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Dyer family manuscripts and papers
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Dyer family manuscripts and papers

  • GB 0210 MSDYER
  • Fonds
  • [c. 1722]-1948

Papers, [c. 1722]-1948, of, or relating to, poet and artist John Dyer and his family, brought together by W. H. D Longstaffe, including notebooks, [c. 1722]-1756, of John Dyer; transcripts, [1847x1855], of his poems; a manuscript compiled by his nephew William Charles Dyer, 1761-1763; copies, [19 cent., second ¼]-1854, of letters addressed to his nieces; genealogical notes, 1756-1948, by W. H. D. Longstaffe and others relating to the Dyer family; and a collection of engravings, dated 1736-1841.

Longstaffe, W. Hylton (William Hylton)

Dyer family papers

Papers relating to the Dyer family of Aberglasney, Marylebone, Abbess Roding, etc., 1736-1948, including a volume of poetry in the hand of William Charles Dyer, 1761-1763; copies, [19 cent., second ¼]-1854, of letters from Fanny Morgan, Wales, to the Dyer family of Marylebone; genealogical papers, 1756-1948, accumulated by W. H. D. Longstaffe; and engravings, dated 1736-1841.


One hundred and two engravings, some dated 1736-1841, comprising (i) twenty-seven topographical and architectural views, 1755-1841 and [n.d.], eighteen of which relate to County Durham and the surrounding area; (ii) nineteen portraits, 1740-1832 and [n.d.], including five by Jacobus Houbraken; (iii) eight satirical cartoons, caricatures, etc., 1736-1816, by William Hogarth, Robert Dighton, Richard Dighton, and possibly others; (iv) forty-two heraldic coats of arms, bookplates, etc., [n.d.]; (v) a map of 'The Boundaries of the City of York & the peculiar District called Ainsty…' [by Francis Drake], [1736]; (vi) and five miscellaneous others, [n.d.]. Also included are (vii) a title deed on vellum (partly illegible) and and a leaf containing sketches in pen, ink and pencil.

Hogarth, William, 1697-1764

Fanny Morgan letters to the Dyer family

Transcripts, [19 cent., second ¼]-1854, in the hands of the Rev. Thomas Dyer (1782-1852) of Abbess Roding and W. H. D. Longstaffe, of letters, 1759-1775, of Fanny Morgan, Wales and Cross Inn, primarily to Catherine (Kitty), Elizabeth and Armine, daughters of the Rev. Thomas Dyer (1700-1780), Marylebone, and to Sally Dyer (later Phillips) of Court Henry, their cousin.
The letters were copied by the younger Thomas Dyer, in no particular order, into two notebooks formerly belonging to Elizabeth. W. H. D. Longstaffe dissected the notebooks to reassemble the transcripts in chronological order, recopying portions as necessary. These were then pasted onto guards, and annotated by Longstaffe, and apparently assembled into a volume; this was subsequently also disbound and the individual leaves put in the present plastic sleeves. The elder Thomas Dyer (1700-1780) was the younger brother of John Dyer, the poet; the younger Thomas Dyer (1782-1852) was his grandson and the nephew of the three Dyer sisters.

Morgan, Fanny, active 1759-1775

Genealogical papers

Genealogical papers, 1756-1948, mainly collected by W. H. D. Longstaffe, relating to various branches of the Dyers and related families, together with some notable but unrelated individuals such as George Dyer and Sir Edward Dyer.
The papers include pedigrees, notes, transcripts and memoranda by Longstaffe and others, 1854-1875 and [n.d.]; manuscript and printed articles by Longstaffe, [c. 1865]-1883; some thirteen letters addressed to Longstaffe, 1846-1872, together with carbon copies of six letters from him, 1854-1876; a manuscript poem to Kitty Dyer [Catherine Dyer, later Cresswell], [c. 1760], and manuscript items and drawings by her sister Elizabeth Dyer, 1776-1785; a copy of William Nowell, A Sermon Preached at The Parish Church of Wolsingham … (Newcastle, 1756, ESTC T47628); two manuscript booklets, [19 cent.], containing 'Gilbert Wakefield's notes to Gray's poems' and a poem in English entitled 'Qui Capit ille facit'; and offprints of articles, 1941-1948, by Ralph M. Williams on the Dyer family and John Dyer, presented by him to Ronald Hylton Smith.

Williams, Ralph M.

John Dyer manuscripts

Papers, [c. 1722]-[c. 1855], of, or relating to, poet and artist John Dyer, including notebooks, [c. 1722]-1756, of John Dyer containing farming accounts, draft poems, extracts and miscellaneous memoranda; with additional material by W. H. D. Longstaffe which includes genealogical notes, [c. 1850], relating to John Dyer, and transcripts, [1847x1855], of his poems.

Dyer, John, 1700?-1758


Miscellaneous notes, [c. 1726]-1756, by John Dyer, including farming accounts and memoranda, draft poems, extracts from devotional and secular literature, prayers and meditations, and various jottings, together with transcripts, [1847x1855], by William Hylton Dyer Longstaffe of poems and related material from other Dyer manuscripts, now dispersed.


Notebook, [c. 1722]-1724, of John Dyer containing extracts from the works of John Milton and Edmund Spenser and from the Old Testament and Apocrypha, together with a few drafts of devotional poetry and miscellaneous notes.

Poetry of John Dyer

Transcripts of variant texts of the poems of John Dyer, [c. 1855], compiled, with related notes, by William Hylton Dyer Longstaffe from Dyer manuscripts now lost and used by Robert Aris Wilmott for his 1855 edition of the poetry.

William Charles Dyer manuscript

A volume (ff. i, 1-68) containing transcripts, 1761-1763, of poetry, and some prose, in the hand of William Charles Dyer, nephew of John Dyer, dating from his time as an undergraduate at St Edmund's Hall, Oxford, where he matriculated in February 1761.
Amongst the poems are 'On the Earth-Quakes at Lisbon', a version of John Dyer's 'On the Destruction of Lisbon' [see NLW MS 23297B, f. 53] (f. 1), 'The Princess Elizabeth' by [William] Shenstone (ff. 22, 23), 'The Nymph Complaining for the Death of her Fawn' by [Andrew] Marvell (ff. 32-37), 'Virtue and Fame' by [George] Lord Lyttelton (ff. 37-38), and three poems, in English and Latin, ascribed to fellow students at Oxford, including William Flower, 2nd Viscount Ashbrook (ff. 39-50). The remaining poems are unattributed but seem to be broadly contemporary. Also included are items found loose within the manuscript, including a letter to 'The Revd Mr Dyer' from Bennett Langton and notes on Langton in the hand of W. H. D. Longstaffe (ff. 69-72) as well as loose items removed from other books acquired with the volume, including a manuscript poem 'To Dyer (the Poet)', [1860s] (watermark 1863), and further notes by Longstaffe (ff. 73-82).

Dyer, William Charles, 1741-1828