Frederick Tatford Papers

  • Reference
      GB 133 FTP
  • Dates of Creation
  • Name of Creator
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      1 l.m.
  • Location
      Collection available at University Archive and Records Centre, main University Library.

Scope and Content

The collection contains the correspondence and scrapbooks of Frederick Tatford. The majority of the correspondence relates to Tatford's book series That The World May Know. Tatford wrote regularly to Echoes of Service editor Stanley Warren who was responsible for proof reading the series. The pair mainly discussed Tatford's research and the progress of his writing. Tatford and Warren were also close friends. Their letters reflect this, as the two men arranged to meet up regularly and offered prayer and support to one another during times of stress or illness. The seven scrapbooks contain cut out copies of articles which Tatford wrote for a number of publications and advertisements for events where Tatford was scheduled to lecture. It appears that Tatford created these scrapbooks to remember his achievements. Tatford wrote for a number of Brethren journals and magazines including The Harvester, Echoes of Service and Prophetic Witness. The majority of his articles focused upon his faith and theological beliefs. He wrote for example, numerous pieces on prophecy, the second coming and the Middle East. Tatford also engaged with current events, writing about his views on communism, nuclear weapons and divorce.

This collection would be a valuable resource for anyone researching the life and work of Frederick Tatford. The correspondence reveals the development of Tatford's ideas for his book series and illustrates the volume of research undertaken for the project. The scrapbooks appear to contain a copy of every article Tatford wrote and an advertisement for most events where he lectured. They also contain a huge number of positive and negative reviews of Tatford's published work. This would enable research into the reception of his ideas and the ways in which he defended his arguments when he encountered criticism.

This collection would also be a useful resource for anyone studying Open Brethren views on eschatology, prophecy and missiology.

Administrative / Biographical History

Frederick Tatford was born in Hampshire on 22nd February 1901. He was the eldest son of Frederick and Emma Tatford. Tatford's father died when he was a small child, leaving Emma with the responsibility of bringing up their four children. Both Emma and her late husband were associated with the Open Brethren and therefore prioritised Sunday school and Bible teaching. Tatford came to faith in 1916 at the age of fifteen.

Tatford moved to London in 1917 to join the Civil Service. This was the beginning of his long and prestigious career. Tatford began by working as a clerk for the Inland Revenue. He sought promotion and quickly rose through the ranks. In 1940 he took on the position of Deputy Assistant to the Director of Contracts in the Ministry of Supply. He was then asked to work for the Ministry of National Insurance in 1948. Tatford was invited to join the Department of Atomic Energy (now known as the UK Atomic Energy Authority) in 1959. Tatford was appointed Director of Contracts and Stores for this department, a position which he maintained until his retirement in 1966.

Tatford wrote a huge number of books and articles during his lifetime. He began writing in his early twenties. His work was well received and regularly published in Brethren journals such as The Believer's Magazine, Marching Orders and The Witness. Overall he published over 100 books and countless articles, many of which received a worldwide readership. Tatford was perhaps most famous for his work on prophecy. His books Prophecy's Last Word (1944) and The Climax of the Ages (1953) discussed the imminent return of Christ and were immensely popular amongst Brethren audiences. Tatford was also esteemed for his ten volume series That The World May Know about the history of assembled missionary work across the globe. Tatford embarked upon this project in collaboration with Echoes of Service in his eightieth year.

Tatford was the editor of The Harvester between the years 1933 and 1972. He edited Service (The Civil Service Christian Union's Magazine) between 1927 and 1950 and was President of Moorland's Bible College. He had a long standing involvement with the Prophetic Movement. He held the positions of chairman, editor of their publication The Prophetic Witness and director of Upperton Press and Prophetic Witness Publishing Co for many years.

Tatford's career allowed him to travel widely. He visited America in 1959 to speak at the Annual Convention of the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing and went to many conferences across Europe. Tatford led seven tours to the Holy Land and the Churches of Asia in Greece and Turkey. These experiences led to a number of publications including Lands of the Middle East (1959).

Tatford married Grace Dorothy Vince in 1924. Grace was a Sunday school teacher and enjoyed working with young Christians in the World Protestant Union. Frederick and Grace had a son Brian who grew up to be a missionary in France. Grace died in 1975 leaving Frederick after 51 years of marriage. Frederick married Sylvia Charlotte Dale in 1983. The pair enjoyed a few years of happy marriage. Sylvia outlived Frederick and died in 1998.

Tatford died on 14th June 1986 in his 85th year. He died in his home in Sussex with Sylvia.


. Divided into two series; FTP/1 correspondence and FTP/2 scrapbooks.Original order has been maintained.

Access Information

The collection is open to any accredited reader.

The collection includes material which is subject to the Data Protection Act 1998. Under Section 33 of the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA), The University of Manchester Library (UML) holds the right to process personal data for research purposes. The Data Protection (Processing of Sensitive Personal Data) Order 2000 enables the UML to process sensitive personal data for research purposes. In accordance with the DPA, UML has made every attempt to ensure that all personal and sensitive personal data has been processed fairly, lawfully and accurately. Users of the archive are expected to comply with the Data Protection Act 1998, and will be required to sign a form acknowledging that they will abide by the requirements of the Act in any further processing of the material by themselves.

Acquisition Information

Echoes of Service

Conditions Governing Use

Photocopies and photographic copies of material in the archive can be supplied for private study purposes only, depending on the condition of the documents.

A number of items within the archive remain within copyright under the terms of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988; it is the responsibility of users to obtain the copyright holder's permission for reproduction of copyright material for purposes other than research or private study.

Prior written permission must be obtained from the Library for publication or reproduction of any material within the archive. Please contact the Head of Special Collections, John Rylands Library, 150 Deansgate, Manchester, M3 3EH.

Custodial History

The correspondence was deposited into the Christian Brethren Archive at some point prior to 2003. The Scrapbooks were probably donated to Echoes of Service by Tatford's second wife Sylvia. Sylvia wrote to Echoes of Service after her husband's death in 1986 offering to donate his personal library and diaries. Tatford's later scrapbooks were compiled in out of date diaries, suggesting that Sylvia was referring to the Scrapbooks in her letter. Sylvia's letter can be found in FTP/1/1/8. It is likely that Echoes of Service donated Tatford's scrapbooks to the Christian Brethren Archive at some point prior to 2003.


None expected

Related Material

The University of Manchester also holds the papers of Echoes of Service

GB 133 EOS


  • Frederick F. Bruce, 'Home call: Frederick Albert Tatford (1901-1986)', The Harvester Vol. 65 No. 8 (1986), p. 13.
  • 'Dr Frederick Tatford', Echoes of Service Aug (1986), pp. 353-355.
  • John McNicol, 20th Century Prophet(Sussex: P. W. Publishing House).
  • Frederick A. Tatford, That The World May Know, Volume 1, The Restless Middle East (Bath: Echoes of Service, 1982).
  • Frederick A. Tatford, That The World May Know, Volume 2, Dawn over Latin America (Bath: Echoes of Service, 1983).
  • Frederick A. Tatford, That The World May Know, Volume 3, The Challenge of India (Bath: Echoes of Service, 1983).
  • Frederick A. Tatford, That The World May Know, Volume 4, The Muslim World (Bath: Echoes of Service, 1983).
  • Frederick A. Tatford, That The World May Know, Volume 5, The Mysterious Far East (Bath: echoes of Service, 1984).
  • Frederick A. Tatford, That The World May Know, Volume 6, Light Over the Dark Continent (Bath: Echoes of Service, 1984).
  • Frederick A. Tatford, That The World May Know, Volume 7, Asian Giant Awake (Bath: Echoes of Service, 1985).
  • Frederick A. Tatford, That The World May Know, Volume 8, West European Evangel(Bath: Echoes of Service, 1985).
  • Frederick A. Tatford, That The World May Know, Volume 9, Red Glow Over Eastern Europe (Bath: Echoes of Service, 1986).
  • Frederick A. Tatford, That The World May Know, Volume 10, The Islands of the Sea (Bath: Echoes of Service, 1986).

Corporate Names