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Fairfax Manuscripts


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A collection of manuscripts relating to medieval British history and literature. The manuscripts are mainly Latin, but also include some English, Middle English, French, Anglo-Norman, Gaelic and Irish.


  • Creation: 12th-17th century


3.08 Linear metres (28 boxes)

Language of Materials

  • Latin
  • English
  • French
  • Gaelic; Scottish Gaelic
  • English, Middle (1100-1500)
  • Romance languages
  • Irish

Latin, English, French, Gaelic, Middle English, Anglo-Norman, and Irish

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MSS. Fairfax 2].

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

Full range of shelfmarks:

MSS. Fairfax 2-29

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 12948


Fairfax Manuscripts

Biographical / Historical

Thomas Fairfax, 3rd Baron Fairfax (1612-1671) was a general. 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. 3882-3909.

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

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was bequeathed to the Library by Thomas Fairfax in 1671.

MS. Fairfax 1 (SC no. 3881): Under this number the O.C. [Old Catalogue?] alludes to the Dodsworth collection, catalogued as SC nos. 4143-5101. There is thus no MS. Fairfax 1.

Related Materials

The twenty-eight MSS. were in part acquired by his uncle Charles Fairfax, the antiquary. As friend and patron of Roger Dodsworth, General Fairfax acquired that vast storehouse of antiquarian learning which comprises the present Dodsworth collection. This, too, he bequeathed to the Library, and fuller information on the Fairfax family and their collections will therefore be found before MS. Dodsworth 1.

Fairfax 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