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Office Chronicles

Call Number: MS E255


Bound periodical published every Thursday morning in England, of a literary, historical, and anecdotal variety. The title of the first issue states: The Office Chronicle. Published every Thursday Morning / Varios induta colores. Ovid/ Handwritten weekly, apparently amateur, containing not only literary/historical articles continued from issue to issue, but also material resembling the contents of a common-place book. Most items are signed "Alpha," "Omega, "or "Jacobus." Non-serial contents include anecdotes (largely concerning literary men, scholars, soldiers, actors), apothegms, jokes, epigrams, little-known scientific facts and theories, poems, (possibly some original), charades, satirical political verse, snippets of history, courage of mutilated bull-dogs, and anti-Papistical accounts.


  • 1829 - 1830

Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.


1 volume : Binding of cardboard and leather. Fly-leaf water-marked 1833. Blue vellum strips used for cords. Unpaged: 2 freed paste-downs; 4 fly-leaves; 52 4-page issues. Shorthand notes: Brief repetitive notes in issues 48, 51. Each issue was apparently issued separately. Each contains 3 2-column pages of text; the fourth page of each is blank except for the issue number in docketing position. Each was previously folded up twice, and the group was probably kept tied together as a bundle before unfolding and binding. Since there is no evidence of addresses on the blank page, the group may have been the office copy, or, indeed, the only copy. ; 34 x 22 cm

Scope and Contents

Most items appear to be copies or digests of other material; often a name such as "The Age", "Butler", "Lyttelton", "Blackburn Mail", or "New European Magazine" appears as well, apparently as an attribution. The two long essays may be original, as may be a few of the poems.

Additional information about the publication of the Chronicle comes from some of the issues: No. 24 states," "The Proprietors of the Office Chronicle will in future send their Contri-butions to the Publishers on...Tuesdays..." No. 30 indicates, "After the...fruitless attempts which some of the Editors of the Office Chronicle, have made to produce constant...contributiors...we announce to the Proprietors that its publication...will be discontinued till a sufficient number of contributors can be obtained...Omega." No. 57 contains an article "[To be continued]."

Serialized articles include "Essay on the rise and progress of Literature" by "Alpha," covering the history and science as well as literature. The article begins with prehistoric man; describes Greeks in issues 7-14 and Romans in 15-31; Dark Ages and Anglo-Saxons in issues 32-54; and breaks off with death of Pope Sylvester II. Incipit: "In considering this subject..."

"An Essay or British Poetry with Biographical Notices of the most distinguished Poets, and critical remarks on their Works, to which is added a Preliminary Discourse on Ancient Poetry" by "Omega" is also called "History of British Poetry, etc.," and "The Lives of the most eminent British poets with critical remarks on their works." Covers Greeks, Romans, middle ages, and ballads in issues 2-5; Chaucer in 6; Spenser in 7-8; Jonson in 9-10; Shakespeare in 11-15; Milton in 17-30; Butler in 31-36; Waller in 37-43; Dryden in 44, 48-54; Denham in 45; and Settle in 57. Incipit: "Poetry is the glowing language..."

Other serialized articles include "The Poverty of the Learned", from [I. Disraeli's] Curiosities of Literature by Omega, which appears in issues 9, 12, 18, 21; "Dennis" [French dramatic writer] by Jacobus in issues 26 and 29; and "Professor Parson" by Jacobus in issues 38, 44, and 50. "From the prospectus of part 1 of the Pleasures of Love, a poem by John Stewart esq." (Jacobus) appears in issues 18 and 24; "Triads of Wisdom. From the Welsh." (Omega) in issues 48 and 51; "Mary Queen of Scotts." (Alpha) in issues 13 and 17; and "Character of Louis XI." (Alpha) in issues 20 and 22. "Account of the festivities observed at the Coronation of Louis XI..." appears in issue 13 and was supposed to be continued in 16. Eddystone Lighthouse: Winstanley and Smeaton. (Jacobus) appears in issues 39, 40, and 41.

Physical Location

MS E255

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Peter Murray Hill, 1985.

Guide to the British Weekly Chronicle in Manuscript
Office Chronicles
Finding aid prepared by alh, October 17, 1985. Finding aid encoded by skt, 2005.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Office Chronicles, Department of Special Collections, MS E255, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas

Revision Statements

  • 2019-07-15: Updated for version 1.5, cleaned up ASpace record, mwh

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States