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Correspondence and writings about forestry

Call Number: MS E234


Account of Sylvester Douglas Glenbervie’s experiments in planting the New Forest, the Forest of Dean, and other royal forests with ship-timber, 1808-1814; report on state of the forests in 1819; brief history of royal forests. Also includes letters about timber-growing, forest management, etc. by Glenbervie and others, found laid into the volume of his Account.


  • Creation: 1820; and 1813, 1844, 1860, 1874, 1882, 1886, 1896


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Conditions Governing Use

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.25 Linear Feet (1 volume + 1 document case) : Collation: Leaf added to MS E234 after leaf [?]; tipped in again by wlm apr 77. Script: MS E234 is in a clerk's hand, but with corrections and jottings by author. Note that items 11 and 12 are retained copies (mechanical); item 2 is a copy.

Language of Materials


Scope and Contents

Glenbervie was a lawyer and politician. In 1803 he was appointed Surveyor General of the woods and forests; in 1810 he was made the first chief commissioner of the united offices of Woods, etc, and Land Revenues. He left office in 1814. In July 1820, while in France, he wrote the volume located at MS E234, which is primarily an account of his experiments in forest-management 1808-1813 (largely in the New Forest; somewhat in the Forest of Dean and the other royal forests) and the opposition to him, and a report of the state of the forests in 1819 (in the form of a letter to Commissioner William Huskisson, August 27, 1819). It also contains a brief history of English attempts to raise oak timber for ship-building before 1808. The volume has no title or author statement but is dated and ascribed to Glenverbie by references in the text.

Laid in the manuscript, presumably after Glenbervie's death, were four letters dated 1813 about forestry in the Forest of Dean (two sent to Rev. Davies of the Forest); an 1844 letter from the Office of Woods forwarding Hungarian acorns for experimentation; an 1860 note about oak saplings in New Forest; two letters of 1882 and 1886 between Sir James Campbell and the Office of Woods concerning transplanting oaks in Dean Forest; and an 1896 report from the Deputy Surveyor of the Forest of Dean on his survey of the French State Forests, recommending natural regeneration and "High Forest" management for the Forest of Dean. Also laid in was a 1874 memorandum by Sir Robert Kingscote, Member of Parliament for Glacestershire, recommending that the Forest of Dean be enclosed in allotments, and giving a statistical history of mining, ship-timber growing, and the increase in inhabitants in the Forest, describing the inhabitants' wretched living conditions. These laid-in items have been housed separately and are located at MS 147.

Glenbervie was interested in techniques and statitistics. Although oaks are his primary concern in the volume, he touches on other trees, flora, and fauna. This manuscript appears to be unfinished.

Physical Location

MS E234

Physical Location

MS 147

Custodial History

Glenbervie died without surviving issue (married Catherine Anne North, daughter of 2nd Earl of Guilford); the other items should have been in the hands of Davies, Machen, Campbell, and Baylis (all perhaps officials of the Office of Woods). Item 9 should be at the Treasury or (if a copy) in Kingscote's hands (he too was an official of the Office of Woods); item 13 is a Governmental bookplate mentioning Glanamman Reading Room.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Peter Eaton, 1976

Guide to the Sylvest Douglas Glenbervie Forrestry Collection
Correspondence and writings about forestry
Finding aid prepared by alh, 1977; revised by ksc, 2006; cl, 2010. Finding aid encoded by skt, 2006.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in<language encodinganalog="language">English.</language>
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Preferred citation
Correspondence and writings about forestry, MS E234, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas.

Repository Details

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

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States