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Thorpe Bequest

Reference code
Thorpe Bequest
Level of description
Scope and content
Relating mostly to Rochester and Kent, compiled by John Thorpe, senior, MD (1682-1750), together with correspondence, MSS owned by him, and some additions by his son, John Thorpe, junior, FSA (1715-92); mainly 1715-50 with earlier and later material. John Thorpe, senior, settled in Rochester as a physician in 1715 and most of his collections were formed after this date. A little material relates to his previous employment as Clerk to the Royal Society. Some earlier MSS (e.g. MSS/0155, 163-5), numbered with the Thorpe Bequest, were probably owned by John Thorpe, senior. The collections include many transcripts made for Thorpe by amanuenses, particularly Thomas Allen and John Baynard. Substantial portions relating particularly to charters and monumental inscriptions were published by John Thorpe, junior, in the Registrum Roffense (1769); see also the latter's Custumale Roffense (1788), which includes part of MSS/0170. The collections received by SA included many bundles of unbound papers. These were numbered and described by Ellis (1816), 50-65. Many of the bundles were arranged for binding by Charles Spencer Perceval, LL.D, FSA, who described their contents and the principles of his arrangement in a report on the unbound manuscripts, 14 Nov. 1864, included in C. Knight Watson's 'Report on the State of the Library, 1864', Proc., 2nd ser. 3 (1864-7), 6-15. Much of the previously unbound material was brought together in composite volumes (marked with an asterisk below), although the numeration given by Ellis was partly retained. So far as possible cross references to and from the Ellis numeration are given below, but some material was so widely dispersed that it is not possible to identify it with certainty in the present arrangement; a little was probably discarded in 1864 or later (see Proc., ibid., 12-13). Other manuscripts which apparently once formed part of the Thorpe collections include MSS/0022, MSS/0023, MSS/0036, MSS/0065, MSS/0066, MSS/0110, MSS/0212 (several items), MSS/0508, MSS/0529.
Previous reference number(s)
Archival history
The collections were bequeathed by John Thorpe, junior, FSA (d. 1792). Council Minutes, 25 Jan. 1793. Archaeologia, 11 (1794), 449.