The manuscripts were originally collected by George Nugent-Temple-Grenville, 1st Marquess of Buckingham (1753 - 1813) and his son Richard Temple-Nugent-Brydges-Chandos-Grenville, 1st Duke of Buckingham and Chandos (1776 - 1839) at Stowe House near Buckingham. The manuscripts were then sold to the 4th Earl of Ashburnham in 1849, having been prepared for sale by auction; the printed books were auctioned over two days in 1849. The manuscripts were subsequently purchased by parliament for the British Museum (since 1973 moved to the British Library) under Edward Augustus Bond in 1883 from the 5th Earl of Ashburnham. Several Ireland-related manuscripts from the collection were allocated to the Royal Irish Academy, with the cumdach or book-shrine of the Stowe Missal subsequently being transferred to the National Museum of Ireland.
The 1085 Stowe manuscripts at the British Library continue to be catalogued as a separate, closed, collection.
Some manuscripts 
All are illuminated, and are now in the British Library, unless stated:
- Stowe Missal - Irish c. 750, now RIA
- Stowe 2 (Psalter) - late Anglo-Saxon
- Stowe Breviary - English, early 14th century
- Stowe 54 (Histoire ancienne), early 15th century ancient history
- Stowe manuscripts, British Library
- Catalogue of the Stowe manuscripts in the British museum (1895) at the Internet Archive
- British Library record for "Stowe 57" - General information as well as highly legible photographs.
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