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Letters and papers relating to Archibald Bower

 Single Item
MS. Add. C. 49
Held at the Weston Library

  • Request

Letters and papers relating to Archibald Bower, a Scotchman who became a Jesuit in Italy and subsequently lived a dubious life as a professing Protestant in England. He wrote a History of the Popes among other works, and died in 1766. There was a considerable controversy in 1748-61 about Bower's veracity and honesty, in the course of which many of the papers in this volume were printed, some in facsimile. A list of the papers as presented to the Bodleian is on fol. 1.

  1. (fol. 2). Seven letters (two addressed to 'Mr. Elliott Brown' at Weston in Warwickshire) all but one signed 'A. B' (1746-1747), which are believed to have been written by Bower to Father Sheldon, provincial of the Jesuits in England. The first letter is imperfect.
  2. (fol. 13). Nine receipts for instalments of an annuity, undoubtedly written and signed by Bower, 1742-1747, showing that he received the money from (father) Charles Shirburne and (in 1746) from father Sheldon, with two other documents, one an order from John Hill to a banker to pay the money to Bower, Mar. 24, 1746/1.
  3. (fol. 23). Eleven attestations, in Italian and English, relating to Bower, 1756-8.
  4. (fol. 40). Miscellaneous letters, including one from Sir Henry Bedingfield, presenting the papers to the Bodleian, Feb. 16, 1758, four from bp. John Douglas, 1758-1759, one from Austin P. Goddard, March 17, 1758, and one in Italian of July 1, 1793, with almost illegible signature and concerned with private affairs, not in any way with Bower.


  • Creation: written chiefly in 1742-1759


69 Leaves

Language of Materials

  • English
  • Italian

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MS. Add. C. 49, fols. 1-2]

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MS. Add. C. 49

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 18491


Letters and papers relating to Archibald Bower, written chiefly in 1742-1759.

Biographical / Historical

Archibald Bower (c.1686–1766) was a religious controversialist and historical writer.

Other Finding Aids

Falconer Madan, et al., A summary catalogue of western manuscripts in the Bodleian Library at Oxford which have not hitherto been catalogued in the Quarto series (7 vols. in 8 [vol. II in 2 parts], Oxford, 1895-1953; reprinted, with corrections in vols. I and VII, Munich, 1980), vol. V, no. 27867.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The bulk of these papers was presented by sir H. Bedingfield through bp. Douglas in 1758.

Physical Facet

On paper


11 5/8 × 8 5/8 in.

Letters and papers relating to Archibald Bower
EAD version 2020 by Pauline Soum-Paris
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom