Papers of Frank R Rooke Ley

Scope and Content

Correspondence and papers relating to the ownership and conduct of theWeekly Register, 1899-1902.Weekly Register, 1899-1902.Lists of 'London Society for the Study of Religion' members, 1913-1922,1926-1930.1926-1930.Correspondence of Paul Rooke Ley, son of FR Ley, 1969-1971, including 87: letter to TM Loome concerning possible destruction of father's correspondence with Tyrrell or his giving it to Maude Petre [1971].

Administrative / Biographical History

Frank Rooke Ley (1867-1942) took over the ownership and management of the Weekly Register from Robert Dell. As editor, Robert Dell had been a willing supporter of the emerging group of modernist sympathisers in England but his enthusiasm tended to outrun his sense of editorial responsibility and the Register was in danger of forfeiting sympathy even from those best disposed to it. Under pressure, Dell handed the paper over to Frank Rooke Ley, who was, like Dell, a sympathiser with the new thinkers, and a close and lifelong friend of George Tyrrell, but also one more measured in his approach to the sensitivities of the times. Of his correspondence with the principal figures in the modernist movement only a small fragment survives, most of it being in this collection, and virtually all of it related to his attempts to secure the financial future of a journal with a very low circulation. These attempts failed and the Weekly Register was refounded as the Monthly Register, but circulation figures did not improve and, with Cardinal Vaughan firmly ranked amongst the journal's critics, it foundered.

The Rooke Ley correspondence and papers reveal the fortunes of the two papers, and related concerns, over the period 1899 to 1902 when the Monthly Register finally collapsed.



Access Information

By appointment with the Archivist. Access to unpublished records less than 30 years old and other records containing confidential information may be restricted.

Acquisition Information

Given to the University of St Andrews in 1971 by Paul Rooke Ley, son of Frank Rooke Ley, through Thomas Michael Loome.


These papers form part of the collection of Roman Catholic Modernist papers held by the University. Correspondence between Frank Rooke Ley and Von Hgel, for example, will appear as part of the descriptions of the papers of both individuals.

Description compiled by Rachel Hart, Archives Hub Project Archivist.

Other Finding Aids

The collection has been listed and is available on the manuscripts database of the University of St Andrews Special Collection Department.

Conditions Governing Use

Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the University Archivist. Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use and condition of documents.

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with standard GB 227 procedures.

Related Material

The papers of Baron Von Hgel, Charles Edward Osborne, Arthur Leslie Lilley, Wilfrid Ward and George Walter Young are held at GB 227 as the papers of the Roman Catholic Modernist Movement.

Additional Information

This material is original.