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Certificates and testimonials in favour of Professor William Wright (1830-1889), Professor of Arabic at Cambridge University.

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.4498

Scope and Contents

1. Nomination and presentation of Master William Wright to a bursary at the University of St. Andrews, by the trustees of the Madras College, St. Andrews, 31 July 1844.

2-19. Certificates of his attendance at classes in the University of St. Andrews, 23 April 1845-26 April 1849, and (/15-/16) testimonials on his application for a schoolmaster’s post, May 1848.

20-27. Miscellaneous testimonials on his behalf, 17 August 1853-30 September 1857.

28-67. Testimonials and letters in support of his application for the post of Laudian Professor of Arabic in the University of Oxford, 4 February 1861-19 March 1861 [mounted in leather-bound volume].


  • Creation: 1844-1861

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

William Wright was educated at the Madras College in St. Andrews, and at the University of St. Andrews, from which he graduated in 1849. After studying Semitic languages at Halle and Arabic manuscripts at Leiden he returned to Scotland before holding the chairs of Arabic at University College, London (1855-56) and at Trinity College, Dublin (1856-61). He failed to become Professor of Arabic at Oxford in 1861, and in the same year left Dublin to join the British Museum as cataloguer of Syriac manuscripts. In 1870 he was elected Sir Thomas Adams’s Professor of Arabic at Cambridge, occupying the chair until his death in 1889.


50 sheet(s) (27 Letters and 1 bound volume)

Language of Materials


Custodial History

The following items, which are believed to be the only surviving papers of Professor Wright, were acquired by Cambridge University Library in two parts. Covering notes to Add.4498/1-19 describe them as ‘additional testimonials’ and indicate that they were received on the death of Wright’s widow in 1911. The volume in which Add.4498/20-67 are mounted was presumably deposited in the Library during Mrs Wright’s lifetime.

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Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

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