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Papers of Evelyn Abbott (1843-1901: Fellow of Balliol 1874-1901)


Biographical note

Abbott, Evelyn, Fellow of Balliol. Born 10 March 1843; 3rd son of Evelyn Abbott, of Epperstone, Notts. Education: Somerset College, Bath; Balliol College, Oxford, 1862-1870 (Exhibitioner); Gaisford verse Prize 1864; 1st Classics Mods; 1st Litterae Humaniores 1866; BA and MA 1873. In Easter Vacation 1866 fell in a hurdle race and injured his spine; paralysed from autumn 1866. Assistant Master, Clifton College, 1870-1873; Fellow of Balliol 1874-1901; Tutor, Corpus Christi College, Oxford, 1873-5; Lecturer and Classical Tutor, Balliol from 1875, Junior Bursar 1882, Jowett Lecturer 1895, Librarian 1881-1897; Classical Moderator 1883, 1893, 1894. LLD St Andrews 1879.

Publications: Edited Sophocles (with L Campbell, Balliol , 1849); Greek Grammar, 1874; Hellenica; Theology and Ethic of Sophocles, 1880; History of Greece, 1888-1899; edited Hellenica and Heroes of the Nations series; Pericles, 1891; (with Mansfield) Primer of Greek Accidence, 1897; Life and Letters of Benjamin Jowett(with Prof. L Campbell), 1897. Died 3 September 1901. Nephews ER and RS Abbott (Balliol 1891 and 1901); great-nephew, SE Abbott (Balliol 1929).

source: Balliol College Register, 2nd ed. 1934.

Provenance and arrangement

Notebooks and lecture notes presented to Balliol College by Prof. Arnold J Toynbee (Balliol 1907) in 1955, 1956 and 1974 (at least). Bundles of envelopes probably moved from Jowett Papers. Letters, newspaper cuttings and dictionary deposited by P Schenk, 2011.

Scope & Content

5 notebooks mainly on Greek history and literature; small box file of notes, set of lecture notes; 2 notebooks of personal reflections & quotations. 2 bundles of envelopes addressed to Abbott, dated 1894-1895. These probably contained reminiscences of Jowett sent to Abbott for use in Abbott & Campbell's biography of Jowett.

Related material: Jowett Papers, Correspondence Collection


1. Notebooks

Abbott 1.1 Hardback half-bound notebook with yellow marbled paper covers 7 x 8" (175x210mm). Ca 1866. Personal notes, reflections on reading, quotations including Wordsworth. Pages not numbered, about half used. Enclosed, 1 p of notes.

Abbott 1.2 Hardbound notebook, battered black covers 6 1/2 x 8" (170x205mm). Ca 1879-80. Notes on Classical subjects and other reading. All but the last few ff used. Several loose pages and inserted pages of notes. Enclosed letter removed and listed below as 3.3.

Abbott 1.3 Hardback quarter-bound notebook with red marbled paper covers and red leather spine 5 1/2 x 9" (140x225 mm). MS notes on the Confederacy of Delos. ND. Front endleaf and 1st 15ff used, 1 not numbered, 2-15 numbered 1-14. Rest of volume blank. Balliol bookplate annotoed in EVQ's hand, 'Presented by Prof Arnold J Toynbee, 1956.'

Abbott 1.4 Hardback dark blue cloth half-bound notebook 4 1/2 x 7" (115x180mm), same design as XX, spine stamped '1' ND. Enclosed, note in EVQ's hand 'Evelyn Abbott Notebook 1 presented by Dr Arnold Toynbee [ie Arnold J Toynbee].'

Abbott 1.5 Hardback dark blue cloth half-bound notebook 4 1/2 x 7" (115x180mm), same design as XX spine stamped '2' Begins Ethnology of Greece. ND. Pages foliated to 63, used to 69, mostly rectos only.

Abbott 1.6 Hardback dark blue cloth half-bound notebook 4 1/2 x 7" (115x180mm), same design as XX spine stamped '3'. Begins 'The Tyrants and their Age.' ND. 31 pp used, mostly rectos only. Enclosed, note in EVQ's hand 'Evelyn Abbott Notebooks 2 & 3 presented by Dr Arnold Toynbee [ie Arnold J Toynbee] April 1974.'

Abbott 1.7 Hardback dark blue cloth half-bound notebook 4 1/2 x 7" (115x180mm), same design as XX spine stamped '11' ND. Begins 'Notes on constitutional history - Sparta'. Enclosed, note in EVQ's hand 'Evelyn Abbott Notebook 11 (ie XI) Presented by Dr Arnold Toynbee [ie Arnold J Toynbee] April 1974'; 1 loose sheet of notes in pencil. Foliated throughout (1-89); most pages used to 69 incl, mostly rectos only.

2. Classical Notes

Abbott 2.1 Book-shaped box with marbled paper 'edges'. Containing several hundred loose sheets of MS notes on Classical subjects. Original order unclear; headings include Crete, Religion, Hereodotus & Hecataeus.Balliol bookplate 'Presented by Professor Arnold J Toynbee 1956.'

Abbott 2.2 Set of lecture notes on classical subjects, unbound. Index of lecture notes? list of [?chapter] headings. ca 200pp. Presented by Prof. Arnold J Toynbee, August 1955.

3. Correspondence

Abbott 3.1 2 bundles of envelopes addressed to Abbott, dated 1894-1895. These probably contained reminiscences of Jowett sent to Abbott for use in Abbott & Campbell's biography of Jowett. cf Jowett papers. 50+ items.

Abbott 3.2 3 letters to Evelyn Abbott, kept by members of his family and deposited at Balliol in 2011.

Abbott 3.2.1 ALS from JL Strachan-Davidson to Evelyn Abbott at Lowdham nr Nottingham. Postmark on envelope 4-5 November 1866. 'My dear Eve'. Encouragement re Abbott's recovery (from the accident that left him paralyzed). Personal and academic news from Oxford, notes on Fellows and students. 7s. Envelope.

Abbott 3.2.2 ALS from [signature unclear, ?J Percival] to Evelyn Abbott. 10 ?May 1870. 3s. Given to Balliol in an envelope not connected to it by handwriting or date (see 3.2.3. below).

Abbott 3.2.3 Envelope formerly containing 3.2.2 but not related to it. Addressed to E Abbott, Esq, The College, Clifton, near Bristol. Postmarks Oxford 15 October 1872, Bristol and Clifton 16 October 1872. Annotated (later, blue pencil) 'Jowett / Percival / Davidson / + Colenso (Natal) / 1870.'

Abbott 3.2.4 ALS from John Colenso, Bishop of Natal [1814-1883, 1st CofE Bishop of Natal] to Evelyn Abbott. 16 May 1870. Bishopstowne, Natal. Re son Robert John Colenso's admission to Oxford (Trinity College 1870); Abbott has been instrumental in both Robert's and Frank's education in England and admission to University (Frank to Cambridge).

Abbott 3.3 ALS from PE Matheson (Balliol 1877, student of Abbott at Balliol, Fellow of New College 1881-) to 'Macgregor'. On headed paper from 'College of Wynchester in Oxenford Sainte Marye' [i.e. New College] 3 Brookside, Headington [Oxford]. April 4 no year. The writer confirms identity of notebooks as belonging to Evelyn Abbott, and notes 'The notes seem to be those of an undergraduate in process of forming his opinions' as well as the long and close friendship of Abbott and TH Green, in whose possession the notebooks may have been. Removed from notebook X1.2 above. If 'Macgregor' is Duncan Campbell Macgregor, Fellow of Balliol 1919, a Greek historian, the letter's terminus ante quem is 1939 (Macgregor died 13 March 1939).

4. Obituaries of Evelyn Abbott

5 newspaper cuttings, all with slightly varying obituary notices of Evelyn Abbot:

  • The Times 6 September 1901
  • The Spectator 14 September 1901
  • The Oxford Magazine 16 October 1901 - the most comprehensive
  • 2 undated and without sources noted, one probably from a Bristol paper.

5. Personal items belonging to Evelyn Abbott

Riddle's English-Latin and Latin-English Dictionary, 1847. Owner's inscription, 'Evelyn Abbott, Lowdham, 1860.'

=== end of list ===



- Anna Sander, September 2015.

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