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Gibbon family papers
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Special Collections M0348 consists of letters, household bills and accounts, and legal documents related to the Gibbon Family. The three autograph letters by Edward Gibbon are addressed to Mrs. Holroyd, the first Lady Sheffield, at Brighthelmstone. The first concerns his father's fatal illness, 1770. The other two are light in tone, as he jokes about the dilatory nature of her dressmaker and his bookbinder (Madame de Sevigné... is now in Hall's hands from which books do not easily escape) and sends her news of mutual friends, 1775. The collection also includes letters to Lord Sheffield by Jean David Levade, a professor of moral theology at the Séminaire de Lausanne, announcing the death of one of Gibbon's closest friends, Mme. Catherine Charrière de Sévery, 1796; by W. Charrière de Severy, her son, one concerning Gibbon's legacy to him, 1796-1820; and G. H. de Seigneux, 1820. There are two letters by Hester Gibbon, Edward Gibbon's aunt, one of which refers to her nephew, the historian, 1786. There is also a letter from Francis North, later second Earl of Guilford, to his sister Anne, later Countess of Sheffield and third wife of John Baker Holroyd, in which he gives an irreverent description of Gibbon at a party in Lausanne, 1791. The collection also contains a memorandum of an agreement, signed, between Lord Sheffield and John Murray, for publication of Gibbon's Miscellaneous Works.
Edward Gibbon was born in Putney, 27 April 1737. His mother died in 1747, and his father, Edward Gibbon (1707-1770), retired from a political career to live at Buriton, near Petersfield, in Hampshire. Gibbon entered Magdalen College, Oxford, in 1752, but left in 1753 without taking a degree. He spent the next five years living in Lausanne, Switzerland and returned to England in 1758, when his father married his second wife, Dorothea Gibbon, (née Patton).
3 Linear Feet [2 manuscript boxes, 3 flat boxes]
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Open for research. Note that material must be requested at least 36 hours in advance of intended use.