This collection of manuscripts comprises primarily Irish, Anglo-Saxon, and late medieval material together with topographical and antiquarian items and papers relating to the British monarchy.
About the collection
The collection is named after Stowe House where the library was assembled by Richard Temple-Nugent-Brydges-Chandos-Grenville, 1st Duke of Buckingham and Chandos (1776-1839). In 1849, the collection was purchased by the 4th Earl of Ashburnham, and in 1883, the 5th Earl of Ashburnham sold the collection to Parliament. The collection was then deposited in the British Museum, with the exception of those manuscripts of Irish interest which were deposited in the Library of the Royal Irish Academy in Dublin.
The manuscripts are numbered Stowe MS 1 to Stowe MS 1085. The Stowe charters are numbered 1-646.
What is available online?
Some images of manuscripts containing illumination can be found on the Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts.
A number of Stowe manuscripts have been digitised in full on Digitised Manuscripts.
The Stowe charters are not described online but can be found in the Catalogue of Stowe Manuscripts, 2 vols. 1895-6.
What is available in our Reading Rooms?
The Stowe collection can be consulted in the Manuscripts Reading Room.
Some items may require a letter of introduction.
Useful reference resources include:
- A Catalogue of the Stowe Manuscripts in the British Museum, 2 vols (London, 1895—1896). Index in vol. II