St John's College MS O.78

Correspondence of George Shaw. English, 1840.


'Letters to or from or in some way affecting George Shaw B.A. scholar of Saint John's College Cambridge, commencing February XIV anno salutis nostrae MDCCCXL and ending November VII anno salutis nostrae MDCCCXL.' George Shaw (d. 1845) was admitted to St John's in 1836 and graduated BA in 1840 (junior optime and second class in the Classical Tripos). He served as curate of Fen Drayton, Cambridgeshire, from 1843 and died at Torquay in Jan. 1845.

This volume contains copies of 91 letters, the last of which is dated 16 November 1840. An index of the letters is supplied at the back. The correspondents include Shaw's father (James), mother, uncle (John), aunt, and sister, Ralph Barker (BA Peterhouse 1822), Percival Frost (BA 1839, see ODNB), Sidney Lidderdale Smith (BA 1840), Elizabeth Griffin, William Henry Bateson (BA 1836, see ODNB), James Atlay (BA 1840, see ODNB), G.E. Gillett, Charles John Ellicott (BA 1841, see ODNB), Richard Wilson (BA 1833), Edward Thornton Codd (BA 1839), Francis Llewelyn Lloyd (BA 1840), Alfred Paul Jodrell Mills (BA 1839), Charles Colson (BA 1839), Thomas Clarke, Joseph Buckle, Helen Brown, John Shepherd, Z. Warren, William Scott, Thomas Jackson, and L. Henry Smith. The letters cover Shaw's dissatisfaction with his place in the Classical Tripos and his criticism of the Cambridge system of private tuition (he appears to have been tutored by Richard Wilson), news of elections to fellowships at St John's, his ordination by the Archbishop of York, and his appointment as curate of Cottingham, Yorkshire.

Manuscript extra information

215 x 140mm. 135 folios, mostly written on one side only. Paper. Small neat hand throughout. Nineteenth-century quarter binding of buckram and paper over boards; inscription on upper board reads 'Correspondence Feby 14th – Novr 7th 1840 Volume I'.

Given to the library by Dudley William Ward (1885-1957), fellow of St John's 1909-15, in 1934 (inscription on verso of title page).