John Ellerton Archive

Scope and Content

Correspondence of John Ellerton (1826-1893), clergyman and hymn writer, chiefly with his son, Frank Ellerton, and with William Walsham How the first bishop of Wakefield, with some photographs and printed books. The bulk of the collection is madeup of the John Ellerton and Ellerton family genealogical research papers of Fabian Robertson, and includes many copies of original records still in private hands and photocopies of manuscripts and published works.

Administrative / Biographical History

John Ellerton was born 16 December 1826 in Clerkenwell, London, the elder son of George Ellerton (1776-1844) and his second wife Jemima Frances Ellerton (née Brown; 24 January 1795-1866). Having attended King William's College, Isle of Man, fromMichaelmas 1845 Ellerton studied at Trinity College, Cambridge, and graduated with a B.A. in 1849, gaining a M.A. in 1854. On 19 May 1860 he married Charlotte Alicia (b. 27 May; d. 1896), the daughter of William Hart of Brighton, formerly ofDorking, and they had seven sons and four daughters. Correspondence with Charlotte's sister Catherine Hart is also present in the collection. John Ellerton died on 15 June 1893, at Torquay, Devon.

Ellerton's ecclesiastical career began with his ordination at Chichester, as a deacon in 1850 and priest in 1851. He was curate of Easebourne, Sussex, 1850-1852, then at Brighton and lecturer at St Peter's 1852-1860; vicar of Crewe Green,Cheshire and chaplain to Lord Crewe 1860-1872; rector of Hinstock, Shropshire 1872-1876; rector of Barnes, Surrey 1879-1884; chaplain at Pegli, Italy 1884-1885; and rector of White Roding, Essex 1885-1892. Appointed honorary canon of St Albans in1892, he was never installed.

The author of several theological and devotional works, Ellerton is best known as a hymnologist and hymn-writer.

Access Information

Open for consultation.

Acquisition Information

Donated by Fabian Robertson on 17 February 2014 (Misc.2013/14:42).

Other Finding Aids

Catalogue of manuscripts and papers.

Books and other printed items are entered in the Library's catalogue

A comprensive index (ELT 18) of the collection created by the donor may serve as a detailed catalogue until the collection is more fully catalogued. The index has been annotated to indicate the new numbering scheme.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to make any published use of material from the collection must be sought in advance from the Sub-Librarian, Special Collections (e-mail and, where appropriate, from the copyright owner. The Library will assistwhere possible with identifying copyright owners, but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user of the material.

Related Material


W.W. How, A. Oxenden and J. Ellerton (rev.) The children's hymn book for use in children's services, Sunday schools and families (1885). John Ellerton, Hymns original and translated (1888).  John Ellerton (ed.), A manual of parochial work : for the use of the younger clergy / by various writers (1888). Henry Housman, John Ellerton : being a collection of his writings on hymnology together with a sketch of his life and works (1896). D. Campbell, Hymns and hymn makers (1912). H. Martin, ‘The day thou gavest: John Ellerton (1826–93), the parish priest whose life was devoted to hymns’, They wrote our hymns (1961), 118–25. J. R. Watson, ‘The day thou gavest’, Hymn Society Bulletin, 158 (Sept 1983), 144–50. Bernard Braley, Hymnwriters 1 (1987)