MC:F46 Papers of Thomas Dewar “Harry” Weldon (Fellow 1923-58)
Thomas Dewar Weldon (1896-1958), known universally as ‘Harry’ Weldon, came up to Magdalen as a Demy in 1919, having served in the First World War, where he was awarded the Military Cross and bar. He was elected a Lecturer in 1922, and then a Fellow and Tutor in Philosophy in 1923, which post he held until his sudden death in 1958.
Weldon published three works, Introduction to Kant’s “Critique of Pure Reason” (1945; 2nd ed. 1958), States and Morals (1946), and The Vocabulary of Politics (1953), but he was also a dedicated tutor, and occupied a dominant role in College life politics, fighting hard to improve academic standards at Magdalen. During the Second World War, he became the personal assistant of Arthur ‘Bomber’ Harris at Bomber Command.
Weldon”s life and work are discussed variously in his ODNB entry and Chapter 6 of L. W. B. Brockliss (ed.) Magdalen College Oxford: A History. He is also mentioned frequently in the letters and diaries of C. S. Lewis, and the character of Dick Devine, later Lord Feverstone, in the latter”s novels Out of the Silent Planet (1938) and That Hideous Strength (1945), has been taken as a partial portrayal of Weldon.
Of the papers below, MC:F46/W1/1 was given to the College in January 1991 as Accession No. 91/8. All the other items in this collection were given to the College by Dr. Ralph Walker (F. 1972-2011), who had himself received them from James Griffiths (D. 1927-31; F. 1934-68; P. 1968-79), to whom Weldon had left his books and papers. No other papers of Weldon are preserved at Magdalen.
Recatalogued in June 2011.
MC:F46/MS1 – PHILOSOPHICAL WRITINGS
MC:F46/MS1/1 c. 1958
Folder containing a typescript (not quite in the right order) of most of the text of the second edition of Weldon”s Introduction to Kant’s “Critique of Pure Reason”, published in 1958.
MC:F46/MS1/2 n.d. (c. 1945-58?)
MS in Weldon”s hand of an paper or lecture titled ‘Probability.’
MC:F46/C1 – CORRESPONDENCE
MC:F46/C1/1 1 Jun 1986
Letter from Ralph Walker (F. 1972-2011) to Brenda Parry-Jones (Archivist of Magdalen 1979-87) presenting the items in MC:F46/MS1 above.
MC:F46/W1 – COPY OF WELDON”S WILL
MC:F46/W1/1 11 Mar 1952
Copy, taken from the York Probate Register of Weldon”s will.