University of Texas, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

William Makepeace Thackeray:

An Inventory of His Collection at the Harry Ransom Center

Creator: Thackeray, William Makepeace, 1811-1863
Title: William Makepeace Thackeray Collection
Dates: 1830-1931, undated
Abstract: Includes manuscripts of writings, drawings, and letters by and about the Victorian English novelist William Makepeace Thackeray. Also present are many original sketches and drawings by Thackeray, as well as illustrations by Joseph Clayton Clarke, better known as Kyd. Among the correspondents are George Cruikshank, William Charles Macready, John Reagan, John Ruskin, and several family members, including his mother Anne Becher Thackeray Carmichael-Smyth and his daughter Anne Thackeray Ritchie.
Call Number: Manuscript Collection MS-4193
Extent: 3 boxes (1.26 linear feet)
Language: English, French, Italian
Repository: The University of Texas at Austin, Harry Ransom Center



Open for research

Administrative Information

Processed by:

Joan Sibley and Sara Saastamoinen, 2012

Note: This finding aid replicates and replaces information previously available only in a card catalog. Please see the explanatory note at the end of this finding aid for information regarding the arrangement of the manuscripts as well as the abbreviations commonly used in descriptions.

Container List


1.1 Untitled poem, John put a stone in a blind man's hat…, handwritten manuscript illustrated with pen and ink drawings, 1 page, undated.
Untitled poem, The maiden's brow with pain was fraught…, handwritten manuscript illustrated with pen and ink drawings, 2 pages, undated.
Adieu and a Jew, initialed handwritten manuscript / poems, 1 page, circa 1830.
The adventures of Philip:
1.1 Chapter 38, Caroline dear Caroline? I'm an old fellow, I know…, handwritten manuscript / fragment, 1 page, undated. From the Hanley Collection.
Handwritten manuscript / fragment, 1 page, undated. Removed from a folding case with bookplate (designed by Rockwell Kent) of Robert Frederic Metzdorf.
Handwritten manuscript / fragment, 1 page (numbered 20), undated.
Proof sheet with handwritten corrections in Thackeray's hand, 1 page (numbered 657), undated.
As I was roaming the sands of the ocean I met a wayworn mariner…, ink drawing, 1 page, undated. Removed from a folding case with the book label of Howard H. Eric.
Ballad – Mathilde: see The rose upon my balcony.
Ballad – Old Vanrennan: see The rose upon my balcony.
1.2 Bamboozling, proof with watercolor, 1 page, undated (watermark 1830). Bound with this: Burdett and Leader, 2 proofs with handwritten manuscript / extract re the prints, 13 May 1837.
1.1 The burghers of Calais, ink drawing, 1 page, undated. On verso: Barbazure and Fatima, ink and watercolor drawing, undated.
Capel court, pen and ink sketch, 1 page, circa 1835.
Coach-and-four, initialed pen and ink sketch, 1 page, undated.
1.3 Comic tales and sketches, proofs of illustrations, 12 pages, 1841.
1.1 De juventute, pencil drawing, 1 page, undated. Written on this: AN to W. S. Williams. Removed from folding case with book label of Howard H. Eric.
1.4 Doctor Birch and his young friends, proof plates, 15 pages, undated.
1.1 The first canter of Childe Harold, pen and ink sketch, 1 page, circa 1835. From the Drake Collection.
French soldiers and citizens, initialed pen and ink sketches, 1 page, undated.
1.5 The funeral barge, proof, 1 page, undated. Illustration to The second funeral of Napoleon.
George I, handwritten manuscript / fragment, 1 page, undated.
Hungarian reposing, ink and watercolor sketch, 1 page, undated.
John Braham, pen and ink sketch, 4 pages, undated. Pasted on a leaf also containing ALS from Hamilton Braham to Alfred Bunn, 16 February 1846 and notes re various people connected with the theater.
1.6 The Kickleburys on the Rhine, proof plates, 15 pages, undated.
1.5 Lady with two children, initialed pen and ink sketch, 1 page, undated.
1.7 The lion of the street, handwritten manuscript, 3 pages bound, 1848. Bound with: The dove of our street, 3 pages. Included with this: 2 color prints. Published in Our street (1848). Bookplate of William H. and Miriam Lutcher Stark. From the Stark Collection.
1.5 The loving ballad of Lord Bateman, handwritten manuscript with 11 illustrations, 24 pages, undated (watermark 1869). Written in an unidentified hand.
Main deck of the Lady Mary Wood, ink and wash sketch, 1 page, undated.
Man and woman in costume, pen and ink sketch, 1 page, circa 1835.
Military air and chorus: see The rose upon my balcony.
1.5 Mr. Hopkins, pencil sketches, 1 page, undated. Letter of verification from Isabel M. Shawe, 29 February 1901.
1.8 Mrs. Perkins's ball, proof plates, 23 pages, undated.
1.9 Napoleon, pen and ink drawing, 1 page, undated.
1.5 Napoleon, signed pencil sketches, 1 page, undated. On verso: Deathshead with 3 line inscription.
The Newcomes, handwritten manuscript / fragment, 2 pages (numbered 27, 48), undated. Withdrawn from: The Newcomes, London, Bradbury & Evans, 1854-1855, number 152.
1.11 The old year, signed handwritten manuscript with signed note to Lever, 1 page bound, 3 January 1858. From the Hanley Collection.
1.10 Parisians, pencil sketch, 1 page, undated. On verso: pencil sketch of a man.
1.12 Pocket sketchbook with pencil drawings, 124 pages, 1840. Includes some handwritten captions and notes. Bookplate of Henry W. Poor. Not described in card catalog (purchase, R11198, 1987).
1.10 Portrait of an Eastern man, signed watercolor, 1 page, 5 December 1836. From the F. K. Trowbridge Collection.
2.1 The rose upon my balcony and three other ballads, handwritten manuscript, 4 pages bound, undated. Also includes Military air and chorus; Old Vanrennan – King Fritz; and Ballad and scene – Mathilde. Poem is written on verso of an ink sketch. Bound with this: text from Vanity Fair including the poem, printed, 2 pages (numbered 461-462); typed transcript of poem; signed authentication by Anne Thackeray Ritchie. Bookplate of Henry S. Van Duzer. From the Stark Collection.
1.10 Roundabout papers: Ogres, proof sheet with handwritten revisions and additions, 2 pages (numbered 005 and 006), undated. Removed from PR 5617 R7 1863 HRC.
Rural landscape through a window, pen and ink sketch, 1 page, undated. On verso: ANS verification by Mary A. Benjamin, 18 April 1890.
Scottish gentleman, initialed pen and ink sketch, 1 page, undated.
Seated girl, initialed pen and ink sketch, 1 page, undated.
Seated woman holding a dog, initialed pen and ink sketch, 1 page, undated. On verso: head of a woman, ink sketch.
Self-portrait as a Turk, pencil sketch, 1 page, 1845.
Speech for the Administrative Reform Association, handwritten manuscript / incomplete, 2 pages, undated. Speech scheduled for 11 July 1855 but never delivered. Additional text in Huntington Library. These pages given to R. M. Metzdorf by Hester T. Fuller.
Three ladies and a monk, pen and ink sketch, 1 page, circa 1835. From the Drake Collection.
2.2 Tickletoby's journal, pen and ink sketch, 1 page, undated.
2.3 To one bereaved, signed handwritten manuscript, 2 pages, undated. From the Hanley Collection.
1.10 Vanitas Vanitatum, handwritten manuscript, 1 page, undated. In the hand of Anne Thackeray Ritchie. With AN re the poem in Thackeray's hand.
The Virginians:
1.10 Handwritten manuscript with few emendations, 1 page, undated. Part 17, Chapter XVIII, page 144.
Handwritten manuscript / fragment, 1 page, undated. In the hand of Anne Thackeray Ritchie with corrections in Thackeray's hand. With newspaper clippings, photograph, and engraving; ALS from Robert Jones to unidentified recipient. Probably a page from a scrapbook.
2.4 Handwritten manuscript / fragment with few emendations, 1 page, undated. Included with this: Witches chorus, ink sketch for The Virginians, undated. From Hanley II.
1.10 W. H. Ainsworth, ink drawing, 1 page, 1836. Note attributing this to Thackeray in an unknown hand.
2.5 The wolves and the lamb, printed copy with extensive handwritten directions and additions of Harriet Thackeray Stephen, 104 pages, undated.
1.10 Wrestling figures, initialed pen and ink sketch, 1 page, undated.
2.6 Ye great beware, ye rich be wise…, handwritten manuscript with 3 pencil sketches, 1 page, undated. "Verses not used in the Ballad of Vanitas Vanitatum." Also included: typed transcription of the unused verses and of the final ballad.


2.7 ALS / fragment to unidentified recipient, undated.
AN to unidentified recipient, undated.
ANS to unidentified recipient, undated. Signed: Emily Fotheringay.
ALI to unidentified recipient, May 1854.
ALS to unidentified recipient, 23 January 1857.
ANS to unidentified recipient, 27 August 1858.
ANS to unidentified recipient, undated (watermark 1859). On letterhead of Cornhill magazine.
ALS to unidentified recipient, 3 November 1860. On following page is AL / copy in unknown hand from Pope, Alexander to Richardson, Jonathan, 10 June 1733. Removed from Stark 7452. From the Stark Collection.
ANS to unidentified recipient, 18 October 1862.
3.1 2 ALS, AN to unidentified recipients, 6 February 1863, 30 March 1863, 22 February no year. Identifying note in unidentified hand on AN. Included with these: 1 sheet of sketches. From Hanley II.
2.7 ALS to Ainsworth, William Harrison, undated. Removed from Stark 7459. From the Stark Collection.
ALS to Beale, Thomas Willert, 19 February 1857.
ALS to Black, Adam, 20 May 1853.
ALS, ALI to Blackwood, John, Mrs., 16 and 17 April 1857, 4 April 1859.
ALS to Boyd, Robert?, 8 July 1851?
ALI to Bradbury & Evans, 18 November 1856.
ALS / draft to Chapman & Hall, 20 April 1843. Same as the letter dated 15 May 1843 in Gordon Ray's Letters. From the Drake Collection.
ALS, AL / signature removed to Chapman & Hall, 18 March 1843, 28 October 1844.
3.2 ALI to Cole, Henry, Sir, June 1839. With this: proof of a drawing similar to sketch in the letter.
2.7 ANI to Cooper, 18 February 1863.
ANS to Corry, Henry Thomas Lowry, undated.
ALS to Courtenay, Mr., 29 May 1862. Re memorial for William Ritchie.
ALS to Crowe, Margaret Archer, undated. Signed "The Mulligan."
2 ALS to Cruikshank, George, 30 June no year (watermark '37), 19 November no year (watermark '51).
ALS to Dalling and Bulwer, William Henry Lytton Earle Bulwer, Baron, 16 March no year.
ANS to De la Prynne, 10 December 1856.
ALS to De Leon, Edwin?, 1 January 1862. On letterhead of Cornhill magazine.
ALS to Doran, John, circa 1860.
ALS to Elton, Rhoda Willis Baird, 14 October 1848.
2 ALI to Fanshawe, Charles S., Mrs., May 1850, undated.
ALI, AN to Fields, James Thomas, 25 November 1852 or 1855, 21 January 1856.
ALS to Fraser, Thomas, 16 January 1849.
AN to Halliday, Augusta Thackeray Elliot, undated.
ANI to Hamilton, Rev., undated.
3.3 ANS to Hargreaves, J., 9 January 1857.
2.7 2 ALS to Harness, William, circa 1850, undated. One ALS includes pen and ink drawing.
ALS to Hawes, Sophia Brunel, undated.
ALS to Holland, John, 13 February 1857.
ALS to Hollingshead, John, 10 December 1862.
AN to Holmes, Mary, 24 February 1852. Re letter from Charlotte Brontë.
ALS to Hope, Mr., 13 March 1860.
3.4 ALS to Irvine, Marianne Shakespear, 6 November 1849.
ALS to James, Maria Otter, undated.
ALS to Jaxton, Thomas, 15 September 1855. Body of the letter in unidentified hand.
ALI to Kemble, John Mitchell, March 1839.
2 ANS, 2 ANI to Laurence, Samuel, 11 June 1852?, October? 1852, undated.
ALI / forgery to Lever, Charles James, 13 June no year.
ANS to Lubbock, John William Sir, 29 October 1852.
ALS to Lutwidge, R. W., 30 December 1859.
ANI to Macarthy, undated.
ALS to Madden, Richard Robert, 22 May 1854.
ALI to Molesworth, Andalusia Grant, undated.
ALI to Nickisson, George Williamson, 20 August 1844.
ANI, AN to Olliffe, Laura Cubitt, 30 November 1861, undated.
Envelope addressed to Perry, Catherine, 8 August 1855.
3.5 ANI to Priaulx, Osmond de Beauvoir, undated. With this: ALS to unidentified recipient from Priaulx; various newspaper clippings; ALS to Sir Thomas Lawrence from unidentified author. Probably a page from a scrapbook.
3.4 AL to Quin, Frederick Hervey Foster?, undated. Signed "Sidney Lady Hem!"
AL to Ritchie, Anne Thackeray and Stephen, Harriet Thackeray, circa 1860-1861. Signature scored through. On Garrick Club letterhead with pen and ink drawing of beefeater.
ANI to Ritchie, Charlotte, undated. On verso of a fragment of Miss Ritchie's dinner invitation to Thackeray.
ALS, ANS to Roberts, David, 1 February 1855, 9 January 1858.
ALS to Ruskin, John, 17 December 1860.
ALS to Sartoris, Adelaide Kemble, undated (watermark 1861). Salutation in hand of Anne Thackeray Ritchie.
ANS to Shillinglaw, J. re testimonial for William Jerdan, circa 1853.
ALS / facsimile to Smith, Albert Richard, 12 August 1851.
ANS to Smith, George, undated.
AN to Somers, Virginia Pattle?, undated.
ANS to Sturgis, Russell, undated (1852?
ALS to Thackeray, Elizabeth Mary Carnegie, 8 November 1860.
ANS to Thackeray, Martin, 28 July 1859.
AN to Thackeray, Mary Anne, 15 June 1860.
3.6 ALS, 5 ALI, 3 ANI, AN to Thompson, Henry, Sir, 1855-1863, undated.
3.4 ANS to Vacher, undated (watermark '54).
ALS to Venedy, Jacob re Georg Herwegh's book, circa 1843.
ALS to Wall, Charles Baring?, 1 May 1850.
AL to Wesley, Messers, undated (watermark 1854).
ALS to Williams, William Smith, 2 September 1862.
ALS to Wright re Eyre Crowe, 18 February 1851.


3.7 Unidentified author. Round or square quotations, handwritten manuscript, 1 page, undated. In Italian and unidentified languages.
Baxter, Lucy W., b. 1836. ALS to Jones, Miss, 27 December 1904.
3.8 Benjamin, Lewis Saul, 1874-1932. 14 ALS, APCS to Kitton, Frederick George re Thackeray bibliography, 1903.
3.7 Blackwood, John, 1818-1879. 2 ALS to Smith, Harry, 6 July 1871, 14 March 1872.
Brooks, Shirley, 1815-1874. Lines from Punch in memory of Thackeray, signed handwritten manuscript, 1 page, undated.
Carmichael-Smyth, Anne Becher Thackeray, 1792-1864. ALS to Harness, William, 13 January 1864.
3.9 Clarke, Joseph Clayton. Original character illustrations to Vanity Fair, 12 pen and watercolor drawings plus title page, 13 pages, undated. Signed: Kyd.
3.7 Cunningham, Peter, 1816-1869. ALS / facsimile invitation to farewell dinner for Thackeray, 25 September 1855.
Dibdin, Edward Rimbault, b. 1853. ALS to unidentified recipient, 13 February 1900.
Furniss, Harry, 1854-1925. ALS to Johnson, Robert Underwood re Thackeray centenary edition, September 1910.
Gwynn, Stephen Lucius, 1864-1950. The greatness of Thackeray, signed typescript with handwritten emendations, 12 pages, undated. From Hanley II.
Hayes, Catherine, 1825-1861. ALS to Mackinlay, Mrs., undated.
Hayes, Catherine, 1825-1861. AL to Walmisley, Thomas Attwood?, undated.
Hemans, Felicia Dorothea Brown, 1793-1835. Untitled poem, My fatherland!, My fatherland…, handwritten manuscript in the hand of W. M. Thackeray, 1 page, circa 1830. Page extracted from a manuscript book belonging to Rose Niven, granddaughter of Major General George Carmichael-Smith.
Johnson, Robert Underwood, 1853-1937. TLS to Nicholson, John P., 7 December 1896.
Kemble, John Mitchell, 1807-1857. ALS to unidentified recipient, 20 December 1856.
Law, Mr. AL to Jameson, Anna Brownell Murphy, 25 July 1851.
3.10 Leech, John, 1817-1864. ALS to Dicken, Charles Rowland, undated.
3.7 Locker-Lampson, Frederick, 1821-1895. ALS to Pennell, 10 March 1862. Mentions Thackeray, Tennyson, Leigh Hunt, and Calverley.
Macready, William Charles, 1793-1873. ALS to Thackeray, William Makepeace, 18 February 1858.
Martin, Theodore, Sir, 1816-1909. ANS to Benjamin, Lewis Saul, 12 April 1909.
More, Hannah, 1745-1833. The stars (poem), handwritten manuscript / copy in the hand of W. M. Thackeray, 1 page, circa 1830. Page extracted from a manuscript book belonging to Rose Niven, granddaughter of Major General George Carmichael-Smith.
Murray, John, 1808-1892. ALS to Jameson, Anna Brownell Murphy, 11 July 1851.
3.11 Perry, Catherine. Commonplace book, signed handwritten manuscript, 55 pages bound, undated (watermark 1830). Three entries in French, one in Italian.
3.7 Proctor, Anne B. Skepper, 1799-1888. ALS to Hayward, Abraham, 23 July 1847.
Rawlinson, Robert, Sir, 1810-1898. ALS to F. T. I. Scott, 27 July 1853. Letter comparing William Makepeace Thackeray and Thomas Carlyle.
3.12 Reagan, John. ALS to Thackeray, William Makepeace, 18 September 1860. Includes Cornhill magazine publication department printed form with handwritten entries re manuscript submission. See related manuscript The voices of the ages by Reagan.
3.7 Reagan, John. The voices of the ages, handwritten manuscript, 26 pages, undated. Partially printed.
Ritchie, Anne Isabella Thackeray, 1837-1919:
3.13 ALS to unidentified recipient, 18 April no year. Written in French.
ALS to unidentified recipient, 7 December 1905.
ALS to Anderson, Miss, undated.
ALS to Benjamin, Lewis Saul, 23 December 1910.
ALS to Cousin, Mr., undated. Not described in card catalog (purchase R13296, 1995).
ALS to De Fonblanque, Edward Barrington, undated.
ALS to Harrison, Mr., 27 November no year.
ALS to Redgrave, Mrs., undated.
ANS to Roberts, David, 18 September no year (watermark 1856).
ALS to Rodd, Mrs., undated. Not described in card catalog (purchase R13296, 1995).
ALS to Smith, Reginald John, 16 February 1907. On verso: ALS to Mrs. Ritchie from Charles Plumptre Johnson, 14 February 1907.
ALS to Yates, Edmund, undated.
These drawings are early drawings…, ANS, February 1898. Referring to four pen and ink sketches executed by Thackeray, circa 1835.
3.14 The first number of the Cornhill, typescript with handwritten revisions, 18 pages, undated.
3.7 Ritchie, Richmond, Sir, d. 1913. 3 ALS to Kitson, F. G. re portraits of William Makepeace Thackeray, 1889.
Russell, John, Lord, 1792-1878. ANS to Stanley of Alderley, Edward John Stanley, re pension for Anna Brownell Murphy Jameson, 2 July 1851.
3.15 Saintsbury, George Edward Bateman, 1845-1933. ALS to Pollock, Frederick, Sir, 12 October 1931. Withdrawn from Thackeray 307: A consideration of Thackeray by George Saintsbury, London, 1931.
Smedley, Francis Edward, 1818-1864. ALS to Winnard, Miss re her review of Vanity Fair, 18 July 1848.
Smith, Albert Richard, 1816-1860. ALS to Kepper, Mr., introducing John Deane, 9 August 1857. Letter mentions Dickens and Thackeray.
Stanley, Edward John, Stanley of Alderley, 1802-1869. ALS to Thackeray, William Makepeace re pension for Anna Brownell Murphy Jameson, 2 July 1851.
Stephen, Harriet Marion Thackeray, 1840-1875. ANS to Adolphus, Mrs., March 1862.
Stephen, Leslie, Sir, 1832-1904:
3.15 ALS to Marzials, Frank Thomas, 29 November 1897.
ALS to Pollock, William Frederick, Sir, 9 July 1874.
ALS to Skirrow, Mrs., 26 January 1880.
Tennyson, Frederick, 1807-1898. ALS to Tennyson, Emily re William Makepeace Thackeray, 9 January 1864.
Thackeray, William Makepeace, 1811-1863:
3.16 Autograph, 30 October 1852.
AN re early works, undated.
ANS to unidentified recipient re work for Cornhill magazine, undated. AN on verso refers to Dr. Andrew Wynter, author of Our social bees (1871). Not described in card catalog (transfer from Library, 1995).
Call slip for the British Museum, 18 August (1852 or 1855).
Evil communications corrupt good manners, signed handwritten manuscript, 1 page, undated.
Lock of Thackeray's hair, 24 December 1863. With this: accompanying explanatory note.
The Rhine springs up in a pool…, AN, 1 page, undated. From the Drake Collection.
Well done, well done, Hyacinthus my son…, handwritten manuscript, 1 page, undated. Result of a wager between Thackeray, Shirley Brooks, and John Tenniel to see who could write the smallest.

Explanatory Note Concerning Manuscript Collections Cataloged in the Card Catalog

Prior to 1990 when archival cataloging procedures were adopted at the Ransom Center, all manuscript collections were described in a card catalog.

Organization of Collections:

Manuscripts for each author collection were organized into four categories:

  • Works: manuscripts by the author, arranged alphabetically by title;
  • Letters: the author's outgoing correspondence, arranged alphabetically by recipient name;
  • Recipient: the author's incoming correspondence, arranged alphabetically by the author of the letter; and
  • Miscellaneous: all other manuscripts and correspondence, arranged alphabetically by creator.

Materials that did not fit into these categories, such as art, photographs, books, and near-print materials such as newspaper clippings, were dispersed to other Ransom Center collections for cataloging and storage.

Abbreviations Used in Descriptions:

The symbols below were used in combinations. For example ALS means autograph letter signed; Tccms means typed carbon copy manuscript, etc.

  • A = autograph (i.e., handwritten)
  • T = typed
  • S = signed
  • I = initialed
  • Ms = manuscript
  • Mss = manuscripts
  • L = letter
  • FL = form letter
  • N = note
  • D = document
  • C = card
  • PC = post card
  • cc = carbon copy
  • p = page
  • pp = pages
  • l = leaf
  • ll = leaves
  • nd = no date
  • inc d = incomplete date