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Bernard Barton Correspondence

Identifier: SFHL-RG5-311


The collection contains primarily the corrrespondence of Bernard Barton, English Quaker poet and bank clerk. Most of the letters are to William S. Fitch, a chemist and druggist, and other correspondents include R. Ackerman and Edward Moxon. Many of the letters concern Barton's poetry. Also included are few poems and other papers. All items in the collection were written by Bernard Barton; most were written from the location of Woodbridge (Suffolk, England).


  • 1818 - 1848


Limitations on Accessing the Collection

Collection is open for research.

Copyright and Rights Information

Friends Historical Library believes all of the items in this collection to be in the Public Domain in the United States, and is not aware of any restrictions on their use. However, the user is responsible for making a final determination of copyright status before reproducing. See

Biographical / Historical

Known as the Quaker Poet, Bernard Barton was born at Carlisle, England, on 31 January 1784, the son of Quaker parents, John Barton (1755–1789) and his wife, Mary Done Barton (1752–1784). he married Lucy Jesup (1781–1808) in 1807. She died at the end of their first year of marriage, while giving birth to their daughter Lucy. For most part his life, he was employed as a clerk in Messrs Alexander's Bank in Woodbridge, Suffolk.

His best known work is The Convict's Appeal (1818), in which he protested against the death penalty and the severity of the criminal code. He was well known in his day for his books of poetry and hymns.


.2 Linear Feet (1 box) : 95 items




The eighty-eight letters, mostly to William Stevenson Fitch, which were purchased in 1940 are arranged chronologically in a bound volume. Miscellaneous letters and some other papers purchased in the 1960s or from other sources are separately foldered and arranged in chronological order.

Note that several items included in this inventory are not actually part of this collection, but are instead part of the Charles F. Jenkins Autograph Collection (MSS 031) or Friends Historical Library Collection of Miscellaneous Manuscripts (MSS 004), as indicated.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchase, 1940, 1963, 1967, 1968.

Gift of Jesse Merritt, 1939.

Gift of Charles F. Jenkins.

Existence and Location of Copies

This collection is available on microfilm: see MS-B.

Related Materials

Memoir, letters, and poems of Bernard Barton, Ed. by his daughter. Publisher Philadelphia : Lindsay and Blakiston, 1850.

Published poetry in FHL books.

Processing Information

The letters were cataloged on index cards in the FHL Manscript collection and microfilmed.

In 2018 the information from the catalog cards was input into ArchivesSpace.

Needs Final Processing
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Find It at the Library

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