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Collection Overview

Howard, Thomas, 1735-1778
Thomas Howard "A Sketch of the Interest of Great Britain in her American Colonies, with Some Remarks upon the Policy, Trade, and Commerce of America" Manuscript and Letter
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
circa 1774-1777
1 box and 0.2 linear feet
Storage Note:
  • Firestone Library (scahsvm): Box 1


Consists of an unpublished manuscript treatise, dating from the late 1760s, most likely authored by British military officer, Thomas Howard (1735–1778), as well as an 8-page letter from Howard written while he was commander of the Grenadier Guards during the American Revolution.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

This collection includes an unpublished manuscript treatise in four notebooks (approximately 110 pages total), without indication of authorship, probably dating from the late 1760s. The text advocates free trade between Britain and the American colonies, encouragement of American manufacturing, a better understanding of the needs and desires of American settlers, limitation of taxation, and abolition of British legislation reserving white pines for British ships. Text is on rectos only, with occasional additions on the facing versos. Scattered throughout the notebooks are several loose paper fragments with contemporary notes and critiques in a different hand.

The manuscript is written in the same hand as an 8-page autograph letter signed (Philadelphia, November 30, 1777) by one Thomas Howard. The letter is addressed to Thomas Villiers, 1st Earl of Clarendon (1709-1786), on British military policy and difficulties in the American Revolution: "The country is so very strong, and the general enmity so very prevalent against us, that we find infinite difficulties whenever we are separated for any length of time from our shipping..." The author of the letter, and almost certainly of the manuscript treatise, was Colonel Thomas Howard (1735–78), a commander of the First or Grenadier Guards in America. He wrote the letter in Philadelphia during the winter of 1777–78, when British forces occupied the city and Continental forces were encamped at Valley Forge.

Collection Creator Biography:

Howard, Thomas, 1735-1778

British military officer, Colonel Thomas Howard (1735–1778), was a commander of the First or Grenadier Guards and fought in the American Revolution. While returning to England in 1778, he was killed when his ship was attacked by an American privateer. His brother, John Howard (1739–1820), also a commanding officer of the Grenadier Guards and participant in the Revolution, became 15th Earl of Suffolk.

Collection History


Purchased, 2017 (AM 2017-95).

Custodial History

These materials were part of 21 other lots of archival papers from Holywell House, Hampshire, home of the Villiers family, earls of Clarendon. These papers chiefly relate to the life and careers of two contemporaries: Henry Hyde, Viscount Cornbury (1710–1753), and Thomas Villiers (1709–1786), created successively Baron Hyde of Hindon (1756) and Earl of Clarendon (1776). Clarendon was in British cabinet at the time of the American Revolution


No materials were separated during 2017 processing.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Faith Charlton in March 2017. Finding aid written by Faith Charlton in March 2017.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

Open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. To cite or publish quotations that fall within Fair Use, as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission is required. For instances beyond Fair Use, it is the responsibility of the researcher to determine whether any permissions related to copyright, privacy, publicity, or any other rights are necessary for their intended use of the Library's materials, and to obtain all required permissions from any existing rights holders, if they have not already done so. Princeton University Library's Special Collections does not charge any permission or use fees for the publication of images of materials from our collections, nor does it require researchers to obtain its permission for said use. The department does request that its collections be properly cited and images credited. More detailed information can be found on the Copyright, Credit and Citations Guidelines page on our website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us through the Ask Us! form.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.

Credit this material:

Thomas Howard "A Sketch of the Interest of Great Britain in her American Colonies, with Some Remarks upon the Policy, Trade, and Commerce of America" Manuscript and Letter; Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Permanent URL:
Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
(609) 258-3184
Storage Note:
  • Firestone Library (scahsvm): Box 1