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Milton House Archives

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: GTM-840716

Scope and Contents

This collection, whose title derives from the house in England where its contents were maintained for almost 200 years, consists of significant portions of the papers of George Birkhead, Archpriest of England in the early seventeenth century, and of the Belson family, together with a miscellany of letters and documents pertaining in one way or another to English Catholic history between the late sixteenth and late eighteenth centuries. Among the more prominent authors of letters are Robert Parsons (or Persons), S.J., one of the first missionaries to Protestant England; Thomas Fitzherbert, agent for the English Catholic clergy in Rome; and Cardinal William Allen.

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  • 1579 - 1760

Conditions Governing Access

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.


3.5 Linear Feet (5 boxes)

Language of Materials



The Milton House Archives consists of a significant collection of letters, documents and other manuscripts related to Roman Catholic recusants in England during the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries. The documents are said to have been at Douai College in France until the French Revolution, when they were taken to England (though this sequence of events was not verified in researching this collection register). Although it is now impossible to reconstruct the original groupings of the papers with any great confidence, an attempt has been made to divide the collection into coherent parts based either on the probable original provenance or on shared subject matter. For example, the papers here grouped into the Belson Family section include materials that had been separated for auction into separate collections on Thomas White, John Serjeant and Sir George Mackenzie; close examination of these separate collections, however, suggested a common origin, and these documents have been grouped accordingly. On the other hand, items in the George Birkhead section that have no direct connection to him have been retained in that section, as they were received. With few a few significant exceptions then, the collection has been maintained as it was received, though the items have been placed as much as possible into chronological order.

Milton House Archives
James C. T. Helminski
15 July 1985
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
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