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Includes seven essays (likely unpublished) on American affairs and economic opportunities, dating from 1768-1780, by British colonial official, Ambrose Serle (1742–1812).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

Scope and Contents

Includes seven (previously bound) likely unpublished essay and dispatches on a variety of topics relating to the American colonies, including economics and religion, dating from 1768-1780, by British colonial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 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:

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