Papers of Mary Frances Rathbone

Scope and Content

Material consists of documents accumulated by Mary Frances Rathbone relating to the various social and educational initiatives with which she was involved. It includes the minutes of meetings held by the North Wales Branch Association for Reconstruction, which was active during 1918-1919. There are also copies of reports undertaken on their behalf, including material on water power plants and the feasibility of developing such plants in north Wales (item 3624); reports on European agricultural projects (items 1220-1224, 1252); material relating to education and social improvement (items 1251, 5685) and the final report of the branch, reviewing what had been done and outlining future hopes and developments (item 3625).

There is also material relating to the activities of the Pilgrim Group, mainly around 1934, including proceedings of meetings and research it commissioned into industrial conditions at Brymbo, the site of a steelwork plant in Denbighshire (items 5683-5684). Also contains material relating to the organisation of a memorial library at the university in Bangor dedicated to Mary Maude, a hall of residence warden, including printed appreciations of Miss Maude, who died in 1926 (item 5686).

Also contains a collection of press cuttings, (items 5065, 5862) made by Miss Rathbone, covering the years 1925-1937, mainly relating to developments in North Wales. Subjects include post war reconstruction, housing, adult and university education, Welsh language, the death of Sir John Morris-Jones, agriculture and forestry, electrical developments in Wales and the Shannon waterpower generation scheme in Ireland.

Administrative / Biographical History

Mary Frances Rathbone was an influential figure in a number of social and educational projects in north Wales. She was the driving force in the North Wales Branch Association for Reconstruction, which sought to promote recovery and prosperity after the First World War (Sir John Morris-Jones was also a member) and in an organisation with similar interests, known as the Pilgrim Trust.

Miss Rathbone was a great niece of William Rathbone MP, one of the founders of the University of Wales, Bangor and was herself a benefactor of the university and an active member of its council. In 1934 she received an honorary degree from the University of Wales. She died in 1937.


Material was received on separate occasions and incorporated in chronological order into the General Collection of Bangor Manuscripts .

Access Information

Open to all users

Acquisition Information

Material was deposited by Mary Frances Rathbone and by her executors.


Description compiled by Anne Lenaghan, November 2001.

Other Finding Aids

Item level word-processed list is available at the Archives Department of the University of Wales, Bangor. Reference numbers: General Collection of Bangor Manuscripts: 1220-1224, 1251-1252, 3624-3625, 5065, 5682-5686

Conditions Governing Use

Usual copyright conditions apply. Reprographics are made at the discretion of the Archivist.