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Archive of Thomas Brett


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Consists of:

  1. Letters to Thomas Brett, 1685-1744
  2. Letters from Brett to his son Nicholas, 1732-33
  3. Drafts and copies of letters of Brett, 1694-1743, n.d.
  4. Miscellaneous papers, 1705-35
  5. Theological papers of Brett
  6. Account by Brett of the controversy among the nonjurors concerning the 'usages', with papers concerning the attempted concordat of the nonjurors with the Eastern Orthodox Church
  7. Correspondence of Brett, 1710-44
  8. Papers of Brett including liturgical papers and extracts from printed theological works
  9. Miscellaneous notes of Thomas Brett, mainly relating to the clergy and public worship, n.d.


  • Creation: 1685-1744


2.75 Linear metres (25 boxes)

Language of Materials

  • English

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MSS. Eng. th. c. 24, fols. 1-2].

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Full range of shelfmarks:

MSS. Eng. th. c. 24-43, c. 51-4, c. 66

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 8730, 16556, 16557


Papers of Thomas Brett (1667-1744).

Biographical / Historical

Thomas Brett (1667-1744) was a nonjuror and theologian. Details are given in the Dictionary of National Biography.

Custodial History

The bulk of the papers descended from Brett's son, Nicholas, to John Bowdler (1746-1823), Thomas Bowdler (1782-1856) and W.J. Copeland (1804-85). Copeland left them to his nephew W.C. Borlase. They were bought at the sale of his libary (Sotheby's, 21 February 1887, lot 317) by Bull & Auvache, booksellers, who sold them to T.W. Jackson, Fellow of Worcester College, Oxford, in 1888. For a full account of the descent of the papers, see S.L. Ollard, 'The Nonjurors and the authority for their later history', Theology, 2 (1921), 283-90.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The bulk of the papers were bought by the Library in 1916 from Leslie Chaundy, bookseller, of Oxford, with the help of donations from fifteen scholars. The rest of the papers were bought in 1933 from R.J.K. Mott, except for MS. Eng. th. c. 54, which was given to the Library by R.J.K. Mott in 1953.

Related Materials

See also Exercise Books of H.P.K. Skipton (MSS. Eng. th. e. 36-41).


  • The papers were extensively used in Henry Broxap, The later non-jurors (Cambridge, 1924).
Catalogue of the archive of Thomas Brett
Collection Level Description by Emily Tarrant; EAD version 2019 by Pauline Soum-Paris
EAD version 2019
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom