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Alfred Earle (Bishop of Marlborough) papers

Identifier: GTM-860131

Collection-level Scope and Contents note

The papers of Rt. Rev. Alfred Earle (1827-1918), consist of correspondence, manuscripts, documents, photographs and related printed ephemera, regarding Earle's remarkable career. The papers include material from his early days as a student in Oxford, to his appointments first as Bishop of Marlborough ( 1888-1900) and later as Dean of Exeter (1900-1918). The collection comprises 1.5 linear feet of material, and it is organized chronologically in three boxes with a total of thirty-six folders.

The Alfred Earle papers comprise materials dating from the 1840's to the 1920's. The earliest papers in the collection deal with the estate of Henry Earle, and with the first executor of that estate, Henry's brother, Rev. James Henry Earle. After the death of James Henry Earle, Alfred Earle became the executor of his father's estate. Most of the material regarding the estate consist of correspondence and financial records dealing with the leasing of properties. There are numerous references to the houses at 27 and 28 George Street, where Henry Earle had conducted his private practice. Also, there is considerable correspondence regarding the leasing of Earle`s Albermarle house, with pertinent letters by Sir Arthur Heywood, Sir Philip Edgerton and George Byng (1830-1898), third Earl of Strafford and a noted politician. In addition, there are letters from J. P. Earle, a nephew of Henry Earle, and John Singleton Copley (1772-1863), son of the painter, first Baron Lyndhurst, and three times Lord Chancellor of England.

The papers are rich in letters from the Earle family. There is much correspondence from relatives of Frances Anne Ilbert (1832-1911), Alfred's wife since 1866. She was the daughter of William Roope Ilbert of Bowringsleigh (1805-?). There are several letters from her brothers William Roope Ilbert (1833-1902) and Sommerville Peter Ilbert (1845-1901) as well as her children William Henry Earle (1868-1889) and Lt. Colonel Francis Alfred Earle (1869-?), who later became Francis Alfred Ilbert, and inherited the Bowringsleigh estate (see The Landed Gentry, for a full account of the Ilbert family line.) There are letters from solicitor, and Alfred's son-in-law, Edward A. Manisty, and from Manisty's partner, Robert Pollock. In addition there are a number letters of condolences on the death of Alfred's mother in 1862.

The papers also contain much material relating to Alfred's rectorship of St. Botolph's Without Bishopsgate (1895-1900) and the deanery of Exeter Cathedral (1900-1918). Much of the correspondence is devoted to financial accounts, detailed business correspondence, discussions over the state of Alfred's living quarters, and ecclesiastical dilapidations. Throughout the collection, there are letters and documents signed by noted figures such as A.F.W. Ingram, Bishop of London, Lord William Gascoyne-Cecil, Bishop of Exeter, Mandell Creighton, Bishop of London, George Wyndham Kenion, Bishop of Bath and Wells, Joseph Parker and Sir Owen Roberts. Finally, the collection possesses fifteen photographs, two albumen prints, and a drawing of Lady Earle with a child.

The Alfred Earle papers provide a wealth of information about the Earle family and the related Ilbert family, and are a rich source for the study of Victorian Ecclesiastical history and British culture.


  • 1840-1920

Conditions Governing Access note

Most manuscripts collections at the Georgetown University Booth Family Center for Special Collections are open to researchers; however, restrictions may apply to some collections. Collections stored off site require a minimum of three days for retrieval. For use of all manuscripts collections, researchers are advised to contact the Booth Family Center for Special Collections in advance of any visit.

Conditions Governing Use

Researchers are solely responsible for determining the copyright status of the materials being used, establishing who the copyright owner is, locating the copyright owner, and obtaining permission for intended use.

Biographical note

Alfred Earle was the son of the distinguished surgeon, Henry Earle (1789-1838; for a full account of his career see The Dictionary of National Biography), who was himself the third son of a famous surgeon, Sir James Earle (1755-1817, see DNB). Alfred Earle's remarkable career began when he was ordained in 1858, after attending Eton and Hertford College in Oxford. He held several posts throughout the years, including the rectory of Monkton-Fareigh, Wilts (1863-1865), the vicariates of West Alvington, South Huish, South Milton, Marlborough and Devon (1865-1887). In addition he was rural Dean and Archdeacon of Totnes (1872-1887), Canon Residentiary of Exeter Cathedral (1886-1888), Rector of St. Michael's, Cornhill (1888-1895) Rector of St. Boltoph's Bishopsgate and Prebendary of St. Paul Cathedral (1896-1900). In 1888 he was appointed by Queen Victoria Bishop of Marlborough, suffragan Bishop of West and North West London. Finally, in 1900 he became Dean of Exeter, and served there until his death in December 1918.


1.0 Linear Feet (1 Hollinger Record Storage box)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Elizabeth von Doemming, 1986.

Alfred Earle (Bishop of Marlborough) papers
Nicholas B. Scheetz, Georgetown University Library Booth Family Center for Special Collections, Washington, D.C.
Description rules
Local Practice
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Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Georgetown University Manuscripts Repository

Lauinger Library, 5th Floor
37th and O Streets, N.W.
Washington DC 20057