Henry Yates Thompson
|Born||15 December 1838|
near Liverpool, England
|Died||8 July 1928 89) (aged|
|Education||Trinity College, Cambridge|
|Known for||Illuminated manuscript collector|
|Spouse||Elizabeth Smith (m. 1878–1928)|
Henry Yates Thompson (15 December 1838 – 8 July 1928) was a British newspaper proprietor and collector of illuminated manuscripts.
Yates Thompson was the eldest of five sons born to Samuel Henry Thompson, a banker from a leading family of Liverpool, and Elizabeth Yates, the eldest of five daughters of Joseph Brooks Yates, a West India merchant and antiquary. He was educated at Harrow and at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he won the Porson Prize for Greek verse and was a Cambridge Apostle.  After graduation, Yates Thompson was called to the bar by Lincoln's Inn but never practiced, choosing instead to travel extensively throughout Europe and the United States, during which time witnessed the Second Battle of Chattanooga. He served as private secretary to Earl Spencer, the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, from 1868 until 1873, and stood unsuccessfully as a Liberal for election to the House of Commons from South Lancashire in the 1865 general election, as well as in the 1868 general election and an 1881 by-election.
Two years after his marriage to Elizabeth Smith, the eldest daughter of publisher George Smith, in 1878, Yates Thompson's father-in-law gave him ownership of the Pall Mall Gazette . Previously a Conservative newspaper, Thompson transformed it into a Liberal publication, hiring first John Morley, then Morley's assistant, W. T. Stead, to edit the paper.  He supported Stead through the controversy surrounding the editor's famous exposé of child prostitution, "The Maiden Tribute of Modern Babylon" in 1885. Yet Yates Thompson had little interest in the publishing business, and he sold the Pall Mall Gazette for £50,000 to William Waldorf Astor in 1892. 
Yates Thompson's sale of the Gazette allowed him to spend more time on what had become since the 1870s his primary interest, manuscript collecting. The inheritance of ten medieval manuscripts from his grandfather, Joseph Brooks Yates, in 1855 started what became a lifelong interest in manuscript collection, one that from the 1890s established Yates Thompson as the leading British manuscript collector of his day. He benefited from the dispersal of a number of collections, including those from the libraries of Sir Thomas Phillipps, Firmin Didot, John Ruskin, and the Earl of Ashburnham. He had a prodigious memory, which aided him in combining long-separated volumes and manuscripts into complete sets. Endeavoring to keep his collection manageable, he sold off lesser volumes that he acquired, improving the overall quality of his collection as a consequence.  His collection was catalogued in 4 volumes between 1898 and 1912 by M.R. James and others.
He decided to refine his collection to include 100 manuscripts of the highest quality, and sold off the excess. When he was able to buy a better manuscript thereafter, he would sell one to make way for it. Many of the books that Yates Thompson collected were subsequently donated to museums, including the British Library, BnF and the Fitzwilliam Museum. He died at his London home in 1928; upon his wife's death in 1941 a larger additional collection of illuminated manuscripts was donated to the British Museum and are now in the British Library, where the 52 Yates Thompson Manuscripts from both donations are now one of the "closed collections". 
The Yates Thompson Manuscripts in the British Library include:
A philanthropist, Yates Thompson also donated buildings to Harrow, Sefton Park in Liverpool and Newnham College, Cambridge, and hospitals to Crewe and the Horwich railway works.
He received the Freedom of Liverpool in October 1901, in recognition of benefits he had conferred on the city, including the palm houses in Sefton and Stanley parks. 
John Morley, 1st Viscount Morley of Blackburn, was a British Liberal statesman, writer and newspaper editor.
William Thomas Stead was a British newspaper editor who, as a pioneer of investigative journalism, became a controversial figure of the Victorian era. Stead published a series of hugely influential campaigns whilst editor of The Pall Mall Gazette, including his 1885 series of articles, The Maiden Tribute of Modern Babylon. These were written in support of a bill, later dubbed the "Stead Act", that raised the age of consent from 13 to 16.
The Pall Mall Gazette was an evening newspaper founded in London on 7 February 1865 by George Murray Smith; its first editor was Frederick Greenwood. In 1921, The Globe merged into The Pall Mall Gazette, which itself was absorbed into The Evening Standard in 1923.
The National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth, is the national legal deposit library of Wales and is one of the Welsh Government sponsored bodies. It is the biggest library in Wales, holding over 6.5 million books and periodicals, and the largest collections of archives, portraits, maps and photographic images in Wales. The Library is also home to the national collection of Welsh manuscripts, the National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales, and the most comprehensive collection of paintings and topographical prints in Wales. As the primary research library and archive in Wales and one of the largest research libraries in the United Kingdom, the National Library is a member of Research Libraries UK (RLUK) and the Consortium of European Research Libraries (CERL).
The book of hours is a Christian devotional book used to pray the canonical hours. The use of a book of hours was especially popular in the Middle Ages and as a result, they are the most common type of surviving medieval illuminated manuscript. Like every manuscript, each manuscript book of hours is unique in one way or another, but most contain a similar collection of texts, prayers and psalms, often with appropriate decorations, for Christian devotion. Illumination or decoration is minimal in many examples, often restricted to decorated capital letters at the start of psalms and other prayers, but books made for wealthy patrons may be extremely lavish, with full-page miniatures. These illustrations would combine picturesque scenes of country life with sacred images. Books of hours were usually written in Latin, although there are many entirely or partially written in vernacular European languages, especially Dutch. The closely related primer is occasionally considered synonymous with books of hours, but their contents and purposes could deviate significantly from simply recitation of the canonical hours. Tens of thousands of books of hours have survived to the present day, in libraries and private collections throughout the world.
The Fécamp Bible is an illuminated Latin Bible. It was produced in Paris during the third quarter of the 13th century, and had previously belonged in the collection of Henry Yates Thompson.
Sir Edward Tyas Cook was an English journalist, biographer, and man of letters.
The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom and is one of the largest libraries in the world. It is estimated to contain between 170 and 200 million items from many countries. As a legal deposit library, the British Library receives copies of all books produced in the United Kingdom and Ireland, including a significant proportion of overseas titles distributed in the UK. The Library is a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
Reginald of Bar was bishop of Metz from 1302.
The Dunois Master, also called Chief Associate of the Bedford Master was a French manuscript illuminator believed to have been active between about 1430 and about 1465. His name comes from a book of hours made for Jean de Dunois now in the British Library. He worked in association with the Bedford Master, in whose workshop he seems to have served; scholars consider him to be the most talented of the Bedford Master's assistants. He is usually assumed to have taken over the workshop when the Bedford Master ceased to be active, or to have set up his own with some of the artists. His style is characterized by soft modeling of forms, and a fondness for pale colors and shell gold.
The Harleian Library, Harley Collection, Harleian Collection and other variants is one of the main "closed" collections of the British Library in London, formerly the library of the British Museum.
Roger Gale was an English scholar and antiquary as well as a Whig politician who sat in the English and British House of Commons from 1705 to 1713. His father was an ecclesiastic and professor at Cambridge, which the younger Gale also attended. After his graduation, Gale briefly served as a diplomat in France, as well as holding a position as a reader at Oxford University's Bodleian Library. On his father's death in 1702, Gale retired to his family estate, but was elected to Parliament in 1705, where he served until 1713. He then continued in public service until 1735, when he once more retired to his estates.
The Stowe manuscripts are a collection of about two thousand Irish, Anglo-Saxon and later medieval manuscripts, nearly all now in the British Library. The manuscripts date from 1154 to the end of the 14th century.
James Edwards (1757–1816) was an English bookseller and bibliographer.
The Taymouth Hours is an illuminated Book of Hours produced in England in about 1325–35. It is named after Taymouth Castle where it was kept after being acquired by an Earl of Breadalbane in the seventeenth or eighteenth century. The manuscript's shelf mark originates from its previous owner, Henry Yates Thompson, who owned an extensive collection of illuminated medieval manuscripts which he sold or donated posthumously to the British Library. The Taymouth Hours is now held by the British Library Department of Manuscripts in the Yates Thompson collection.
The Royal manuscripts are one of the "closed collections" of the British Library, consisting of some 2,000 manuscripts collected by the sovereigns of England in the "Old Royal Library" and given to the British Museum by George II in 1757. They are still catalogued with call numbers using the prefix "Royal" in the style "Royal MS 2. B. V". As a collection, the Royal manuscripts date back to Edward IV, though many earlier manuscripts were added to the collection before it was donated. Though the collection was therefore formed entirely after the invention of printing, luxury illuminated manuscripts continued to be commissioned by royalty in England as elsewhere until well into the 16th century. The collection was expanded under Henry VIII by confiscations in the Dissolution of the Monasteries and after the falls of Henry's ministers Cardinal Wolsey and Thomas Cromwell. Many older manuscripts were presented to monarchs as gifts; perhaps the most important manuscript in the collection, the Codex Alexandrinus, was presented to Charles I in recognition of the diplomatic efforts of his father James I to help the Eastern Orthodox churches under the rule of the Ottoman Empire. The date and means of entry into the collection can only be guessed at in many if not most cases. Now the collection is closed in the sense that no new items have been added to it since it was donated to the nation.
Joseph Brooks Yates (1780–1855) was an English antiquary, merchant and slave trader.
The De Grey Hours is a book of hours that was produced in Flanders, where the artist tailored the manuscript for the English market by including a miniature of St Thomas Becket and naming appropriate festivals in the Calendar. There are sixty-seven illustrations in the De Grey Hours, including illuminated miniatures and historiated initials. The manuscript dates from around 1400.
Derek Howard Turner was an English museum curator and art historian who specialised in liturgical studies and illuminated manuscripts. He worked at the British Museum and the British Library from 1956 until his death, focusing on exhibitions, scholarship, and loans.