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Widdrington : letters and orations.

 Management Group
Reference Code: GBR/0273/WIDDRINGTON

Scope and Contents

pp. 1-76 from front and 1-25 from back. Many blanks between.
1-9: Oratio panegyrica habita in Aula St Joh. Cantab. Die initiationis Regis Jacobi.
Presumably 1684, though the account in Cooper’s Annals, iii. 606 does not indicate a university-wide event in St John’s hall.
10-20: Oratio in Inauguratione Augustissimi Regis Caroli. [May 1660]
21-6: Gloriosior Jupiter fulmine quam Imbre Aureo. 1669
27-9: untitled and undated address to the U. Possibly soliciting votes for the oratorship, in which case, 1650.
4 leaves excised.
37 ff: Letters by Ralph Widdrington, as University orator:
37-38: to Humphrey Henchman, Bishop of London, 3 kal. Aug. (30 July) 1663;
38-39: to Gilbert Sheldon, Abp of Canterbury, concerning the restitution of Lambeth library, 3 kal. Nov. (30 Oct.) 1663;
39-40: to Richard Sterne, Archbishop of York, on his promotion to York, 3 kal. Jul. (29 June) 1664;
41: to Tobias Rustat, benefactor to the University Library, July 1666;
42: to William Cavendish, Marquess of Newcastle, for the gift of his ‘La methode et inuention nouuelle de dresser les cheuaux’ (1658), 9 kal. Feb. (24 Jan.) 1663;
43-4: to Margaret Cavendish, Marchioness of Newcastle, on the gift of one or more of her works, 5 id. Jul. (11 July) 1665; [According to Sayle’s Annals she presented her Philosophical and physical opinions (1663) on 11 July in that year and her Works, on 11 October 1668, so the year given here as 1665 is an error for 1663. This is confirmed by the related MSS.]
44-5: to General George Monck on his return from Scotland, postridie Id. Jan. (2 January) 1659/60;
45-6: to Edward Hyde, 1st Earl of Clarendon, Lord Chancellor, on printing privileges, with reference to dispute with the Stationers' Company, ?14 Jan. 1664/5;
46-7: to Edward Montagu. Earl of Manchester ‘in causa Tho: Fuller Sydneiani’. . [Thomas Fuller of Sidney, the royalist divine and historian, d. 1661. There were several occasions in his life when his freedom and livelihood were threatened.] Pridie Nonas Maias (6 May) 1667, probably for 1657.
47-8: to Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle, on the publication of her Philosophical Letters, 3 Non. Maij (5 May) 1665;
49: to Richard Sterne, Archbishop of York, concerning Richard Holdsworth’s library, prid. Id. Januar. (13 Jan.) 1664/5;
50-51: to Humphrey Henchman, Bishop of London, concerning Richard Holdsworth’s library, prid. Id. Jan. 64 (13 Jan. 1664/5);
51: to Sir Thomas Hussey, Bart., on a new edition of Angelin Gazet, ‘Pia hilaria’ (1657), Wing 425
51-2: to Sir Orlando Bridgeman on becoming Lord Keeper of the Great Seal, 13 Kal. Oct. (19 Sept.) 1667;
52-3: to Sir Thomas Widdrington, his brother. A new year’s letter (private) on the subject of ill-health,
prid. kal. Jan. 1657 (31 Dec. 1657);
53-4: to Charles II on his restoration, 5 kal. Jun. (28 May) 1660;
54-5: to Tobias Rustat on his benefaction to the University Library, 7 kal. Jun. (26 May) 1667;
55-7 and 57-8: to the Duchess of Newcastle (in English and then in Latin) on the gift of her ‘Life of William Cavendish’, 14 kal. Jan. 1667 (19 Dec. 1667);
58-9: to Edward Montagu, 2nd Earl of Manchester, on his restitution as Chancellor of the university,
Pridie kal. Junias (31 May) 1660;
59-60: to John Allen on his presentation of Waldensian books to the library, 10 kal. Jan. 1668/9
(23 Dec. 1668);
60-62: to Gilbert Sheldon, Archbishop of Canterbury, on his (initial) gift of £1000 towards building a theatre at Oxford, 3 Kal. Aug. (30 July) 1664;
62-3: to Prince Rupert, Duke of Cumberland, on his request for a mandate D.D. for his chaplain, John Butler, 3 Idus Januar. 1668 (11 Jan. 1669);
63-4: to Johannes Hevelius on the gift of his ‘Selenographia’ [according to UL donated in 1650],
16 kal. Jan. 1665 (17 Dec. 1665). [CUL MS 4447 gives the year as 1650, which is surely correct, though CUL 6868 shares the mistaken date of 1665 suggesting a common source.]
65-6: to Ralph Brownrigg, Bishop of Exeter, on the execution of Charles I, prid. Non. Feb. 1648 (4 Feb. 1649);
66-7: to William Cavendish , Duke of Newcastle, on the gift of his work on horsemanship, 3 Idus Martias 1667/8 (10 Mar. 1668);
68-9: to Sir William Morice, Secretary of State, in response to a royal mandate for a D.D. for Robert Tatnall, demurring on the grounds of his not being in holy orders, 4to Idus Julias (12 July) 1668;
69-70: to Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle, on the presentation of her Works, 5 Idus Oct. (11 Oct.) 1668;
70-72: to Johannes Hevelius on the gift of his ‘Cometographia’ [presumably his Prodromus Cometicus, of 1665-68, 3io Kalendas Martias (27 Feb.) 1668;
72-73: to Edward Montagu, Earl of Manchester, resisting a royal mandate for Christopher Barker to fill the vacant (or soon to be vacant) office of Esquire Bedell, 7 Idus April (7 Apr.) 1669;
73-74: to Prince Rupert, Duke of Cumberland, on the same subject, same date;
74-75: to Edward Montagu, Earl of Manchester, on the disputed election to the bedellship, prid. Idus Maias (14 May) 1669;
75-76: to William Cavendish, Duke of Newcastle, in general praise of him?, prid. Id. Mar. (14 March) 1669.
From the back (in a different hand)
1-18: Rules to be observed in writing epistles. ‘W. L.’
(Possibly William Lister, admitted. pensioner (age 17) at Sidney Sussex, 28 June, 1634.
3rd son of Sir John, Knt. M.P. for Hull, 1654-5, 1656-8.
Recorder of Hull, in 1665.)
Examples dated: to his father, from Hull. 10 Aug. 1666 (pp. 13-14); and again, this time in Latin, from Hull, 10 Aug. 1663,
19-25: Epitome of Lucius Annaeus Florus, De gestis Romanorum, book 1. Heading only for Bk 2, cap. 1.


  • Creation: 1650 - 1684

Biographical / Historical

Widdrington was admitted as a pensioner (age 17) at Christ's College, 25 Jun., 1632. S. of Lewis. B. at Cheesebourne Grange, Stamfordham, Northumberland. School, Morpeth [Northumberland] (Mr Oxley). Matric. 1632; B.A. 1635/6; M.A. 1639; D.D. 1661 (Lit. Reg.). Fellow (probably), 1639-88. Public Orator, 1650-73. Regius Professor of Greek, 1654-60. Lady Margaret Professor, 1673-88. Author, poetical. Died 10 Jun., 1688. Will dated Mar., 1687/8; proved (P.C.C.) 2 Aug., 1689. Benefactor to the College, but much litigation ensued before the College came into possession of its inheritance. (Venn; Peile I. 421; Vis. of London, 1634 ; D.N.B.) Similar volumes to this are to be found at CUL 4447 and 6868, from which some corrections of dating have been made. Very few of the letters appear in the official register of letters from the University, Cambridge University Archives, Lett.2.


1 volume(s) : Paper

Language of Materials


Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

1-9 (8), lacking 1(1), 3(2-4), 7(8) and 9(8). 156 x 100 mm. Binding: calf; blind double fillet at outer edges of boards and on spine.

Former / Other Reference

MS 458

Immediate Source of Acquisition


Date information

DateText: Presumably compiled in, or shortly after, 1684. The comparable compilations, CUL Add. MSS 4447 and 6868 have material up to 1671, and 6868 has a copy of the King's letter replacing Buckingham as Chancellor with Monmouth, 11 July 1674..


Widdrington, Ralph

2014-05-28 12:43:45+00:00
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Peterhouse (Ward) Library Repository

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