Skip to main content

Lysons family collection

Call Number: OSB MSS 70

Scope and Contents

The Lysons Family Collection consists of material collected by Lindsay Fleming in the course of research for his "Memoir and Select Letters of Samuel Lysons, V.P.R.S., V.P.S.A. 1763-1819" (Oxford, 1934). The papers span the dates 1789-1964, and have been organized into three series: I. Daniel and Samuel Lysons; II. Lysons Family Letters to Lindsay Fleming; III. Other Lindsay Fleming Papers.

Series I, Daniel and Samuel Lysons , is located in Boxes 1-2 and contains letters by and to both Lysons brothers, mostly concerning antiquities and their publications; copies of the correspondence of Samuel Lysons with Hester Lynch Piozzi and of portions of his diary; and other materials concerning his life in the hand of Lindsay Fleming.

Series II,Lysons Family Letters to Lindsay Fleming , is housed in Box 3 and consists of letters from various descendants of Daniel Lysons (1762-1834) to Lindsay Fleming in response to his research inquiries.

Series III,Other Lindsay Fleming Papers , is housed in Box 4 and contains Fleming's research correspondence with other scholars, including Roland Austin, R. W. Chapman, and Wilfred Merton; other research material, including a family tree of Lysons descendants; and auction catalogs related to sales of Lysons property, including the 1948 sale of Daniel Lysons's library.


  • 1789-1964


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The Lysons Family Collection is the physical property of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, consult the appropriate curator.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of James Marshall and Marie-Louise Osborn. For further information, consult the appropriate curator.


1.67 Linear Feet (4 boxes)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


The collection consists of material gathered by Lindsay Fleming in the course of his research on the life and work of Samuel Lysons, and includes correspondence with scholars and Lyson family descendants; transcripts of portions of Lysons's diary and his letters to Hester Thrale Piozzi; the typsecript of Fleming's "Memoirs and Select Letters of Samuel Lysons"; photographs; and letters to and from Daniel and Samuel Lysons. The correspondence of Daniel Lysons mainly concerns his topographical studies; the correspondence of Samuel Lysons documents his antiquarian interests and his work as Keeper of the Records. Correspondents include William Coxe, Sir Thomas Lawrence, Thomas Penrose, and Wilfred Merton.

DANIEL LYSONS, 1762-1834

Daniel Lysons was educated at Bath Grammar School and Oxford, receiving his B.A. in 1782 and his M.A. in 1785. In 1784, having taken orders, he became curate of Mortlake, becoming curate of Putney, Surrey, around 1790. While at Putney, Lysons began his survey of the area around London, in which he was encouraged by Horace Walpole, who appointed him as his chaplain. In 1804 he succeeded to the family living of Rodmarton, where he died in 1834.

Lysons's major work is The Environs of London, being an Historical Account of the Towns, Villages and Hamlets within twelve miles of that Capital (1792-1796). With his brother Samuel, Lysons began Magna Brittania, being a concise Topographical Account of the several Counties of Great Britain (1806-1822), but after the first six volumes, covering the counties from B to D, Samuel died and the project was discontinued. Daniel Lysons also contributed views and illustrations to other works and published several pamphlets on religious and historical subjects.

SAMUEL LYSONS, 1763-1819

Samuel Lysons was educated at Bath Grammar School and the Inner Temple, London. He was called to the bar in 1798, choosing the Oxford Circuit, and practiced law until December 1803, when he was appointed Keeper of the Records of the Tower of London. He was director of the F.S.A. from 1798-1809, elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 1797, and appointed vice-president and treasurer in 1810. He was appointed to the revived office of antiquary professor in the Royal Academy in 1818. Lysons died at Cirenchester in Gloucestershire in June of 1819.

Lysons engraved all 156 plates for Reliquae Britannico-Romanae (1801-1817), as well as the plates for Views and Antiquities of the County of Gloucestershire (1791) and A Collection of Gloucestershire Antiquities (1803). He published several other works, including "An Account of the Remains of a Roman Villa Discovered at Woodchester in the County of Gloucestershire" (1815).

Processing Information

This finding aid was produced from a previously existing card set in the Manuscripts Catalog. All pertinent bibliographic information has been retained.

Guide to the Lysons Family Collection
Under Revision
by Diane J. Ducharme
January 2002
Description rules
Beinecke Manuscript Unit Archival Processing Manual
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository

P. O. Box 208330
New Haven CT 06520-8330 US
(203) 432-2977


121 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06511

Opening Hours

Access Information

The Beinecke Library is open to all Yale University students and faculty, and visiting researchers whose work requires use of its special collections. You will need to bring appropriate photo ID the first time you register. Beinecke is a non-circulating, closed stack library. Paging is done by library staff during business hours. You can request collection material online at least two business days in advance of your visit, using the request links in Archives at Yale. For more information, please see Planning Your Research Visit and consult the Reading Room Policies prior to visiting the library.