Lilly Library Manuscript Collections

THORP & DICKSON MSS.

The Thorp & Dickson mss., ca. 1831, consist of materials relating to organizing anti-reform petitions in the County of Northumberland. Thorp & Dickson were solicitors of Alnwick, Northumberland, who coordinated the opposition in the County to the Reform Bill on behalf of the Duke of Northumberland.

The collection includes correspondence, billing statements and notes pertaining to the gathering of petitioners' signatures. The "List of Names" contains in excess of 8,200 names (2,296 "to the King"; 2,406 "to House of Lords"; and approximately 2,500 "to the Commons"), with the occupation of the petitioner occasionally stated, as well as a town-by-town index. Documents in the collection cover practically the entire process of drawing up a petition, from letters in which individuals agree to the inclusion of their names, to the stationer's receipt for the vellum on which the petition is transcribed. Additionally, there are numerous itemized bills of charges and letters from other solicitors engaged by Thorp & Dickson to collect petitioners' signatures. Also included are several letters from Thorp & Dickson acknowledging payment of bills by Sir David William Smith (the Duke's land agent). Printed items in the collection include copies of Bills 14 and 15, March 1831, "To amend the Representation of the People", the first in England and Wales, and the second in Scotland, as well as a printed document "Extracted from the Commission of the Peace for the County of Northumberland", 6 November 1831.

An inventory is available.

Acquired: 2010

Collection size: 150 items

For more information about this collection and any related materials contact the Public Services Department, Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405. Call (812) 855-2452 or send an email using our Ask a Question form.