Lilly Library Manuscript Collections


The Walpole mss., 1715-1781, consist largely of letters of Horatio Walpole, 1st Baron Walpole, 1678-1757, to his brother-in-law, Charles Townshend, 2nd viscount Townshend, 1674-1738, written between February 8, 1715 and October 23, 1716, when Townshend was secretary of state for the northern department and Walpole was at The Hague engaged in negotiations which led to the signing of the Barrier Treaty of 1715, and the Triple Alliance of 1717.

The letters were formerly a part of the Townshend mss. They are listed in Gt. Brit. Historical Manuscripts Commission. The Manuscripts of the Marquess Townshend. (London, His Majesty's Stationery Office, 1887). (11th rept., appendix, pt. IV), p. 89 as "1715-1716. Letters from Horatio Walpole to Lord Townshend. Dated at the Hague from 8th February 1715 N.S. to 23rd October 1716. A thick bundle in a cardboard cover."

Other correspondents represented in the letters for this period include Abel Tassin d'Allonne, Duco Gerrold Martena van Brumania, George Tilson, Stephen Poyntz, and Willem Wassenaer van Starrenburg.

These letters have been edited by John J. Murray and published under the title, An Honest Diplomat at The Hague: The Private Letters of Horatio Walpole, 1715-1716 ... (Bloomington, Indiana, Indiana University Press, [1955]) (Indiana University Publications. Social Science Series, no. 13).

The collection also contains six Horatio Walpole letters of a later date, 1727-1754, and a letter of April 12, 1781, written by Horace Walpole, 4th earl of Orford. Among the Horatio Walpole letters are two, August 7, 1727 and June 10, 1735, to his brother, Sir Robert Walpole, 1st earl of Orford.

The earls of Orford of the first creation are cataloged under the family name of Walpole. The earls of Orford of the second creation are cataloged under the title of nobility of Orford.

  • The Earls of Orford
    • Sir Robert Walpole, 1st earl of Orford, 1676-1745
    • Robert Walpole, 2d earl of Orford, -1751
    • George Walpole, 3d earl of Orford, 1730-1791
    • Horace Walpole, 4th earl of Orford, 1717-1797
  • The Earls of Orford (2d creation)
    • Sir Orford, Horace Walpole, 1st earl, 1723-1809
    • Orford, Horatio Walpole, 2d earl, 1752-1822
    • Orford, Horatio Walpole, 3d earl, 1783-1858
    • Orford, Horatio William Walpole, 4th earl, 1813-1894
    • Orford, Robert Horace Walpole, 5th earl, -1931

Edward Russell, 1653-1727, who first bore the title of the Earl of Orford, is entered under his title of nobility. There was no family relationship with the Walpoles.

Collection size: 91 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.