The Peart-Binns Christian Socialist Archive

Scope and Content

Biographical material on Maurice Reckitt: obituary notices, Reckitt's recollections of his family (as taken down by Peart-Binns), recollections of Reckitt's associates, correspondence (mostly with Philip Mairet and Patrick McLaughlin), verse and articles (handwritten, typescript, or printed; some photocopied), copies of New English Weekly and Christendom containing articles by Reckitt, "The story of the Chandos Group 1926-1966" by Reckitt, papers of the Church Socialist League, the Christendom Association, the League of the Kingdom of God, the Christian Social Council and the Church Union Summer School of Sociology, and books and pamphlets written by Reckitt including two volumes of autobiography. Outline of C.H. Douglas's theory of social credit, and related news-cuttings 1922-35.

Biographical material on Tom Heron: correspondence, articles, poems, papers, speeches, pamphlets, school reports, obituary, and "Standing in a deep pool: appreciating Tom Heron" - a biography by John S. Peart-Binns.

Biographical material on Henry H. Slesser (1883-1979): letters to Maurice Reckitt, newspaper cuttings, Hansard pages, profile in A Hundred Commoners, obituary (all photocopies).

Biographical material on William Travers Symons: photocopies of articles and letters.

Biographical material on Ruth Kenyon (1879-1943): books, pamphlets, obituary notices, recollections of her associates.

Administrative / Biographical History

John S. Peart-Binns has made a collection of biographical material relating to members of the Christian Socialist movement, and in particular to Maurice B. Reckitt and Tom Heron. Maurice Reckitt (1888-1980) was a writer and Christian sociologist; a founder of the National Guilds League, he contributed to A.R. Orage's New Age, wrote for and edited the New English Weekly and for 20 years edited Christendom, a quarterly journal of Christian sociology. Reckitt's most important book, Faith and society, was published in 1934. Tom Heron (1890-1983) was a businessman, managing director of Crysede Silks of St Ives and founder of Cresta Silks of Welwyn Garden City. He was also a political theorist and poet; he was the father of the artist Patrick Heron.


All of the material has been divided by Mr Peart-Binns into subject files; most of the files concerning Maurice Reckitt have been designated by letters, running from A to T.

Access Information

Available to researchers, by appointment

Acquisition Information

Donated to the University Library by Mr Peart-Binns in 1999


In English

Other Finding Aids

Unpublished handlist

Conditions Governing Use

Copies may be supplied or produced at the discretion of Special Collections staff, subject to copyright law and the condition of the originals. Applications for permission to make published use of any material should be directed to the Special Collections Librarian in the first instance. The Library will assist where possible with identifying copyright owners, but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user of the material.

Related Material

(1) Reckitt Papers held by the University of Sussex Library [Ref. SxMs44]. Correspondence and press-cuttings of Maurice Benington Reckitt. The papers cover the period 1925-1970, and concern Christian Socialism, religion in politics and social questions. There is an accompanying collection of books and pamphlets (c.500 items ).

(2) John S. Peart-Binns Archive held by the Brynmor Jones Library at the University of Hull [Ref. DPB]. An artificial collection of original and photocopied research papers on the Christian Socialists, Maurice B Reckitt and Percy Widdrington. It includes correspondence, speeches and reports, typescripts and published materials.


J.S. Peart-Binns, Maurice B. Reckitt: a life (Marshall: 1988)