Tyrwhitt, Thomas, 1730-1786

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British Library Archives and Manuscripts Catalogue : Person : Description : ark:/81055/vdc_100000000506.0x000020

Epithet: classical scholar

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Epithet: of Add MS 33981

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Thomas Tyrwhitt (1730-1786) was a literary editor and critic. He graduated MA from Oxford in 1756 and was appointed deputy secretary at war. He held this position until 1762, when he was made clerk of the House of Commons, a position he resigned in 1768. He was appointed curator of the British Museum in 1784, and elected a fellow of the Royal Society in 1771. He was well versed in the 14th and 15th century English, and he contributed extensively not only to Shakespeare but also to Chaucer studies, having published a respected edition of the Canterbury Tales with notes and glossary. His intimate familiarity with medieval English also led to his involvement in the Rowley controversy, which pertained to Thomas Chatterton's revelation of manuscripts of poems that he claimed he had transcribed from the works of Thomas Rowley, a priest of Bristol during the time of Henry VI and Edward IV. In 1777, after Chatterton's death, Tyrwhitt anonymously published Poems supposed to have been written at Bristol, by Thomas Rowley and others in the fifteenth century. However, it was republished in 1778 with an appendix recognizing that the poems were most likely Chatterton's own work.

Thomas Chatterton (1752-1770) was a poet and forger of pseudo-medieval poetry. In 1769 he sent a piece called Rowley's History of England, supposedly by a medieval monk named Thomas Rowley, to Horace Walpole, who initially believed in its authenticity. He also wrote political letters, eclogues, lyrics, operas and satires, both in prose and verse. Using the pseudonym Decimus, in the vein of Junius, he wrote against such political figures as the Duke of Grafton, the Earl of Bute, and Princess Augusta of Saxe-Gotha. However, he was paid very little for his work, and on August 24, 1770, at age 17, he committed suicide with arsenic. It was after Chatterton's death that controversy over the Rowley manuscripts and poems began.

From the description of Papers chiefly relating to Thomas Chatterton, 1671-1782. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 702185498

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Vol. III, ff. 353, P-Z.includes:f. 1 Frederick W. Pailthorpe, illustrator to C Dickens: Letter to W. Miller: 1903. f. 2 Francis Turner Palgrave, poet and anthologist: Letter to -: 1862. f. 3 Edward Henry Palmer, orientalist: Letter to S. 0. Grey: 187... British Library
referencedIn Vol. VII (ff. 331). 23 May 1815-Dec. 1816.includes:f. 14 (copy) Henry Stephen Fox, diplomatist: Correspondence with Sir W. A'Court: 1815, 1818.f. 46 Sir John Barrow, 1st Baronet; Second Secretary to the Admiralty: Letter to W. Hamilton: 1815.: Co... British Library
creatorOf Tyrwhitt, Thomas, 1730-1786,. Autograph letter signed from T. Tyrwhitt to unidentified recipient [manuscript], 18th century October 7 Wednesday. Folger Shakespeare Library
referencedIn Tyrwhitt, Thomas, 1762 or 3-1833,. Autograph letter signed from Thomas Tyrwhitt to George Steevens [manuscript], 1786 August 16. Folger Shakespeare Library
referencedIn Letters of Samuel Johnson, LL.D., collected and edited by George Birkbeck Hill, extra-illustrated, 1413-1900 (inclusive), 1775-1839 (bulk). Houghton Library
referencedIn Boswell's Life of Johnson : including Boswell's Journal of a tour to the Hebrides and Johnson's Diary of a journey into North Wales, edited by George Birkbeck Hill, extra-illustrated, 1464-1897 (inclusive), 1724-1874 (bulk). Houghton Library
creatorOf Tyrwhitt, Thomas, 1730-1786,. Autograph letter signed from Thomas Tyrwhitt, London, to [Edmond] Malone [manuscript], ca. 1785 Thursday. Folger Shakespeare Library
referencedIn Horatio Nelson correspondence with Lady Emma Hamilton and others, 1760-1869. Houghton Library
creatorOf Tyrwhitt, Thomas, 1730-1786. Papers chiefly relating to Thomas Chatterton, 1671-1782. Yale University, Lewis Walpole Library
creatorOf Tyrwhitt, Thomas, 1730-1786. An epistle to Florio at Oxford [manuscript], ca. 1750. Folger Shakespeare Library
referencedIn Vol. V. (ff. 303). 11 Feb. 1802-16 Dec. 1809. Included are letters from Christopher Towill on his invention of a lifeboat; Teignmouth, 22 June, 26 Sept. 1805. With plans. ff. 208-220.includes:f. 3 General Charles Vallancey, antiquary: Letters to Sir ... British Library
referencedIn Vol. XXVII (ff. 222). 1 May 1815-Dec. 1816.includes:ff. 1, 4, 7, 9, 63, 70, 75, 88, 98 Hanmer Warrington, English Consul at Tripoli: Letters to Sir W. A'Court: 1815.f. 3 Richard Oglander, Consul at Tunis: Letter to H. E. Fox: 1815.f. 5 John Rus... British Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Boswell, James, 1740-1795 person
associatedWith Charles I, King of England, 1600-1649. person
associatedWith Chatterton, Thomas, 1752-1770. person
associatedWith Chaucer, Geoffrey, d. 1400. person
associatedWith Cole, William, 1714-1782. person
associatedWith Ellis, George, d. 1753 person
associatedWith Hardinge, Nicholas, 1699-1758. person
associatedWith Henry VII, King of England, 1457-1509. person
correspondedWith Hurd, Richard, 1720-1808 person
correspondedWith Johnson, Samuel, 1709-1784 person
associatedWith Jubb, George, 1718-1787 Correspondence. person
associatedWith Langbaine, Gerard, 1609-1658. person
correspondedWith Malone, Edmond, 1741-1812 person
correspondedWith Milles, Jeremiah, 1714-1784 person
associatedWith Nelson, Horatio Nelson, Viscount, 1758-1805 person
associatedWith Pope, Alexander, 1688-1744. person
associatedWith Richardson, Samuel, 1689-1761. person
associatedWith Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616. person
associatedWith Smollett, T. (Tobias), 1721-1771. person
associatedWith Tyrwhitt, Thomas, 1762 or 3-1833, person
correspondedWith Warburton, William, 1698-1779 person
associatedWith Warton, Thomas, 1728-1790 Correspondence. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
India, Asia
Dublin, Ireland
Great Britain
English poetry--18th century


Birth 1730-03-27

Death 1786-08-15




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