MC:PR32 Papers of Herbert Warren (President 1885-1928)
This catalogue only contains a small proportion of the papers of Thomas Herbert Warren (President 1885-1928). The majority of his archives are in private hands. The papers have been assembled from a variety of sources in the archive, items being re-catalogued into the order they have here.
Re-catalogued by Clare Baker, Archives Assistant, July 2004.
I – BIOGRAPHY
This biography is taken from President Warren’s entry in the Dictionary of National Biography.
Thomas Herbert Warren was born on the 21st October 1853, the second son of Algernon William Warren and Cecil Thomas. He was educated at Manilla Hall School, Clifton, and then Clifton College.
Warren studied at Balliol where he obtained first classes in Classical Moderations (1873) and in Literae Humaniores (1876), and won the Hertford scholarship (1873), the Craven scholarship (1878), and the Gaisford prize for Greek verse (1875). His main influence was that of Jowett (Master of Balliol), whose ideal of a college as not merely a home of learning but a training ground for public life, was destined to guide Warren’s policy in his direction of Magdalen.
In October 1877, Warren was elected to a prize fellowship at Magdalen and succeeded in the following term to a classical tutorship. On the death of Dr. Frederic Bulley in 1885 Warren, at the unusually early age of thirty-two, was elected president, and held the office until 1928, a period of forty-three years. He took on the task of developing the college, gathering round him a distinguished staff of teachers and welcoming as a new strength to the College the professorial fellows added by the royal commission of 1878. Meanwhile Warren was coming to hold a prominent position in university affairs. He was for many years a member of the Hebdomadal Council, a delegate of the University Museum, and a curator of the Taylor Institution. From 1906 to 1910 he was vice-chancellor.
Outside the university Warren’s services were employed on several government commissions and committees. The honorary degree of D.C.L. was conferred upon him at Lord Curzon’s first Encaenia in 1907, and he was also an honorary LL.D. of Birmingham University, an honorary D.Litt. of Bristol University, and an honorary fellow of Balliol (1924). The Prince of Wales wasa student at Magdalen from 1912, and the King created Warren K.C.V.O. when the prince left Magdalen on the outbreak of war in 1914.
Warren was helped in his presidential duties by his wife, Mary Isabel, youngest daughter of the chemist Sir Benjamin Collins Brodie, whom he married in 1886. The years of World War I, when he received almost daily the news of the death of some Magdalen man, brought him great distress, but he steered the college through this time of anxiety and through the period of reconstruction which followed. In 1928 age and increasing infirmity made him decide to resign: he received many tokens of affection and gratitude, and was elected an honorary fellow of the College. He continued to live in Oxford, and died there suddenly 9 June 1930. He had no children.
For further information on Warren’s life, please refer to Herbert Warren of Magdalen: President & Friend, 1853-1930 by Laurie Magnus.
II – CONVENTIONS OF THE CATALOGUE
Within the above sections of the catalogue, the papers have been divided according both to subject and type of document. These are the codes used in this catalogue to indicate the basic nature of each group of papers:
MS manuscript material (e.g. notebooks, drafts of books etc.)
N Newspapers, magazines and other similar printed material
One basic principle was adhered to throughout the cataloguing of the papers: many documents were found in folders or envelopes. The contents of these have been kept together and listed as individual items. This means that one ‘item’ may consist of just one letter, whereas another one will comprise several tens of papers, but this does at least protect the original context of the collection.
The collection contains the following series:
MC:PR32/C1 Letters to Martin Routh
MC:PR32/C2 Miscellaneous college and college-related business
MC:PR32/C3 First world war correspondence to President Warren
MC:PR32/MS1 Papers relating to William August Brevoort Coolidge (Fellow 1875-1926)
MC:PR32/MS2 Address on college unity
MC:PR32/MS3 Papers regarding Reverend James Matthew Thompson (Fellow 1904-1938, Dean of Divinity 1905-1915)
MC:PR32/MS4 Visitors book
MC:PR32/MS5 Addresses presented to President Warren
MC:PR32/N1 Keats lecture
MC:PR32/P1 Album of photographs of Italy
There is a second major collection of Warren papers in the College archives, which descended through members of the Brodie family, and which is now held on loan by the College. Its catalogue may be found here.