MC:F19/C1 Letters from Frederick H. Sutton, 1867-87
Nineteen letters from Frederick H. Sutton to Rigaud (dated), loose in a folder.
Revd. Frederick Heathcote Sutton was the last Gentleman Commoner at Magdalen College. He matriculated in 1851, took his BA in 1856 and his MA in 1858. Sutton was the vicar of Theddingworth, Leicestershire from 1864-73, the Rector of Brant Broughton, Lincolnshire in 1873 and a prebendary of Lincoln in 1883. As Rector of St. Helen’s Church, Brant Broughton, Sutton began a programme of restoration and refitting that lasted until 1877. His architects were Bodley & Garner. He died 2 March 1888.
MC:F19/C1/1 18 Jan 1867
Discusses College plans for the construction of a new gate at the bottom of the Founder’s Tower. Sutton includes a rough sketch of his idea for the gate
MC:F19/C1/2 29 May 1867
Mentions that he would have voted for Dean Alexander rather than Springhill (who he had promised to vote for) if he had known that Alexander had been put forward. He is pleased Revd Shuldham is coming into his part of the country; mentions that he is about take up mowing exercise. On the back of the final page of the letter is a sketch of college members dashing about in the rain.
MC:F19/C1/3 14 Oct. 1872
Informs Rigaud that he cannot find Parker’s plans and believes he sent them on to Rigaud; he thinks the new organ should be placed under the tower because this would provide enough space for a very large organ without seriously obstructing the view of the windows. He adds that by taking his suggestion there would be space for an instrument ‘capable of tearing up the very paving stones at full power’. [The organ is not at Magdalen College but it may be the organ at St Mary Magdalen Church, Oxford – see letter MC:F19/C1/4] The letter includes 3 sketches of the organ in place in the church.
MC:F19/C1/4 16 Oct 1872
He cannot advise any other position for the choir arrangements and the position of the organ at St Mary Magdalen Church; sends his regrets that he cannot come up for a visit because he is expecting Millard and his brother and he is going to have his visitation by the bishop.
MC:F19/C1/5 5 Dec. 1872
Was in Oxford and noticed construction/renovations at Christ Church, All Souls and Keble College; gives his opinion on each of these projects. The note includes a sketch of what the turret should have been like (according to Sutton) at Christ Church.
MC:F19/C1/6 16 Dec 1878
More comments on the construction/renovations projects taking place in Oxford particularly at All Souls and Christ Church; approves of Rigaud’s decision to get a house and move out of college. Includes sketch of building project at All Souls.
MC:F19/C1/7 Whitsun Monday (2 Jun) 1879
Encouraging Rigaud to pay him a visit.
MC:F19/C1/8 22 June 1879
Note at top of letter expressing his regrets on the death of the Prince Imperial; mentions progress on project at Southwell; visited Durham and notes that the church there has been ‘dismally Scottified’.
MC:F19/C1/9 30 Aug 1879
Wants Rigaud to use all his influence to get Mr Bodley appointed to complete the work on the new rooms commissioned by the College.
MC:F19/C1/10 6 Sept 1879
Thanks Rigaud for the ‘History of St David’s’; talks of cathedrals he has seen in Wales; hopes Bodley is appointed architect for the College. However he concedes that ‘the right man so seldom gets in’.
MC:F19/C1/11 30 Jan 1880
Pleased Bodley was appointed.
MC:F19/C1/12 10 Feb 1880
Pleased Bodley’s plans accepted because it means that ‘really good Oxford Gothic’ will be done ‘which will be a pleasant change’; Dean of Salisbury is gone ‘at last’ and laments that Salisbury Cathedral is ‘so thoroughly Scottified’.
MC:F19/C1/13 5 April 1880
Has no objection to earthenware fonts; gives his opinion on what the perfect font would look like. Includes 4 sketches of his ideas.
MC:F19/C1/14 21 Jan 1881
Discusses the cold snap; mentions a ‘jolly mess’ that the government has gotten the country into; continues his glass painting in the church; asks Rigaud to visit; received plans from Bodley for new buildings and approves of them.
MC:F19/C1/15 6 Jan 1886
Notes that new Bishop is well-liked and that there are no objections to his mitre; received photograph from Rigaud; Bodley showed him the plans for the gate and thinks that it is an improvement on Pugin’s Gate; likes new door Porters’ Lodge; misses his brother Augustus (letter written on mourning stationery); wishes happiness for the new year.
MC:F19/C1/16 11 Feb 1886
Difficulty with Gothic mural tablet he suggests approaching Bodley and Parker because they understand late gothic; mentions political wrangling; shut in with a cold; asks Rigaud to come preach a Lent Sermon for him on 15 April.
MC:F19/C1/17 20 Mar 1886
Has received a long letter from ‘Old Johnny Bloxam’ who is now nearly 80; Sutton himself is feeling his age and says one short morning service; glad to hear Rigaud approved of his sketch for the monument and that Bodley and Parker are putting it into form; thinks the College will soon renovate the Chapel; disapproves of chapel renovations at New College although he has not seen it himself; encourages Rigaud to visit in the spring
MC:F19/C1/18 Lady Day (25 Mar) 1886
Is sending a small edition of the organ book to the College Library because it is prettier; compliments Bodley on his colouring skills; notes that the Bishop of Ely appeared in a mitre on Sunday last; asks Rigaud not to tell the Record that Sutton had given it to him.
MC:F19/C1/19 16 July 1887
Received his invitation to the Gaudy – he’s never been to one but sadly cannot attend this event either; included a photograph of the Reredos of St. Helen’s Church, Brant Broughton. The Reredos was by Bodley and Canon Sutton gave the late 15th century German painting of the Ascension, by which it is framed.
Return here to the introduction to this catalogue.