Catalogue of verse and plays by John Hoadly, mid-18th cent.

Bodleian Library, University of Oxford

2004; revised 2007

Department of Special Collections
Bodleian Library
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.

Verse and plays by John Hoadly (1711-76), mid-18th cent.

Four volumes containing copies (some holograph) of verse and plays by John Hoadly, mid-18th cent.

Shelfmarks: MSS. Eng. d. 3623-6

Extent: 4 shelfmarks

Biographical History

John Hoadly (1711-76), poet and dramatist, chaplain to Frederick, Prince of Wales, Master of St. Cross, Winchester, 1760-76. See Dictionary of National Biography.

Scope and Content

Verse and plays by Hoadly, with a few poems by others, mainly fair copies, with some holograph copies and alterations. Later pencil notes, mainly in vol. IV, refer to sets of quarto and octavo volumes containing copies of some of the contents, and of other works, in at least twelve volumes (e.g. MSS. Eng. d. 3623, p. 135 '...vol. 3. 4to. ...', d. 3626, fol. 44, '... 9th 8vo Volume of MS. Poetry'). Some of the contents were published in James Dodsley, A collection of poems in six volumes (various editions, late 18th cent). Entries have not yet been added to the card index of Addenda to Margaret Crum, First-line index of English poetry, 1500-1800 : in manuscripts of the Bodleian Library, Oxford (Oxford, 1969). A printed pamphlet by [Benjamin Hoadly], The thoughts of an honest Tory ... (London, 1710) formerly loosely inserted in vol. I, has been tranferred to Rare Books - shelfmark Vet. A4 e. 3616.

Bibliographical References

H. Diack Johnstone, 'John Hoadly (1711-76), clergyman poet and playwright', BLR, 18, no. 6 (Oct. 2005), 654-61

H. Diack Johnstone, 'Four lost plays recovered: The contrast and other dramatic works of John Hoadly (1711-1776)', The Review of English Studies. New Series, 57, no. 231 (2006), 487-506

H. Diack Johnstone, 'New light on John Hoadly and his "Poems set to music by Dr. Greene" ', Studies in Bibliography, 56 (2003-2004) [sic, really 2007], 281-293



Custodial History

Armorial bookplate of John Hoadly. Thomas Thorpe, Catalogue of upwards of fourteen hundred manuscripts (London, 1836), item 1307 (Bodleian shelfmark, 2593 e.81, 1836 vol. (item 6)). Bought by Sir Thomas Phillipps; Phillipps MS. 9406. Sotheby's, 19-22 June 1893 (Phillipps sale), lot 303, bought by J.F. Brown for £2.16s [but unsold? - see next entry]; Sotheby's, 27 Apr.-2 May 1903 (Phillipps sale), lot 930, bought by Dobell for £2. 2s. Owned by Samuel John Hoadly (1859-1944), brass-bedstead manufacturer (ex. inf. Sheila Hoadly Barker); bought by Blackwell's from his granddaughter Sheila Hoadly Barker.


Bought, Blackwell's, Catalogue B144 (Mar. 2004), item 228, with the help of the FOB.

Preferred Form of Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Library [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MS. Eng. d. 3623, pp. 189-90].

Related Material

A volume in the University of Otago Library, New Zealand, shelfmark ZDU: Eb 1737 H, contains printed and manuscript pieces by Hoadly. See Keith Maslen, 'Dr. Hoadly's "Poems set to music by Dr. Greene" ', Studies in Bibliography, 48 (1995), 85-94 and H. Diack Johnstone, 'More on Dr. Hoadly's "Poems set to music by Dr. Greene" ', Studies in Bibliography, 50 (1997), 262-71

Personal names (NCA Rules)

Hoadly | John | 1711-1776 | poet and dramatist

Subjects (LCSH)

Poetry, English -- 18th century

Descriptive List

Vol. I, poems, some with alterations of words or whole lines, 1727-46
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. d. 3623
Extent: vi + 396 pages
Binding: Gilt-ruled sprinkled calf, rebacked

Scope and Content:

Fols. 1-257 in the hand of an amanuensis, possibly Hoadly's wife Elizabeth, much of the remainder in Hoadly's hand. Includes

  • (pp. 1-22) 'Poems written while at School', 1727, n.d.
  • (pp. 23-372) 'Poems on several occasions', some dated, 1729-46, including a few (pp. 51-3, 144-7) noted as set to music by [Maurice] Greene, and including
    • (passim) a few poems by others, including (pp. 157-82) poems to Hoadly on his marriage, 1735-6
    • (fols. 191-2) 'Venus & Adonis, A Cantata. Set to Musick by Mr. K[ellaway]' [Joseph Kelway] (another copy, dated 1734, is in MS. Eng. d. 3626, fols. 100v-101v)
    • (pp. 222-55) Latin verse play 'MUSCIPULA ...', by Edward Holdsworth, of Magdalen College, Oxford, 1709, with (on facing pages) English verse translation by Hoadly, 'KAMBROMYOMAXIA, or The Mouse-Trap', 1737. Separate Latin and English versions first published 1709; Hoadly's translation published in Dodsley, A collection of poems (1758).
    • (pp. 259-73) Latin (and on facing pages) English translation of Horace, book 1, satire 1, 1738
    • (p. 274) a sonnet, dedicated to [Maurice] Greene

With (pp. 375-88) list of contents.

Vol. II, two unpublished plays, in verse, c.1731, n.d.
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. d. 3624
Extent: ii + 182 leaves
Binding: Gilt-ruled sprinkled calf

Scope and Content:


  • (fols. 1-99) 'The Earl of Warwick, An historical play', c.1731, annotated (fol. 1) 'N.B. Written + about 1731 - & afterwards revised &c'
  • (fols. 101-80) 'CROMWELL Earl of Essex', n.d.

Vol. III, two unpublished plays, in prose, c.1730, n.d.
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. d. 3625
Extent: vii + 177 leaves
Binding: Gilt-ruled sprinkled calf

Scope and Content:


  • (fols. ii-vii, 1-118) copy, in Hoadly's hand, of 'The CONTRAST, A Tragi-comical Rehearsal of Two Modern Plays, Match upon Match, or No Match at all; and The Tragedy of Epaminondas: acted at the Theatre Royal in Lincoln-Inn-Fields, 1731' (fol. vii), by John and Benjamin Hoadly
  • (fols. 120-72) 'The Housekeeper', a comedy, n.d.

Vol. IV, 'Poems for Musick', 1737
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. d. 3626
Extent: i + 189 leaves, 138-89 blank
Binding: Gilt-ruled sprinkled calf

Scope and Content:

Fols. 1-75 in the hand of an amanuensis, possibly Hoadly's wife Elizabeth, much of the remainder in Hoadly's hand. Includes a number of pastorals, oratorios and other works (many of them published in contemporary editions), with notes of the composers (mainly Maurice Greene), and of performance

  • (fols. 2-21) 'Love's Revenge; A Dramatic Pastoral, in two Interludes. 1736' (composed by Greene, 1737)
  • (fols. 23-35) 'JEPHTHA, an Oratorio, in two parts', n.d. [published 1737] (composed by Greene, 1739)
  • (fols. 36-43) 'The Judgement of HERCULES. A mask', n.d. (composed by Greene, [1740])
  • (fols. 44-56) 'The FORCE of TRUTH: an Oratorio', n.d. [published 1744] (composed by Greene, 1744)
  • (fols. 57-75) 'PHOEBE, A Pastoral Opera. 1747' (composed by Greene, 1748)
  • (fols. 76-84) 'Love's Artifice, a Mask. Set to Musick by Mr. Stanley' [John Stanley], [ c.1750]
  • (fols. 86-8) 'Ode on the Origin of Musick: (A Fragment,) design'd to be set to Musick by Dr. Greene ... 1730 ... left unfinish'd ...'
  • (fols. 88v-91) 'The song of Moses ... (compos'd for James Harris Esqre. but never set.) 1743'
  • (fols. 91r & v, 92, 92 v-93) Songs, 'for the Stepney Feast', 1734-6 (composed by Greene)
  • (fols. 93v-94) 'Ode of Horace parodied', 1743 (composed by Greene, n.d.)
  • (fols. 94v-95v) 'Ode to St. Cloacine', n.d. (composed by Greene, n.d.)
  • (fols. 96-8) 'Song for the New Year, 1746'
  • (fol. 98) 'Sonnet on Credulity', n.d.
  • (fol. 98v) 'Anacreon. Ode 8. –– 1729. Set to Musick by Dr. Greene', but the page blank except for the pencil note 'See if this be in any of the 8 vo. volumes'.
  • (fols. 99v-102 v) Cantatas
    • (fols. 99v-100 v) Cantata, set by Greene, 1729
    • (fols. 100v-101 v) 'Venus and Adonis', set by Mr. Kellaway [Joseph Kelway], 1734 (another copy is in MS. Eng. d. 3623, pp. 191-2)
    • (fols. 101v-102 v) 'on the Birth Day of ... Mary Duchess of Leeds' (composed by Greene, 1747)
  • (fols. 102v-109) 'THE TROPHY, being Six Cantatas To the Honour of ... William Duke of CUMBERLAND' (composed by Greene, 1746)
  • (fols. 109-24) 'THE CHAPLET, ... Twelve ENGLISH Songs' (composed by Greene, 1738)
  • (fols. 124v, 124 v-125 ) two songs (composed by Greene, n.d.)
  • (fols. 125v-133) eight ballads, five set by Greene, 1730-46, and (fols. 128v-9 v, 130r & v ) anonymous, 1743, n.d., (fols. 132-3) by M. Festing [Michael Christian Festing], 1749
  • (fols. 133-135v) verse to introduce scenes of the Queen's Hermitage, and of Merlin's Cave, in Richmond Gardens, set to music by Mr. Galliard [John Ernest Galliard], 1731
  • (fols. 136-7) verse versions of Psalms 23 and 137 (composed by Greene, 1744-5)

Transformation from XML to HTML by Lawrence Mielniczuk
18 May 2011