Contents and Arrangement Expanded View

Collection Overview

Serle, Ambrose, 1742-1812
Ambrose Serle Essays on North America
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
1 box and 0.2 linear feet
Storage Note:
Firestone Library (scahsvm): Box 1


Includes seven essays (likely unpublished) on American affairs and economic opportunities, dating from 1768-1780, by British colonial official, Ambrose Serle (1742–1812).

Collection Description & Creator Information


Includes seven (previously bound) likely unpublished essay and dispatches on a variety of topics relating to the American colonies, including economics and religion, dating from 1768-1780, by British colonial official, Ambrose Serle (1742–1812). One of the essays is addressed to Wills Hill, 1st Marquess of Downshire (1719-1793), or Lord Hillsborough; two are addressed to Thomas Villiers, 1st Earl of Clarendon, or Lord Hyde. Serle wrote six of these essays before publishing his political pamphlet "Americans Against Liberty; or an essay on the Nature and Principles of True Freedom, Shewing that the Designs and Conduct of the Americans Tend only to Tyranny and Slavery" (1775).

Collection Creator Biography:

Serle, Ambrose, 1742-1812

Ambrose Serle (1742-1812) was a British colonial official with a long professional interest in North America. In 1772, Serle was appointed under-secretary to William Legge (1731–1801), Second Earl of Dartmouth, Secretary of State for the Colonies. Serle also served from 1776 to 1778 as Secretary to General William Howe (1729–1814), commander of British forces in North America. Serle remained in America until 1780.

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).


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 photocopies may be made for research purposes. No further photoduplication of copies of material in the collection can be made when Princeton University Library does not own the original. Inquiries regarding publishing material from the collection should be directed to RBSC Public Services staff through the Ask Us! form. The library has no information on the status of literary rights in the collection and researchers are responsible for determining any questions of copyright.

Credit this material:

Ambrose Serle Essays on North America; 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