Papers of the Havergal family

Reference code(s): GB 0150 CMS/ACC95
Held at: Birmingham - University of, Information Services, Special Collections Department
Title: Papers of the Havergal family
Date(s) of contents: 1816-1886
Level of description: Sub-fonds
Extent and medium: 3 vols., 2 bundles, 2 items


Name of creator(s):

Administrative/Biographical history: William Henry Havergal (1793-1870), a composer of sacred music, was educated at Merchant Taylors School and St Edmund Hall, Oxford. He was rector of Astley, Worcestershire in 1829, St Nicholas, Worcester in 1845 and vicar of Shareshill in 1860. In 1836 he was awarded the Gresham prize for evening service in A, and in 1841 for the anthem 'Give Thanks'. He composed 'A Hundred Psalm and Hymn Tunes (1859), published Old Church Psalmody (1847) and other works. His daughter, Frances Ridley Havergal (1836-1879) was a writer of religious verse and published Ministry of Song (1870) and other hymns and poems, Poetical Works (1884) and her autobiography. Both William and Frances were active supporters of the CMS.
Reference: Concise Dictionary of National Biography; Church Missionary Gleaner, Jan 1887

Custodial history: Presented by to the CMS by Miss Maria V. G. Havergal in 1886 and a report of the gift is published in the Church Missionary Gleaner, Jan 1887, p. 8; transferred on permanent loan to the Special Collections Department by the CMS in the 1980s

Immediate source of acquisition:


Scope and content/abstract: This collection comprises papers principally of William Henry Havergal (1793-1870), composer of sacred music and of one of his daughters, Frances Ridley Havergal (1836-1879) a writer of religious verse. It includes an album arranged by another of William Havergal's daughters, Maria as a memorial to her father and sister which contains manuscript notes of sermons preached and speeches made by William Havergal on tours on behalf of the CMS, hymns sheets and posters for services, some correspondence, photographs of family members and some watercolours. In addition to the immediate family members the album includes photographs of Rev Archibald D. Shaw a CMS missionary in East Africa and his wife, Amy (nee Havergal, a niece of Frances Havergal). Other items include a volume containing original manuscript copies of some of Frances Havergal's poems and William Havergal's sermon case and notes of sermons. There is also correspondence of Maria Havergal relating to a Frances Ridley Havergal Memorial which includes letters from Ellen Clay, a missionary with the CEZMS in the Punjab and a friend of Frances Havergal

System of arrangement: This collection forms part of the Church Missionary Society Unofficial Papers. It is arranged into one series: Family Papers


Language: English

Conditions governing access: Open Access to all registered readers

Conditions governing reproduction:

Finding aids: A catalogue of this collection to file and item level is available in electronic format on the University of Birmingham Information Services Online Archive Catalogue. A paper copy of this catalogue is also available for consultation in the Special Collections Department reading room.



Date(s) of descriptions: Created 23/08/2001, modified 16/09/2002


Personal names
Havergal | Frances Ridley | 1836-1879 | writer of hymns
Havergal | William Henry | 1793-1870 | composer

Corporate names