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Papers of Anthony Wood (1632-95)

Anthony Wood, the great 17th century historian and antiquarian, had no official links with University College. However, he was a friend of Arthur Charlett (Master of the College in 1692-1722), and he made Charlett one of his executors when he died in 1695.

In a letter dated 1 December 1695 (Printed in A. Clark, The Life and Times of Anthony Wood, Vol III (Oxford Historical Society, Volume 26, 1894), pp.497-499), Charlett wrote "His more private Papers he has ordered not to be opened these seaven years, and has placed them in ye custody of Mr Bisse and Mr Tanner, of whose Care I am told he makes me overseer". Charlett gave most of Wood's papers to the Bodleian, but he retained a few papers, which eventually found their way into the College Archives, where William Smith included some of them in his list of the archives. Charlett probably did not pass them on to the Bodleian because he thought that their contents, some of which are somewhat derogatory of people then still alive, should not be made public (for example, it is understandable that Charlett preferred to keep back the ill-tempered correspondence between Wood and the translator of the Athenae Oxonienses - see UC:P2/C1).
    Some of the letters have parts underlined in red crayon. It is not clear who did this, although it is not impossible that Wood did it himself, to indicate the start of potentially interesting sections.

Catalogued in March 1994.

The collection is divided into the following series:

UC:P2/C1  Letters between Anthony Wood and Richard Peers
UC:P2/C2  Letters to Anthony Wood from William Joyner
UC:P2/C3  Letters to Anthony Wood from Sir Peter Pett
UC:P2/C4  Letters to Anthony Wood from miscellaneous correspondents
UC:P2/L1  Documents concerning a libel case with Lord Clarendon, 1692
UC:P2/MS1  Biographical Notes made by Anthony Wood and others
UC:P2/MS2  Notebooks of Anthony Wood

A pdf version of the complete catalogue may be found here.