Archives

“My first impression of Fr Cary-Elwes was a vivid one”, wrote a friend of his, “but, oddly enough as it now seems to me, it was one of disappointment. He came into the room where I was sitting, and I looked up, expecting to see a figure of rugged and compelling charm (I had heard much of his wonderful missionary work and journeying), a sort of modern version of St Francis Xavier ... I saw a little white-faced man, with unbrushed , untidy clothes and rumpled up-ended hair.” (Our Dead 1939-1945,...
Around this time last year our attention was brought to an auction on French Ebay of ‘Portrait d’un martyr Jésuite (fin 17ième debut 18ième)’.  This turned out to be a miniature oval shaped portrait of St Henry Morse SJ painted on copper by an unknown artist, with an inscription around the edge ‘Henricus Mas Passus 22 Janvari 1645’.Jan Graffius, Curator of Collections at Stonyhurst College explains: The painting is in the tradition of small devotional images painted on copper,...
Black and white photograph of a Zepplin in front of a hanger with people milling about underneath
One hundred years ago today the first Zeppelin raid on Britain took place on the evening of 19th January 1915.A young Jesuit scholastic who had been studying in Germany until 1914, was concerned about the Zeppelin menace and provided drawings and warnings in an article in the Blandyke Papers.   Thomas Egan SJ (1889-1915) was a member of the Irish province.  After the outbreak of war and his return from Germany, he resumed his philosophy studies at Stonyhurst.  His...
Black ink sketch of a chapel with palm tree
On 2 November 1869, Fr James Splaine SJ (1834-1901) travelled out as a Jesuit missionary to Jamaica, and remained there three years, until he left for the United States and then Canada.Fr Splaine kept several detailed diaries and occasionally included illustrations to explain what he is describing. According to his obituary: ‘…he left England and began foreign mission work in Jamaica. Upon arriving at his destination, Father Splaine started afresh to build up another diary with renewed...
Christmas Day in beautiful red calligraphy with a little gold star
  The 1914 Christmas edition of the Blandyke Papers in our Jesuits in Britain Archives are full of inspiring images and reflections for the Christmas season.  Click on the images to enlarge them.             Origin of the Blandyke PapersThe first issue of the Blandyke Papers was published on 8th January 1889 at St Mary’s Hall, Stonyhurst, Lancashire. The Hall was built as a Jesuit seminary in 1828 and...
William Strickland SJ
Throughout 2014, the Society of Jesus worldwide has been celebrating the 200th anniversary of its restoration by Pope Pius VII. As the year comes to a close, Emeritus Archivist Tom McCoog SJ recalls the contribution of two English Jesuits: Marmaduke Stone SJ and William Strickland SJ.When Pope Clement XIV dissolved the Society of Jesus in 1773, the members of the now suppressed English Province were not exactly left like sheep without a shepherd. Those who lectured at the English Academy in...
Fr Charles Plater SJ with Jimmy
Whilst sorting through the acquired archive of Plater College (formerly Catholic Workers College) we discovered several records relating Jimmy - the "Jesuit" dog. These include a poem written by Fr Charles Plater SJ (1875-1921) to honour Jimmy, whose dog he was, as well as several photo postcards featuring Jimmy. There also is a glass plate negative, and another photograph showing Jimmy pulling Fr Plater in a wheelchair. Digging a bit deeper, we found more about Jimmy among the...
Black and white photograph of five Jesuits in chef whites around a large cake
Working on our photographic collection in the Jesuits in Britain Archives, I came across an interesting story of how a cake has changed a Temple!  It all began when I tried to date a photograph showing Br Laurence O’Hara SJ and four novices in Manresa, Roehampton with a rather fancy cake.*  I found an article written by Br O’Hara SJ in Letters and Notices about the event. From this I learnt that in 1904 the Jubilee of the Definition of the Immaculate Conception was being...
World War I ChaplainsWorld War I broke out in August 1914. Although unlike their counterparts in France and Belgium exempt from military duty, by the end of the war 84 Jesuits had served as RC Chaplains to the British Forces and Navy. Here is a small online exhibition which looks at some of the records relating to these Chaplains which have survived in the Jesuits in Britain Archives.Please click on the links to discover more about each item:Exemption letterTailor slipContract...
This week the Archives and Records Association has launched its second annual Explore Your Archives awareness campaign. The aim is to increase public awareness of the vital role of archives in our society and to celebrate the collections held in services across England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Ireland. To find out more and to see what events are happening near you, visit www.exploreyourarchive.org.Here in the Jesuits in Britain Archives we have created an exhibition on the...

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