£15 In October 1712 Samuel Molyneux travelled from his native Dublin to be elected Fellow of the Royal Society in London. During his stay in England he corresponded with his learned
In October 1712 Samuel Molyneux travelled from his native Dublin to be elected Fellow of the Royal Society in London. During his stay in England he corresponded with his learned uncle Thomas Molyneux, bestowing intellectual and well-measured accounts of some of the most noteworthy bibliophiles, collectors and connoisseurs of the day as well as first-hand descriptions of ecclesiastical and secular buildings, historic royal palaces, parks and gardens and notable public and private libraries and art collections, many of which become the nuclei of the British Museum and British Library. For the modern reader these seven meticulously written letters offer an erudite and discursive analysis of early-Enlightenment London providing a fascinating insight into the author’s intimate and voluminous knowledge of the cultural and scientific world. Molyneux also visited Oxford and Cambridge where he made detailed first-hand descriptions of the Ashmolean Museum and several colleges.
Over a century after Molyneux’s death copies of these letters found their way into the archives of the Corporation of Southampton, now Southampton City Archives. In 2011 they were published for the first time in their entirety by the London Topographical Society www.topsoc.org/books.htm
Paul Holden FSA is a Project Curator for the National Trust House and freelance architectural historian. He has published widely on architectural history and curatorial issues in, amongst others, Apollo, British Library Electronic Journal, Country Life, Furniture History, Georgian Group Journal, Hampshire Studies, Journal of Liberal History, Journal of the Royal Institution of Cornwall, Parliamentary History and Transactions of the Ancient Monuments Society. His publications include Lanhydrock (History Press, 2006), The Lanhydrock Atlas (Cornwall Editions, 2010), The London Letters of Samuel Molyneux 1712-13 (London Topographical Society) and Celebrating Pevsner (Francis Boutle, 2017). A book on ’50 years of the Cornish Buildings Group’ will come out in December 2019 and he is currently pulling together a set of proceedings from the 2019 Cornish Buildings Group/ Historic England conference on Cornish distinctiveness.
Doors open 6.15pm, talk starts 6.30pm (inc. wine). All welcome
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