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Personal Papers at St Mary's College, Strawberry Hill, Twickenham

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 2164 DDP
Held at: St Mary's College, Twickenham
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Full title: Personal Papers at St Mary's College, Strawberry Hill, Twickenham
Date(s): 1856-1980
Level of description: subfonds
Extent: 110 items
Name of creator(s): St Mary's College | from 1925 | Strawberry Hill, Twickenham
St Mary's Training College | 1850-1924 | Hammersmith


Administrative/Biographical history:

: St Mary's Training College was founded in 1850 on the initiative of Cardinal Wiseman. The Catholic Poor School Committee which was concerned with providing primary education to children of poor Roman Catholics throughout the united Kingdom, purchased a former girls school at Brook Green House, Hammersmith, and adapted it for use as a college with accommodation for 40 men students. A legal trust created on 16 Jul 1851 in connection with this property and its use as a training college for Catholic schoolmasters was confirmed in perpetuity.

The college was established on similar lines to that of the Brothers of Christian Instruction (les Freres d'Instruction Chretienne) at Ploermel, Brittany, where English students were sent between 1848-1851. A French brother, Brother Melanie, was initially placed in charge of St Mary's College, until the appointment of an English principal, Rev John Melville Glennie in 1851.

The college opened with six men students who had begun their training at the novitiate of the Brothers of Christian Instruction, Ploermel, Brittany. It was expected that students would join the teaching religious order, however in 1854, in response to a shortage of suitably qualified candidates, the decision was taken to admit lay students to the college. In 1855, additional accommodation was provided for 50 lay students. By 1860 only lay students were attending the college.

With the appointment of the fourth principal Father William Byrne CM in 1899, the association of the College with the Congregation of the Mission (usually known as the Vincentians) commenced. This inaugurated a period of change and augmentation, seen in the increase in staff and student numbers, the introduction of the office of Dean, and the extension of the College premises made possible by funding from the Catholic Education Council. At the same time the College was concerned with adjusting to the requirements of the Education Acts of 1902-3 and their effect on the development of elementary education.

In 1898 Inter-College Sports were introduced between Borough Road, St Mark's, St Johns, Westminster and St Mary's colleges. The college magazine The Simmarian began a new series in 1903-4. Originally in manuscript form, it become a printed paper in 1905.

By 1924 there were 129 resident students at the College. Recognising the limitations of facilities at Hammersmith, the Principal the Very Rev Dr J J Doyle CM along with Sir John Gilbert and Sir Francis Anderton negotiated the sale of the Hammersmith site to the neighbouring Messrs J Lyons and Co. in 1922 and in 1923 the purchase of the Walpole-Waldegrave property at Strawberry Hill, Twickenham, from Lord Michelham.

The College moved to its Strawberry Hill site in 1925, despite the extensive new buildings, designed by S Pugin-Powell, being yet incomplete and it was not until June1927 that they were officially opened. The new College site provided accommodation for 150 students, with 190 students altogether.

The majority of students were from England and Wales and entered according to Board of Education regulations. There were also a number of private students from 1925 onwards, including approximately 40 coming annually from Northern Ireland, as well as students from Malta, and brothers from England and Wales. Private students lived in accommodation separate from the College.

Prior to 1928 the Certificate of Education course and examinations were jointly controlled by the Board of Education and individual training colleges. With the introduction of a new scheme for London teacher training colleges, the Board of Education retained its inspectorship functions, but delegated its authority over the courses and examination to the University of London. Under this scheme, the four resident male teacher training college in London (St Mary's, Strawberry Hill; Borough Road, St Mark's and St John's; and Westminster) were formed into a group under the supervision of university College London (UCL). This group was jointly responsible with UCL for drawing up the syllabuses of the courses taught at the colleges, while the final examinations were designed to qualify students for the Certificate of Education awarded by the University of London. To direct the scheme, the Training College Delagacy was established, composed of representatives of the University, the Teacher training colleges, religious denominations and local authorities. Meanwhile, two representatives of the University of London joined the governing board of St Mary's College, Strawberry Hill.

In 1930, in addition to the Certificate of Education course and examination, degree courses were provided at St Mary's College, Strawberry Hill, leading for successful candidates to a London University degree. At the same time a one year colonial course was established at the College to train Priests and Brothers destined to join overseas missions. In 1935, responsibility for this course was transferred to the Jesuits.

The College became a Constituent College of the University of London Institute of Education, inaugurated on 19 December 1949, and the incorporation of the College into the Institute was formally approved by the Senate of the University in April 1950, the College's centenary year.

In response to the increasing demand for teachers, it was agreed in 1959 to expand the college to 500 places. By 1966, there were 1000 students 1966 also saw the admission of the first full time women students to the college. Other developments include the introduction in 1968 of an extra years study for the conversion of the Teachers Certificate to a Bachelor of Education degree, and in 1975, the first students pursuing the London University Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Humanities and Bachelor of Science.

In 1979 the University of London severed links with College. The University of Surrey agreed to take over the validation of its courses. Representatives from St Mary's College attend meetings of the University of Surrey Delegacy which was set up in 1980. In 1986 the first students of the college graduated with degrees from University of Surrey.

With the retirement of the Fr Desmond Beirne, as Principal in 1992, the College's links with the Vincentians came to an end, and Dr Arthur Naylor was appointed the first lay principal.


Scope and content/abstract:

Personal papers comprising, notes, letters, diaries, papers, photographs, drawings, notebooks, lecture notes, and ephemera belonging to Charles Quinn, 1857-1862; Charles Wilson, 1909; John Seddon, 1910-1912; Cyril Thompson 1910; Thomas Baker, 1935-1937; D P McPherson, 1938-1939; James Melia, 1940s; William McGregor, 1939; Michael Chapman, 1961-1964; L D Reay-Remmett, 1947-1977; Patrick J Dunning, 1941-1975; T K Bowker, 1954; W F Hastings, 1924-1933; William L Harper, 1922-1923; Gerald Richmond, 1930-1933; George Bentley, 1932-1935; David John Cunningham, 1935-1938; P Flanagan, 1950; Brian Spelman, 1959; Colin Campbell, 1999; Frank Breen, 1939-1940; F A Stanier, 1942; John J Nihill, 1960-1998; John Palmer, 1986; John Clark, 1900; Vincent Cody 1913-1915; Patrick Fagan, 1918-1921.

Also includes miscellaneous items such as notebook recording college egg consumption, 1891-1894; file relating to Les Freres de l'Instruction Chretienne en Angleterre, 1848-1861; Regulae assistaetis localis, 20th century; Praesidium of Our Lady of the Assumption, minutes 1961-1968; scrap book 1888-1909; file relating to the Kenya Athletics team, 1991; and other photographs.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Conditions governing access:

Open by appointment only, contact the Archivist in the first instance, St Mary's College, Strawberry Hill, Waldegrave Road, Twickenham TW1 4SX.
Access is granted in compliance with the Data Protection Act 1998 and Freedom of Information Act 2000. Readers are asked to note that under the terms of these Acts, access restrictions apply to some series.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copies available subject to physical condition and copyright regulations.

Finding aids:

St Mary's College Learning Resources Catalogue

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

These collections have been deposited or donated by individuals, or purchased by the College over a period of time.

Allied Materials

Related material:

St Mary's Training College Hammersmith (Ref: SMH), and St Mary's College Strawberry Hill, held by St Mary's College, Strawberry Hill Twickenham.

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Sources: Historical Manuscripts Commission's On-Line National Register of Archives; Notes on administrative history of St Mary's college prepared by Dr Clare Rider; 150 Years of St Mary's College, Ken Breen, (Freeland Haynes Marketing Communications, Southampton, 2000); Centenary record of St Mary's College, Hammersmith, 1850-1925: Strawberry Hill, 1925-1950, St Mary's College 1950; St Mary's College Learning Resources Catalogue.
Compiled by Alison Field as part of the London Signpost Survey Project.

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:
August 2003

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