History

Painting of snow covered village
The personal papers of Fr Leslie Ignatius Walker contain some of the Archives’ most treasured items, particularly his sketch books. Among his records are his personal diaries, the majority of which belong to his teenage years. These give a delightful insight into the life of a school boy during the late 19th century. Among the most charming are the entries for Christmas day, in which he often lists what he and his family received.Christmas Day 1889:Rose early at 5-30 but got in to bed...
Title page and photo of the company
While looking into a research enquiry recently I discovered pantomime plays written by Fr Bernard Basset SJ (1909-1988) with music by Fr John Delahunty SJ (1907-1992). In the 1940s, Stella Maris published some of Bernard Bassett’s pantomimes including Aladdin, Robinson Crusoe and Cinderella, but more fascinating are the two bound librettos located in the Archive. At the time these pantomimes were written they were both studying philosophy at Heythrop (1931-1934).  The first is ‘...
Text reading: ARCH'IVE explored
On Wednesday 18 November the Jesuits in Britain Archives held an open day in aid of the Explore Your Archive (EYA) campaign – a joint campaign delivered by The National Archives and the Archives and Records Association across the UK and Ireland to showcase the unique potential of archives to excite people, bring communities together, and tell amazing stories. During the week long campaign, organisations across the UK and Ireland showcase their archival collections, whatever their size and scale...
Logo reading ARCHI'VE LEARNT in blue and green
Explore Your Archive is an annual awareness campaign of The National Archives and the Archives and Records Association which is happening 14-22 November. Its aim is to celebrate the many and varied archive collections of the UK and Ireland. Visit the website to see what events are happening near you.We published our first Jesuit Archives blog as part of last year’s Explore Your Archive. This year we have asked Will Man, our new Archives Assistant to provide some thoughts on ‘ARCH’IVE LEARNT’.I...
Dark wood T shaped cross with an ivory appearing Christ carving nailed to it inside a wooden framed box with glass front and enclosed brown paper note and attached to the frame is a plaque
We have discovered the following artefact in the archives. It is a crucifix with an enclosed note inside a wooden frame with a plaque. The note enclosed reads:O H M S [On His Majesty’s Service] 23.10.15 Richebourge-St Vaast Dearest Mater I know you will value this, it is genuine, & I found it among the ruins of a poor deserted village. I dare say it is worth much. Handmade but a little the worse for wear; you ever in my thoughts at the moment. HughThe plaque on the frame states:Found by...
During the month of September the Jesuits in Britain Archives were closed in order to allow the team to concentrate on the important task of cataloguing. Nonetheless, the Archives was also busy with some non-cataloguing work in the middle of September.The first activity we took part in was the Catholic Legacies, 1500-1800: Uncovering Catholic lives and records conference in Oxford on 16 September. The Jesuit collections were very well represented and promoted during the day. Thomas...
The 1715 Jacobite rising saw an attempt to regain the English throne for the Stuarts, who had fled into exile in France following the 1688 Revolution. The Earl of Mar, John Erskine, sailed to Scotland in the summer of 1715 and on 6 September the Stuart standard was raised at Braemar and a military force was mobilised. The Old Pretender, James Stuart, landed in Aberdeenshire in December but the initiative was lost by that time and further military operations achieved nothing, so early in 1716 he...
This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain. Between 10 July and 31 October 1940, the German Air Force waged an air campaign against the United Kingdom. The objective of the German forces was to achieve air superiority over the Royal Air Force, and began by targeting coastal shipping convoys and shipping centres. Soon the target of attacks was shifted to RAF airfields and infrastructure, factories involved in aircraft production, and eventually areas of political significance...
The Pyrotechnica Loyolana pamphlet title page
349 years ago for four days a major fire burnt in London. The Great Fire of London swept through the city from 2 to 5 September 1666, and destroyed many buildings including St Paul’s Cathedral. As the fire burnt, the inhabitants looked for culprits and so foreigners and Catholics were attacked. During the Popish Plot, Titus Oates accused the Jesuits of setting the fire. An article, written by the historian and former Province Archivist Thomas McCoog SJ, on the religious and political landscape...
In the latest ‘From the Archives’, we feature the Farm St alphabet poem written by Fr Frederick Hathaway SJ (1814-1891). While cataloguing the Farm St Church collection, I came across the alphabet written by Fr Hathaway. Intrigued by the author and names in the poem I carried out some research. Fr Hathaway entered the Society at Hodder in 1852 by way of the Church of England, and particularly Tractarianism, when he was 37 years old. His progression was remarkably fast and he was ordained...

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