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Rathbone (William) Correspondence
mssHM 80363-80395  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Conditions Governing Use
  • Preferred Citation
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition
  • Biographical / Historical
  • Scope and Contents
  • Processing Information
  • Arrangement

  • Contributing Institution: The Huntington Library
    Title: William Rathbone correspondence
    Creator: Rathbone, William, 1757-1809
    Identifier/Call Number: mssHM 80363-80395
    Physical Description: 2.16 Linear Feet (1 box, 1 volume)
    Date (inclusive): 1760-1809
    Abstract: A collection of the correspondence of William Rathbone, English ship-owner and merchant.
    Language of Material: Materials are in English.

    Conditions Governing Access

    Open for use by qualified researchers and by appointment. Please contact Reader Services at the Huntington Library for more information.

    Conditions Governing Use

    The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item]. William Rathbone correspondence, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Purchased from Dawson's Bookstore, February 1974.

    Biographical / Historical

    William Rathbone IV (1757-1809) was a member of the noted Rathbone family of Liverpool, England. He was the son of William Rathbone III and Rachel Rutter; he was a Liverpool ship-owner and merchant, involved in the organization of American trade with Liverpool. Originally a member of the Society of Friends, he felt compelled to write the "Narrative of Events in Ireland among the Quakers in 1786" in protest against religious intolerance in the Society, which resulted in his being disowned by the Hardshaw monthly Friends meeting at Manchester in 1805. He would never join another religious body, though he occasionally worshiped with local Unitarian congregations. As a committed opponent to slavery, he was a founding member of the Liverpool Committee for the Abolition of the Slave Trade. Rathbone married Hannah Mary Reynolds (1761-1839), they had eight children, four of whom lived to adulthood. Rathbone died on February 11, 1809, and was buried at Liverpool Friends' Burial Ground. Abraham Shackleton was a leading Quaker who ran a Quaker school in Ballitore, County Kildare, Ireland.

    Scope and Contents

    A collection of 33 items from 1760 to 1809, it consists largely of a series of letters written from 1800 to 1807 by William Rathbone to Abraham Shackleton. The letters concern items of general Quaker interest, including Quaker principles and doctrine, and particularly the controversial publication of Rathbone's "A Narrative of Events...in Ireland..." The collection also includes a small number of manuscripts, notes, and one volume.

    Processing Information

    Processed by Gina C Giang, in August 2013. In 2020, Gayle Richardson created the electronic finding aid derived from the earlier finding aid.


    Arranged chronologically.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Bible -- Criticism, interpretation, etc.
    Quakers -- Great Britain -- History -- 18th century
    Quakers -- Great Britain -- History -- 19th century
    Quakers -- Ireland -- History -- 18th century
    Quakers -- Ireland -- History -- 19th century
    Society of Friends -- Doctrines
    Society of Friends -- Great Britain
    Society of Friends -- Ireland
    Society of Friends -- History -- 18th century
    Society of Friends -- History -- 19th century
    Ballitore (Ireland) -- History -- 18th century
    Ballitore (Ireland) -- History -- 19th century
    Ballitore (Ireland) -- Social life and customs
    Great Britain -- History -- 18th century
    Great Britain -- History -- 19th century
    Ireland -- History
    Letters (correspondence) -- Great Britain -- 18th century
    Letters (correspondence) -- Great Britain -- 19th century
    Hancock, John, 1762-1823
    Shackleton, Abraham
    Ballitore School