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Dugdale Manuscripts


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Dugdale's manuscripts, including historical and genealogical notes and extracts partly relating to Warwickshire. The manuscripts include Latin, English, French, Anglo-Norman and Old English.

The dates attached to many of Dugdale's transcripts run between 1630 and 1678, but this does not represent the dates when the present volumes were made. It is clear that most of them are fair copies, and the dates can be deduced from the title-pages when he describes himself as Rouge Croix (which he became in March 1639) or as Norroy (after May 1660).


  • Creation: 15th-17th century


5.50 Linear metres (50 boxes)

Language of Materials

  • Latin
  • English
  • French
  • Romance languages
  • English, Old (ca.450-1100)

Latin, English, French, Anglo-Norman, and Old English

Preferred Citation

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

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

Full range of shelfmarks:

MSS. Dugdale 1-49

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 12915


Dugdale Manuscripts

Biographical / Historical

William Dugdale, a Warwickshire man born in 1605, began his literary work about 1625 as a local antiquary, although his History of Warwickshire was not published until 1656. His career in the dignified and leisured Office of Arms (Blanch Lyon 1638, Rouge Croix 1639, Norroy 1660) allowed him to undertake a series of literary projects, the scale of which would have staggered a less rapid and indefatigable worker. Further details are given in the Dictionary of National Biography.

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. 6491-6536, vol. V, nos. 25275.

Our best descriptions for medieval items in this collection are in Medieval Manuscripts in Oxford Libraries under MSS. Dugdale.

Custodial History

The manuscripts were bequeathed by Dugdale to the Ashmolean, where they arrived on 29 June 1686.

MS. Dugdale 35 (6523**) has been missing since at least 1890. The O.C. description runs 'An account of the charges of the Warrs against France and Scotland from the 36. of Hen. VIII to the 4. of Ed. VI. and of the suppression of the Rebellions in Norfolk, Devon, and Cornwall, the 3. of Edw. VI'.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The manuscripts were acquired by the Bodleian on 9 February 2018. MS. Dugdale 49 was acquired by The Bodleian Library in 1890.

Related Materials

Other Dugdale MSS. (from the Gurney collection) are now MSS. Dugdale 51-2 (bought at Sotheby's, March 30-1, 1936). Some scattered fragments and letters are in the Ashmole collection (see the index to Black's catalogue) and in MSS. Wood letters. See also Hist. MSS. Comm., 6th Rep., App., pp. 448 ff., especially p.453.


  • A catalogue of them was published in 1692 by E[dmund] G[ibson], who also made the list in the Old Catalogue.
Dugdale 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