Blandyke Papers

The wintry months of December and January are synonymous with one sport in particular: ice-skating. Though our mild winters generally no longer allow us to enjoy gliding over frozen ponds, canals and lakes, our predecessors certainly could, and took full advantage. These days you will struggle to make it through the winter months without encountering an ice rink, and you may even look forward to slipping and sliding across the ice!The earliest form of ice-skating first developed roughly three...
It is that joyful time of year once again, and here at the Jesuits in Britain Archives we are feeling particularly festive. We have decided to usher in the Christmas season by showing off a few of our festive favourites, found within the archives.For the first item on our list we turn once more to the Blandyke Papers created by philosophy students, who each year produced a special Christmas edition. In particular, we have chosen a Christmas poem written by Fr Henry Meyer SJ in 1889, which...
Pencil sketch of a woman playing a lyre under banner 'Resurrexit'
It has been some time since the archives have turned to the wonderful resource that is the Blandyke Papers for a blog post. These mostly manuscript volumes, were the journal founded by the philosophers at St Mary’s Hall, Stonyhurst, and cover a vast array of topics.In searching for material relating to the celebration of Easter two short paragraphs appearing in the Blandyke Papers in May 1892 and April 1893 respectively were particularly intriguing. The earlier report by an unknown author began...
In this week's 'From the Archives' blog, we continue our series of guest posts written by our wonderful work experience students from earlier in the summer. This post comes from Alex Blaney, who was with us for two weeks to gain experience of work in an archive. There is perhaps something for everyone in the Jesuits in Britain Archives, and in Alex's post it is clear that there is much to inspire an English Literature student, from deciphering 18th century handwriting to cataloguing letters and...
Black and white group photograph of lay men and women and clergy sat or standing around an Archbishop
During the month of September the Archives closes to visitors and does not deal with remote enquiries (unless it is an urgent matter). This is to allow the whole archive team to concentrate fully on the essential task of cataloguing. The collection that I am priviledged to be cataloguing at present is that of Plater College. Pope Leo XIII issued his encyclical Rerum Novarum or ‘Rights and Duties of Capital and Labor’ in May 1891. It was an open letter addressing the conditions of the...
“Poetry is the mainstay of oral tradition and, over centuries, can communicate the innermost values of diverse cultures … [It is] the unique ability of poetry to capture the creative spirit of the human mind.” (United Nations’ World Poetry Day website).The British Province of the Society of Jesus can count many poets among its members. In previous ‘From the Archives’ blog posts we have already celebrated the verses written down and often beautifully decorated by philosophy students in the...
Black ink sketch of a scribe in a busy library setting
Delving once more into the amazing treasure trove that is the Blandyke Papers (for information on the origins of this remarkable resource see our 2014 Christmas blog post) we wish to share the beginning of the editorial message of the 1928 Christmas number of the Blandyke Papers, which reads:It is our pleasant duty at this season of high festivity to offer to all and sundry the age-old greeting of a merry and a joyous Christmastide. We make no pretence of saying something new. However ambitious...
Pen and ink sketch of a pharaoh with caption Ramses as a boy
As we turn the pages of the Old Testament the wish can hardly fail to arise in us – that more could be told us about the characters of whom we read.Once more we turn to the Blandyke Papers for inspiration for the first of this month’s Archives’ blog posts, and what could be more fitting than this piece 'The Paraohs of the Oppression and Exodus' by Fr Cyril Martindale SJ (1879-1963) of February 1900, as we enter Lent and prepare for Easter.There are many parallels that can be drawn between...
As May draws to a close, so too does a month of special devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. With Spring and the promise of new life well under way, the Archives turn once again to the wonderful Blandyke Papers. These wholly manuscript volumes, spanning 1888 to 1923, were largely a place for future priests to reflect on history, literature, liturgy, philosophy and science. But they were also an outlet for literary and creative and artistic development, and perhaps none display these skills...
It was the custom that each year the Philosophers and Theologians went for two weeks on holiday to Barmouth, otherwise known as Barmouth Villa.  The original villa house was called Aber House and still stands in the centre of Barmouth.  In 1879 Aber House was sold and Fronoleu Terrace, a larger and more suitable house was rented outside of Barmouth in Llanaber.  In the 1930s the house was bought from the owners. The house is now known as “The Jesuits” or “The Jesuit House”...

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