Articles, notes, and fragments in Thomas Carlyle’s autograph. Edit


Component Unique Identifier
Level of Description


  • 1767, 1832-[?1871], undated. (Creation)


  • 81 Leaves (Whole)



  • Conditions Governing Access

    Normal access conditions apply.

  • Conditions Governing Use

    Normal reproduction conditions apply, subject to any copyright restrictions.

  • Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Bought, 1932-1935.

  • Arrangement

    81 folios.

  • Scope and Contents

    The contents are as follows.

    (i) Article on "A narrative of a nine months’ residence in New Zealand" (London, 1832) by Augustus Earle (folio 1);

    (ii) ‘Gropings about Montrose’, 1839 (folio 4);

    (iii) Remarks on publication of Bulwer Lytton’s Works 1854, and likeness of constitutional government to sawing a plank on which you are sitting, 1855 (folio 5);

    (iv) Remarks on liberty, [?1865] (folio 7);

    (v) Corrected proof of his inaugural address as Lord Rector of Edinburgh University, 1866 (folio 9);

    (vi) Notes on account of the discovery of an ancient skeleton in Ost. Friesland, 1866 (folio 10);

    (vii) Rejected portions of ‘Shooting Niagara’ (published in 1867), partly in another hand than Thomas Carlyle’s (folio 12);

    (viii) Letter of Richard Herne Shepherd to Carlyle, 1868, with lists of Carlyle's unedited and uncollected writings (folio 22);

    (ix) Remarks on Adam Skirving’s ‘Tranent Muir’, and on the painter Archibald Skirving, 1868, accompanying a copy (by John Aitken Carlyle) of the ballad (folio 28);

    (x) Arrangement of Thomas Carlyle's works for the Library Edition, published 1869-1871 (folio 41);

    (xi) List of books of British and other writers, [?1871] (folio 42);

    (xii) A fragment in Carlyle’s hand, and another (part of or related to ‘Past and Present’, for Plugson of Undershot is mentioned) in another hand, undated (folio 45);

    (xiii) ‘National Education’, [?1835] (folio 48);

    (xiv) ‘Difft. modes of taking up Histy.’, perhaps of the early 1850s (folio 51);

    (xv) Remarks on aristocratic genealogies in history, beginning ‘Long rows of so-called Noble-men and Noble-women’, perhaps of the late 1850s or early 1860s (folio 56);

    (xvi) Obituary remarks on George Cron, Edinburgh, probably the translator of the ‘History of Suli and Parga’, undated (folio 58);

    (xvii) Part of a dialogue on the result of ten months’ reading of German history and on the dollar, in which Jefferson Brick takes part, 1843 or later (folio 60);

    (xviii) Remarks on the Scavenger Age and education, undated (folio 63);

    (xix) Fragment of lecture-notes, undated (folio 67);

    (xx) Copies of letters of Richard Davenport, the protector of Rousseau, to David Hume, 1767, all printed, with some differences, in Hill Burton’s ‘Life and correspondence of David Hume’ (Edinburgh, 1846), volume ii, pages 367-371 (folio 68).

    Many of the papers bear explanatory notes by J A S Barrett, Peebles.

  • Custodial History

    The manuscript is formed of various accessions:

    folios 4-44 bought, Sotheby’s, 14 June 1932, lot 189; folios 68-81 bought, Sotheby’s, 14 June 1932 (extracted from the letters in MSS. 1764-1773); folios 48-66 bought, 1934; folios 1-3, 67 bought, 1935.