You are here: Home About Keble Library and Archives Archives News from the Archives Papers of Henry Pellew Esq.

Papers of Henry Pellew Esq.

Papers created by the Honorary Secretary to the Keble Memorial Fund (1866 - 1873) are returned to Keble

Papers created by the Honorary Secretary to the Keble Memorial Fund (1866 - 1873) are returned to Keble


Exciting treasures are often making their way through the doors of Keble College Archives, many of which have been re-discovered by old members and brought back into the light after decades of being tucked away in the most unusual of places.

One notable new accession is a collection of papers which appear to have belonged to Henry Pellew Esq., Honorary Secretary to the Keble Memorial Fund from 1866 – 1873. The papers were uncovered in an attic in Oxford and returned to the Porters’ Lodge in December of last year. The papers have since undergone conservation and digitisation at the Oxford Conservation Consortium and are now safely at home in the Keble College Archives.

Rules and Regulations of the Keble Memorial Fund, 1866. Owner - College Archivist.

The papers document the tireless work of the Keble Memorial Fund as they strived to raise their target of £50,000 to establish a new College in Oxford. Amongst the papers are documents providing a unique insight into the workings of the Keble Memorial Fund, for instance a Treasurer’s Report dated March 10th 1868 at which point £25,111 13s. 3d. had been raised of which £8450 15s. 7d. had been spent on preliminary expenses and on the site of the future College. In the report Treasurer J. A. Shaw Stewart Esq. states:

I trust it may not be considered unbecoming in me – in conclusion – to express my deep sense of the advantage the Fund has sustained, by the scrupulous economy practiced by the Honorary Secretary, and by the unremitting personal attention which that Gentleman has devoted to the laborious details attendant on raising so large a sum by voluntary effort.

Perhaps the most exciting discovery is a report to the Keble Memorial Committee by the recently appointed architect William Butterfield entitled Report upon a piece of land opposite to the Museum, belonging to St. John’s College, Oxford, June 21st1866. Butterfield describes the site in some detail, noting that

The proposed site is considerably sunk below the adjoining roads and will make a good deal of foundation work necessary to bring up the buildings to what must be the future level of the quadrangle.

The site was divided into three smaller sections, A, B and C., yet in the report Butterfield states that he is “anxious however to be fully understood as advising that nothing short of the entire site... should be purchased by the Keble Memorial Committee.” Butterfield clearly had expansion in mind as he also comments that site C “may possibly be required hereafter for an extension of the College.”

In conclusion and in recommendation of the purchase of the site of the future Keble College, Butterfield asserts:

The site is in a remarkably good position and on gravel, and there does not seem to be any ground for sale in Oxford which is at all to be compared with this, for the purposes of a College.

Report by William Butterfield, 1866. Owner: College Archivist


For archive enquiries please contact:

Archivist & Records Manager
Keble College
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)1865 272728