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Westcott Papers

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.8316

Scope and Contents

Letters and papers of Brooke Foss Westcott, Bishop of Durham, and also letters of his wife, Sarah Louisa Mary Westcott, and their son, Arthur Westcott. Comprises both personal and professional correspondence, as well as some letters evidently retained as part of a collecton of autographs. Correspondents include: 3rd Marquess of Bute; various landowners in County Durham, including 9th Lord Barnard, 6th Marquess of Londonderry and 2nd Earl of Ravensworth; Arthur Westcott, principally to Sarah Westcott; Foss Westcott, then Bishop of Chota Nagpur and Calcutta [Kolkata]. The correspondence has been calendared to provide short summaries of the contents, including some direct quotation. The catalogue has retained original historic language that may be offensive, inaccurate or inappropriate, particularly in relation to life and the church in India and South Africa from a colonial perspective. In order to reflect the original context of creation, such historic language has not been edited or replaced.

In addition to the correspondence, there is material relating to Arthur Westcott's 'Life of Westcott', two scrapbooks of newspaper cuttings from Indian newspapers, 1888-1903, and a collection of Bishop Westcott's pamphlets.


  • Creation: 1880-1949

Conditions Governing Access

Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (

Biographical / Historical

Brooke Foss Westcott (12 January 1825 – 27 July 1901) was a British bishop, biblical scholar and theologian, serving as Bishop of Durham from 1890 until his death. He is perhaps most known for co-editing The New Testament in the Original Greek in 1881. He was Regius Professor of Divinity at Cambridge University 1870-1890 and a Fellow of Trinity College. Westcott married, in 1852, Sarah Louisa Mary Whithard (ca 1830–1901), daughter of Thomas Middlemore Whithard, of Bristol. Mrs Westcott was for many years deeply interested in foreign missionary work. She became an invalid in her later years, and died on 28 May 1901. They had seven sons and three daughters, including Frederick, who followed his father into the ministry in the Church of England, was headmaster of Sherborne School, Archdeacon of Norwich, and author of multiple books on the Letters of Saint Paul; George, Bishop of Lucknow; and Foss, who became Bishop of Calcutta and Metropolitan of India.


4 archive box(es)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was assembled by William O'Dea in the course of preparing his Cambridge M.Litt. thesis, 'Westcott the theologian' (1977). These letters were owned by Miss A.Margaret Westcott.

Related Materials

Related collections: GBR/0012/MS Add. 8315 contains sermons preached by Brooke Foss Westcott in Peterborough Cathedral, 1878-9, Westminster Abbey, 1884-9, and some as Bishop of Durham, and GBR/0012/MS Add. 8317 contains many other letters to Brooke Foss Westcott. Cambridge University Library holds Bishop Westcott's memoir of Archbishop Benson, MS.Add.7683. A minute book of the Cambridge Philological Society, which was formerly part of this collection, has been placed with the society's other minute books, MSS.Add.7579-7581.

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Script of description
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Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

Cambridge University Library
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Cambridge CB3 9DR United Kingdom