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Manuscript notebook containing 165 poems and songs written at Southwood Hall by Louisa Matilda Crawford, 1820-1857

Identifier: Coll-1839/7

Scope and Contents

The quarto manuscript notebook is entitled “Poems and Songs, written at Southwood Hall, by Louisa Matilda Crawford”. On the inner front cover is pasted an engraving of Southwood Hall in Middlesex whilst on the inner back cover is an engraving of Barnard Castle in County Durham. The pages are bound between red wooden covers and hand stitched along the spine. The notebook contains 165 songs and poems arranged into sequences and short collections, such as “Stanzas on Miss Stephens. Now Countess of Essex.” Although, as the title indicates, these are a mixture of songs and poems there is little to obviously distinguish the two forms to the reader. Since Louisa referred to herself primarily as a songwriter rather than a poet, and wrote verses with the intention of having them set to music, all items have been titled as songs for consistency. Many of the song titles are followed by the names of the "Airs" or well-known tunes they were written to. Louisa also frequently records details of pieces sold to publishers, including many to Thomas D’Almaine (c. 1784-1866) and those set to music by composers such as Samuel Wesley (1766-1837), Charles Smith and others. The vast majority of entries are neatly written out in Louisa's hand, but a couple near the beginning are in Matthew's hand. No date is given. Although the notebook was likely compiled towards the end of Louisa's life the songs may have been originally written or published at any time in her adulthood and the date range given reflects this. In much of her correspondence she makes requests to publishers for copies of her songs, presumably for inclusion in this notebook. In an undated letter to magazine editor Mr Emery (Coll-1839/1/1/22) she writes; “I am not wanting them to give away, but to have them bound up in a volume since I find it impossible to keep single songs…I am going to beat up for recruits in all quarters where my bagatelles have been published, in order that I may have a little memorial to leave to those that will value the gift when I am gone.” The notebook represents efforts by Matthew and Louisa to create a lasting record or legacy of her work.


  • Creation: 1820-1857


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

Open. Please contact the repository in advance.


1 notebook

Repository Details

Part of the University of Edinburgh Library Heritage Collections Repository

Centre for Research Collections
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