Skip to main content

Robert Frampton letters

Call Number: MS Q23


A collection of nine letters of Robert Frampton, Bishop of Gloucester, including one letter to the Keeper of the Great Seal. The letters concern church government, and, in the case of those to friend William Walsh, social, philosophical, and literary matters.


  • 1682, 1697-1702


Language of Materials

Some items in Italian or Italian and English; most letters in English.

Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

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

Biography of Robert Frampton, Bishop of Gloucester (1622-1708)

Robert Frampton, the youngest of 8 children of farmer Robert Frampton and wife Elizabeth Selby, was baptized in 1622 in Dorset, England. He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Oxford in 1641 but did not complete his Masters degree because of the English civil war.

Following his studies, Frampton took on a variety of teaching duties. A Dr. Davenant encouraged him to take religious orders, and the Bishop of Oxford, Robert Skinner, privately ordained Frampton. He then succeeded Davenant as pastor at Gillingham and then family chaplain for the Earl of Elgin. Frampton had royalist sympathies and continued to use the Church of England liturgy, despite the country's rule by Oliver Cromwell and other Parliamentarians of a Puritan disposition during the war.

In 1655, Frampton left England for Aleppo, Syria, where he served as chaplain for the Levant Company. With his knowledge of Italian, German, and Arabic, he studied archaeological remains in the area and visited Jerusalem.

Frampton returned to England late in 1666 and married Mary Caning (circa 1632-1680), with whom he had a daughter. Frampton returned to Aleppo for a few years and then came back to London in 1671, where he was apointed a preacher at the rolls and served as chaplain to Sir Orlando Bridgeman, the lord keeper. Frampton's reputation as a preacher continued to grow after the Restoration of the monarchy, though none of his sermons were published. King Charles II appointed Frampton dean of Gloucester in 1673 after hearing him preach. In 1681 he suceeded John Pritchett as Bishop of Gloucester.

Frampton had a fraught relationship with King James II, on the one hand preaching against the monarchy's Catholic tendencies and on the other refusing to take the oath for William and Mary, who removed James II from power in 1688/1689 in the Glorious Revolution. Frampton was removed from his bishopric but continued to officiate at his living in Standish, Gloucestershire.

[Information retrieved from Cornwall, Robert D., "Frampton, Robert," Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, 2005.]


9 folders (9 oversize folders) ; Folders measure 39x49 cm.

Scope and Contents

Eight out of the nine letters were written to Frampton's friend William Walsh (1663-1708), a Member of Parliament for Worcestershire and a friend and advisor to English poets John Dryden and Alexander Pope. Most letters were signed by Frampton as "Robert Frampton Glouster heretofore" or similar, in respect to the bishopric he felt he should not have lost. Frampton and Walsh discuss several books, including Sarpi, Bellarmine, Varillas, Comines, Cyril, Palavicino, and Baronius. A list of books associated with the letter in folder B2 starts with Confucius and ends with L'Homme de Cour.

Physical Location

MS Q23

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchase, Hofman-Freeman consignment, 1969.

Processing Information

Collection formerly located at MS 103.

Guide to the Robert Frampton Collection
Robert Frampton letters
Finding aid prepared by alh, 1971. Finding aid encoded by mwh, 2020.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Robert Frampton letters, MS Q23, 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