Hoyland, John S

Reference code(s): GB 0159 MS 733
Held at: Nottingham University Library, Department of Manuscripts and Special Collections
Domain: archival
Title: Hoyland, John S
Date(s) of contents: 1820-1958
Level of description: Fonds
Extent and medium: 7 boxes


Name of creator(s): John S Hoyland Hoyland family of Birmingham and Salford

Administrative/Biographical history: John Somervell Hoyland was born in Edgbaston, Birmingham in 1887, the eldest son of John William Hoyland (died 1927) and Rachel Anna Somervell. His mother died in the early 1890s and John William remarried. The Hoylands were an old Quaker family from Sheffield and John William Hoyland was the first principal of the Kingsmead College in Selly Oak, Birmingham. John Somervell was educated at King Edward's School, Birmingham; Christ's College, Cambridge (MA. 1914); and Hartford Seminary School of Missions, USA. In 1911, Hoyland took part with other British Young Friends in a visit to the USA which contributed to the unification of American Quakers.

From 1912 to 1926, Hoyland worked as a missionary in India. He began as principal of the Friends' Mission High School at Hoshangabad and in 1919, moved to Nagpur to become a lecturer in history and English at Hislop College where he remained until 1928. He was awarded the Kaiser-i-Hind Gold Medal in connection with his assistance during an influenza epidemic in 1918. He also compiled the successful book, A Book of Prayers: written for use in an Indian college (London: The Challenge Press, 1921). On his return to England, Hoyland gave the Swarthmore lecture to the Society of Friends. He joined the staff of Woodbrooke, the Quaker college in Selly Oak. He remained there for 24 years as a lecturer in biblical, social and international questions and as warden of Woodbrooke's Men's Hostel, Holland House 1930-1940.

John S. Hoyland was known as 'Jack' to his friends and family. He married a high school teacher, Helen Doncaster (1887-1919) from Sheffield in 1913 but she died while in India. He married South African born Jessie Mary Marais in 1921 who survived him. Hoyland died on 31 October 1957.

Hoyland was a prolific writer. His Who's Who entry records some 60 titles but also hundreds of articles, poems and prayers were published. The published works can broadly be divided into poetry and prayers, history and civilisation, social issues, India, and religion. Examples of these include: the collection of poems, Indian Dawn (Heffer, 1934); Prayers for a One Year Old (Heffer, 1927); A Brief History of Civilisation (Oxford University Press, 1925); Digging with the Unemployed (Student Christian Movement Press, 1934); The Case for India (J.M. Dent, 1929); and The Way of St Francis (Student Christian Movement Press, 1935). Journal entries recording his time in India were published by the Quaker press under the title, 'Omnibus'.

Custodial history:

Immediate source of acquisition: The collection was given to The University of Nottingham's Department of Manuscripts and Special Collections in March 2002.


Scope and content/abstract: The collection comprises:
Typescript extracts from correspondence and journal entries by John S. Hoyland and his father John W. Hoyland. 1910-1919;
Correspondence from John S. Hoyland ('Jack'). Most of the letters are to his father, his wife Helen, and to other members of his family. The period 1910-1927, and consequently his life and work in India, are the main focus of the letters. 1901-1927;
Correspondence to John S. Hoyland ('Jack'). Most of the letters are from members of his family, particularly his father and his wife Helen. 1911-1948; Correspondence of the Hoyland family that was not sent or received by John S. Hoyland. This includes letters sent by his wife Helen to his father and other relatives, 1872-1939;
Other correspondence including letters from Daniel Wheeler in Russia to David Mallinson and the Balby Monthly Meeting in the 1920s. 1820-1905; Typescript, manuscript and printed verse by John S. Hoyland and his brother Geoffrey. c.1900-c.1930;
Other manuscript items including: a journal of travels in Russia by John S. Hoyland (1932); memoirs of school days at West House by an unidentified author (1903); a family history memoir written by Rachel Anna Hoyland (undated); and certificates of birth and death for members of the Hoyland family (1888-1919). 1888-1932;
Other typescript and printed items including: proceedings of a conference of Young Friends on India and Ceylon held at Kingsmead (1909); a copy of John S. Hoyland , a biography by Reginald Reynolds (1958); Hoyland's privately printed Letters from India (1930); and newspaper cuttings. The collection also contains some photographs: undated but c.1910-c.1920. 1909-1958.

System of arrangement: The collection has been divided into series. Within these series, items have been arranged chronologically where possible.


Language: English

Conditions governing access: Restricted access pending full cataloguing: contact Department for advice

Conditions governing reproduction: Permission to make published use of any material from this collection must be sought in advance in writing from the Keeper of the Department of Manuscripts and Special Collections (email mss-library@nottingham.ac.uk ). The Department will try to assist in identifying copyright owners but this can be difficult and the responsibility for copyright clearance before publication ultimately rests with the person wishing to publish

Finding aids: This description is the only finding aid available for the collection. Copyright in the description belongs to The University of Nottingham.



Archivist's note: Description originally compiled for the H.E.Archive Hub.

Date(s) of descriptions: Adapated for Mundus, October 2003


Personal names
Hoyland | John Somervell | 1887-1957 | Quaker and missionary

Corporate names
Society of Friends

South Asia