Scope and Content


The Cornish family originate, as their name suggests, from Devon and Cornwall. The papers in this collection relate to a branch who married the Kestell family of Egloshayle, Cornwall (on whose pedigree see (F3/3/PR/1 below), and in particular Hubert Kestell Cornish and his descendants, as well as his great-uncle Windsor Vaughan and an unknown 18th century relative. As the member of the family who is best documented, the following notes about the life of H.K. Cornish are provided.

The Rev. Hubert Kestell Cornish (1803-1873) came from Sidmouth, Devon, the third son of George Cornish. He went up to Oriel College in 1821, and then took his B.A. from Corpus Christi in 1825. In 1827, he was elected to a Fellowship at Exeter College. In 1833, on marrying Louisa Warre, he served as curate at Lewannick in Cornwall in 1833-1834, and then was Vicar of Merton in Oxfordshire in 1834-1840, before becoming Vicar of Bakewell, Derbyshire in 1840. Finally in 1869 he moved to Hitcham, Berks., where he died.

While at Oriel, Cornish became acquainted with John Keble (1792-1866), the founder of the Oxford Movement, through his elder brother George, and was Keble's pupil for a while. The two remained lifelong friends, despite Keble's unsuccessful courtship of Cornish's sister Cornelia. Cornish was friendly with the rest of Keble's family, especially his younger brother Tom (1793-1875) to one of whose sons he stood as godfather. He was also in sympathy with the Oxford Movement, and knew its other leaders, such as John Newman and Edward Pusey, although Keble was his closest friend.

Cornish published several works, namely a translation of the homilies of St. John Chrysostom upon St. Paul's first Epistle to the Corinthians in 1839, "A Book of Family or Private Prayer" in

1841, "A Selection of Psalms and Hymns in 1850, and "Sonnets and Verses from Home and Parochial life" in 1856.

Originally the collection included other papers, namely more letters from John Keble to H.K. Cornish, and some at least of a journal kept by his sister Charlotte, which were all used by Cornish's grandson Hubert Warre Conrish for a series of articles published in 1934 (see F3/4/N/1-4 below). Afterwards, he deposited the letters which he had used with Corpus Christi College, Oxford. The fate of Charlotte Cornish's diary is not known, but it could not be found in the 1960s.


Georgina Battiscombe, "John Keble: A Study in Limitation" (London 1963). [Battiscombe used some of the papers in this collection for her book]

Sir John Maclean, "Parochial and Family History of the Parish of Egloshayle (London 1871).

See too the entry for H.K. Cornish in Alumni Oxonienses", and those for John and Thomas Keble in Volume X of the Dictionary of National Biography.

The papers were deposited in 1994, and given the Accession Number 3795.

Catalogued by Robin Darwall-Smith in May 1994.

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