Skip to main content
COLLECTION Identifier: MS Hyde 70

Sir James Fellowes letters from Hester Lynch Piozzi


46 letters from Hester Lynch Piozzi to her friend Sir James Fellowes, discussing literature, politics, personal finances, and Mrs. Piozzi's friendship with Samuel Johnson.


  • 1815-1820

Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.


.4 linear feet (1 box)
This collection consists of 46 letters from Piozzi to Fellowes dated 1815 to 1820. The letters range widely in content, but often discuss literature, politics, personal finances, and Mrs. Piozzi's friendship with Samuel Johnson. Many of the letters are annotated by Fellowes.

Biographical / Historical

Sir James Fellowes (1771-1857) was born in Edinburgh, attended the University of Cambridge, and served as a surgeon in the British Navy from 1794 to 1814. He was knighted for his service in 1809, and after his retirement from the Navy he resided in Bath, England. Early in 1815, he met Hester Lynch Piozzi (1741-1821), a widowed literary woman who had been a friend of Samuel Johnson. Fellowes and Piozzi became good friends until her death six years later. He collected portions of her life story, assisted in her unsuccessful efforts to find a publisher for her manuscript Lyford Redivivus, and offered advice on her financial affairs. In March of 1816, he married Elizabeth James, and the two spent their honeymoon at Mrs. Piozzi's Streatham Park estate. They were the final guests at Streatham Park before it was sold in May of 1816. Fellowes served as Piozzi's literary executor.

Physical Location

b (shelved with bMS Hyde 70-73)

Immediate Source of Acquisition

*2003JM-59 (part). Bequest of Mary Hyde Eccles, Four Oaks Farm, Somerville, New Jersey; received: 2004.

Related Materials

The complete Piozzi-Fellowes correspondence was dispersed at an early date; this collection was assembled gradually by Mary Hyde Eccles from a variety of sources. The largest portions cited by Bloom outside of Harvard University are at Princeton University and the Huntington Library. Other letters are at the Pierpont Morgan Library, the John Rylands University Library of Manchester, Boston Public Library, Yale University, the University of Virginia, the Folger Library, and the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Also at Harvard University are three letters in an extra-illustrated copy of Boswell's Life of Johnson, MS Hyde 76, dated 1817 May 31; 1817 Aug.; and 1819 June 18.

Separated Materials

The Hester Lynch Piozzi Manuscripts, MS Hyde 35, contain three items which were apparently transcribed by Piozzi for Fellowes: item (6), item (26), and item (28).

37 of these 46 letters have been published in either Edward A. Bloom and Lillian A. Bloom, eds., The Piozzi Letters: Correspondence of Hester Lynch Piozzi, 1784-1821 (Formerly Mrs. Thrale) (Newark, Del.: University of Delaware, 1989-2002) or A. Hayward, ed., Autobiography, Letters, and Literary Remains of Mrs. Piozzi (Thrale), 2nd edition (London: Longman et al., 1861). The transcripts in Hayward are often incomplete.

Processing Information

Processed by: Rick Stattler
Link to catalog
Fellowes, James, Sir, 1771-1857, recipient. Sir James Fellowes letters from Hester Lynch Piozzi: Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard College Library

Repository Details

Part of the Houghton Library Repository

Houghton Library is Harvard College's principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, literary and performing arts archives, and more. The library's holdings of primary source material are managed by an expert staff and shared with scholars, students and the public in the reading room.

Harvard Yard
Harvard University
Cambridge MA 02138 USA
(617) 495-2440