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CLAYTON, Philip Byard (1885-1972)

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0074 CLC/437
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Full title: CLAYTON, Philip Byard (1885-1972)
Date(s): [1870]-1972
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 321 production units.
Name of creator(s): Clayton | Philip Thomas Byard | 1885-1972 | clergyman


Administrative/Biographical history:

Reverend Philip Thomas Byard Clayton, CH, MC, DD, MA, FSA, nicknamed "Tubby" from an early age , was born in Australia in 1885, the youngest of five children of Reginald Byard Buchanan Clayton and Isabel Clayton (nee Sheppard). The family moved to England the following year where Reginald set up an Australian trading company in the City. Tubby attended St Paul's School from where he won a scholarship to Exeter College, Oxford, in 1904. He gained a first class degree in Theology and furthered his theological training under Dr Armitage Robinson, Dean of Westminster. Following his ordination as priest in 1911, he spent four years as a curate in the parish of St Mary, Portsea, but at the outset of World War One became an army chaplain and joined the British Expeditionary Force on the Western Front in Spring 1915.

In France, his haven for front-line troops, Talbot House in Poperinghe, Belgium, with its Upper Room set aside for worship, formed the basis of the Toc H movement which became his life-long work, combined with his incumbency of All Hallows Barking by the Tower (1922-63). "Toc H" was morse code for the initials of Talbot House, founded with Neville Talbot, another army chaplain and son of the Bishop of Winchester, in memory of Talbot's younger brother, Gilbert. The aim of Toc H was to provide physical support and comfort based on a firm religious foundation. For many years its headquarters were at All Hallows, with a branch network spread round the world.

Tubby Clayton was an enthusiast and an articulate campaigner for many causes-rebuilding the church of All Hallows after World War Two; the ordination of ex-servicemen at the Knutsford Ordination Test School; the improvement of the Tower Hill area and the creation of open spaces for the local population; leprosy; the provision of social support to the East End poor; the study of the encaustic floor tiles at Westminster Abbey (for which he was awarded the Fellowship of the Society of Antiquaries); and early stone carvings in the Brito-Celtic church. He was a Chaplain to the Merchant Navy (spending much time with the British tanker fleet), Chaplain to Kings George V and VI and Extra Chaplain to Elizabeth II. With help, he combined all these activities with his parish duties, and endless publicity and fund-raising for Toc H.

The Clayton Family were close and corresponded prolifically; for Clayton this covered not only his immediate family, but cousins and relatives in Australia. In later years he pursued research into the history of his family, particularly the Claytons and the Byards.


Scope and content/abstract:

Personal papers of Reverend Philip Clayton including family correspondence; personal certificates and letters of appointment; research notes; diaries; papers relating to the parish of All Hallows Barking by the Tower including sermons, newsletters, correspondence, articles, press cuttings and administration; papers relating to Toc H including articles, reminiscences, correspondence, annual reports, press cuttings, talks, papers relating to overseas visits by Clayton, papers relating to charity work, sermons, leaflets, biographical notes on people associated with Toc H, photographs, and publications by Clayton on Toc H; articles, sermons and prayers by Clayton; and photographs of Clayton and various family members.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Records arranged in 9 sections:
01: Personal Papers;
02: Parish Administration;
03: Toc H;
04: Biographies and Obituaries;
05: Major Publications;
06: Articles;
07: Sermons and Prayers;
08: Literary Extracts;
09: Photographs.

Conditions governing access:

Access by appointment only. Please contact staff.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright to this collection rests with the depositor.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

The papers were presented by Clayton's family to the Manuscripts Section of Guildhall Library in several tranches between 1982 and 1985. They were catalogued by a member of Guildhall Library staff in 1995. The Guildhall Library Manuscripts Section merged with the London Metropolitan Archives in 2009.

Allied Materials

Related material:

After his death on 15 December 1972, Clayton's papers were divided. This was done by Rev. Philip Blewett, at that time a curate at All Hallows, with advice from relevant record repositories. Those papers concerning the First World War went to the Imperial War Museum. Official records of Clayton's work with Toc H were passed to Toc H headquarters in Wendover, Buckinghamshire and subsequently transferred to the Cadbury Research Library, University of Birmingham (collection reference TOCH).

For papers of All Hallows Barking by the Tower, see P69/ALH1.

Publication note:

Much of Clayton's writing was published, often in the Toc H Journal. Four of his major publications are available in the Printed Books Section of Guildhall Library, namely: Letters from Flanders (1932); Earthquake Love (1932); The Pageant of Tower Hill (1933); and Talbot House to Tower Hill (an anthology of Clayton's writings compiled by John Durham, 1956). Two biographies are also available there: Tubby Clayton: a personal saga by Melville Harcourt (1953) and Clayton of Toc H by Sir Tresham Lever (1971).

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
Records prepared May to September 2011.

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