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Letters to John Ives

Call Number: LWL MSS 4
Scope and Contents

Series I contains thirty-nine letters written to the British antiquary John Ives, dating from 1771 to 1779, which reveal the close-knit world of antiquarians in England in the last quarter of the eighteenth century. The correspondents include John Charles Brooke (2 letters), William Boys (1), John Bowle (1), Richard Bull (1), John Darby (1), Andrew C. Ducarel (6), William Gostling (1), Richard Gough (1), John Granger (6), James Hammond (2), Edward Jacob (1), Augustine Mann (1), Benjamin Pouncy (1), George Sandby (1), Joseph Strutt (1), Edward Thomas (1), Richard Turner (1), and John White (10). Series II holds one letter from Ives to Charles Ellis, and Series III has notes by Ives and the paper wrapper that formerly held the letters.

Ives's correspondents comment on each other's publications, buy and trade coins and seals, talk about shops and dealers in the trade, discuss other collectors and scholars engaged in similar research, mention recent discoveries of antiquities, and speculate on the dispersal of the collections of recently deceased collectors James West and Thomas Martin. They also discuss specific historical sites especially in the areas of--but not limited to--Kent, Suffolk, and Yarmouth, including a Roman Tower near Maidstone, Canterbury, and Monk Bretton Priory.

Several of the letters cover the details of negotiating with engravers and printers Turner and Pouncey, as well as William Norris, to produce accurate reproductions of the antiquities in their collections or for use in their publications. Augustine Mann writes of the history of the Cinque Ports and the Dover Straits. Hammond and Mann discuss searching the monastic archives at Nieuwport in Flanders.

All the letters are autograph and are signed by the writers. Many of the letters were annotated by Ives to indicate the date that he responded and the gist of his response.

Language of Materials

In English.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The Letters to John Ives is the physical property of the Lewis Walpole Library, Yale University. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, consult the W. S. Lewis Librarian/Executive Director.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased from Maggs Bros.Ltd., December 2008.


Organized into three series: I. Letters to John Ives, 1771-1779. II. Letter from John Ives, 1771. III. Other Papers, undated.

1771 - 1779
0.21 Linear Feet (1 box)
Related Names
Ives, John, 1751-1776
Language of Materials