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Aubrey Manuscripts


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Manuscripts of John Aubrey, including:

  1. Papers relating to English antiquities, including 'The Naturall Historie of Wiltshire, 1685'
  2. Copy of Aubrey's 'Brief Lives'
  3. Letters to John Aubrey, 1644-1695


  • Creation: 15th-18th century


2.64 Linear metres (24 boxes)

Language of Materials

  • English

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MSS. Aubrey 1, fols. 1-2].

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

Full range of shelfmarks:

MSS. Aubrey 1-4, 4*, 13, 16-17, 19-21, 23-26, 31

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 12745


Aubrey Manuscripts

Biographical / Historical

John Aubrey (1626-1697) was an antiquary. He matriculated at Trinity College, Oxford, 1642, and was a Student at the Middle Temple, London, 1646. He brought to light megalithic remains at Avebury in 1649. He formed large topographical collections in Wiltshire and Surrey, and left in manuscript much antiquarian and historical material. 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. 6543-6546, 7542, 8073, 8312 and vol. V, nos. 25278-25293.

Custodial History

The manuscripts were presented to the Ashmolean Museum by John Aubrey at various dates. The four MSS. at 6543-6546 were presented in 1688.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The manuscripts were transferred to the Library from the Ashmolean in 1860.

The following item does not appear to have been shelfmarked or retained by the Library:

  1. 6547: 'Hortus siccus, sive collectio plantarum ab ipso Edvardo Morgano facta ordine alphabetico, bis mille circiter Plantarum species exhibens; Vol. tribus, fol.' This collection, given to the Ashmolean by Edward Morgan, is probably identical with MS. Ashmole 1502

Related Materials

See also John Aubrey's 'Monumenta Britannica', (Shelfmarks: MSS. Top. gen. c. 24-25).


  • An account of the manuscripts and their donor is in John Britton, Memoir of John Aubrey (London, 1845).
Aubrey 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