Edward Harley, 2nd Earl of Oxford (Biographical details)

Edward Harley, 2nd Earl of Oxford (collector; British; Male; 1689 - 1741)

Also known as

Harley, Edward; Oxford


The great collector of books and manuscripts, who in 1724 inherited and developed his father Robert's collection. After his death, the manuscripts were sold by his family to the nation in 1753 and formed part of the foundation collection of the British Museum (now in the BL, as the Harleian Manuscripts, with the exception of a relatively small number of items which remain in the BM). Parts of the collection were sold by Cock on 8 March 1741/2 and the five follwing days, including most of his prints. The main library of printed books was sold en bloc to the bookseller Osborn in 1743 for £13,000, who then scattered them on the market.


Articles in BLJ 1989