MC:PR33/2/7C Documents and Correspondence relating to Rev. C. R.Carter
This collection of letters and documents relates to events mainly in Mar-Apr 1930 during which time the Estates Bursar Cyril Robert Carter [F.1896-1902, 1910-1930] was forced to resign over financial improprieties relating to the payment of money to a woman in Headington. It shows President Gordon being forced to steer a course between protecting Carter from the scandal, ensuring the reputation of the college, and making sure all financial irregularities were detected and remedied. The chronology of the affair is recorded in MC:PR33/2/7C/17.
Carter first met Kate Hynes in Sep to Dec 1926 when he gave her the sum of £20 when she came to see him in his room in the Bursary. It appears that she knew him by sight, although he was adamant he had never seen her before this occasion. She wrote to him frequently after this date, asking for more money, claiming that both her and her mother were ill and in need of medical assistance. Over the course of 1927 Carter made payments totally £520 in sums of £10 to £20. By 1928 this had increased to £4,073 and in the first three months of 1929 alone, he had given her £1,300. This exhausted his personal savings and so he began to take money from the college’s account, claiming that he was drawing money from that which would be owed to him in one lump sum as his pension. In the second half of 1929, therefore, he made payments of £8,650 to Miss Hynes, of which £7,853 belonged to the college. In total, he gave Miss Hynes £14,543. At interview with the solicitor, Carter claimed that he was being blackmailed into making the payments, although there was no evidence in any of the letters of any threat to him. Rather, Francis Smith believed he had been ‘hypnotised’ into thinking it was blackmail and that Hynes referred to the payments throughout as ‘loans’ that she would pay back. The larger payments apparently only began once Carter’s wife had died and when he felt himself so embroiled in the affair that he felt obliged to continue making the payments in case Hynes should report them and damage the name of the college. In Nov 1929, upon the advice on his brother he made enquiries via London solicitor and found out that Kate Hynes was in fact Kate McCreesh, a married woman living with another married man called Hamilton and was regarded by the police as a prostitute. The whole affair came to a head when Carter served a writ to try and reclaim the money he had given McCreesh, after the sale of her property, he gained £209. At this point it seems that McCreesh did attempt some form of blackmail, trying to enlist the help of a college servant, Sidney George Hall, to claim that she had been ‘stripped and pulled about’ by Carter, as a copy of a police statement attached to this letter makes clear. Several cheques were removed from the college book in order to try and trace some of the missing money and serve a bankruptcy notice on McCreesh. McCreesh intended to defend the notice and so Carter withdrew lest the college’s name come out in the proceedings.
MC:PR33/2/7C/1 10 Oct 1922
Power of Attorney from Magdalen College to A.L. Pedder to act as Estates Bursar.
MC:PR33/2/7C/2 10 Mar 1930
Letter, C.R. Carter to President Gordon: ‘I cannot tell you how sorry I am to have caused you this dreadful worry about myself. I hope to know more about things in 5 or 6 weeks time. Please forgive me.’
MC:PR33/2/7C/3 18-19 Mar 1930
4 Papers regarding meetings of Bursarial Committee. Lists decisions taken by committee relating to resignation of Carter, payment of his stipend, getting an auditor in to account fully for his actions, appointing MacKeith [F. 1922-33] as new Estates Bursar and changing bank details to this effect. Also lists final cheques signed by Carter.
MC:PR33/2/7C/4 19 Mar 1930
Letter, C.R. Carter to President Gordon apologising for the trouble he has caused and offering his resignation. Says it will be impossible for him to repay the money unless the college allows him his pension.
MC:PR33/2/7C/5 20 Mar 1930
Letter, MacKeith [acting Estates Bursar] to President Gordon enclosing copies of order passed that day. Confirms Carter has been sent cheque for stipend outstanding to him by college.
MC:PR33/2/7C/6 20 Mar 1930
Memorandum from the Acting Bursar to the President noting the proceedings of a College Meeting where orders relating to the resignation of C.R. Carter and payment of his stipend were made. Notes that no decision over his pension would be made until a Special College Meeting at 2pm on Tues 29 Apr after the auditor’s report and consultation with the solicitor.
MC:PR33/2/7C/7 20 Mar 1930
Copy of report made by Kenneth Moore to College Meeting relating that he has discovered the Bursar using college money for his own purposes and suspect accounting practices which aimed to hide this. This was a preliminary report before the full report delivered on 23 Apr 1930.
MC:PR33/2/7C/8 22 Mar 1930
Letter, A Cowley [F.1902-31] to President Gordon regarding ‘the pitiable story’ of Carter. Doesn’t expect to see Carter again ‘it wd be too distressing for everyone in Common Room at the Club’. Posits that Carter was not sane, ‘I prefer to take that view rather than to imagine anything worse’.
MC:PR33/2/7C/9 22 Mar 1930
Letter, C.R. Carter to President Gordon thanking him for letter and apologising for all the trouble he has caused the college. ‘I suppose I have not been normal this year’.
MC:PR33/2/7C/10 22 Mar 1930
Letter, Christopher Cookson [F.1894-1919] to President Gordon telling him that he knows about the Carter affair, in advance of the college meeting that afternoon.
MC:PR33/2/7C/11 23 Mar 1930
Letter, F.A. Lys [?] of Worcester College to President Gordon thanking him for informing him of the issue of Carter and promising not to tell anyone about it.
MC:PR33/2/7C/12 24 Mar 
Letter, C.R. Carter to President Gordon thanking him for seeing his brother. Is sorry if he has caused more problems by talking to some of his friends.
MC:PR33/2/7C/13 27 Mar 1930
Letter, Francis E.J. Smith of Lee & Pembertons, 44, Lincoln’s Inn Fields to President Gordon after a meeting with Kenneth Moore. Is intending on asking Carter to come and see him again so he can find out the ‘exact facts’.
MC:PR33/2/7C/14 27 Mar 1930
Letter, C.R. Carter to President Gordon thanking him for coming to visit him in Henley and talking ‘as if nothing had transpired’. Intends to go down to the sea and sell much of his furniture. ‘I am thankful to say the blackmail business is over & though I can get nothing back there will now be no publicity’. Asks for there not to be a presentation from the tenants or the SCR.
MC:PR33/2/7C/15 9 Apr 1930
Letter, Francis Smith to President Gordon concerning the report on the Bursar’s case which he is in the process of completing. Wants to attend the meeting of college to answer questions on the report and stress his belief that the Bursar was ‘incredibly foolish’, but not criminal.
MC:PR33/2/7C/16 14 Apr 1930
Copy letter, George Gordon to Francis E. Smith concerning computation of pension for Carter.
MC:PR33/2/7C/17 15 Apr 1930
Letter, Francis E. Smith of Lee & Pembertons to President Gordon. Relates to Gordon the findings of his investigation into the Carter affair. Outlines chronology of events as set out in the introduction to this section. Attached to the letter is a witness statement given by Sidney George Hall reporting on attempts made to blackmail Carter. (29 Jan 1930) Also a copy of a police report into character of Thomas Hamilton, the man living with McCreesh and McCreesh’s purchase of a house and small business. (30 Jan 1930)
MC:PR33/2/7C/18 17 Apr 1930
Agenda paper for Extraordinary General College Meeting discussing settlement of college accounts for 1929 and appointment of trustees to copyhold manors.
MC:PR33/2/7C/19 17 Apr 1930
Letter, C.R. Carter to President Gordon asking him to arrange for someone else to preach the St John Baptist’s Day sermon.
MC:PR33/2/7C/20 23 Apr 1930
Letter, marked ‘Confidential’ from Frank Carter (brother of C.R. Carter) to President Gordon enquiry whether it would be acceptable for C.R. Carter to speak at Limbugh lectures.
MC:PR33/2/7C/21 23 Apr 1930
Letter, Francis E. Smith advising the President to make the payment of £564. 18. 4. to Carter to settle his pension.
MC:PR33/2/7C/22 23 Apr 1930
Letter, Kenneth Moore to President Gordon enclosing his report on Carter’s actions.
MC:PR33/2/7C/23 23 Apr 1930
Report from Kenneth Moore of Edward Moore & Sons Chartered Accountants concerning the withdrawals and payments made by C.R. Carter from the Magdalen College account. Shows that irregularities are minimal and confined only to the areas of which the college was previously aware. Advises that the sums owed by Carter should be itemised as miscellaneous debts.
MC:PR33/2/7C/24 24 Apr 1930
Letter, Francis E. Smith to President Gordon advising him that an annuity could not be paid to Carter under the statutes without the Visitor’s approval.
Account sheet showing ‘Summary of C.R. Carter’s drawings and payments in as recorded on folio 399 of personal ledger’. This was presumably used as evidence of Carter’s financial transactions.
MC:PR33/2/7C/26 26 Apr 1930
Letter, Francis E. Smith acknowledging receipt of cheque made out in Carter’s favour.
MC:PR33/2/7C/27 30 Apr 1930
Letter, Francis E. Smith to President Gordon relating that he has sent Carter a cheque for £564. 18. 4. he has sent his formal receipt of Statutory Declaration as to his financial circumstances.
MC:PR33/2/7C/28 23 Apr 1930
Statutory Declaration of personal finances made by C.R. Carter.
MC:PR33/2/7C/29 30 Apr 1930
Memorandum from C.R. Carter to President Gordon acknowledging receipt of £564. 18. 4. as settlement of his pension rights. This is the sum less the amount of £7966. 4. 5. that he had already drawn from the bank.
MC:PR33/2/7C/30 1 May 1930
Letter, Kenneth A.E. Moore of Edward Moore & Sons, accountants to President Gordon thanking him for his letter and his general help in helping him ‘to steer a course in troubled waters’.
MC:PR33/2/7C/31 8 May 1930
Letter, C.R. Carter to President Gordon confirming that he has been sent balance of his pension. Wants to know whether Gordon believes it would be too close to Oxford if he were to live in Eynsham.
MC:PR33/2/7C/32 12 May 1930
Letter, C.R. Carter to President Gordon thanking him for his support. Hopes to ‘live it down’ and take a room in North Oxford.
MC:PR33/2/7C/33 14 May 1930
Letter, C.R. Carter to President Gordon telling him that he is moving out of Oxford and trying to find rooms in Reading. Regrets that he has brought college into such disrepute, promises never to come to Oxford again. Encloses appointment of College Game Keeper.
MC:PR33/2/7C/34 14 May 1930
Letter, C.R. Carter to President Gordon resigning as college representative on Committee of the Wingfield Hospital and Directorate of OUGC.
MC:PR33/2/7C/35 13 Jun 1930
Letter, C.R. Carter to President Gordon thanking him for his invitation to come to the college but declining it as he is not sure whether the ‘whole hive’ will look upon him favourably.
MC:PR33/2/7C/36 27 Jun 
Letter, C.R. Carter to President Gordon thanking him for letter and promising to come and see him before the ‘audit dinner’.
MC:PR33/2/7C/37 29 Jun 1930
Letter, C.R. Carter to President Gordon telling him that the present he was made amounted to £150.
MC:PR33/2/7C/38 23 Sep 1930
Letter, Thomas Dean to President Gordon informing him that Carter had written to ask to be appointed to a small living.
MC:PR33/2/7C/39 28 Sep 1930
Note, C.H. Turner to President Gordon regarding what form the memorial service for C.R. Carter should take.
MC:PR33/2/7C/40 10 Jun 1930
Letter, Kenneth Moore to Arnold J. Forster sending his opinions after having studied the report of C.R. Carter of his time as bursar. Raises questions about some of Carter’s actions as fellow and generally criticises his overall policies. This document is not part of this series of papers and was found in the office of the college Land Agent, Dick Latham in Mar 1980 when it was handed to the archives.
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