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Conroy Collection: Scientific papers of Sir John Conroy, FRS, 3rd Bt

THE SCIENTIFIC PAPERS OF SIR JOHN CONROY FRS
Part of the Conroy Papers
Conroy 1A,2B.2,2B.7, & 11

Sir John Conroy FRS, 3rd Bt (1845-1900), Fellow of Balliol, hereafter Conroy, maintained all his papers meticulously. His scientific papers, arranged and bundled by him, are scattered through the Conroy Papers (for an overview, see John Jones and Katherine Hudson,The Conroy Papers. A Guide, 1987) which comprise the papers of all three Baronets Conroy. This listing of the 3rd (and last) Baronet’s scientific papers revisits them in somewhat greater detail than before. Mostly ALS received by Conroy, and bearing his annotations top right, they have been left as Conroy himself arranged and bundled them: his replies 1884-1900 are in his out-letter books ( 21 vols, Conroy 4A & 4B).

The out-letter books are in chronological order; the in-letters were filed by Conroy in broad subject/year groups. Letters from particular correspondents are thus very scattered.

Conroy.1A.1. Conroy’s file re the University Museum 1895-1896.
Conroy was a member of the Committee of Delegates appointed on 15 February 1896 to consider accommodation needs in the University Museum.

Reports of University Institutions for the year 1895, printed booklet, annotated by Conroy “Committee on Museum Alteration report adopted by the Delegates 28/11/96”.Originally containing the rest of this file loosely inserted ,now listed below:-

  • Report of the Committee .... , printed, annotated “To Delegates Meeting Mar 21 96”.
  • Second Report of the Committee.....,printed, nd but ca May 1896.
  • Third Report of the Committee ....., printed, nd but late November 1896, with an annotated Draft and a Revised Proof.
  • Medical Education in Oxford, printed, a letter to the President of Magdalen (Chairman of the Committee) from J Burdon-Sanderson 19 November 1896.This was incorporated in the final version of the Third Report.
  • Oxford University Museum Ground Plan 1893, printed, 66 feet= 1 inch, and a companion Upper Floors Plan. Both plans are detailed and include all buildings in the curtilage of the University Museum.
  • TS schedules corresponding to the above plans setting out precise measurements and uses with notes on occupancy and equipment.
  • James Walker, from 30 Norham Gardens ALS(2) 3 and 4 December 1896.
  • Edward B Tylor FRS, from the University Museum, ALS 8 November 1896.
  • JR Magrath, from Queens College 7 December 1896.
  • TS draft, heavily corrected in autograph by Conroy, of a paper dissenting from the proposal to spend a large sum on the Clarendon Laboratory, setting out detailed reasons (in particular its failure to produce significant original work) nd but late 1896.

Conroy.1A.2. “1889.Scientific” Letters etc from:-

  • CV Boys FRS.
  • A Vernon Harcourt FRS (2).
  • HG Madan of Queens College.
  • Lord Rayleigh (JW Strutt, 3rd Baron ) FRS.
  • GG Stokes FRS (2 TLS).
  • From Scientific Instrument Makers:-
    • Cambridge Scientific Instrument Company.
    • Adam Hilger, 204 Stanhope Street (3).
    • Nalder Bros & Co, 132 Horseferry Road.

Conroy.1A.3. “1890.Scientific”. Letters etc from:-

  • JH Gladstone FRS, on black-edged paper, from 17 Pembridge Square.
  • A Vernon Harcourt FRS (2).
  • Charles Pritchard FRS, from the University Observatory Oxford.
  • John Perry FRS, Hon Sec Physical Society of London.
  • GA Rowell, from 2 Alfred Street St Giles Oxford; mentions he is 85, re “Electric Meteorology “ enclosing a printed paper dated March 1890.
  • From Scientific Instrument Makers:-
    • Cambridge Scientific Instrument Company.
    • Adam Hilger, 204 Stanhope Street (3).
  • Some pencil notes by Conroy.

Conroy.1A.4.“1893. Laboratory”. Letters etc from:-

  • AB Bassett, from Chapel Place Mansion, 322 Oxford Street.
  • Percy Elford ( 3) of St Johns.
  • Spencer Pickering FRS, from Harpenden Herts.
  • Walther Thiel (2).
  • James Walker ( matric. ChCh 1876), from 30 Norham Gardens.
  • From Scientific Suppliers:-
    • Adam Hilger.
    • Brins Oxygen Company Limited, 34 Victoria Street.

Conroy.1A.5. “1894.Balliol Laboratory”. From Scientific Instrument Makers and Lab Suppliers:-

  • Brins Oxygen Company Limited.
  • Drake & Gorham, Electrical Engineers, 66 Victoria Street.
  • Townsend & Mercer, 89 Bishopsgate.
  • Troughton & Simms, Mathematical Instrument Works, 340 Woolwich Road Charlton.

Conroy.1A.6. “1899.Scientific”. Letters from:-

  • Sir Henry Acland Bt FRS (2).
  • Henry M Fletcher.
  • Königliche Porzellan-Manufaktur Direktion.
  • Royal Society Asst. Sec. re invitations.
  • Sherard Cowper-Coles (TLS), Grosvenor Mansions.
  • Alfred E Tutton, 17 Bardwell Road.
  • VH Veley FRS, Chemical Department University Museum.
  • Unidentified from 2 Manchester Square,”My Dear Conroy, re Egypt and the TB Bacillus.
  • Printed Prospectus (annotated “Advance Proof”), Electrical Casting and Engineering Co Ltd.

Conroy.1A.7. “1899.Laboratory”. Miscellaneous letters including from:-

  • James Warrell (lab assistant born Oxford ca 1875).
  • JT Nance (6; Balliol 1895) from New Inn Hall Street and other addresses; including two long letters with laboratory news and gossip.
  • FV Darbishire (Balliol 1887) from Leipzig; he has with Sidgwick translated Berzelius’s letters and hopes for publication.
  • Oswald H Latter from Charterhouse, criticising the Science Scholarship exam.
  • DH Nagel Fellow of Trinity (2,oneTLS).

Conroy.2B.2. Letters from A Vernon Harcourt FRS 1869-1872. ALS(8), mostly from Christ Church.

Conroy.2B.7a. ”1885-Scientific-Laboratory”. Letters from:-

  • GG Stokes FRS (4).
  • A Vernon Harcourt FRS (3).
  • EB Poulton FRS, from The Acacias Reading, about red fluorescence observed in caterpillar blood.
  • Papers about laboratory fittings etc, including sketches of fume cupboard design.
  • Running expenses annually 1880-1889, Christ Church Laboratory.

Conroy.2B.7b. ”1886 Scientific Matters”. Letters from:-

  • A Vernon Harcourt FRS (2).
  • GG Stokes FRS.
  • Percy (Probably Lord Algernon Percy) from Alnwick Castle (3).
  • George May, surgeon, from The Warren Caversham, re cholera, with a prescription.
  • Newspaper cutting nd reporting a scientific meeting at which Conroy and Lord Rayleigh had described experiments on glass reflection.
  • From Scientific Instrument Makers and Suppliers including:-
    • Adam Hilger (3).
    • J Kenward, of Lighthouse Works Birmingham and Eddystone House Barborne.

Conroy.2B.7c. ”1888 & 89 Scientific”. Letters from:-

  • Robert Edward Baynes (Reader in Physics), from 3 Church Walk.
  • A Vernon Harcourt FRS.
  • Lawrence Parsons FRS signing “Rosse” from Birr Castle Parsonstown (“My Dear John”).
  • Frederick John Smith, 28 Norham Gardens.
  • From scientific instrument makers and suppliers including:-
    • Adam Hilger (3).
    • J Kenward of Lighthouse Works near Birmingham.

Conroy.11.1. A letter from CV Boys FRS. On preparation of a jelly, ALS, May 1st but otherwise nd; Conroy’s annotation dates it 1879.

Conroy.11.2. Letters from John Browning 1871-1875. John Browning, instrument maker to HMG, the Royal Observatory etc etc, from 111 Minories:-

  • 1871(4), in a clerk’s copperplate signed by JB.
  • 1872, printed circular letter re additional premises.
  • 1872, in a clerk’s copperplate signed by JB.
  • 1875(2), different clerk, one letter signed by JB, one an impersonal note.

Conroy.11.3.A letter from HB Dixon FRS. ALS from Trinity College 10 July 1886, inviting Conroy to give a paper to the British Association at York. Dixon was Secretary, Section B of the BA.

Conroy.11.4. Letters from A Vernon Harcourt FRS 1873-1884. ALS (23), scientific, but revealing also that Conroy was a close family friend.

Conroy.11.5. Communications from Adam Hilger 1877-1884. Communications (28) from Adam Hilger scientific instrument maker, some letters, some memoranda, all signed but some in a clerk’s hand, from 192 Tottenham Court Road initially, then 204 Stanhope Street.

Conroy.11.6. Communications from Arnold William Reinhold FRS 1876-1883. ALS (17), from the RN College Greenwich.

Conroy.11.7. Letters from GG Stokes FRS. Letters (34), some ALS some TLS, from Lensfield Cottage Cambridge or the Royal Society.

Conroy.11.8. Letters from William Thomson FRS (Lord Kelvin). Two letters, perhaps in the hand of a secretary but signed, from William Thomson, on University of Glasgow notepaper 1884.

Conroy.11.9a.i. Miscellaneous letters from scientists 1874-1884.

  • TG Bonney FRS, British Association 1882 (2, 1 printed pro forma).
  • RB Clifton FRS, 30 January 1882 from Portland Lodge, Park Town Oxford, and a PC 8 December 1881.
  • E Frankland FRS, Normal School of Science and Royal School of Mines, 11 May 1883.
  • Francis Galton FRS, autograph notes (2) and printed enclosure re Records of Family Faculties, 1884.
  • JH Gladstone FRS, from 17 Pembridge Square 1876(2), 1878, 1879 with an ALS to Gladstone, 6 July 1878, from Robert Sabine of Grosmont House Hampton Wick, son-in-law of and manager for Sir Charles Wheatstone.
  • Charles A Parsons OM FRS, ALS (5), opening “My Dear John” and ending “Your affectionate cousin”: 1879 from 21 Budle Street Newcastle on Tyne; 1880 from Birr Castle; 1881(3) from Junior Carlton Club, 10 Connaught Place, and Moor Park Farnham Surrey respectively. These letters are both scientific and family.
  • Lawrence Parsons FRS, 4th Earl of Rosse, signing “Rosse”, ALS(5) opening “My Dear John “: 1874 from Castle Parsonstown; 1876; 1877 from Shelbourne Hotel Dublin; 1878 from Glen-Art Arklow; 1882 from Kildare Street Club, Dublin.These letters are both scientific and family.
  • William Spottiswode FRS, from 50 Grosvenor Place (Her Majesty’s Printing Office deleted) 20 Nov 1875.
    Conroy.11.9a.ii. Miscellaneous communications from Scientific Instrument Makers 1875-1878.
  • R & J Beck 1876, from 31 Cornhill London EC.
  • John Browning 1876 (3), from 63 Strand London WC.
  • L Casella, from 147 Holborn Bars London EC ( late of 23 Hatton Gardens.
  • Tisley & Spiller 1875, 1876(2) and 1878(2) from 172 Brompton Road London SW.

Conroy.11.9b. Miscellaneous letters from suppliers and unidentified correspondents 1875-1885.

- described by JH Jones, 20 September 2012

 

- John Jones


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