Henry Bradshaw (1831-86)

b. Milecross, Co. Down, educated at Eton and Cambridge, taught briefly at St. Columba’s College, Co. Dublin; Asst. Librarian, Cambridge Univ. Library, 1856; appt. appt. Cambridge University Librarian, 1867-86; he reformed the early printed books and MSS department and put bibliography on a scientific basis; presented 5,000 early Irish books and pamphlets, inherited from his father, associated with Bradshaw’s Brae, nr. Newtownards, Co. Down; gave an address in Dublin on the necessity of establishing a bibliographical survey of Irish printing, 1884;
discovered Waterford printing of Sir Roger Boyle’s Parthenissa (1654), ante-dating the first English edition by eleven years; read a paper on Printing in Ireland at TCD; there is a life by G. W. Prothero (1888) and a short pamphlet life by John Crone [1894], who elsewhere called him the ‘founder of modern bibliography as exact science’ (Irish Book Lover, Vol. 19, 1931, pp.41-54); the Henry Bradshaw Society is a publisher of bibliographical papers, from 1891 to 2009 and proceeding; a relative paucity of fiction in the Bradshaw Collection has been noticed by bibliographers such as Rolf & Magda Loeber (Guide, 2006). ODNB OCIL


Bradshaw’s contribution to Irish literary history is best marked by his collection of Irish books, listed in A Catalogue of the Bradshaw Collection of Irish Books in the University of Library, Cambridge, 3 vols. (1916). Vol. 1, 690pp.; Vol. 2, 691-p.1340 [infra].

Miscellaneous, E. R. Mc C[lintock] Dix & J. S. Crone, ‘Henry Bradshaw on Printing in Ireland’, in The Irish Book Lover, Vol. I, No. 2 (Sept. 1909), pp.13-16 [incorporating the Freeman’s Journal report of Bradshaw’s speech on in TCD ( FJ, 3 Oct. 1884; attached].

A Catalogue of the Bradshaw Collection of Irish Books in the University of Library, Cambridge, 3 vols. (Cambridge UP 1916) - Vol. 1, 690pp.; Vol. 2, 691-p.1340; Vol. 3, Index, to p.196[0]; [the whole prepared by C. E. Sayle]: The collection as made by Bradshaw fell into three divisions: I.] Books printed in Ireland. II.] Books written by Irishmen. III.] Books relating to Ireland [vii] Hence Vol. I lists Books printed in Dublin by Known Printers 1602-1882 (1916) and books printed in Dublin of which the printers are known. Vol. II lists 1) books printed in Dublin of which the printer is not known, 2) Irish provincial printing, 3) works of Irish authors printed elsewheere, arranged alphabetically, 4) books printed elsewhere which relate to Ireland, arranged chronologically, 5) an Appendix. consisting of a catalogue of books presented by the Rev R. J. McGhee, 6) a second Appendix. containing the list of books added to the Collection by purchase during the compilation of the catalogue, or which, being already in other parts of the library, an entry is inserted. Among these are two vols. of Ballads (4815, 4818). The Collection of Ballads formed by Sir Frederick Madden (8605, 8606) has been indexed with these. 7) Addenda and corrigenda. Vol. III contains the Index. Bradshaw’s collection [based on that of his father] reaches virtually to to the date of publication, including, e.g., James Duffy, Printer and Publisher (1838), and James Duffy & Sons, Publisher (1882), occupy pp.627-631, and begin with item 3765, The Pocket Missal, for the use of the Laity [...] Dublin 1838 [which incls. a psalm for the Queen of England]; Andrew Donlevy, Cathecism, 3rd ed., for Royal Coll. of St. Patrick, Maynooth 1848, and works by Cardinal Paul Cullen, Charles William Russell DD, Keating, trans. Dermod O’Connor [later ed.], 1854; also Martin Haverty, History of Ireland ancient and modern, 1860; Patrick Francis Moran, Memoirs of … Oliver Plunket, 1861; Eugene O’Curry, Lectures on the MSS materials &c [in] 1855 and 1856, 1861; T. Darcy McGee, Gallery of Irish Writers … 17th c., 1863; E[dward O’Reilly, Dictionary [sic only] 1864; CP Meehan [Rev. MRIA], the rise and fall of the Franciscan monasteries, and memoirs of the Irish Hierarchy in the seventeenth c. 1869; Charles G. Duffy, A Bird’s Eye View of Irish History, enl. ed. 1882; C. P. Meehan, The Confederation of Kilkenny, new ed. enl. 1882; Daniel O’Connell, A Memoir on Ireland native and Saxon, 3rd ed. (Dublin:Duffy; London:1a Paternoster Row [n.a.1885]. Note that Borlase, E., History [printed O Nelson] 1743, fol., is associated with the bookseller Charles Connor [?err for O’Conor], whose only other publication is Clanricarde, Memoirs [S Power] 1744, 8o. (p.247). Note: The Printer Patrick Byrne issued works including letters to the Volunteers in the Province of Ulster [?Drennan]; William Wenman Seward, The rights of the People Asserted and Necessity of a more equal representation in parl. stated and proved. Wherein the resolutions of the Volunteer Delegates at Dungannon Sept 8 1783 are particularly considered; work by Sir Capel Molyneux; Mr Pitt’s reply to Mr Orde; the Speech of Rt Hon. Thomas Orde [Lord Bolton] for a commercial adjustment between GB and Ireland 12 aug 1785; Mr Burke’s Speech on the Motion made for Papers Relative to the direction for charging the Nabob of Arcot’s private debts to Europeans on the revenues of the Carnatic, 28 Feb 1785, 8o; Fox’s Reply to Pitt [on] laws for reg. of trade and navigation, 31 May 1785; John Hely Hutchinson, Sec. of State, to Mayor of Cork; James Laffan, Political Arithmatic of the Population, Commerce, and Manufactures of Ireland, with Observations on the Relative Situation of GB and Ireland MDCCLXXV [1785] &c.

A Catalogue of the Bradshaw Collection of Irish Books in the University of Library, Cambridge, 3 vols. (Cambridge UP 1916) - Vol. III, Bibliography: lists E. R. McClintock Dix, catalogue of early Dublin-printed books, 1601-1700, with hist. Intro. and Bibl. notes by C. Winston Dugan, 4 pts and Suppl. (Dublin 1898-1912); The earliest journals published in Dublin, rep. of Proc. RIA, 3rd ser. vol vi., no. 1 (Dublin 1900); The earliest Dublin printing, with List of Books etc printed in Dublin prior to 1601 (Dublin 1901). Also Dix & J Cassedy, List of Books, Pamphlets, &c., printed wholly, or partly, in Irish, from the earliest period to 1820 [compiled Dix and Seamus ua Casaidhe] (Dublin 1905; enl. Dublin 1913), sect. 1. Other listings incl. N[ehemias] Donnelly [Bishop], History of the Dublin Parishes, Vols. 1 & 2 (Dublin 1905-14) [in progress in 1916]; Irish Literary Enquirer, or Notes on Authors, Books, and Printing in Ireland, Biographical and Bibliographical. conducted by John Power, Nos. 1-4 (London 1865-66); W. S. Jackson, Bibliography of Swift in Vol XII of Temple Scott’s edn. of Swift’s Prose Works(London: Bohn Edn. 1908); R. R. Madden, History of Irish Periodical Literature, 2 vols (London 1867); H.R. Wagner, Irish Economics: 1700-1783: A Bibliography, with notes [priv. printed] (London 1907); Sir James Ware, Writers of Ireland (Dublin 1746) [in Works of Sir James Ware, 3 vols. (1739-46), fol.]; Sir John Gilbert, History of the Irish Confederation and the War in Ireland, 1641-49, 7 vols. (Dublin 1882-1891); Walter G. Strickland, A Dictionary of Irish Artists, 2 vols (Dublin 1913). VOL. 2 [specimen titles]: Roderic O’Flaherty, Ogygia: seu, Rerum Hibernicarum Chronologia [...] Liber Primus [...] In tres Partibus distinctus [...] Quibus Accedit [...] Chronologica Tabula [...] (Londini: Typis R. Everingham, Sumptibus Ben Tooke [...] 1685), 4o.; Sylvester O’Halloran, An Introduction to the Study of the History and Antiquities of Ireland: in which the assertions of Mr Hume and other writers areconsider'd … with copper-plates. Also two appendixes [...:] 1. Animadversions on the introduction to the history of G. Britain and Ireland, by J[ames] Macpherson Esq.; 2. Observations on the Memoirs of Great Britain and Ireland, by Sir John Dalrymple [...] (London: John Murrary 1772), 4o.; John O’Donovan, LLD, On the Life and Labours of John O’Donovan (London: T. Richardson & Son, Dublin & Derby, 1862), rep. from Dublin Review, with prospectus of Irish Arch. and Celtic Soc., and an appeal for O’Donovan’s family; by J.T. Gilbert [conject. by D. J. O’Donoghue, in [letter], 7 July 1910]; Arthur O’Leary, Miscellaneous Tracts [...] 3rd edn., enl. & corr. (London: H. Reynall, for P. Keating 1782) 8o; A Defence of the Conduct and Writings of the Rev. Arthur O’Leary [...] written by himself [...] (London: for P. Keating M.DCC,LXXXVII [full title of Dublin edn., Bradshaw No. 2297-98]; Rev Arthur O’Leary’s Address to the Lords [...] of the Parliament of Great Britain; to which is annexed an account of Sir Henry Mildmay’s Bill relative to Nuns (London: printed [by] Sampson Low for J. Booker 1800) 8o.

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G. W. Prothero, A Memoir of Henry Bradshaw (1888), port. & facs.; J. S. Crone, Henry Bradshaw, His Life and Works [1894]; also Crone, Henry Bradshaw: His Life and Works [a paper], in Irish Book Lover, Vol. 19 (1931), pp.41-54; Roy Stokes, Henry Bradshaw 1831-1886 [The Great Bibliographers Series, No. 6] (London: Scarecrow 1984), contains ‘Checklist of the writings of Henry Bradshaw’ [pp.41-74], and ‘Excerpts from the Writings of Henry Bradshaw’ [pp.75-257]. See also remarks by John Crone, in Irish Book Lover, Vols. 1, 2, 4 [infra].

Note also F[rederick] E. Warren & William Griggs, eds., The Antiphonary of Bangor an early Irish manuscript in the Ambrosian library at Milan [Henry Bradshaw Society Publs. Vol. IV, [X] (1893) and see Henry Bradshaw Soc. Publications List, as infra.

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J. S. Crone, The Irish Book Lover, Vol. I, No. 1 (Aug. 1909), “Our Forerunner ” [article on John Power] includes allusions to Bradshaw as contributor to Power’s Literary Inquirer: ‘It contains a scholarly article on De Burgo’s Hibernica Dominicana “from the pen of a gentleman at Cambridge, well-known for his intimate knowledge of Irish Books”, whom we venture to name as the late lamented Henry Bradshaw, ever helpful in matters pertaining to bibliography; who also contributes over his initials an interesting notice of a rare volume re­counting a bogus “gunpowder plot” in Ireland.’ (p.3.)

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George Saintsbury: ‘The power of literary, or at least bibliographical, divination which Mr. Bradshaw possessed does not seem to have been exaggerated, any more than the “magnetic” force of his personal character.’ (Short History of English Literature, 1922 ed., p.118.)

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See Publication List of the Henry Bradshaw Society [online or attached; accessed 09.10.2009].

Dictionary of National Biography: 1831-1886; ed. Eton and King’s Coll., Cambridge, fellow 1853; BA 1854; asst. lib. Cambridge Univ. Lib., 1856-8; appointed to supervise MSS and early printed books, 1859; University Librarian, 1867. The Bradshaw Soc. for editing rare liturgical texts, fnd. 1890. Bradshaw prominent in exposing pretences of forger Simonides, 1862; Cambridge Univ. librarian, 1867-86; reorganised early printed books.

The Encyclopaedia of Ireland (Dublin: Allen Figgis & Co. 1968), cites Bradshaw in bibliog. of article on ‘Publishing’ (p.371).

Seamus Deane, gen. ed., The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing (Derry: Field Day 1991), Vol. 2; cites him as co-author with John of Tales by the O’Hara Family, 2 series. (Simpkin and Marshall 1825; Colborn, 1826), and The Bit o’ Writing (Saunders and Otley, 1838).

Ulster University Library, Morris Collection holds Felire Hui Gorman/The Martyrology of Gorman (Henry Bradshaw Soc., 1895) 411pp.

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Admirable Bod: ‘[O]ne of the most admirable features of the Bodleian Library, to my mind, is the way in which the private library of a specialist like Gough or Malone, has become, when bequeathed to Oxford, the germ of a still more precious collection, in which the University has constituted itself the man’s heir and continued his collection.’ (Address of 1882; quoted in Sayle [ed.], Preface, A Catalogue of the Bradshaw Collection of Irish Books in the University of Library, Cambridge, 1916, p.v.)

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The Chaucer Society’s
: The Society’s edition of Canterbury Tales (ed. Furnivall, 1868) takes Thomas Tyrwhitt's order and division in to 10 ‘fragments’ as a foundation (Tyrwhitt, ed., Works, 1775-78). In Tyrwhitt and some other editions such as the Riverside Chaucer, the order of the tales in the Ellsmere Manuscript, completed in 1404, is followed. Henry Bradshaw rearranged some of Tyrwhitt’s Fragments - each with internal connection to others in the group but none between one group and another - largely with the goal of constructing the most plausible itinerary for the pilgrims based on clues of time and location in the text. The “Bradshaw shift” results in Groups A-I [alphabetical]. This arrangement was embraced by Frederick James Furnivall and the Chaucer Society, as well as Walter William Skeat and others. (See Wikipedia, ‘Order of the Canterbury Tales’ - online; accessed 14.10.2016.)

Topography: There is a Bradshaw’s Brae nr. Nowtownards, Co. Down.

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