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Guide to the Nichols family collection on the Palace of Westminster
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Processing History
  • Custodial History
  • Biography
  • Historical Background
  • Collection Scope and Content Summary
  • Collection Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Nichols family collection on the Palace of Westminster
    Date (inclusive): circa 1650-1905, undated.
    Date (bulk): 1800-1840.
    Collection Number: 203
    Extent: 1.5 linear feet (1 flat storage box, 1 phase box)
    Repository: Rivera Library. Special Collections Department.
    Riverside, CA 92517-5900
    Abstract: This collection is comprised of items found within The History of the Ancient Palace and Late Houses of Parliament at Westminster : Embracing Accounts and Illustrations of St. Stephen's Chapel, and its cloisters, - Westminster Hall, - The Court of Requests, - The Painted Chamber , by Edward Wedlake Brayley, and John Britton. Material includes correspondences, documents and illustrated plates from circa 1650 to 1905. The original book that contained these items is also housed within the collection. All of the plates feature views of Westminster from different publications and years. The correspondence includes items addressed to historically significant individuals or persons related to the history of the Westminster or the production of the book. Highlights include correspondences to John Bowyer Nichols, the printer of the book; from Charles Barry, the son of the architect who rebuilt the Parliament and Westminster; to Dr. Reverend Kippis, a noted British Historian and author; from Sir John Cam Hobhouse, British Member of Parliament and friend of the poet Lord Byron.
    Languages: The collection is in English.

    Access

    This collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to the University of California, Riverside Libraries, Special Collections & Archives. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Collections & Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Regents of the University of California as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.

    Preferred Citation

    [identification of item]. Nichols family collection on the Palace of Westminster, Collection 203. University of California, Riverside Libraries, Special Collections & Archives, University of California, Riverside.

    Acquisition Information

    The book, which contained the items in this collection, The History of the Ancient Palace and Late Houses of Parliament at Westminster : Embracing Accounts and Illustrations of St. Stephen's Chapel, and its cloisters, - Westminster Hall, - The Court of Requests, - The Painted Chamber , by Edward Wedlake Brayley, and John Britton was purchased in 1995.

    Processing History

    Processed by Sara Stilley, 2010.
    Items were removed from the book, The History of the Ancient Palace and Late Houses of Parliament at Westminster : Embracing Accounts and Illustrations of St. Stephen's Chapel, and its cloisters, - Westminster Hall, - The Court of Requests, - The Painted Chamber , by Edward Wedlake Brayley, and John Britton, with their original location (page numbers) noted. They were then processed by preservation standards and housed in mylar enclosures. A custom clam shell box was made to house the book because of its damaged state. Damage to the book includes: broken leather spine, lost head caps, first two signatures detached from the text block, and extensive swelling of the text block due to the inserted items. Some slight damage also occurred from removing items as they were attached in the book.
    All items removed from the book have been digitized.

    Custodial History

    The book, which contained the items in this collection, The History of the Ancient Palace and Late Houses of Parliament at Westminster : Embracing Accounts and Illustrations of St. Stephen's Chapel, and its cloisters, - Westminster Hall, - The Court of Requests, - The Painted Chamber , by Edward Wedlake Brayley, and John Britton, was purchased by Henry Snyder in London in the 1960's and was subsequently sold to the University of California, Riverside in 1995.
    At some point before Henry Snyder purchased the item it was owned by Robert Washington Oates, a noted collector and antiquarian bookseller. It is unknown how the book came into Oates' possession or how it went up for sale in London but much of the Nichols family library was sold at Sothebys auctions.

    Biography

    John Nichols (1745-1826): John Nichols was apprenticed to printer William Bowyer in 1757 and took over that business in 1777. Among his noteworthy accomplishments was being editor of Gentleman’s Magazine and some of the most lengthy and complete antiquarian county histories. Additionally he worked with Abraham Farley in on the 300th anniversary edition of the Domesday Book. Nichols created a special font for the edition, which was unfortunately destroyed in a workshop fire in 1808. Also, he held the office of Master of the Stationer’s Company in 1804. Nichols’ son, John Bowyer Nichols, and grandson, John Gough Nichols, continued the printing business which is considered today to be one of the best documented printing houses of its time in England.
    J. John Bowyer Nichols (1779-1863): J.B. Nichols was apprenticed to his father and when freed? became a partner in the family business. He continued the family tradition of printing county histories and was the official printer of British parliamentary publications. Along with being a printer, J.B. Nichols was, like his father, editor of the Gentleman’s Magazine, a poet and an author of many works on antiquarian subjects. He was Master of the Stationer’s Company in 1850.
    John Gough Nichols (1806-1873): J.G. Nichols joined the family business in 1824 and was a natural historian and perfect successor to his grandfather’s tradition of studying and printing antiquarian histories. He also carried on the editorial leadership of the Gentleman’s Magazine until its sale in 1856. He was a founding member of many historical societies such as Camden Society, Surtees Society and Shakespeare Society and publisher of their publications.
    John Britton (1771-1857): Co-author of the book in which the items were found. A well- known English author and historian of his time, he created, along with his friend Edward Wedlake Brayley a new form of literature in the of important monuments throughout Britain. He was a frequent contributor to Gentleman’s Magazine.
    Edward Wedlake Brayley (1733-1854): Co-author of the book in which the items were found. A noted English author, historian and topographer, he wrote several works with John Britton his life long friend.

    Historical Background

    Palace at Westminster: The Palace at Westminster began as a royal palace in the eleventh century and was the primary residence in London for the Kings of England and for Parliament until a fire in 1512 that destroyed much of the residential area and the King Henry VIII moved the royal family to Whitehall Palace. After, it served only as the meeting space for the Parliament, and various other judicial courts and various other functions. In 1834 much of the medieval building burned in a devastating fire . Sir Charles Barry won the competition to rebuild the site in the popular Perpendicular Gothic style. The replacement was much larger, including over 8 acres of reclaimed land along the Thames River, and incorporated those areas not destroyed in the fire. This reconstruction began in 1840 and lasted for 30 years. Since then there has been considerable restoration of the soft sandstone used to build the structure due to the effects of London’s pollution, The House of Commons had to be rebuilt after it was destroyed in a 1941 German bombing of London. Areas of note in the structure are those that survived the 1834 fire: Westminster Hall, the Cloisters of St. Stephen’s, the Chapel of St. Mary Undercroft and the Jewel Tower.

    Collection Scope and Content Summary

    This collection is comprised of items found within The History of the Ancient Palace and Late Houses of Parliament at Westminster : Embracing Accounts and Illustrations of St. Stephen's Chapel, and its cloisters, - Westminster Hall, - The Court of Requests, - The Painted Chamber , by Edward Wedlake Brayley, and John Britton. Material includes correspondences, documents and illustrated plates from circa 1650 to 1905. The original book that contained these items is also housed within the collection. All of the plates feature views of Westminster from different publications and years. The correspondence includes items addressed to historically significant individuals or persons related to the history of the Westminster or the production of the book. Highlights include correspondences to John Bowyer Nichols, the printer of the book; from Charles Barry, the son of the architect who rebuilt the Parliament and Westminster; to Dr. Reverend Kippis, a noted British Historian and author; from Sir John Cam Hobhouse, British Member of Parliament and friend of the poet Lord Byron.

    Collection Arrangement

    This collection is arranged into three series. The series arrangement is as follows:
    1. Series 1. Correspondence and other material, 1650-1905, undated.
    2. Series 2. Plates (illustrations), 1747-1875, undated.
    3. Series 3. Publications, 1836.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.

    Subjects

    Brayley, Edward Wedlake, 1773-1854.
    Britton, John, 1771-1857.
    Nichols, John, 1745-1826.
    Nichols, John Bowyer, 1779-1863.
    Nichols, John Gough, 1806-1873.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Correspondence.
    Plates (illustrations).
    Publications.
    Westminster Palace (London, England).