George Ballard was born of humble parents at Chipping Campden, in Gloucestershire, in 1706. In spite of constitutionally weak health and apprenticeship to a woman's-habit maker at Campden, he developed a great desire for learning, and picked up at an early age a knowledge both of Old English and numismatics. In this way he attracted attention, and Lord Chedworth with some friends gave him £60 a year with which to live at Oxford. Accordingly we find that he matriculated at Magdalen College on 15 December 1750, being then 44 years of age and holding a clerkship at the college. He also became a bedell of the University. On 24 June 1755, he died from the effects of a too sedentary life. Further details are given in the Dictionary of National Biography.
Ballard's manuscripts, including letters and papers of Dr Arthur Charlett (1655-1722), Master of University College, Oxford, and Thomas Rawlins (1620-1670), medallist and playwright. Many of the manuscripts have literary or historical content.
Ballard bequeathed the collection to the Library. The manuscripts appear to have come to the Library in 1756.Access Conditions
Entry to read in the Library is permitted only on presentation of a valid reader's card (for admissions procedures see http://www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/services/admissions/).
Falconer Madan, et al., A summary catalogue of western manuscripts in the Bodleian Library at Oxford which have not hitherto been catalogued in the Quarto series (7 vols. in 8 [vol. II in 2 parts], Oxford, 1895-1953; reprinted, with corrections in vols. I and VII, Munich, 1980), vol. III, nos. 10787-10858.
Ballard | George | 1705-1755 | Antiquary
Charlett | Arthur | 1655-1722 | Master of University College Oxford
Rawlins | Thomas | 1620-1670 | Medallist and Playwright
University of Oxford | University College
Great Britain | History