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Tomline: the papers of George Pretyman Tomline

Reference Code: GBR/1058/TOM

Scope and Contents

The collection primarily consists of drafts and notebooks created during the preparation of Tomline's biography of his friend William Pitt the Younger: 'Memoirs of the life of the Right Honorable William Pitt' by George Tomline, first published in 1821. There are also 2 small sets of correspondence (GBR/1058/TOM/10).


  • Creation: 1753 - 1827


Biographical / Historical

George Pretyman was born in 1750 in Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, the eldest son of George Pretyman and Susan Hubbard. Pretyman was educated at Bury St. Edmunds Grammar School and matriculated at Pembroke College in 1768. He took the Mathematics tripos in 1772 and was Senior Wrangler, also receiving the 1st Smith's Prize. He was awarded his BA in 1772 and his MA in 1775 having been elected to a Fellowship at Pembroke in 1773.

When William Pitt the Younger came up as an undergraduate to Pembroke at the age of 14 in 1773, Pretyman became his Tutor and friend, a relationship that would last a lifetime. Pitt's appointment as Prime Minister in December 1783 brought Pretyman to London as Pitt's private secretary in all but name. In 1787 Pretyman became Bishop of Lincoln, a post he held until 1820 when he was nominated Bishop of Winchester. He tended Pitt on his deathbed and undertook to produce a biography of Pitt.

Pretyman married Elizabeth (d. 1826), eldest daughter of Thomas Maltby of Germains, Buckinghamshire in 1784; they had three sons. In 1803 Pretyman inherited an estate in Riby, Lincolnshire from Marmaduke Tomline; Pretyman took the name Tomline from this point. Pretyman Tomline died at Kingston Hall, near Wimborne, Dorset, on 14 November 1827 and was buried in Winchester Cathedral on 28 November.


0.083 cubic metre(s)

Language of Materials


Related Materials

The College also holds a collection of material relating to William Pitt the Younger, see GBR/1058/PIT. 'Memoirs of the life of the Right Honorable William Pitt' by George Tomline, 1821, is available in the College Library, classmark 6.24.30-32. Please contact the Librarian for access.

Related Materials

Material relating to a proposed fourth volume of Tomline's biography of Pitt is held at the British Library, reference Add Ms 45107-45108.

Ben Wormald
August 2023
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Pembroke College Library Repository

Pembroke College
Cambridge CB2 1RF United Kingdom
+44 (0)1223 764151