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MS 977

Reference code

MS 977


Thackeray and Pollock family letters



Administrative / Biographical history

Sir Jonathan (Frederick) Pollock, 1st Baronet (1783-1870) was a judge, Tory politician, Attorney General and Lord Chief Baron of the Exchequer.

Educated at St. Paul's School and at Trinity College, Cambridge, he practised as a barrister, specialising in bankruptcy cases. He was appointed King's Counsellor in 1827 and Commissary of Cambridge University from 1824 to 1835. He was knighted in 1834, entered politics and was elected MP for Huntingdon from 1831 to 1844, during which time he had two periods as Attorney General under the premiership of Sir Robert Peel. He was appointed Privy Counsellor and Chief Baron of the Exchequer in 1844, hearing common law cases in the court of equity, serving with distinction until 1866. He retired from the bench at the age of 82 in 1866 and was created Baronet Pollock of Hatton. As a young man he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1816 and wrote a number of papers on mathematics including one on what is now known as Pollock’s conjecture.

Pollock married firstly, Frances Rivers and they had six sons and five daughters. Secondly, he married Sarah Ann Amowah Langslow (1815-1895), born in Calcutta, India in 1834, the daughter of Captain Richard Langslow, Bengal Staff Corps, Indian Army. The couple had two sons and eight daughters. A number of the Pollocks’ sons and grandsons became notable lawyers.



Extent & medium

5 files

Content description

A collection of letters to members of the Pollock family from William Makepeace Thackeray, his daughter Anne Thackeray Ritchie and grand-daughter Hester (Ritchie) Fuller; and a note from Charles and Catherine Dickens; also, envelopes containing research notes by Linda Fowler, Eton College Library administrator. The letters suggest a close relationship between the Thackeray and Pollock families. William Makepeace Thackeray wrote a poem about Frederick Pollock, entitled ‘Damages, Two Hundred Pounds’, published in Ballads and Songs (1896)

Associated material

Oxford University: Bodleian Library, Special Collections:
MSS. Eng. hist. c. 959-963: Miscellaneous correspondence and papers of J F Pollock

Cambridge University Library: Department of Manuscripts and University Archives:
MS Add.7564: Pollock family papers

National Portrait Gallery:
Reference Collection: NPG D9577:
Letter to Mr Pollock - from William Makepeace Thackeray including a caricature of him

Publication note

Two original letters to Sarah, Lady Pollock in MS 977 02 have been published in J Aplin, The Correspondence and Journals of the Thackeray family, Vol 2 (2011), C219 and 220, pp. 322-323
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