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St Mary's Training College, Hammersmith

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 2164 SMH
Held at: St Mary's College, Twickenham
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Full title: St Mary's Training College, Hammersmith
Date(s): 1851-1925
Level of description: collection (fonds)
Extent: 132 items
Name of creator(s): St Mary's Training College | 1851-1925 | Hammersmith, Middlesex


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 became 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 of its 190 students.

For further information on the College following its move to Strawberry Hill see description for St Mary's College, Strawberry Hill.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of St Mary's Training College, Hammersmith, comprising:

foundation documents 1851; notes concerning regulations circa 1899; notes for education students c1900; Managing Committee signed minutes 1871-96;

Principal's correspondence and papers 1852-1925; out-letter book 1862-72; and log book 1882-1927;

student registers 1854-1929; list of students 1911-18; student disciplinary cards c.1920; student files - Reginald Dunn 1915-21;

staff register c1905-29; paper entitled 'Teaching of arithmetic' by P F Burns, lecturer 1923; Hammersmith College Club and Catholic war memorial file 1921; Chapel documents 1854-59;

financial records including Share certificates 1921; Ledgers 1863-1927; Cash books 1864-1926; analysed cash book 1891-1904; tradesmen's bills and invoices 1894-97;

The Simmarian magazine 1903-25; 'The Pope's Corner' parish magazine 1921;

souvenir booklets of photographs c1900; memorabilia of events 1902-25; reunion address book 1920; Simmarian reunion file 1924;

architect's drawings 19th century; exterior view, copy of 19th century etching 20th cent.; and floor plans, 1855, reduced copy 20th cent.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

As outlined above

Conditions governing access:

By appointment only. Contact the Learning Resources Centre, 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:

Allied Materials

Related material:

Archives of the St Mary's College Strawberry Hill, Catholic Education Council (Ref: CEC) and Committee of Principals of the Catholic Training Colleges (Ref: CTC) held by St Mary's College, Twickenham.

National Register of Archives: Click here to view NRA record

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.
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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