William Petty, 1st Marquis of Lansdowne, 2nd Earl of Shelburne papers  1665-1885
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Additional Descriptive Data

Historical Manuscript Commission Reports

The Shelburne collection was partially calendared as the Lansdowne Manuscripts by the Historical Manuscripts Commission (HMC) in the Third, Fifth, and Sixth Reports (1872, 1876, and 1877). The Clements Library has volumes 1-99, 101-125, 127-155, 161-168. Volumes 100, 126, and 156-160 are at Shelburne's estate Bowood, while most of the letters in volumes 169-200 (section V "General and Family Correspondence") are in the British Museum. The Shelburne family letters series in this collection was created by the Clements Library. The HMC contains incomplete descriptions for volumes 34-36, 52, 58, 60, 69, 72, 75-76, and 85-88 and does not describe the minutes of the House of Lords.

See Report of the Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts. London: Printed by G.E. Eyre and W. Spottiswoode for H.M.S.O. 1870.

In addition to this finding aid, the Clements Library has created a detailed Volume Index and a Name Index and Geographical Index. For additional information see the Clements Library card catalog.

This volume includes:

  • The Third Report (1872): Vols. 1-42, Vols. 101-155.
  • The Fifth Report (1876): Vols. 43-88, 34, 35, 161-168, 169-201 (Volumes 169-201 are not in WLCL)
  • The Sixth Report (1877): Vols. 89-100 (Volume 100 not in WLCL), 156-160.

Map List: Below is a list of 33 maps acquired with the Shelburne papers, including individual maps and maps within the volumes. This list is organized chronologically:

Biographical Timeline

May 2, 1737 Shelburne born
1757 Joined the British Army 20th Regiment
1760 Promoted to colonel and appointed aide-de-camp to King George III
June 1760 Elected Member of Parliament for Chipping Wycombe and elected to the Irish Parliament for County Kerry
1761 Succeeded his father's peerage as Baron Wycombe and at Dublin as 2nd Earl of Shelburne
April-September 1763 President of the Board of Trade
1765 Married Lady Sophia Carteret
1766-1768 Secretary of State for the Southern Department
January 5, 1771 Lady Sophia Carteret died in childbirth
1779 Married Lady Louisa Fitzpatrick
March-July 1782 Home Secretary
July 1782-March 1783 First Lord of the Treasury and Prime Minister
December 1784 Promoted to Marquis and titled Lord Lansdowne
August 7, 1789 Lady Louisa Fitzpatrick died
May 23, 1803 Shelburne made his last public speech
May 7, 1805 Shelburne died
Alternate Locations

Many of the Shelburne maps are housed in the Clements Library Map Division. See below for a list of maps in the collection.

Related Materials

Additional Clements Library collections containing items written by Shelburne:

The following collections contain letters written by Henry Petty-Fitzmaurice, 3rd Marquis of Lansdowne:

For other books and printed items related to Shelburne, search for the subject "Lansdowne, William Petty,--Marquis of,--1737-1805" in the Library's online catalog.

The Clements Library Graphics Division has nine portraits of Shelburne, a painting and eight engravings, and a political cartoon:

  • Painting: Mosnier, Jean Laurent. Lord Shelburne. 1790.
  • Of the eight engravings, two are attributed:

    • 1: Sayers, James. Earl of Shelburne. Charles Bretherton, May 14, 1782. British Museum Number 6062.
    • 2: From Joshua Reynolds, Earl of Shelburne. London: Harding & Lepard, Pall Mall East, 1832.

Aiton, Arthur Scott, and William Petty Lansdowne. The Asiento Treaty As Reflected In the Papers of Lord Shelburne. Baltimore and Washington: Hispanic American Historical Review, 1928.

Alvord, Clarence Walworth. "The Shelburne manuscripts in America." In Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research. London, 1924.

Cannon, John. "Petty, William, second earl of Shelburne and first marquess of Lansdowne (1737--1805)." In Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press, 2004.

Fitzmaurice, Edmond George Petty-Fitzmaurice. Life of William Earl of Shelburne Afterwards first Marquess of Lansdowne: With Extracts from his Papers and Correspondence. (Second and revised edition) [Extra-illustrated]. London: Macmillan and co., 1912.

Lansdowne, William Petty. Lord Shelburne, the Bowood Circle, and the American Revolution.: Letters to Lord Shelburne 1776-1789. Oxford: University Press, 1976.

O'Bryen, D. A Defense of the Right Honorable the Earl of Shelburne, from the Reproaches of his Numerous Enemies ... London: for J. Stockdale, 1782.

Papers of British Cabinet Ministers, 1782-1900. London: H.M.S.O., 1982.