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Papers of Eric Scott Julian Miller (1932-2012; Balliol 1957)


Biographical note

Eric Scott Julian Miller, always known as Julian Miller (hereafter JM) , read history at Balliol 1957-1960, was President of Balliol  JCR ,Captain of Balliol  Boat Club,  played in the 1st XV and was  a Coolidge Pathfinder (recipient of a college award to travel in the United States during a summer vacation). An RC Priest while a student, he was married in 1983.

Obituary, Sydney Morning Herald

Provenance and arrangement

Deposited by  Mrs Meg Miller, February 2017.

Scope & Content

Extent: 1 archive box.

Related material in the college archives: personal dossier, Coolidge Pathfinder report.


Except where otherwise indicated, the author of the letters is JM, and the letters are autograph originals.


Miller 1. 1956. 3 letters.

1.1. Rome, 19 August 1956, to The President of Trinity  College Oxford, signed typescript applying for admission to Trinity, presumably never sent, with JM’s later annotations .

1.2. Typescript containing copies of two letters from Rome, both  addressed “Dearest Dad, Aunt Molly, Lock, Chris, Roge and G & G”,  15 November 1956 and 19 November 1956.The first describes his meeting with his mother on the day before his ordination; the second his interviews at Lincoln, Balliol, and Magdalen Colleges , and Balliol’s acceptance.

1.3. Original of the second letter copied in 1.2.

Miller 2. 1957. 9 letters.

2.1. From Balliol, 12 October 1957, to “Dearest Mother  &  Dad, Lock & Thea, Jan & Hal,  Chris, Roger Christine & Gabrielle”. Original and typescript copy. Begins with a brief mention of the Freshman’s Dinner on 10 October, but is mostly concerned with his experiences in New York 2-7 October.

2.2. From Balliol, 19 October 1957, same addressees as 2.1, continuing re his experiences in New York, his flight to London 7/8 October. and giving detail of the Freshman’s dinner.

2.3. From Balliol, 29 October 1957, same addressees as 2.1, typescript copy, describing his Tutor AB Rodger, Oxford City , his rooms in Holywell Manor and daily routine.

2.4. From Balliol, 5 November 1957, to ”Dearest Mother & Dad & all at No.10”, incomplete typescript, describing his academic work.

2.5. From Balliol, 13 November 1957, to ”Dearest Mother and Dad and all at home ,at S.J.C., at Bowen Park ,et alibi.”, typescript copy.  Mostly concerning rowing (OU Trial Eights).

2.6. From Balliol, postmarked 8 November 1957, on an air mail  letter form, to Mr & Mrs Lachlan A Miller, Bowen Park, NSW, his brother and sister-in-law (Lachlan Augustine Miller and Thea Roslyn née McGrath), whom he had married in NSW on 21 September  1957, his first break in Australia after 5 years in Rome.

2.7. From Balliol, 19 November 1957, on an air mail letter   form, to Mr ES Miller QC, Vancluse NSW, his father, about his studies and possible arrangements for a visit by his father to Europe.

2.8. From Balliol, 20 November 1957, addressees as 2.1, typescript copy.

2.9. From Balliol, 12 December  1957, addressees as 2.1, about the end of term  handshaking and plans for  the vacation.   

Miller 3. 1958. 24 items.

3.1. From Balliol 4 January 1958, addressees as 2.1. He has returned from Rome after a two-week absence; he describes   the outward journey by train with Ved Mehta, meeting clerical friends, and attending an ordination (Terry John was  among the ordinands).

3.2. From Balliol, 8-10 January 1958, addressees as 2.1, with more detail about his  recent activities in Rome.

3.3. From Balliol, 22 January 1958, addressees as 2.1, with more detail about his  recent activities in Rome and his  4-day  journey with Ved Mehta (who had been entertained by American friends in Rome)  back to England in stages.

3.4. From Balliol, 19 February 1958, addressed “Dearest  Mother & Dad Lock & Thea” on an air mail letter  form .

3.5 From Balliol, 20 February 1958, to his father   on an air mail letter   form,  concerning his expenses at Oxford.

3.6. From Balliol, 25 February 1958, addressees as 2.1. 14 numbered pages, describing in detail, with newspaper cuttings affixed ,Torpids 1958. Possibly incomplete as there is no closing phrase or signature.

3.7. From Balliol, 15 March 1958, addressees as 2.1. On an air mail letter  form.

3.8. From St Mary’s Glastonbury, 4 April 1958 [Good Friday], addressees as 2.1. On an air mail letter form, describing a two week trip to  Norway  with  a student skiing and rowing group.

3.9. From St Mary’s Presbytery Glastonbury, 7 April 1958,  addressees as 2.1. On an air mail letter form, describing the Glastonbury - Bath area and people he had met.

3.10 From The Old White Hart at Henley, 14 April 1958, addressees as 2.1. On an air mail letter   form, with further details  about Glastonbury, comments on Collections due just before term begins, and explaining that  he is at Henley for a fortnight’s training  for Summer Eights  with the Balliol Boat Club.

3.11. From Balliol 25 May 1958, addressees as 2.1, describing his academic and rowing life .

3.12 On Board the Roi Leopold III in the English Channel, 7 July 1958, incomplete, concerning rowing at Henley.

3.13 From Der Hamburger und Germania Ruder-Club,  1 July 1958, addressees as 2.1, describing his Hamburg trip.

3.14. From 33 Walton Crescent Oxford, 31 July 1958, on an air mail letter   form, addressed “Dearest Mother & Dad”. He is in digs , lodging with a young Catholic couple, doing academic work.

3.15. From Oxford, 1 August 1958,  addressees as 2.1. He is still in digs doing academic work.

3.16. From Oxford, 14 August 1958, to “Dearest Grandmother and Grandfather, Aunts and Uncles “, a joke opening because he welcomes the news of his nephew Mark Anthony, born 19 days previously. Balliol’s dominant performance in the Schools and RW Southern (“He is the tutor that most impresses me in Balliol, a wonderful man”)  are mentioned; it is exactly a year since he sang  High Mass at Sirica Seminary, 100 miles SE of Bangkok.

3.17. Posted   in London, 4 September 1958, addressees as 2.1, on an air mail letter form. He has been working 7 hours a day on academic work.

3.18. Post marked Brighton & Hove, 13 September 1958, addressees as 2.1, on an air mail letter form. Water-damaged without loss of text. He has left his digs, moved his things into the room he will occupy in Balliol, and travelled to the Convent of the Sacred Heart, where he is relaxing but doing some academic work and being well looked after by the nuns. He is due back in Balliol to begin rowing on 29 September, and will attend, “as one of the privileged Senior Men  - 14 of us, for 166 Freshmen” the Freshmen’s Dinner on October 9th.

3.19. From Hove, 14 September 1958, addressees as 2.1, on an air mail letter   form, concerning ”Fred’s death “.

3.20. From Balliol, on four air mail letter forms numbered 1-4, dated 5 October  1958 (but the last was not completed or posted until 27 October)  addressees as 2.1. He is back in College  working hard; after leaving Hove he spent several days in Belgium  visiting the World Fair (Expo 58).

3.21 From Balliol, 29 October  1958, addressees as 2.1, on an air mail letter form, concerning the Papal election and the  Oxford “Pirate Crew “ rowing controversy of late 1958. JM appears to have been the leader among the 19 college Boat Club Captains who quashed an attempt by an unofficial VIII  to displace the official VIII preparing to row against Cambridge in the 1959 Boat Race .

3.22. From Balliol, 11 November 1958, on two separate air mail letter forms numbered 1 & 2, addressees as 2.1, with remarks on the importance of rowing in Balliol

3.23. From Balliol,  28  November 1958, on an air mail letter form, addressees as 2.1, concerning  academic and rowing pressures;  in the OU Senior Trials he had made it into the last 18, but  did not expect to be in the last 16.

3.24. “Written in an old stone house in Somerset in the west-country of England - “Claveys”- outside the village of Mells: the home of Christopher Hollis and his family”, Christmas Day 1958. He had arrived at Mells on Christmas Eve, celebrated Midnight Mass in the Chapel of Mells Manor House, breakfasted with Mrs Asquith (widow of Raymond Asquith) and her daughter Lady Helen, and spent the rest of Christmas Day with Crispian Hollis’s Family. Crispian “is thinking of becoming a Priest after he goes down”,(he was ordained in 1965 and was Bishop of  Portsmouth 1988-2012) . Before Christmas JM had been on a university ski holiday at Sass-Fee in Switzerland.

Miller 4. 1959 Letters. 21 items.

4.1. From Balliol, 10 January 1959, on an airmail letter form, addressees as 2.1. In a  few minutes he will be attending the marriage in Balliol Chapel by the Dean ( and Chaplain) of Wilson Southam and Beverley Neil .

4.2. From Balliol, 2 January 1959, on an airmail letter form, addressees as 2.1.

4.3. From Balliol, 12 January 1959, on an airmail letter form, opening “Dear Dad “ with details of his finances and expenses and needs.

4.4. From Balliol, 15 January 1959, on an airmail letter form, opening “Dearest Mother and Dad “.He is glad of the prospect of both parents visiting  Oxford; he does not expect to get a  First but is working hard for  Second ; he has been back in Oxford for  a fortnight ; it has been snowing for 90 hours.

4.5. From Balliol, 1 February  1959, on an airmail letter form, addressees as 2.1. With details of his daily routine and academic work. That evening, with Michael her husband, he had visited Gillian Riisager and her 7½ llb first-born in hospital.

4.6. From Balliol, 1 February  1959 on an airmail letter form, addressees as 2.1. With more details of his daily routine; up early and work then training his two crews in the gym from  7.50, breakfast 8.45, work 9.15-11.50, Mass 12.15; lunch 1.00 then  training the 1st Eight  on the river until 3.30 , JCR tea , work until dinner, Rosary and early bed. That afternoon he had baptized Karen Mary Riisager , first-born of Michael and Gillian Riisager with whom he had boarded in the previous summer.

4.7 From Balliol, addressees as 2.1 beginning “On the banks of the River Isis  on the Second Day ofTorpids “ 19 February 1959. Balliol bumped Queens  and went Head of the River on the first night.

4.8 From Balliol, 9 March 1959, addressees as 2.1, sendingTorpids and Bump Supper souvenirs. He has been elected President of the JCR by a handsome majority (twice as many votes as the next candidate ) beating Henry Brooke and Godfrey Morrison who were  now his Secretary and Treasurer. The Presidency of the JCR  has given  him first  choice of all sets of rooms in College .He has started to go to the North Hinksey Parish for Mass on Sundays and met there Capt  RH Johnson CBE Bursar of Magdalen and his Australian wife with  whom he had dined ( Gilbert Ryle was also  a guest ) . He had visited Eton to see  “one of our rowing coaches”.

4.9 Written on an airmail letter form at 29 Palmerston Place Edinburgh, 22 March 1959, but posted in Cambridge  on 24 March, addressees as 2.1. He was staying with the Dick family, having travelled from Oxford a week previously with his Balliol friend  Charles Dick .Just before leaving Oxford there had been an Arnold & Brackenbury Society Dinner with brilliant speakers including Lakshman Kadirgamer . While in Scotland he had travelled around widely, including a visit to Sweetheart Abbey.

 4.10 From Cambridge, 26 March 1959, on two  airmail letter forms, addressees as 2.1, with further details of his recent travels including climbing Scafell Pike .He is staying at St Edmunds House and will  be there for 3 weeks .

4.11 From Cambridge, 27 March 1959, on an airmail letter form, same addressees as 2.1, with further detail of his recent travels in Scotland ( which had taken in the Highlands, Galloway  and the Border Country,and  both the West and East  Coasts ).

4.12. From Henley,  17 April 1959, on an air mail letter form, addressed “Dearest Mother & Dad”. He has been with the Balliol crew training at Henley for 5 days and gives details of the training schedule and diet according to the programme ordained by Dick Wheadon (RA Wheadon) their coach. First thing in his day was nevertheless offering an early  Mass;  the last thing before bed was the recitation of “three Rosaries in lieu of the Breviary ( a special privilege I have from Propaganda) “.

4.13. From Balliol, 7 May  1959, on an air mail letter form addressees as 2.1. He is working flat out; three tutorials in the previous week, busy as President of the JCR and Captain of Boats ,rowing in the 1st Eight .

4.13a [13 used twice in error]. From Balliol, 28 May 1959, on an air mail letter form, addressees as 2.1. It is Eights Week; Balliol has 7 Eights on the river; the crew has been entertained to dinner by the Master and Lady Keir, for which JM wore “my full clericals and magenta blazer!”

4.14. From Balliol, June  1959, on an air mail letter form, addressees as 2.1. Eights Week has passed  with some disappointments .Harold MacMillan will shortly dine in College and JM will be meeting him; he met Evelyn Waugh about a  fortnight ago.

4.15. From Balliol, 1 July  1959 , addressees as 2.1. A long letter:  19 pages but incomplete with details of all aspects of his life and an account of his meeting with Harold MacMillan.

4.16. From Balliol, 3 August 1959, addressed “ Dearest Mother and Dad” . He has been busy ; he is about to go travelling and gives some details  of his plans.

4.17. A series of seven letters on British air mail letter forms,  dated 16 August-14 September 1959,  written in Paris, Brig, Basel, and Berlin, but all posted in Oxford, addresses his parents or as 2.1. He describes in detail his travels, mostly in France and Germany but including a visit to Rome and attendance at  a Papal Audience .

4.18. From Oxford, 20 September 1959, on an air mail letter form, addressees as 2.1. He is back in Oxford. He has travelled 4700 miles in the past month.

4.19. From Balliol, 13 November 1959, on an air mail letter form, addressed “Dearest Mother & Dad”. He has recently had sherry with King Olav, and his proposals for ”a Reform in the Oxford Rowing Calendar”  have been accepted and welcomed in the national press .

4.20. From Oxford ,  27 December 1959, in three parts on three separate airmail letter forms, written in red ink, addressees as 2.1. He returned to Oxford on 23 December and was met by “Fr John Crozier the PP of the parish where I offer Mass on Sundays”.  The Parish was North Hinksey, and he was staying there ; he had had Christmas Dinner twice with parishioners. In this last surviving Oxford letter he outlines his programme for the next  six months.

Miller 5. Other papers. 9 items

5.1. Balliol Torpids card,  18-21 February 1959, with names and weights of Balliol Torpids I ,II, and III, with the order of start/finish chart made up to the penultimate day.

5.2. The Tablet February 27 1960, typed extract concerning JM’s role in changing the way Torpids was raced  quoting The Times of 22 February which also said that JM was the prime mover. With an undated autograph note written on it from HG Davis addressed to “Mrs Miller”.

5.3. Francis Grimshaw, Archbishop of Birmingham , 2 March 1960,  formal testimonial in Latin.

5.4. Balliol Christmas card, 1962, with  a brief message from The Master and Lady Keir  in Sir David Lindsay Keir’s handwriting. The front of the card is photograph looking from the middle of the Garden Quadrangle towards Staircase XX ( which was demolished two years later).

5.5. A  Gill ,”Priests establish a non-trade union“, Sydney Morning Herald,  7 September 1971, photocopy, concerning JM’s role as convenor of the conference which launched the National Council of Priests of Australia .

5.6. “The Coolidge Atlantic Crossing Trust 1955-1980 “ giving the names of the Pathfinders  in yearly groups.

5.7. Meg Miller, typescript , “Eulogy for Julian Miller “, Requiem Mass,  St Thomas Aquinas Church Bowral NSW ,7 September 2012.

5.8. M Costigan, obituary articles in Sydney Morning Herald 1 November 2012 and The Catholic Weekly 4 November 2012.

5.9. Edmund Campion, ”A Priest of Vatican II. Fr Julian Miller”, Madonna Magazine , March/April 2013.

Miller 6. Photographs. ca 30 items.

6.1. Holywell Manor  and Balliol.

6.2. Universities Ski Trip, Norway March 1958.

6.3. Balliol 1st Torpid February  1958 and a  view from Boar’s Hill.

6.4. Eights Week.

6.5. Balliol 1st Summer Eight 1958 and Henley 1958; on the river with identifications.

6.6. Balliol 1st VIII 1959 rowing over by the barges, with identifications and extensive annotation by JM.

6.7. Balliol VIII at Hamburg Regatta 1958

6.8. Training photos 1959 and photo in Holywell Manor gardens showing JM talking to (probably) Christopher Hill 

6.9. Torpids 1959, Head of the River

6.10. Torpids crew 1959 and Head of River trophy  posed by the OCR door  with JM  their trainer central, with identifications  and annotation by JM.

6.11. Photograph taken of High Table at the Torpids  Bump Supper 1959 , with key identifications and comments , AB Rodger presiding in the Master’s absence abroad.

6.12. JM  in the courtyard of the White Hart at Henley  April 1959 with an extract  by JM from the Balliol Annual Record 1959. 

6.13. Extract from the Balliol Annual Record 1959 “ The End of an Era “   by JM concerning the opening of the new Balliol Boathouse  on 30 May  

6.14. A photograph of the Gordouli Boat Club,  extremely informal, location unclear. JM near central with  biretta ; WJ Albery behind his left shoulder ; bearded AG Ogston seated on the railings . And  a group photograph, the JCR Committee with the Master including an excellent shot  of RV North, JCR Steward, standing on the extreme left as viewed.

6.15. Photographs on the river, without dates or identifications.

6.16. The JCR group photograph with the Master,   “1957-58”  taken in the NE corner of the Garden Quad  by the Cottage ( by Alfred Waterhouse demolished ca 1963 or 1964). Folded  but with little damage , with identifications. JM standing  top left as viewed 5th from the left.

6.17. Freshmen 1957, without  identifications.  

6.18 The JCR group photograph with the Master, marked  “1959-60” but probably Summer Term 1959, folded without much damage, annotated on the back with some identifications  and comment. JM is sitting on the Master’s  right with Ved Mehta  (“Hes  a great  friend of mine” )  on his right. Also identified is Crispian Hollis “ off to be a Priest in October “ .

6.19. The JCR group photograph with the Master marked “1959-60” but probably Summer Term 1960. No identifications. Several men were playing the fool in  a way known to exasperate the Master. Behind JM ( extreme left as viewed 3rd row from the back)  a man in sun glasses is holding a ringed plate  above JM’s head by way of a halo.

6.20. Balliol Cuppers XV  1959-60 with identifications  ( including RAW Sharp).

6.21. Balliol JCR Committee ,as in 6.14 but with identifications.

6.22 WA [Bill] Coolidge  with Malcolm Cochrane at Topsfield Massachusetts July-August 1960, and an aerial view postcard of Balliol .

6.23 &  6.24. Photographs,with some identifications,  of  a reunion of Balliol oarsmen  46 years on , Oxford 2005.

=== end of list ===



- John Jones 2017, ed. Anna Sander.

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