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Bridges's Northamptonshire Collections


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Collections of John Bridges relating to Northamptonshire. Most of his collections are neatly written and carefully indexed.


  • Creation: 1570-1723


5.61 Linear metres (51 shelfmarks)

Language of Materials

  • Latin
  • English

Preferred Citation

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

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

Full range of shelfmarks:

MSS. Top. Northants. c. 1-39, e. 1-8, f. 1-5

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 12816


John Bridges's Northamptonshire Collections

Biographical / Historical

Dr John Bridges was born in 1666 at Barton Seagrave in Northamptonshire, and was brought up as a lawyer at Lincoln's Inn. From 1718 until his death on 16 March 1724 he was an ardent collector of materials for the history of his native county, not only himself taking notes throughout the county but also employing agents to do the same and to make copies from original records and manuscript collections lent by friends. Further details are given in the Dictionary of National Biography.


The collection was kept separate under Bridges' name until about 1885, when it was merged in MSS. Top. Northants: a full descriptive list of the collection was made in about 1875.

The marks in brackets are the older references of the volumes in the series of 'Bridges' Northamptonshire MSS'.

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. III, nos. 16618-16669.

Custodial History

The collections devolved to Dr Bridges's heirs, and were at different times in the hands of a Mr Gibbons, a law bookseller in London, Dr Samuel Jebb (who edited from them a small part of a history of the county, in about 1735), William Cartwright of Aynho, and the Rev. Peter Whalley. Under the editorship of the latter a first volume and part of a second were published in 1762-9, and at last a complete history in two folio volumes, The history and antiquities of Northamptonshire (Oxford, 1791).

Immediate Source of Acquisition

In 1795 and 1796 37 folios, 8 quartos and one octavo volume were received as a donation from Dr Nathaniel Bridges, and the few remaining volumes were probably soon after added.

Bridges's Northamptonshire Collections
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