Ferens Papers

Scope and Content

Correspondence and papers of H. Cecil Ferens (1899-1975) covering the period 1925-1969 and arranged in two folders:

SGD 40/1:- Folder containing 60 items, 1925-1956, chiefly correspondence addressed to H. Cecil Ferens in his role as legal secretary to the bishop of Durham from 1929, deputy Durham diocesan registrar 1947-1948 and Durham diocesan registrar from 1948. The contents include: 51 letters from Herbert Hensley Henson, bishop of Durham, 1925-1947; two letters from Henson's widow, Isabella C. Hensley Henson, 1947; two letters from Alwyn Williams, bishop of Durham, 1944 and 1952; and two letters from (Arthur) Michael Ramsey, bishop of Durham, 1956.

SGD 40/2:- Folder containing 23 items, 1946-1969, chiefly manuscript and typescript notes for speeches made by H. Cecil Ferens when moving the adoption of the annual reports of the Durham Diocesan Conference, 1946-1960, 1962-1969.

Administrative / Biographical History

H. Cecil Ferens, D.C.L., M.A., LL.B., D.L. (1899-1975) was educated at Durham School and Emmanuel College, Cambridge and became a solicitor in Durham City. He was also a director of Messrs. Reid, Ferens & Co. Ltd. and of Messrs. Ferens & Love.

His appointments included those of:

  • legal secretary to the bishop of Durham, 1929-1975
  • registrar to the archdeacons of Durham and Auckland, ca.1932-1975
  • honorary secretary to Durham Diocesan Board of Finance, 1937-1975
  • deputy Durham diocesan registrar, 1947-1948
  • Durham diocesan registrar, 1948-1975.

He also served Durham City as a councillor, alderman and (1947-1949) mayor, and was elected a freeman of the city in 1955. He was clerk to the trustees of the Durham City freemen, and to the apprenticeship and Durham educational charities run by the Lord Crewe trustees. From 1951 he acted as a Justice of the Peace for County Durham. In addition he was on numerous local committees relating to city and county affairs, was a member of the court and council of the University of Durham, and acted as governor of several local colleges, schools, and charities. He was also actively associated with the Durham Regiment of the Church Lads Brigade and the Air Training Corps and captain of both Durham City and Durham County Cricket Clubs.


See under Scope and content

Conditions Governing Access

Open for consultation.

Acquisition Information

Donated to the Department of Palaeography and Diplomatic of the University of Durham (since 1990 part of the Archives and Special Collections department of Durham University Library) on 21 June 1975 by Mr V. Ferens of Cleadon, Co. Durham, brother and executor of the late H. Cecil Ferens.


Part of : Small Gifts & Deposits

Other Finding Aids

Catalogue available online at: online catalogue

SGD 40 is also covered by the manuscript alphabetical card-indexes of names of persons, places and subjects occurring in the lists of SGD nos.1-94 kept in the Archives and Special Collections department's search room.

Related Material

Auckland Castle Episcopal Records.

Durham Diocesan Records.

SGD 51: Love, Pearson, Ferens and Marshall Papers.