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Papers of Edwin James Palmer (1869-1954, Fellow of Balliol 1891-1908, Senior Proctor 1904-5, Bishop of Bombay 1908-1929)
This Collection mostly concerns the Oxford life of Edwin James Palmer (1869-1954), hereafter EJP, who was educated at what became the Dragon School, Winchester, and Balliol ( 1887). He was elected a Fellow of Balliol in 1891, Junior Bursar in 1893, Chaplain in 1896, Senior Proctor in 1904 and left Oxford in 1908. He was Bishop of Bombay 1908-1929. His later papers are in Lambeth Palace Library. See the ODNB .
EJP was the only son (he had two sisters, Mary and Lucy) of Edwin Palmer (1824-1895), Fellow of Balliol 1846-1857 and Archdeacon of Oxford from 1878 (hereafter Archdeacon Palmer), whose brother was Roundell Palmer 1st Earl of Selborne.
EJP’s mother was Henrietta née Riddell, sister of James Riddell (1823-1866), Fellow of Balliol 1845-1866.
EJP married Hazel, daughter of Colonel EH Hanning-Lee, at Poona in 1912.They had no children and she predeceased him in 1931. EJP’s cousin Lady Laura Eastaugh, a daughter of the 3rd Earl of Selbourne, was one of EJP’s Executors.
EJP was known to his father and sister Mary as Jem, and to intimate friends as Jemmie or Jim, but more often as Jimmy.
There are also a few items in the Collection related to Archdeacon Palmer.
The Collection came to Balliol in stages.Two photograph albums were presented in 1942 by EJP’s sister Miss Lucy Palmer, and the rest was presented in 1978 by Lady Laura Eastaugh via EGW Bill, Librarian at Lambeth Palace. It was briefly examined in 1978, and received some attention in the years immediately following from EV Quinn (who identified the writers of many of the letters). When revisited in 2012, the Collection was contained in three archive boxes which were repacked and listed as follows.
Palmer 1. Correspondence.
Palmer 1.1. Archdeacon Palmer’s letters and papers re EJP at School House (later known as The Dragon school) 1879-1881, including School Calendars, Rules, reports, and letters from the Head Master, AE Clarke.
Palmer 1.2. Archdeacon Palmer’s letters and papers re EJP at Winchester College 1882-1886 including letters from WA Fearon, Headmaster.
Palmer 1.3. Archdeacon Palmer’s letters and papers re EJP’s Scholarship at Balliol in 1887.
Palmer 1.4. Archdeacon Palmer’s letters of congratulation on EJP’s election to a Fellowship at Balliol in 1891, from:
- Evelyn Abbott (Balliol 1862, later Fellow)
- WR Anson (Balliol 1861)
- AH Austen-Leigh (Balliol 1854)
- Charles Bowen (Balliol 1853, later Visitor)
- George Bradley (Dean of Westminster)
- Isambard Brunel (Balliol 1855)
- HW Burrows (Canon of Rochester)
- AG Butler( Oriel)
- CW Chute (Balliol 1856)
- AV Dicey (Balliol 1853)
- Henry J Ellison (1833-1899, Rector of Great Haseley)
- HM Fletcher (Balliol 1843)
- WH Forbes (Balliol 1869, later Fellow)
- A Godley (Balliol 1874)
- CA Heurtley (Canon of Chris Church) writing to Mrs Palmer
- W Ince (Fellow of Exeter)
- Benjamin Jowett (Balliol 1836, later Master)
- HG Liddell (Dean of Christ Church, 2 letters)
- AL Mayhew (Wadham 1860)
- WW Merry (Balliol 1852)
- TL Papillon (Balliol 1860)
- EL Stanley (Balliol 1856)
- JL Strachan Davidson (Balliol 1862, later Master)
- William Stubbs (Bishop of Oxford)
- Edmond Warre (Balliol 1854)
- two other unidentified correspondents writing to Mrs Palmer from Christ Church and 4 Foley Avenue Hampstead respectively. The letters from Balliol Men often reflect on their Balliol time.
Palmer 1.5. EJP’s letters from correspondents A-C. These and the continuations in Palmer 1.6-Palmer 1.9 below are typically quite long and detailed.There are very few trivial notes, and it appears that EJP was selective in the letters he preserved. All save two are ALS, and about half have the envelopes in which they were posted.
- Evelyn Abbot (Balliol 1862, later Fellow) 1893 and 1898.
- FD Acland (Balliol 1893) 1897 and 1902.
- Cyril Alington of Eton 1906.
- Henry Allsopp of Ruskin College nd.
- Raymond Asquith (Balliol 1897) nd.
- Cyril Bailey (Balliol 1890, later Fellow) 1894, 1898, 1907, 1908(2) and nd.
- WH Beveridge (Balliol 1897) 1902.
- GG Brown (Balliol 1884) 1899, accepting to preach in the Chapel, addressed to Edward Caird, with a card from Caird to EJP.
- Edwin G Bucknill (Balliol 1905, EJP’s cousin) from Rugby about preparing for Balliol, with a comic sketch, 1903. Edwin G
- Bucknill’s mother was Alice Dorothy née Riddell, born 1862: she was no doubt related to EJP’s mother.
- Edward Caird (Balliol 1860, later Master) 1894(2), 1896, 1898, 1903, and 23 April nd but 1908, the last congratulating EJP on becoming a Bishop.
- Lewis Campbell (Balliol 1849, Hon Fellow) 1895 on EJP’s father’s death.
- Reginald Carter (Balliol 1886) 1894 and nd.
- Sir John Conroy (Fellow 1890) 1882, 1894, 1899, and 1900(4). On 1 February 1900 Conroy invited EJP to be one of his
- Executors and discussed his estate and family.
- EK Corbett (Balliol 1872) 1906.
Palmer 1.6. EJP’s letters from correspondents D-G.
- Lionel Davidson (Balliol 1886) 1889 from Madras, 10pp close-written, describing his journey there via Canada, Japan, Hong Kong, and Colombo.
- WG de Burgh (Merton 1885) nd ( 2) 1897 and 1906.
- RD Denman (Balliol 1895) 1899 from Norway and 1902 from the Chalet des Mélèzes.
- Campbell Dodgson (New College 1886) 1894, 1896, 1899(2) and nd (2).
- Patrick Duncan (Balliol 1889) from Pretoria 1907. It appears that EJP had tried to get Duncan to be a candidate for a Balliol Fellowship, but Duncan said he was intending to go into politics in South Africa: he became Governor General .
- JH Ellison 1906 seeking advice about his son CT Ellison (“Archbishop Tait’s only grandson”). John Henry Joshua Ellison (Merton 1874) married Agnes Sitwell Tait, daughter of AC Tait, in 1888; she died in 1889 having borne Crauford Tait Ellision (1888-1942).
- Keith G Feiling (Balliol 1903) nd 1908 or later.
- HAL Fisher (New College 1884, later Warden) 1895 on EJP’s father’s death.
- Frank Fletcher 1894, 1899, 1900 and nd.
- WH Forbes(Balliol 1869,later Fellow) TLS 1911.
- WH Fremantle (Balliol 1849, later Fellow) 1892 and 1908.
- Hereford B George (New College 1856) 1908 as Chairman of the Examiners, from the Examination Schools.
- AD Godley 1895 and nd (2).
Palmer 1.7. EJP’s letters from correspondents H-L.
- RP Hardie 1893, 1894, 1895, 1899, 1908, nd (2, probably both 1890, one enclosing Greek verses).
- J Park Harrison, architect, archaeologist and ethnographer 1900 (3) about the Chapel Passage.
- HG Hart (formerly Headmaster of Sedbergh School), 1902 re Maurice Rowntree ( Balliol 1902).
- AC Headlam of All Souls College 1894, re FF Urquhart not being elected there.
- RH Hodgkin ( Balliol 1895) 1897, 1898.
- Henry Holden (Balliol 1886) on resigning from the Balliol living of South Luffenham.
- R Holt 1903.
- JO Johnston, Examining Chaplain to the Bishop of Oxford, 1894 re the Oxford Mission to Calcutta, and 1906 giving personal advice.
- Benjamin Jowett nd (3). All brief invitations.
- RA Knox (Balliol 1906) 1908.
- E Lee Hicks 1892.
- AR Lord (Balliol 1898) 1903.
- Sir Henry Lunn, TLS 1912 complaining about his son (AHM Lunn, Balliol 1907) being sent down, annotated with EJP’s draft rebuff as he had left the Country when this took place, enclosing a cc letter of Sir Henry’s to HWC Davis about the case.
Palmer 1.8. EJP’s letters from correspondents M-P.
- AA Macdonell( Ballio1 900), 1907 on Hinduism and Buddhism.
- AC Medd (Balliol 1896)1898, reminding EJP about his promise to read a paper to the Palmerston Club.
- RB Merriman(Balliol 1897) 1899 from Cambridge Massachusetts but posted in England, to EJP in Germany, with gossip and chat about friends, heavily laced with nicknames (eg Dormouse, Buffy), ending re the War “Dont go to the War and don’t let anyone else either. I hear Bron is there as Times correspondent. I am almost alone in supporting your end of it here–most of us are pro-Boer.” Bron was Auberon T Herbert ( Balliol 1895, kia 1916).
- WW Merry (Balliol 1852) 1904 and 1905.
- L F Morshead (Balliol 1887) 1890 from Collector’s Camp Madehpura, 12pp close-written, about his life travels and India.
- JAH Murray ( ODNB) 1894 enquiring after Balliol College stamps.
- RL Nettleship (Balliol 1865) nd but ca 1887-9 re the Jenkyns Exhibition.
- IA Nettleship, “Grannie”, 1896 to “My dear Grandson James “ thanking EJP for flowers, written for her by Mrs Green. She was not in fact EJP’s grandmother (she was RL Nettleship’s mother) but was no doubt close to the Palmer family.
Archdeacon Palmer (EJP’s father) 1891, 1892, 1893, 1894(2).
- Mary H Palmer (EJP’s sister) 1912 and as Mary H Bax (she married AH Bax in 1917) 1917.
- R Palmer 1910 from University College.
- Sophia Palmer( EJP’s cousin) 26 Sept 1893, copy, about a visit to the dying Jowett.This letter was printed in E Abbott and Lewis Campbell Life and Letters of Benjamin Jowett Campbell II 1897 pp 432-433.
- Francis de Paravicini (Balliol 1862,later Fellow, care not to confuse with his wife FrancEs de Paravicini ) 1893.
- LR Phelps 1906 from Oriel.
- AW Pickard-Cambridge ( Balliol 1891,later Fellow) 1894(2),1895,1899 and about 1899 and 1917.The last refers to the death and life of “old Nunkey“, identifiable as Octavius Pickard Cambridge FRS, a distinguished entomologist, and the effects of the War on the College; at the time of writing, May 1917, there were 45 undergraduates and 200 Officer Cadets in the College. ”The presence of the Cadets has saved us from financial crisis “.
- CO Pickard-Cambridge (Balliol 1892) 1905, a long letter re the role of Bishops.
- RWM Pope ( Balliol 1879) 1907.
- Henry Pusey, Bursary Clerk, 1894(2), one of them enclosing two copies of a printed Memorandum of Expenses.
Palmer 1.9. EJP’s letters from correspondents Q-Z and unidentified.
- T Raleigh from All Souls 1908, congratulating EJP on his Bishopric and mentioning Bombay University, with which EJP would be involved ex officio; Raleigh and GN Curzon had tried to do something for it but had been accused of “Balliolizing” it.
- WHV Reade (Balliol 1891) 1893.
- George Ridding (Balliol, later Bishop of Southwell; signing G Southwell) 1901.
- Jasper Ridley from Magdalen nd enclosing a letter to him from CF Cattley ( ?) about “Bertie”.
- EG Romanes (Edmund Giles Radcliffe Romanes, died of wounds 1915) 1906(4) and 1908.
- G(?) Romanes from Nigg, Ross-shire, nd ,alluding to Ethel G Romanes and GJ Romanes her father.
- CS Roundell ( Balliol 1845) 1894.
- RE (?) Sadler of Eastwood, Weybridge 1907.
- AL Smith (Balliol 1869, later Master) 1895 on EJP’s father’s death, 1900 and 1901,urging EJP not to accept an offer, thinking he would end up as Master if he stayed “which to some has seemed not undistinguished”.
- JA Smith on EJP’s father’s death 1895.
- WA Spooner of New College 1906 and 1907 , the latter enclosing a printed circular dated November 1906 re revision of the scholarship system.
- JL Strachan Davidson (Balliol 1862, later Master) 1894(2), 1901, 1907(3), 1908, nd probably 1908; the last is a poignant parting letter.
- J St L Strachey (Balliol 1878) 1906 about his son TC Strachey.
Tom Strachey (Balliol 1906) nd.
- HA Talbot-Tubbs (Pembroke College as HA Tubbs; Professor of Classics, Auckland NZ) 1896 and 1897, from New Zealand and NSW respectively.
- RH Tawney (Balliol 1899, later Fellow) 1900, 1906, 1907 and 1908.
- FC Temple (Balliol 1898) 1900.
- CW Tomkinson (Balliol 1896) 1899.
- FF Urquhart (Balliol 1890, later Fellow) 1894, 1896(2), 1906 (2,from Kyoto and Calcutta respectively), and nd (3).
- HD Watson (Balliol 1888) 1895 from India, nd from India, and 1908.
- AT Waterhouse (Balliol 1891 ) 1893 and 1895.
- TH Warren ( Balliol 1872) nd .
- JO Wardrop (Balliol 1888) 1895.
- E Walker (Balliol 1887 )1910.
- Three unidentified correspondents 1898 re the Children Country Holidays Fund), 1899 (from the Vicarage Portsea) and nd (from the Greenhills Oaken Wolverhampton signed “Teddy” ).
Palmer 2A. Personal Papers
Palmer 2.1. Literary writings by EJP in his hand.
- A poem drafted and redrafted many times addressed to Sligger, apparently re a walk near the Chalet, nd.
- A black notebook containing a “Paper on Tennyson” read to the Brackenbury Society about 1891.
Palmer 2.4. The Draconian numbers 9 and 11, July 1891 and March 1892 respectively.
Palmer 2.5. Extract, pp 612-614 from The Graphic27 June 1874. Pp 612-613 is a two-page spread with an engraving of a drawing by J Nash entitled ”Amateur Navvies at Oxford – Undergraduates making a Road as suggested by Mr Ruskin.”
Palmer 2.6. Issues 1-6 lacking 5 of The Ephemeral , successive days of Eights Week, May 1893. It is clear that this elegantly printed clever satirical publication by undergraduates was from the beginning intended to be, as its title suggests, ephemeral. Internal evidence indicates that the Editors were at Balliol. Googling names them as AT Cunliffe and AH Grant (both Balliol 1891); or Lord Alfred Douglas. The last attribution is improbable: although Lord Alfred Douglas is credited as a contributor, this may be a spoof and he was not of Balliol; and no internal evidence is discernable for the identification of Cunliffe or Grant.
Palmer 2.8. A paper by Sir John Conroy ,22 foolscap pp, partly blue cc and part in Conroy’s hand on “Re-Union” annotated on p1 by him “Swindon 16/1/85” and endorsed by him on the back of the last page “Proof printed by S.P.C.K. but not published.”
Palmer 2.9. A page from a clumsily assembled scrapbook with numerous obituary notices of Sir John Conroy, 1900. Stuck to the same page are five foolscap stencilled copies of a handwritten draft of a circular, one of which is headed ”College Servants’ Services”. The five copies have comments and amendments in various hands. Now placed with this is a gathering made by EJP of letters dated June 1900 addressed to him by officials of twelve colleges, responding to the circular. There had been a meeting convened by the Bishop of Reading (Leslie Randall) in Christ Church on 5 June 1900. This meeting had decided to campaign for Colleges to make adjustments to their Sunday morning arrangements which would make it easier for college servants to attend church. It appears that EJP was charged with drafting a circular and collating responses. The proposals met with a mixed reception .
Palmer 2.11.EJP ,a personal miscellany
- Pro forma note in English signed ET Turner Registrar,TT 1888: EJP has satisfied the Moderators in Sacra Scriptura.
- Pro forma note in Latin signed by five Examiners (“Guliemus A Spooner, Jacobus Strachan Davidson, Herbertus P Richards, Edwardus M Walker, Samuel Alexander”) TT 1899: EJP First Class Lit. Hum.
- Certificate : EJP BA Oxon 19 April 1892.
- Photograph, Balliol Chapel interior ca 1900.
- Newspaper cutting re the sale by auction of furniture belonging to JL Strachan Davidson, to be held at the Master’s House 12 July 1916.
- Postcard addressed to Archdeacon Palmer announcing a meeting of The Oxford Philological Society in Oriel College 12 May 1893, at which inter alia business would be the election of EJP.
- EJP’s membership card for the Oxford Liberal Unionist Association dated 16 April 1893 signed by AV Dicey President,TW Mallam and J Birt Hon Secs, setting out the Objects of the Association and listing its Officers, Executive Committee etc.
- A menu for a dinner at Balliol, 1 November 1900 .Printed at the top of the front “F.F.U”; EJP’s name printed at the bottom. Inside facing the list of courses is a photograph of cricket game in front of the Chalet. On the back are 22 signatures.
- A menu for a dinner to celebrate Balliol being Head of the River in Torpids 1907,with the names and weights of the men in the First Torpid (Head of the River ,3 bumps) and the Second Torpid (3 bumps) printed on the back.
Palmer 2.13. A letter to Archdeacon Palmer from his doctor Alfred Winkfield FRCS of 26 Beaumont Street Oxford, 27 August 1894.
2B. Professional Papers – Balliol and Oxford
Palmer 2.2. EJP’s Latin Speech as Senior Proctor, in his hand, with corrections.
Palmer 2.3. A long draft or copied letter in EJPs hand addressed “Dear Sir” making reference to “Landor’s articles in your paper” annotated “? Pilot ?” , concerning proposals for reforming the scholarship system, increasing access to the lower classes and so on, nd ca 1904.
Palmer 2.7. Proofs, Balliol Scholarship Examination Papers MT 1905.
Palmer 2.10. Printed items.
- A flysheet for Congregation over the names of WW Jackson, CL Shadwell, HJ Bidder, RW Raper and LR Phelps, headed “The Proposal for Building a House in the Parks “, objecting to a proposal to build a house for the Savilian Professor of Astronomy . Nd, but some time after the death of Charles Pritchard in 1893.
- An 8vo booklet of 8pp: H Sanderson Furniss MA “Oxford University and the Labour Party”, nd but on internal evidence ca 1918, printed by the Co-operative Printing Society Limited. Cordeaux and Merry 826, Bod. GA Oxon b 139 (15a).
- W Rogers, Rector of Bishopsgate, a sermon on Benjamin Jowett preached in the College Chapel 12 November 1893.
- WH Fremantle ,a circular re Chapel services Sunday May 1894 ,his last as Chaplain .
- Balliol College Musical Society, programme In Memoriam BJ Sunday March 4th 1894,the 185th concert.The programme shows the Royal Arms of Scotland ,which were often used in error by the College ca 1850-1900.
- Jowett Memorial Fund Deed of Trust, printed, 1895.
- Balliol College (1904) Endowment Fund , accounts 1907 and 1908 and EJP’s copy of the letter sent by the Trustees to old members who had not yet subscribed ,nd ca 1908, appending a statement “The Needs of Balliol” , comparing emoluments at Balliol to other Colleges, and detailing its academic successes.The Master it is said was the worst paid of all Heads of House .
- 37th Annual Report of the Oxford Diocesan Missionary Candidates Association for the year ended 31 March 1905, pp23, and an appeal leaflet re the same nd ca 1906.
- A booklet, grey cartridge paper cover, 6pp with frontispiece showing the Chalet,entitled The Chalet Club 1891-1905 listing ABC those who had been to the Chalet and the years in which the had done so.
Palmer 2.12. Archdeacon Palmer’s slips setting out English and Latin essay topics, and passages for translation, mostly undated, but 1854 to 1871.
3. Photograph Albums , Photographs, Diaries
Palmer 3.1. A photograph album presented by Miss Lucy D Palmer in 1942. Her note with it is pasted in. Dark brown leatherette binding 29 x22 cm in good condition containing excellent sepia prints taken ca 1855-1860, judging by the apparent ages of the subjects . Including portraits of the following with ids given:
- Robert Scott (Master)
- Henry Wall (Fellow)
- James Riddell (Fellow)
- Edward Hobhouse (Balliol 1834)
- Frederick Temple (Balliol 1838, former Fellow)
- EB Devon (Balliol 1851)
- Walter Merry (Balliol 1852)
- John King (JC or JR King, Balliol 1847 or Balliol 1852)
- EW Sergeant (Balliol 1853)
- W Wordsworth (Balliol 1854)
- Edmond Warre (Balliol 1852)
- Edward Jones (probably ETD Jones, Balliol 1854)
- WB Stanford (Balliol 1855)
- HC Merivale (Balliol 1856),
- John Shephard (Balliol 1855)
- Henry Jenkyns ( Balliol 1855).
Palmer 3.2. A second photograph album presented by Miss Lucy D Palmer in 1942. Black leatherette broken binding 24 x19 cm containing sepia prints mostly in good condition taken ca 1855-1860, judging not only by the apparent ages of the subjects, but by the fact that three of the portraits are signed and dated by the subject . Some of the portraits duplicate those in the above album exactly, and it appears likely that the two albums belonged to different members of the Palmer family. This album also contains two views in the Garden Quad showing the new Salvin Buildings in the NE corner before any Waterhouse Buildings, probably around 1860.The individuals portrayed, with dates and in many cases signatures, are:
- George Follett (Balliol 1855)
- GB Estcourt (appears twice, Balliol 1857)
- JH Warner (Balliol 1855
- Ernald Lane (Balliol 1855)
- Edmund Herbert (Balliol 1855)
- HJ Ogilvy (Balliol 1855)
- EB Devon (Balliol 1851)
- G Riddy (Balliol 1846)
- A Vernon Harcourt (Balliol 1853)
- JH Kennaway (appears twice, Balliol 1856
- LA Cockerell (Balliol 1855)
- Benjamin Jowett (Balliol 1836, Fellow)
- Lewis Campbell (Balliol 1849)
- Ralph C Palmer (Balliol 1857)
- FS Russell (Balliol 1860)
- J White (Balliol 1858)
- CE Temple (Balliol 1860)
- Donald Crawford (Balliol 1855)
- A Cyril Pearson (Balliol 1856)
- John Steel (Balliol 1855)
- HW Fisher (Christ Church )
- ER Wodehouse (Balliol 1853)
- JR Yorke (Balliol 1854)
- EL Stanley (Balliol 1857)- signed and dated 11 June 1858
- JM Freshfield (Balliol 1853)
- AH Austen Leigh (Balliol 1855)
- Francis Warre (Balliol 1855)
- Henry Jenkyns (Balliol 1856)
- WH Gladstone (Christ Church
- WR Malcolm (Balliol 1858)
- R Jamieson (Balliol 1857) - signed and dated 3 April 1859
- CC Puller (Balliol 1858)
- JA Symonds (Balliol 1858)
- RA Duncan 3rd Earl of Camperdown (Balliol 1858)
- Alan Brodrick (Balliol 1857 ), John Shephard (Balliol 1856)
- George H Palmer (Balliol 1859)
- CW Campion (Balliol 1858)
- Edmond Warre (Balliol 1855)
- Edmund Sergeant (Balliol 1854)
- Edward Jones (Balliol 1855)
- WH Bullock (Balliol 1856)
- CP Ilbert (Balliol 1860)- signed and dated May 1862
- HG Alington ( Magdalen)
- JR King (Balliol 1852)
- WW Merry (Balliol 1852)
- James Riddell (Balliol 1840, Fellow)
- WB Stanford (Balliol 1856)
- HC Merivale (Balliol 1857)
- RJ Wilson (Balliol 1854).
Palmer 3.3. EJP’s pocket diaries for
- 1893 (Lett’s Pocket Diary and an Almanac),
- 1898 ( TJ & J Smith’s One Day Diary ), and
- 1900-1901 (Oxford University Pocket Diary).The entries are few brief and cryptic.
Palmer 4. Acquisition correspondence
Correspondence about the 1978 gift and photographs of EJP ca 1900 with modern copies and copy negatives.