Balliol College Archives & Manuscripts

Back to: HOME > Archives & MSS > Modern Manuscripts Collections > Strachan-Davidson Papers

Papers of James Leigh Strachan-Davidson


A. The purchase of The Master's Field from Merton College and the development of the Holywell Site, 1893-1896.

1. 34 items of correspondence with Dr. Esson (Senior Bursar of Merton), Dr. Mee, W. Markby and others about plans for the Holywell site. 28 Nov. 1893-2 April 1896. Cutting from The Oxford Review, 8 March 1894, about the future use of the Holywell site. 1 column.

2. 2 TS copies of a report, map and list of donors. 1 annotated by JLSD. n.d. 3L.

3. 1 MS carbon copy of a report on the scheme by W. Markby. 11 June 1894. 3L.

4. AMS notes [by W. Markby?] on the site and cost of Dr. Mee's house. n.d. 2L.

5. Miscellaneous financial notes, calculations by JLSD and others. n.d. 4L.

6. 3 sheets of plans of the Holywell site. 1 n.d., 1 annotated (by ?) n.d., 1 stamped "Oxford Corporation Feby. 1894."

B. The Indian Civil Service: Controversies over contents of the examinations and the age of candidates, and other related matters, 1897-1915.

1. Correspondence relating to the controversy over subjects to be included in ICS exams, 25 March 1903-11 Nov. 1907. 63 items: 51 AL copy/draft by JLSD, 1 ALS by JLSD, 8 ALS and 2 TLS to JLSD. 1 TS memo from Sir Stanley Leathes, showing results of changes to the ICS system. (The bulk of the correspondence dates from 1903-1904 when the controversy was at its height.) Correspondents include: W.J. Courthope, Sir Stanley Leathes, Viscount Goschen, Sir Arthur Godley, W.R. Hardie, Professor Latta.

2. Printed material relating to the ICS and the 1903-1904 controversy. The material was collected by JLSD before and during the controversy. With envelope with AMS by JLSD: "In case of my death I wish these to be given to Balliol College Library. There is a copy already in the Bodleian. 3/4/05. J.L. Strachan-Davidson."

  • i. Memo "Statement relating to the arrangements made in the University of Oxford for the reception and training of Selected Candidates for the Indian Civil Service." n.d. (Note by EVQ suggests 1888?) 1L.
  • ii. Copy of Correspondence relating to the Report of the Indian Public Service Commission, 1889. 103p.
  • iii. Letter from "Balliol and Trinity Colleges" about age of ICS candidates and their courses. n.d. (Note by EVQ suggests 1891?) 1L.
  • iv. ICS exam syllabus. 1893. 1L.
  • v. Extract from the Oxford Magazine 3 Nov. 1897. "The Civil Service Competition of 1897." 3p.
  • vi. Extract from the Oxford Magazine 16 Nov. 1898. "The Civil Service Competition of 1898." 3p.
  • vii. "Regulations: Examinations for Eastern Cadetships..." [Page removed from larger document.] 10 Mar. 1902. 1L.
  • viii. Memo from W. Markby, W. Chawner. "Prospects of the Indian Civil Service." Relates a statement by a retired ICS member. Oct. 1902. 1L.
  • ix. Memo by JLSD. "The Civil Service Examination." 8 May 1903. 1L.
  • x. Memo by JLSD. "Civil Service Examination." 5 June 1903. 1L (2 copies). Both copies have AMS note by JLSD at top: "Suppressed. The Master of Emmanuel objected to the issue of this paper, and it was therefore suppressed."
  • xi. Motion by JLSD about ICS exams from Board of the Faculty of Arts-Literae Humaniores meeting, 13 June 1903. 1L.
  • xii. "A Memorial to the Civil Service Commissioners" from Oxford ICS negotiators (inc. EC, JLSD). 23 June 1903. 1L.
  • xiii. "A Memorial to the Civil Service Commissioners" from various Scottish philosophy professors (inc. EC). 29 June 1903. 1L.
  • xiv. "A Memorial to the Civil Service Commissioners" from John Peile, Master of Christ's, Chairman of Cambridge ICS board. 14 July 1903. 1L.
  • xv. "A Memorial to the Civil Service Commissioners regarding Proposed Marks for Mathematics and Classics." n.d. [c.July 1903? Note by EVQ indicates these are W. R. Hardie's proposals.] 1L (2 copies).
  • xvi. Letter "Competition for the Higher Civil Services." From John Peile to the Secretary of the Civil Service Commission. 14 July 1903. 1L (2 copies, 1 annotated.)
  • xvii. Memo by JLSD. "Civil Service Examinations: Amended Scheme," about subjects and allocated marks. 14 Oct. 1903. 1L (2 copies).
  • xviii. "Memorial to the Civil Service Commissioners" from the Cambridge Special Board for Moral Science. 19 Oct. 1903. 1L.
  • xix. Letter with amended ICS exam scheme from the Oxford negotiators to the Commissioners. 13 Nov. 1903. 1L (2 copies).
  • xx. Letter from W. Chawner, Chairman of the Committee of the ICS Board to Cambridge committee. 17 Nov. 1903. 1L.
  • xxi. Letter to the Commissioners from the Cambridge negotiators. 17 Dec. 1903. 1L.
  • xxii. "Report on negotiations with Cambridge Philosophers" by S. Ball, J.A. Smith. n.d. (Note by EVQ suggests 1904?) 5p (2 copies).
  • xxiii. "Board of the Faculty of Arts. Report of... the influence of the Civil Service Examination on University Studies." n.d. [c. 1904?] 5p.
  • xxiv. Letter from EC and JLSD to Philosophy tutors. n.d. [c. 1904?] 1L.
  • xxv. Letter from Oxford negotiators to the Commissioners. 9 Feb. 1904. 1L.
  • xxvi. Letter from Cambridge negotiators to the Commissioners. 7 March 1904. 1L.
  • xxvii. Letter from Scottish Philosophy Professors to the Commissioners. 6 May 1904. 1L (3 copies).
  • xxviii. Extract from the London Gazette 9 Aug. 1904, noting changes to ICS exams. 3p (2 copies).
  • xxix. Extract from the London Gazette 30 Aug. 1904, noting a further change to ICS exams. 1L (2 copies).
  • xxx. Extract from the Oxford Magazine 26 Oct. 1904. "Changes in the Civil Service Competition" by JLSD. 3p (2 copies).
  • xxxi. Copy of the above 3 extracts. Oxford Magazine extract blanked out. 6p.
  • xxxii. Letter from Oxford negotiators to Hebdomadal Council. (Page from longer document.) 10 Nov. 1904. 1L.
  • xxxiii. Memo from E.J. Trevelyan, H.A. Roberts. "Prospects of the Indian Civil Service." Relates a statement by a retired ICS member. Oct. 1905. 1L.

3. Correspondence relating to the proposed lowering of the age of ICS candidates, 1 Nov. 1910-31 Dec. 1911. 12 items: 11 AL copy/draft by JLSD, 1 TL copy by JLSD. Correspondents are: Sir Stanley Leathes, H.H. Asquith, Raleigh, J.A. [Smith?].

4. Printed and MS material collected by JLSD relating to the ICS candidate age debate, 1911-1913.

  • i. AMS memo by JLSD "ICS Notes." 6 Feb. 1911. 3L.
  • ii. Petition from heads of Oxford colleges to Sir Stanley Leathes re ICS age. 4 March 1911. 1L.
  • iii. Letter from JLSD, T.B. Strong, E.J. Trevelyan, T.H. Warren to Lord Crewe re ICS age. 7 March 1911. 1L (3 copies).
  • iv. Letter from J.L. Le B. Hammond to Lord Crewe about ICS age and university attitudes to it. 20 March 1911. 3L.
  • v. Letter from Herbert Fisher to the Vice-Chancellor re ICS age. 18 May 1913. 1L.
  • vi. Letter from M.S.D. Butler to the Vice-Chancellor re ICS recruitment. 24 May 193. 1L.
  • vii. TS of a memo by JLSD for the Commissioners on the Indian Services. 29 June 1913. 7L.
  • viii. Copy of ICS exam regulations for 1913. 12p.

5. The effect of the war on ICS candidates, and concessions to be made about the continuation of their courses, 1914 and 1915.

  • i. Correspondence: 15 items: 12 ALS, 2 AL draft, 1 TLS. Important items include:
    • 1 AL draft from JLSD to the Under Secretary for India. 23 Aug. 1914. 1L.
    • 1 AL draft from JLSD to Sir Stanley Leathes about ICS candidate problems. 5 Sept. 1914. 1L.
    • 1 ALS from Sir Stanley Leathes to JLSD, enclosing an extract from a Treasury memo on war service concessions to civil servants. 10 June 1915. 3L.
  • ii. Printed communiqué from the Secretary of State for India. n.d. 1L (2 copies). With newspaper cutting dated 30 Sept. 1914 (1 column) and AMS and AMS note by JLSD about ICS age. n.d. 1L.

6. Material relating to other ICS and overseas service matters.

  • i. AL draft from JLSD to Sir Alfred Lyall about the age of ICS candidates. n.d. (Note by EVQ gives date as July 1897.) 1L.
  • ii. AL draft from JLSD to Lord Cromer about teaching Arabic for civil servants going to Egypt and the Sudan. 21 April 1903. 1L.
  • iii. Printed letter from JLSD to Oxford college tutors about the teaching of Arabic. April 1904.
  • iv. AL draft from JLSD to W.J. Courthope about changes to Foreign Office and Diplomatic Service exams. 11 June 1905. 1L. With TS note attached.
  • v. Printed memo from E.J. Trevelyan about ICS probationers' living expenses. 5 Nov. 1905. 1L.
  • vi. ALS from A.H. Johnson to JLSD reporting on a conference on the subjects for ICS exams. Jan. 1913. 2L.
  • vii. Printed memo on the proposed creation of an Oriental students' Advisory Delegacy. n.d. (Note by JLSD at top: "Sent by Strong 30 Jan. 1916. No indication as to authorship.") 1L.

7. Material sent by A. Hirtzel (?) at the India Office to JWM, 14 Nov. 1922.

  • i. ALS from A. Hirtzel (?) to JWM. 1L.
  • ii. TS memo by A. Hirtzel about JLSD's role in various ICS affairs. 4L.
  • iii. TS Civil Service Commission memo about ICS candidate age. March 1921. 1L.
  • iv. Printed Civil Service Commission memo about ICS candidate age. Sept. 1922. 1L.

C. Controversy over a scheme to create a 3-year Classics course, how it might affect Civil Service exams, 1898.

1. Correspondence relating to the scheme, 20 Feb.-22 May 1898, and 2 letters to S. Ball, March 1904. 29 items: 15 AL copy/draft by JLSD, 2 ALS by JLSD, 12 ALS to JLSD. With AMS note by JLSD: "Correspondence on Three Year Course..." Correspondents are: I. Bywater (Regius Prof. of Greek), H.S. Pelham (Camden Prof. of Ancient History), J.A. Stewart (White's Prof. of Philosophy) and S. Ball (Senior Tutor, St. John's), Mary S. Talbot, Le Marchand.

2. TS Memo outlining the scheme, with TL from Bywater, Pelham, Stewart. AMS note by JLSD at top: "About May 20 1898." 2L. TS spoof memo ridiculing the scheme. n.d. 1L.

D. The candidature of Lord Peel for the Chancellorship, 1903.

Correspondence 16 Oct.-20 Oct 1903. With AMS enevelope by JLSD marked "Preferred Candidature of Viscount Peel." 9 items: 3 AL draft from JLSD to Lord Peel.

2 MS telegrams, 2 ALS from Lord Peel to JLSD.

2 AL draft from JLSD to "Mr. President." [The President of Trinity College?]

E. Inventories of the Master's Plate, 1904 and 1916.

1. AMS lists by H. Burley: "Contents of Plate Chest No.1," "Contents of Plate Chest No.2," "Contents of Case." Signed by H. Burley and JLSD. Oct. 1904. 3L. (Annotated in 1916 by JLSD.)

2. AMS list by JLSD: "Inventory of Master's Plate (April 1916) not included in lists of Oct. 1904." 1L.

F. "A Plea for the Annandale," 1908.

AMS poem by HWN [?] about the Annandale Society on Trinity College headed paper. 12 March 1908. 1L. (With xerox copy.)


G. Material relating to Richard Greentree, 1907-1916. Greentree read Classics at Balliol 1892-1896 and joined the Colonial Civil Service, but developed serious mental problems.

1. Correspondence about RG, 16 Sept. 1907-22 Sept. 1916. Most of the correspondence relates to the administration of an annuity payable to RG. With envelope marked "Greentree" by JLSD. 42 items: 26 ALS, 1 MS telegram, 14 TLS, 1 APS. Correspondents include: RG, John Greentree (father of RG), F.F. Urquhart, Cyril Bailey.

2. Other material relating to Richard Greentree.

  • i. 4 1-line/short AMS notes by JLSD with reminders about RG. 4L.
  • ii. Insurance documents for RG's Annuity, including a copy of RG's baptism certificate. July 1910. 3L. With Insurance Co. envelope and envelope with AMS notes on the Annuity by JLSD.
  • iii. Prospectus booklet for the Law Life Assurance Society. 1899.

H. S.K. Sinha, an Indian student who came to Balliol: His entry to the college and problems over his guardianship. 1911-1914.

Correspondence 24 Aug. 1911-21 Oct. 1914. 22 items: 16 ALS, 4 TLS, 1 AL, 1 AL copy.

Correspondents include: Cyril Bailey, S.P. Sinha (father of S.K. Sinha), S.L. Burrows.

J. S.N. Gupta, an Indian student who came to Balliol: Problems over his guardianship, work and finances. 1911-1916.

Correspondence 16 Sept. 1911-22 March 1916. 56 items: 41 ALS, 4 TLS, 7 AL copy, 2 AMS notes by JLSD, 3 APS, 1 MS telegram.

Correspondents include: S.N. Gupta, G.N. Gupta (father of S.N. Gupta), S.L. Burrows, Cyril Bailey, Arthur Pickard-Cambridge.

[NB. In James Leigh Strachan-Davidson: A Memoir JWM describes the cases of S.K. Sinha and S.N. Gupta as ones of "disloyalty." However the material does not suggest that they were disloyal in a patriotic sense, but they do appear to have objected to the guardianship rules imposed by the ICS and Balliol.]

K. The proposed demolition and rebuilding of the college chapel, 1911.

Printed letter from JLSD to the Honorary Fellows and Trustees about Mr. Morrison's donation for the rebuilding of the chapel. Nov. 1911. 1L.

L. Correspondence about the election of a new Visitor, 1912.

3 items:

  • ALS from W.L. Newman to JLSD about candidates for the Visitorship. 7 Nov. 1912. 1L.
  • AL draft from JLSD to Lord Loreburn offering him the Visitorship. 15 Nov. 1912. 1L.
  • AL draft from JLSD to Viscount Peel [about his father as Visitor?]. n.d. 1L. With AMS envelope by JLSD marked "1912 Correspondence about Visitor."

M. The College Prayer during the War.

1. AMS copy by JLSD of the Wartime Prayer, with a second prayer about wounded college members. n.d. 1L.

2. 5 TS copies of the Prayer. n.d. 5L.

3. Copy of a pamphlet Prayers in Time of War: Pax Domini, with a prayer for the missing marked. n.d. 16p. ALS from Paul F.D. de Labillière sending the above pamphlet to JLSD. 7 Mar. 1916. 1L.

N. Material relating to concessions made to undergraduates away on military service, 1914.

1. Printed notice from the Vice-Chancellor about his intention to pass a military service decree similar to that passed for the Boer War. 6 Aug. 1914. 1L. AMS note by JLSD from The Oxford Gazette 6 Feb. 1900, about the Boer War decree. n.d. 1L.

2. Letter from the Vice-Chancellor to The Times about academic concessions to undergraduates on military service.

  • i. TS copy of the letter. 13 Aug. 1914. 1L.
  • ii. Cutting from The Times featuring the letter. 1 column.

3. Cutting from The Times 21 Aug. 1914 with letters about undergraduates and the war from Glasgow and Cardiff Universities. 1 column.

4. ALS from the Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge to JLSD about Cambridge's concessions to undergraduates. 22 Aug. 1914. 1L.

O. A. de C. Williams, an ICS Probationer who got drunk and had disciplinary action taken against him, 1914.

 1. Correspondence 4 Feb-5 Oct. 1914. 14 items: 11 ALS, 3 AL copy. With AMS note by JLSD marked "Case of A. de C. Williams 1914." Correspondents include: A. de C. Williams, Sir Stanley Leathes, E.J. Trevelyan.

2. Printed copy of ICS exam regulations for 1914. Sentence about "character, conduct during the Probation" highlighted by JLSD. 6p.

P. Correspondence about S. O'Neill, a Balliol student interned in Heidelberg at the outbreak of the war, 1914.

Correspondence 6 Oct 1914-24 March 1915. 4 items:

  • TLS from J. O'Neill (S. O'Neill's father) to JLSD. 6 Oct. 1914. 2L.
  • ALS from Daisy Wearne, who had seen S. O'Neill in Heidelberg. 7 Oct. 1914. 1L.
  • ALS from G.M. Sproule to JLSD about the above letter. 15 Oct. 1914. 1L.
  • ALS from J. O'Neill to JLSD. 24 March 1915. 1L.

Q. Material about other university issues.

1. Printed copy of letters from EC to Dr. Warre and Rev. E. Lyttleton about the timing of Classical Scholarship Exams. Feb. 1899. 4p.

2. Printed letter from A. Sidgwick and H.A.L. Fisher about a Free Trade candidate for the General election. 9 Dec. 1905. 1L. AL draft from JLSD to H.A.L. Fisher in reply. n.d. 1L.

3. AL draft from JLSD to the Chancellor about the rejection of proposed changes to the M.A. Degree. 3 March 1909. 1L. With a cutting from The Morning Standard about the M.A. changes attached. 3 March 1909. 1 column.

4. TS document "Notes on University Reform as affecting the College." n.d. [AMS note by JWM suggests Oct. 1908 or 1909 as date.] 4L.

5. Committee studying finance in the Chancellor's Memorandum, 1909.

  • i. Printed memo by JLSD about finance proposals in the Chancellor's Memorandum. 8 June 1909. 7p.
  • ii. AL draft from JLSD to the Chancellor about his Memorandum. 6 May 1909. 1L.
  • iii. ALS from the Vice-Chancellor to JLSD. 7 May 1909. 2L.
  • iv. AL draft from JLSD to the Vice-Chancellor. 8 May 1909. 1L.

6. Printed material about a Statute in Congregation about making knowledge of Greek compulsory for all Arts degrees, Nov. 1910-June 1911.

  • i. Letter from JLSD and G. Murray (Regius Professor of Greek) to Members of Congregation. 15 Nov. 1910. 3p.
  • ii. Statement from G. Murray. Nov. 1910. 3p.
  • iii. Letter from E.B. Elliott about amending the Statute. 5 June 1911. 4p.
  • iv. Letter from JLSD and W.W. How to Members of Congregation. 7 June 1911. 3p.
  • v. Letter to Members of Congregation from supporters of the original Statute. June 1911. 4p.

R. "The Maniac Drawer." Odd/crank correspondence sent to JLSD as Master of Balliol.

c. 50 items including pamphlets, printed manifestos, letters etc. With AMS note by JWM: "Amusing-but nothing of any use except as showing to what sort of communications a Master of Balliol is exposed." Includes:

- Tim Procter, Modern MSS Asst, October - December 1992.

You do not need to request permission to download or print one copy of any of the images on these pages for your personal private study or research purposes.
You do need to request permission in writing to use any of these images for any publication in any format, including any use on a website.

The archives and manuscriptss of Balliol College are open by appointment to enquirers in person at the Historic Collections Centre in St Cross Church, Holywell.
Enquiries should be sent in writing (email or post) to the Archivist.
There is no charge for Archive enquiries, but donations for Archive purposes are always appreciated.
Updated 27.xi.15
Balliol College
All rights reserved © 2017