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Peter Attwood, SJ Papers

Identifier: GTM-20240102

Scope and Contents

The papers of Peter Attwood, SJ contain bound volumes of treatises copied down by Attwood throughout his Jesuit formation. Some of the original authors are identified (e.g., James Gooden, Edward Slaughter, and Richard Vaughan) and topics covered include geometry, astronomy, and theology. There is also a treatise written by Attwood circa 1720 entitled “Liberty and Property,” in which he contends that British royal governors should have no say in the legislation or local affairs of Maryland and the other colonies. An 1890 printed version of the manuscript is available in the John Gilmary Shea Papers (box 26 folder 1).


  • 1709 - 1720


Conditions Governing Access

The Peter Attwood, SJ Papers are on deposit at Georgetown University and are the property of the USA East Province of the Society of Jesus. As stewards of the Archives, the Georgetown University Library’s Booth Family Center for Special Collections is responsible for managing access to the material based on policies set forth by the USA East Province. Researchers may view these materials in the Reading Room of the Booth Family Center for Special Collections. General policies for using Special Collections can be found here.

Access to the Archives is governed by the USA East Province and is subject to all Library and Special Collections policies and procedures in addition to the specific guidelines below. These guidelines are a summary of access policies; the Archives may include materials that fall outside the scope of these general guidelines. For information on access to specific materials, please contact the Special Collections staff.


1. All Archives materials dated or bearing solely on events occurring before January 1, 1940, shall be open for review unless otherwise restricted, subject to Library policies and procedures.

2. All unpublished Archives materials dated or bearing solely on events occurring on or after January 1, 1940, shall be open for review upon request subject to a decision by the Provincial or someone designated by the Provincial.

3. Researchers may quote from the materials.

4. Researchers may take their own photographs of the material for scholarly and research purposes. Allowing photographs is not an authorization to publish or to deposit the material in another library or archive.

5. Written permission from the USA East Province is required for the publication of substantive portions of any material or publication-quality reproductions of any material.

6. Material not yet processed is not available to researchers; permission will not be granted to access any unprocessed material.

7. Audiovisual, microfilm and other material in the Archives, the original of which is held in another archive, may be consulted and transcribed only. Written permission from the archive holding the original material is required for any duplication, reproduction, or publication of that material.

8. Use the Permission Request Form to request permission (i) to access any restricted processed material or (ii) to publish reproductions or quote substantive portions of the material. Send the completed form by email to the Booth Family Center for Special Collections (

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

Peter Attwood, SJ (1682-1734)--sometimes stylized as Atwood--was born in Worcestershire, England, to George and Winifred Petre Attwood. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1703, was professed of four vows, and was educated at the English Jesuit college at St. Omer (Flanders, Spanish Netherlands).

According to the Jesuit catalogs of the Maryland Mission, Attwood came to Maryland in 1711 and served there, under no particular house, until 1721. During this time he was employed by Charles Carroll as a surveyor to determine the disputed line between Maryland and Pennsylvania in March, 1714. From 1722 to 1724 he was at St. Thomas Manor before being stationed at Bohemia from 1725 to 1728 as Vice Superior of the Maryland Mission. He went back to St. Thomas Manor and held the Vice Superior position (1729-1732) there before becoming Superior of Anne Arundel County in 1733. The year of his death, 1734, he was located at St. Thomas Manor as Superior of the Maryland Mission. Another source, Edwin Beitzell’s The Jesuit Missions of St. Mary’s County, Maryland (1976), lists Attwood at St. Inigoes from 1711 to 1725 and then at Newtown from 1730 to 1734. The same text notes him as Superior of the Maryland Mission from 1728 to 1730 and again in 1733.


0.4 Cubic Feet (1 box)

Language of Materials



Metadata Rights Declarations

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was previously part of the University Archives (prior to 1970).

Related Materials

Materials related to Peter Attwood, SJ are also housed in the:
Archives of the Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus
American Catholic Sermon Collection (box 1 folders 12-14)
John Gilmary Shea Papers (box 12 folder 1 and box 26 folder 1)

Processing Information

This collection was rehoused into acid-free boxes and folders in January 2024.

Peter Attwood, SJ Papers
Aleksandra Kinlen
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Georgetown University Manuscripts Repository

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