Panel C53-2

Bristows Tragedy or

The Death of Sr Charles Bawdin

Written 1768 - Published 1772

Age: 15, Colston's School

One of Chatterton's

Most Famous Works.

Written when he was not quite 16! 

A Bit of a Conundrum!

There is no doubt that the Bristowe Tragedie or the Death of Sr Charles Bawdin was written by Chatterton. 


The challenge here is threefold;

1. Decide which of the two manuscripts is the original work, as written by Thomas Chatterton; Is it the B20928 Ms held by Bristol Library; or the mysterious Perceval transcript of the missing Ms?

2. Determine if B20928 is in the handwriting of Chatterton, or by an unknown transcriber or suggest who the transcript was written by.

3. Discover the whereabouts of the missing Perceval manuscript.

Click the images to view the manuscripts and to see which expert you agree with.

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Bristows Tragedy - Chatterton Ms. Bristol Library: B20928

The library has it as Chatterton's, and Meyerstein accepts it as such, but Taylor is sure that it is not!

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Bristowe Tragedie - Perceval Transcript from Chatterton Ms?

The Missing 'Perceval' Manuscript: Perceval wrote about his discovery of this Ms. in the Bristol Times and Mirror in 1904, but it hasn't been seen since (unless you know better, and why wouldn't you!). Taylor seems to accept it as the original.

Bristows Tragedy - Catcott Transcript - B5344

I know what you're thinking - this is the same as the one below - it is here temporarily and will be replaced with Catcott's transcript when the pandemic is o'er. Note that the Dr Fry transcript was transcribed from the Catcott transcript of the original - probably!

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Bristows Tragedy - Dr Fry Transcript - B6493

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Bristows Tragedy - Bristol School of Printing 1932

There is more to add here when time allows - in the meantime, click the images above to view a manuscript / edition.

Or click here to see the Master Menu for Bristowe Tragedie.

In late 2021, I will be uploading a copy of the famous printed edition from 1772, which is one of the earliest printings of one of Chatterton's works in book form.