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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Eng 1039

Ernest Lewis Gay collection of papers concerning the Mohocks and Hawkubites


Papers concerning the Mohocks and the Hawkubites, gangs of ruffians who roamed the streets of London during the eighteenth century.


  • 1711-1712

Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.


.1 linear feet (1 volume)

Volume of manuscript court proceedings, royal proclamations, accounts, and minutes, as well as printed broadsides, concerning the assaults and nocturnal disturbances committed by the Mohocks and Hawkubites in London, with autograph notes and manuscript transcripts in an unidentified hand (with the initials J.E.H.). Also includes a mezzotint of Edward Richard Montagu, 3rd Earl of Sandwich, Viscount Hinchingbrooke (1692-1722), a member of the Mohock gang.

Lettering on spine: "Gay's argument on the Mohawks and other kindred pieces - 1712."

Biographical / Historical

Ernest Lewis Gay (1874-1916) was a librarian and book collector of Boston, Mass. who collected materials especially concerning the English poet and playwright, John Gay (1685-1732). John Gay used the Mohock theme in his one-act play, The Mohocks. A tragi-comical farce, (1712). The Mohocks and Hawkubites were street gangs in London during the reign of Queen Anne. It was their delight to molest and ill-treat the women, children, and feeble old men who might be in the streets after sunset. The Mohocks were named after the American Indian tribe, the Mohawks. In 1712 a royal bounty was placed on their heads for capture.


Arranged as bound in volume.

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

From the collection of the writings of the poet John Gay (1685-1732) taken from the library of Ernest Lewis Gay (A.B. 1897). Given to the Harvard Library by his nephew, George Henry Gay in fulfillment of his uncle's desires; received: 1927 June 15.

Recataloged from 15461.556PF*

Processing Information

Processed by: Bonnie B. Salt

Items were renumbered during recataloging in March 2005.

Gay, Ernest Lewis, 1874-1916, collector. Ernest Lewis Gay collection of papers concerning the Mohocks and Hawkubites, 1711-1712: Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard College Library
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Houghton Library Repository

Houghton Library is Harvard College's principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, archives, and more. Houghton Library's collections represent the scope of human experience from ancient Egypt to twenty-first century Cambridge. With strengths primarily in North American and European history, literature, and culture, collections range in media from printed books and handwritten manuscripts to maps, drawings and paintings, prints, posters, photographs, film and audio recordings, and digital media, as well as costumes, theater props, and a wide range of other objects. Houghton Library has historically focused on collecting the written record of European and Eurocentric North American culture, yet it holds a large and diverse number of primary sources valuable for research on the languages, culture and history of indigenous peoples of the Americas, Africa, Asia and Oceania.

Houghton Library’s Reading Room is free and open to all who wish to use the library’s collections.

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