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Purchased from Bernard Quaritch, April 2018.
- Catalogue of Nicholas Torre's travel memoirs, 1850s
- Finding aid prepared by Margaret Czepiel
- Language of description
- Script of description