Bodleian Library logo

Collection Level Description: Ballard Collection

Reference: MSS. Ballard 1-46, 46*, 47-74
Title: Ballard Collection
Dates of Creation: 16th-18th cent.
Extent: 75 shelfmarks

Language of Material: English, Latin, French, and Old English

Administrative/Biographical History

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.

Scope and Content

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 Many of the manuscripts have literary or historical content.

Administrative Information

Immediate Source of Acquisition

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

Further Information

Finding Aids

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.

Access Points


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

Contact Information
Search Online Catalogues

Consulting material: To consult archives and manuscripts, a full and unrestricted Bodleian reader's card (Group A) is required. You should apply for your card at the Admissions Office.

Pre-ordering: Before your visit you may order up to ten items by emailing Please be advised that some collection material is held offsite; we advise pre-ordering at least two working days before your visit to ensure material is available on your arrival.

Transformation from XML to HTML by Lawrence Mielniczuk
09 June 2011