Catalogue of papers of Sir William Henry Gregory, 1811-1918

Bodleian Library, University of Oxford

Matthew Neely


Department of Special Collections
Contact Information
Search Online Catalogues

Table of Contents

A    Major correspondents, 1860-92
B    General correspondence, 1835-91
C    Correspondence as National Gallery trustee, [1868?], 1874-91
D    Correspondence concerning Ceylon, 1872-91
E    Family correspondence and papers, 1811-1918
F    Miscellaneous papers, 1840-90

Papers of Sir William Henry Gregory, 1811-1918

Correspondence of Sir William Henry Gregory (1816-1892) politician; with other miscellaneous Gregory family papers, 1811-1918.

Shelfmarks: Dep. c. 1272-83; d. 970-83; e. 579

Extent: 27 shelfmarks

Biographical History

Sir William Henry Gregory (1816-92) was the son of Robert Gregory and Elizabeth O’Hara of County Galway, Ireland. He was educated at Mr Iver’s School, Buckinghamshire, Harrow School and Christ Church, Oxford. From 1842 to 1847 he served as the Conservative MP for Dublin. Shortly before the loss of his parliamentary seat he inherited his father’s Coole Park estate, County Galway. In 1857 he was forced to sell half of the estate in order to settle gambling debts accrued from his passion for horse racing. In the same year he was returned to Parliament as the Liberal-Conservative MP for County Galway. He formally joined the Liberal Party shortly after the death of the Prime Minister, Lord Palmerston. In 1866 he declined the offer of an Admiralty post in the government of Lord Russell. In 1871 he was appointed Governor-General of Ceylon where in 1875 upon the visit of the Prince of Wales he was knighted. In 1877 he returned to Ireland and resumed the administration of his estate. Gregory was a passionate supporter of the arts and museums, serving as a trustee of the National Gallery from 1867 until his death. Gregory was twice married. His first wife Elizabeth Clay, whom he married in 1872, died in Ceylon in 1873. He married his second wife, (Isabella) Augusta Persee in 1880 with whom he had one son William Robert Gregory. He died in 1890. For a full biography see ODNB.

Scope and Content

The papers comprise: A. Major correspondents, 1860-92; B. General correspondence, 1835-91; C. Correspondence as National Gallery trustee, [1868?], 1874-91; D. Correspondence concerning Ceylon, 1872-91; E. Family correspondence and papers, 1811-1918; F. Miscellaneous papers, 1840-90.


Each series is arranged chronologically.


Deposited by the Naval and Military Club, 14 Mar. 2004

Preferred Form of Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Library [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. Dep. d. 970, items 1-2].

Family names (NCA Rules)

Gregory family of Coole Park

Personal names (NCA Rules)

Gregory | Sir William Henry | 1817-1892 | Knight | MP, Governor of Ceylon

Place names (NCA Rules)

Coole Park | County Galway | Ireland

A   Major correspondents, 1860-92

Shelfmarks: Dep. d. 970-5; e. 579

Sir (Austen) Henry Layard, 1860-80
Shelfmark: Dep. d. 970
Extent: 119 items

Sir (Austen) Henry Layard, 1881-3
Shelfmark: Dep. d. 971
Extent: 105 items

Sir (Austen) Henry Layard, 1884-5
Shelfmark: Dep. d. 972
Extent: 95 items

Sir (Austen) Henry Layard, 1886-8
Shelfmark: Dep. d. 973
Extent: 106 items

Sir (Austen) Henry Layard, 1889-92
Shelfmark: Dep. d. 974
Extent: 85 items

Augusta Dawson, Countess of Dartrey, 1880-4
Shelfmark: Dep. e. 579
Extent: 98 items

Augusta Dawson, Countess of Dartrey, 1885-6
Shelfmark: Dep. d. 975
Extent: 82 items

B   General correspondence, 1835-91

Shelfmarks: Dep. c. 1273-8; d. 981-2

Shelfmark: Dep. c. 1273
Extent: 187 items

Shelfmark: Dep. c. 1274
Extent: 140 items

Shelfmark: Dep. c. 1275
Extent: 159 items

Shelfmark: Dep. c. 1276
Extent: 165 items

Shelfmark: Dep. c. 1277
Extent: 114 items

Shelfmark: Dep. d. 981
Extent: 79 items

Shelfmark: Dep. c. 1278
Extent: 111 items

Shelfmark: Dep. d. 982
Extent: 129 items

C   Correspondence as National Gallery trustee, [1868?], 1874-91

Shelfmarks: Dep. d. 976-7; c. 1272

Correspondence concerning National Gallery affairs, [1868?], 1879-91
Shelfmark: Dep. c. 1272
Extent: 56 items

Correspondence with Charles, 2nd Viscount Hardinge (trustee), 1874-84, n.d.
Shelfmark: Dep. d. 977
Extent: 68 items

Correspondence with the director, Sir Frederic William Burton, 1884, 1887-91
Shelfmark: Dep. d. 976
Extent: 60 items

D   Correspondence concerning Ceylon, 1872-91

Shelfmarks: Dep. c. 1279-82; d. 978-80

Correspondence as Governor-General, 1872-7
Shelfmark: Dep. c. 1282
Extent: 118 items

Scope and Content:


  • (items 1-23) letters received as Governor-General, 1872-7
  • (items 24-118) letters from Sir Richard Morgan, 1872-5

Letters from the Governor-General, Sir Arthur Hamilton-Gordon, 1883-90
Shelfmark: Dep. d. 980
Extent: 107 items

General correspondence concerning Ceylon, Aug. 1877-Dec. 1878
Shelfmark: Dep. d. 979
Extent: 79 items

Correspondence concerning Ceylon, 1879
Shelfmark: Dep. d. 978
Extent: 89 items

Correspondence concerning Ceylon, 1880-3
Shelfmark: Dep. c. 1279
Extent: 134 items

Correspondence concerning Ceylon, 1884-91
Shelfmark: Dep. c. 1280
Extent: 134 items

Correspondence concerning Ceylon, n.d.
Shelfmark: Dep. c. 1281
Extent: 66 items

E   Family correspondence and papers, 1811-1918

Shelfmarks: Dep. d. 983

Family correspondence and papers, 1811-1918
Shelfmark: Dep. d. 983
Extent: 69 items

Scope and Content:


  • (items 1-7) correspondence of his grandfather, William Gregory, 1811-27
  • (item 8) letter from his grandmother, Lady Anne Gregory, [1855]
  • (item 9) letter from his [mother, Elizabeth Gregory?], c.1874
  • (items 10-30) letters from his cousin and land agent, H. Charles Gregory, 1879-83
  • (items 31-4) correspondence with his second wife, Augusta, Lady Gregory, 1879, 1890
  • (items 35-40) miscelleanous correspondence and papers of his second wife, Augusta, Lady Gregory, 1893-1918
  • (items 41-60) letters to his brother-in-law and land agent, Algernon Persee, 1882-6, n.d.
  • (items 61-9) letters from his cousin, Gertrude O'Hara, 1880-88, n.d.

F   Miscellaneous papers, 1840-90

Shelfmarks: Dep. c. 1283

Miscellaneous papers, 1840-90
Shelfmark: Dep. c. 1283
Extent: 63 items

Transformation from XML to HTML by Lawrence Mielniczuk
14 September 2011