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Local history: South Midlands and the Fens, England

This guide highlights primary source material from the Archives and Manuscripts Collection, relating to the English counties and regions of the South Midlands and the Fens. It includes information about local families, individuals and organisations.

Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire (including the Isle of Ely), Hertfordshire, Huntingdonshire (including the Soke of Peterborough), Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire. Material relating to the Vale of White Horse area, now in Oxfordshire but prior to 1974 in Berkshire, is filed under Berkshire in the South-Central region.

Hospital of the Holy Trinity, Walsoken, Cambridgeshire
Photograph of deed admitting Thomas Hustton to the fraternity of the hospital, with transcription and translation. Location of original deed not recorded Date of original deed, 1481. Date of photograph and supporting documentation not recorded.
Reference: MS.7903/6

Felicia Whitfield (alive around c.1700), St Albans
Recipe book owned by Mrs Whitfield and compiled by her and by earlier figures, 1647-1722.
Reference: MS.751

Thomas Willis (1621-1676), physician, at that time practising in Oxford
Casebook, plus details of expenses, 1650-1.
Reference: MS.799A

John King (alive around 1652), physician, St Albans, Hertfordshire
Letters and papers relating to a petition seeking to remove King as a Justice of the Peace for speaking against Parliament and abuse of his office, 1652 and no date. 
Reference: MS.6076

Bate Family, Maid's Moreton, Buckinghamshire
Recipe book, including many recipes by Dr George Bate FRS (1608-1668), physician to Oliver Cromwell and Charles II, whose family lived in Maid's Moreton, and apparently compiled by a relative of his, 1665.
Reference: MS.6990

Nathaniel Dalton (1641-1708), clergyman, Cambridgeshire
Recipes, notes for sermons, and theological commonplace book, 1668.
Reference: MS.2031

Commonplace book, Kidlington, Oxfordshire
Medical commonplace book containing names of various individuals (Samuel Smith, Joseph Smith, and Ann Peake of Kidlington) c.1700.
Reference: MS.1750

Jenner, Davies and Seely families, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire
Materials relating to Edward Jenner, his forebears and relatives. Accounts, inventories, diaries, poems, sermons and other material relating to numerous individuals at Arlingham, Berkeley, Cheltenham, Cirencester, Cowley, Dursley, Eastington, Frampton, Hill, Painswick, Quedgeley, Randwick, Rockhampton, Slimbridge, Standish (Gloucestershire); Oxford; Appleton, Drayton, Little Coxwell and Shillingford (Berkshire). Material on the Jenner family and their connections is the subject of Western Manuscripts Handlist No6, 1708-1893.
Reference: MSS.2048-69, 3015-72, 3587-8, 4487-9, 5222-49, 7825/8 and 11-13

William Griffin (alive around 1730), physician and surgeon, Deddington, Oxfordshire
Licence to practise granted by William Wake, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1730.
Reference: MS.6229

Philip Doddridge (1702-1751), non-conformist divine, Northampton
Letter from John Roebuck (1718-1798), physician, chemist and inventor, giving a description of his medical studies at Watson's College, Edinburgh, 1739.
Reference: MS.7544/7

Thomas Parrott MD (alive around 1740-1741), Huntingdonshire
Grant of an annuity to his son, secured upon property at Offord Darcy, Huntingdonshire, 1740.
Reference: MS.7396/4

Mental illness, Hertfordshire
Letter from Philip Vincent to Sir James Johnstone (died 1772) discussing the care of a mentally-ill young man (probably George Johnstone (1720-1792), 3rd Marquess of Annandale), and the suitability of the Hertfordshire country house in which he is being kept, 1745.
Reference: MS.7477/1

Charles Heygate (alive around 1752-1773), chemist, probably based at West Haddon, Northamptonshire
Account book, 1752-73.
Reference: MS.2833

Batt family, surgeon-apothecaries, Witney, Oxfordshire
Ledgers recording accounts and medicines dispensed, 1774-99.
Reference: MSS.5201-2

Humphrey Sibthorpe MD (1712-1797), botanist
Fragment from a botanical diary, describing fungi found in his brother's copses at Skimpans, Hertfordshire, no date. 
Reference: MS.7605/7

Dolben family, Finedon, Northamptonshire
Medical and culinary recipe books c.1785-1860.
Reference: MSS.2201-3

John Bolding (alive around 1786), surgeon-apothecary, Ampthill, Bedfordshire
Testimonial to Timothy Watkins, journeyman surgeon-apothecary, pasted into the latter's midwifery notes, 1786.
Reference: MS.5109

Watkins family, Towcester, Northamptonshire
Account book of a medical practitioner, probably a member of the Watkins family, possibly Timothy Watkins; containing material relating to deliveries of children by the owner and his business associates Messrs Grant and Deacon of Towcester, plus other professional and domestic financial detail, 1790-1804.
Reference: MS.6883

Student midwifery notes taken by Timothy Watkins, with testimonial by John Bolding of Ampthill, Bedfordshire, c.1780.
Reference: MS.5109

John Ring (1752-1821) and William Blair (1766-1822), surgeons and supporters of vaccination
Report for the Royal Jennerian Society concerning a supposed failure of vaccination at Cambridge, 1808.
Reference: MS.4220

Medical account for medicines supplied to the parish overseer of Leighton Bromswold by Andrew Fernie, surgeon, Kimbolton, 1810.
Reference: MS.5269/13

Grant David Yeats (1773-1836)
Handbill 'To the Nobility, Clergy and Inhabitants of the County and Town of Bedford and Neighbourhood', on his leaving the Bedford Infirmary, 1814.
Reference: MS.8584/2

Peck family, Northamptonshire, including Thomas Peck, surgeon, Wellingborough
Letters, 1818 and 1848.
Reference: MS.7400/53-54

Archibald Robertson MD, physician, Northampton
Prescription, 1820.
Reference: MS.7655/6

Thomas Telford (1757-1834), engineer
Letter mentioning locks on the Rivers Cam and Lark (Mildenhall River), 1820.
Reference: MS.7690/2

Lister Institute
Deeds relating to its premises at Queensbury Lodge, Elstree, 1820-1971; and photographs, 20th century. 
Reference: SA/LIS

John Lechmere (1793-1866), half-pay naval officer, living at Hereford, 1821-1825, then at Steeple Aston, Oxfordshire
Notebook with brief diary entries, 1821-8 and no date. 
Reference: MS.6107

James Rumsey (1778-1856), Amersham physician, author of a life of his brother-in-law Thomas Bateman (1778-1821)
Letter to his sister (possibly sister-in-law) Mrs Rumsey of High Wycombe, no date. 
Reference: MS.7454/57

Northampton General Infirmary
Letter by George John Spencer, 2nd Earl Spencer (1758-1834), politician, appointing an unnamed individual as House-Visitor to the Infirmary, 1823.
Reference: MS.7655/158

Cooper McDougall and Robertson, manufacturers of veterinary products based at Berkhamstead, Hertfordshire
Collection includes significant amount of Cooper family papers relating to local activities and connections, as well as business records, c.1824-c.1989.
Reference: WF/C

Cholera, Bicester, Oxfordshire
Notebook containing details of cholera cases in Bicester, possibly compiled by William Dawson, a surgeon in the town, 1832.
Reference: MS.7219

William Stone MD (died 1852), Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire
Recipes, prescriptions and notes, 1836.
Reference: MS.4718

William Burrows Buller (alive around 1841), apothecary, Cambridgeshire
Autograph letter from JC Davie MRCS of Haddenham, Cambridgeshire, to the Court of Examiners at Apothecaries' Hall, London, stating that Buller is practising medicine and has obtained contracts with benefit societies at Wilburton and Stretham, despite having failed the Society of Apothecaries' examination, 1841.
Reference: MS.7655/3

Richard Rickman Shillitoe, surgeon-apothecary, Hitchin
Indenture apprenticing Aldborough Lloyd Williams to Shillitoe, 1848.
Reference: MS.7277/2

The names Rickman and Shillitoe also both occur frequently in the Hodgkin family archive; it is not known if there is a connection. 
Reference: PP/HO

William Cuttriss, chemist, Bedford
Manuscript bill (with illustrative printed letterhead), listing purchases by Reverend Thomas Grimshawe (1778-1850), vicar of Shuttleworth, 1849.
Reference: MS.7290/3

Florence Nightingale (1820-1910), nursing pioneer
Copious copy correspondence includes material relating to her relatives the Verney family of Claydon, Buckinghamshire See 'General' section.
Reference: MSS.8991-9082

Mary Susan Selby Lowndes (died 1891), Bletchley, Northants
Medical recipe book, mid-19th century.
Reference: MS.3339

Veterinary Notebook, Berkshire-Oxfordshire area
Farmer's notebook containing veterinary cures and tips, with a few medical and household recipes. Mid-to-late 19th century.
Reference: MS.7026

Sir Henry Head (1861-1940)
Manuscript autobiography includes his period as an undergraduate at Trinity College, Cambridge, early 1880s.
Reference: PP/HEA/A.1

Sir Walter Morley Fletcher (1873-1933)
Material relating to his period in Cambridge, including items on Trinity College, 1890s-1910s.
Reference: PP/WMF

Queen’s Nursing Institute
Records of relations with affiliated local branches, 1890s-1970s; some deposited material from local district nursing associations.
Reference: SA/QNI

John Paul Roughton and Arnold George Tolputt, surgeons, Kettering, Northamptonshire
Material relating to the partnership between Roughton and Tolputt, 1898-1933.
Reference: MS.7529

Barbara Evans
Material on Helena Wright’s education at Princess Helena College, Hitchin, Herts, 1898-1901, and correspondence with the headmaster, 1986.
Reference: PP/PRE/J.1/3, J.3

British Medical Association
Material on Public Medical Services in all areas of the UK, also on specific local friendly/medical aid societies, medical institutions, etc 1900s-60s.
Reference: SA/BMA

Research Defence Society
Records of Oxford branch, c.1908-33, and Cambridge branch, c.1908-19.
Reference: SA/RDS/C.17, D.1

Cambridgeshire Tuberculosis After-care Association
Minutes, with some press cuttings, 1916-35.
Reference: SA/NPT/F

No 4 District (Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Leicestershire and Middlesex) Master and Matrons’ Association
Minutes, 1918-36.
Reference: SA/AHR/A.35

Beit Memorial Fellowships for Medical Research
Papers relating to Balfour Laboratories, Cambridge, 1919-20, and proposed Cambridge Fellowship for Sir F Gowland Hopkins, 1927.
Reference: SA/BMF/F.1/2, 4

Sir Thomas Barlow (1845-1945), physician
Fragmentary draft of an address at the launch of a campaign to build a sanatorium for tuberculous children at Harpenden, no date (20th century).
Reference: PP/BAR/G/22

Commonplace books, including material on Barlow's home near Wendover, Buckinghamshire, local churches and other sites of interest in the locality, 1920-37.
References: PP/BAR/M/1-2 and 4

Correspondence of Barlow and his wife with sons at university at Oxford, 1900-4.
References: PP/BAR/B/4 and PP/BAR/V/4

See also General section.
Reference: PP/BAR

James Alan Noel Barlow (1881-1968)
Papers include material relating to time as an undergraduate at Oxford, 1900-4.
Reference: PP/BAR/B/4 and PP/BAR/W

See also General section, under Sir Thomas Barlow.
Reference: PP/BAR

Sir James Cantlie (1851-1926), tropical medicine pioneer
Paper on Fotheringay Castle, 1901.
Reference: MS.1497

Frederick Gordon Spear (1895-1980)
Historical materials on the Cambridge Research Hospital, later the Strangeways Research Laboratory, 1908-73.
Reference: PP/FGS/C

Strangeways Research Laboratory,founded as Cambridge Research Hospital
Records, including photographs, and relations with other Cambridge institutions, 1900s-80s.
Reference: SA/SRL

Physiological Society
Additional deposited papers. Account of life at Cambridge University in the early 20th century in autobiography of Vernon H Mottram (1882-1976). Short reminiscence of the Cambridge Physiology Department, 1935 by Archibald Todrick (1912-1992).
Reference: GC/151/7-8

Ronald Hare
Unpublished autobiography includes account of education at Royal Masonic Institution, Bushey, Herts, which he attended 1910-17.
Reference: PP/HAR

Cambridge Eugenics Society
Material relating to its activities, 1911-33.
Reference: SA/EUG/E.6, 23

Permission from the Galton Institute is required.

Please note: This collection is being digitised and parts of it will be unavailable during the process. Check the schedule for further information.

Dorothy Waller
Photograph album '3rd Southern Hospital, Oxford, and other material relating to Red Cross and VAD activities, 1912-20.
Reference: GC/93

Society of Medical Officers of Health
Records of Eastern Branch, East Anglian Branch and East Anglian Region, 1921-72, East Midland Branch and Trent Region, 1930-81, Home Counties, later London and Home Counties Branch and Thames Regions, 1965-81, and Oxford Region, 1974-81.
Reference: SA/SMO/N.2-5, 10

Thaddeus Robert Rudolph Mann (1908-1993)
Photographs of the Molteno Institute of Biology and Parasitology, Cambridge, 1925-60.
Reference: GC/64

William John O'Connor (1899-1976), general practitioner, High Wycombe
Partnership records including accounts, 1929-59, and practice day-books, 1941-46.
Reference: GP/5

Napsbury Mental Hospital, St Albans
Procedure book, reports from Pathological Department, investigation into typhoid carriers in the Hospital, study of, 16 cases of cerebral tumour, 1930s.
Reference: GC/135

Harold Burnett Hewitt (born 1915)
Biographical memoir includes early career in Northampton public health service, 1930s.
Reference: GC/222

Family Planning Association (formerly National Birth Control Association)
Records of its dealings with its own regional federations, area organisation, local branches and clinics, correspondence with local authorities, 1930-74. Records of its regional administration, 1965-1991. Includes records of following branches: Northampton, 1933-73, St Albans, 1956-73, Dunstable, 1960-9, Chilterns, 1966-72.
Reference: SA/FPA

Robert Henry Stewart Thompson (1912-1998)
Materials relating to his connections with various Oxford colleges and institutions, 1931-83.
Reference: PP/RHT/A

James Randal Hutchinson (c.1880-1955)
Complaints over slackness of authorities at Oxendon RD over scarlet fever outbreak, 1931. Scarlet fever at Oxford Maternity Home c.1936. Outbreak of diarrhoea and vomiting at Haileybury College, Herts, 1935-6.  Outbreak of ‘spots’ in infants at Northampton General Hospital, 1940. Typhus in Amersham RD, 1945. Sonne dysentery in Hemel Hempstead, 1941. Epidemic heptatis at Christchurch Cathedral School Oxford, 1942. Tinea cruris at Radley College, 1931.
Reference: PP/JRH

National Birthday Trust Fund
Correspondence with Mr J E Elam, including investigations into use of gas and air machines at Wellhouse Hospital, Herts, 1933-41. Reports on use of  various different machines at hospital, 1946, 1950. Donation of trilene inhaler to Chiltern Nursery Training College, 1954-6.
References: SA/NBT/F.10/1, H.2/4, H.3/14

Hans Georg Epstein (1909-2002)
Correspondence, etc, with and about colleagues in Oxford (mainly anaesthetists), 1937-90.
Reference: PP/HGE

Sir Thomas Lewis (1881-1945)
Files as First Aid Commandant, Chorleywood, Hertfordshire, 1938-42.
Reference: PP/LEW/C.3/1-2

Sir Robert Macintosh (1897-1989)
Material on his involvement with the Nuffield Department of Anaesthetics, Oxford, 1938-88. Travel diary of visit to Cambridge, 1965.
Reference: PP/RRM

Professor Thomas Richard Parsons (1892-1961)
Cambridge Air Raid Precautions and Civil Defence notices, c.1939-40.
Reference: GC/31

Robina Addis
Material relating to child guidance, Northampton, 1939-40.
Reference: PP/ADD/C.4

Sir Ludwig Guttmann (1899-1980)
A little material on his period in Oxford, 1939-43, his work at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, Aylesbury, and the development of paralympic sports there, 1943-80.
Reference: PP/GUT

Sir Alexander Haddow
Autobiographical notes and material include some on Pollards Wood, Amersham, to which Cancer Research Institute was evacuated during World War II.
Reference: PP/HAD

John Chassar Moir (1900-1977)
Material relating to his connections with Oxford and the Radcliffe Infirmary, 1940-70s.
Reference: PP/JCM

James Randal Hutchinson (c.1880-1955)
File on diphtheria outbreak in Wycombe RD, 1943.
Reference: PP/JRH/A.32

Mental Aftercare Association
Material on residential homes for former mental patients in  Weedon, Northants, 1945-70.
Reference: SA/MAC

Jesse Robert Garrood (1874-1959)
Register of vaccinations performed in Alconbury District, Huntingdon, 1947-8.
Reference: GP/43/4

Donald Hunter (1898-1977)
Reports on visits to Midlands factories, 1947-70, in connection with occupational health.
Reference: PP/HUN/D

Biochemical Society
Files, including photographs, on First International Congress of Biochemistry, Cambridge, 1949. File on Anglo-Chinese Colloque in Oxford 1982.
Reference: SA/BIO/E.3, E.9

Medical Women’s Federation
Minutes of Northampton and District Association, 1949-89.
Reference: SA/MWF/P.3

Multiple Sclerosis Society
Files on specific local branches, 1950s-70s.
Reference: SA/MSS/C

Alexander Stephenson Hall
Paper on local epidemiology in Buckinghamshire, 1954.
Reference: PP/HAL/B/1

Medical Pilgrims
Records of ‘Pilgrimages’ to Oxford, 1952, 1975, 1988, Cambridge, 1977.
Reference: SA/PIL

Sir George White Pickering (1904-1980)
Correspondence and other material from his period as Regius Professor of Medicine, Oxford, and other involvement in University matters, 1956-71.
Reference: PP/GWP

Barbara Evans
Material relating to Brudenell House, Quainton, Bucks, purchased by Helena Wright, 1957-83.
Reference: PP/PRE/J.1/8

Sir William Drummond Paton (1917-1993)
Some material relating to his associations with Oxford, membership of societies, etc, 1950s-80s.
Reference: PP/WDP

Bedford Hospital
Staff Occupational Health Department, minutes and reports, 1960s-70s.
Reference: GC/136

Medical Women’s Federation
Correspondence with local Associations, 1960s-80s.
Reference: SA/MWF

Philip Willison (1912-1990), Prison Welfare Office
Material relating to period of his career as Welfare Officer, Grendon Prison, Buckinghamshire, 1960s-70s.
Reference: GC/162

Sir Richard Doll
Files as Regius Professor of Medicine Oxford, 1964-79.
Reference: PP/DOL/A

Abortion Law Reform Association
Correspondence and related papers about Luton and Dunstable gynaecologists, 1967.
Reference: SA/ALR/A.7/4

Chartered Society of Physiotherapy
Minutes of North West Metropolitan/Thames Local Board, 1969-88. Physiotherapy display in Aylesbury Town Hall, 1956.  Hydrotherapy at ? Northampton General Hospital, c.1960. Georgina Maud Weller’s photograph albums of Mongewell Military Hospital, Oxfordshire, 1918-28.
Reference: SA/CSP/J.4/5, Q.1, Q.2

Cicely Williams
Some material relating to life in Oxford and associations with colleges and institutions in Oxford, 1970s-80s.
Reference: PP/CMW

Association for Research into Restricted Growth
File on courses at Castle Priory College, Wallingford, 1976-9.
Reference: SA/RRG/B.1

Dame Honor Fell (1900-1986)
Some correspondence, etc, on history of Strangeways Research Laboratory, Cambridge, 1979-85.
Reference: PP/HBF/D.25-6

Alice Mary Stewart
Files relating to interaction with local groups and individuals concerned about the environment and issues to do with low-level radiation, 1980s-90s. Also material relating to her cottage at Falmer, 1950s-2002, including photos.
Reference: PP/AMS

Travelling Surgical Society
Visits to Oxford, 1981, RAF Halton, 1985, Cambridge, 1986.
Peter Maxwell Daniel (1910-1998)
File on memorial to Sir Hugh Cairns at St Hugh’s College, Oxford, 1987-90.
Reference: PP/DNL/6

Medical Portraits, Oxford
Papers relating to the medical triptych in the rooms of the Regius Professor of Medicine, 1989 and no date. 
Reference: MS.7163

Oral History of General Practice, 1935-52
Tapes and transcripts of interviews with John Hawkey, Wantage; John Clubb, Oxford/Cowley; Elizabeth Clubb, Oxford/Cowley; Harold Harley, Oxford; Jean Gavin, Northampton, 1992-4.
Reference: GP/29

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