Skip to main content

Dodsworth Manuscripts


  • How to

Dodsworth's manuscripts, including transcripts, extracts and notes relating to Yorkshire and monastic houses, and pedigrees, mainly of Yorkshire families.


  • Creation: 12th-17th century


10.12 Linear metres (92 boxes)

Language of Materials

  • Latin
  • English
  • French

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MSS. Dodsworth 1].

Please see our help page for further guidance on citing archives and manuscripts.

Full range of shelfmarks:

MSS. Dodsworth 1-76, 78-115, 115*, 116-20, 120B, 121-161

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 12904


Dodsworth Manuscripts

Biographical / Historical

Roger Dodsworth was born in 1585 and died in 1654. At an early age he began collecting Yorkshire church notes and pedigrees, and by 1618 he had begun what eventually became the most monumental collection of antiquarian material bequeathed to us by the 17th century. Dodsworth spent twenty laborious years on Yorkshire antiquities, but the work naturally led him into many other counties, and after 1638 his interests, although still mainly genealogical and topographical, embraced most of England.

In 1635 he had met Dugdale, and the two had decided to collaborate in a Monasticon Anglicanum, for which Dodsworth had already made extensive collections. These were supplemented by Dugdale chiefly from the Cottonian library and some of the public records. The work was ready for the press in 1650, but the first volume was not actually published until 1655, after Dodsworth's death, and the second in 1661. For the relative shares of Dodsworth and 'that grand plagiary' in this undertaking, see 'Roger Dodsworth and his Circle' by N. Denholm-Young and H.H.E. Craster in the Yorkshire Archaeological Journal, vol. xxxii (1934), pp. 5-32. In his later years, apart from the Monasticon, Dodsworth was also gathering material for a history of Yorkshire and for a Baronage. Further details are given in the Dictionary of National Biography.


The press-mark given in round brackets in custodial history after the catalogue number in the case of all Dodsworth MSS. is the one employed by Dodsworth to designate his collections. A list of Dodsworth's press-marks in their order is given in Joseph Hunter's Three Catalogues, pp. 79-82.]

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. II, nos. 4143-5101.

Custodial History

Of the material recieved in 1673, many had so suffered from damp in transit that it took Anthony à Wood a month to dry them on the leads of the Muniment room in the School Tower.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

When Dodsworth died his manuscripts passed into the hands of his patron, the third Lord Fairfax, who left them to the Bodleian with his own manuscripts in 1673. Some, however, were not received until 1683-1684.

Dodsworth Manuscripts
Collection Level Description by Emily Tarrant; EAD version 2020 by Alice Whichelow
EAD version 2020
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom