Papers of Captain George Evelyn Cowley, 1810-1938, soldier

Scope and Content

The greater part of the collection concerns the military and literary career of Captain George Evelyn Cowley. These include holograph and printed poems and stories, and letters from Cowley to his father from Gallipoli and Paris.

There are papers relating to the genealogy of the Dutton family, concerning John Dutton of Madeley, Shropshire and his attempt to establish a claim to the estate of the Broadhurst family (residence unknown) in 1835.

There are also twelve letters, concerning personal matters and current affairs, written to Jane Elizabeth Digby El Mezrab during her time in Damascus, Syria. Correspondents include Isabel Burton, wife of Sir Richard Francis Burton (1821-1890).

Administrative / Biographical History

The collection is comprised of three separate groups, the provenance of which is unclear.

The first group concerns Captain George Evelyn Cowley. He had a distinguished military career, being twice mentioned in despatches, and served at Gallipoli and on the Western Front during the First World War. He died of his wounds in 1918 having been taken prisoner by the Germans during the Spring Offensive of March that year. Before the war he wrote several short stories, occasionally under the pseudonym 'Duxmia', which were published in various periodicals, and worked as a cinematographer during the Balkan war of 1912. He married Ida Lencione shortly before his death in 1918.

The second group concerns Jane Elizabeth Digby El Mezrab (1807-1881). She was the daughter of Admiral Sir Henry Digby and known to her contempories as 'the notorious Lady Ellenborough'. She married Sheikh Medjuel El Mezrab and spent the latter part of her life in Damascus, Syria.

The final group relates to one John Dutton of Madeley, Shropshire whose predecessors married into the Cowley family in the late eighteenth century.


The collection is split into five sections being: Co C, Correspondence and Related Papers; Co G, Genealogical Papers; Co L, Literary Papers; Co M, Miscellaneous Papers; Co P, Photographs. Material is arranged chronologically within each section.

Access Information

ACCESS: Accessible to all registered readers.

REPROGRAPHIC: Photocopies and photographic copies can be supplied for educational use and private study purposes only, depending on the condition of the documents.

Other Finding Aids

NOTE: Copyright on all Finding Aids belongs to the University of Nottingham.

  • In the Reading Room, University of Nottingham Library: Typescript Catalogue, 17 pp
  • At the National Register of Archives, London: Typescript Catalogue, 17 pp

Conditions Governing Use

COPYRIGHT: Identification of copyright holders of unpublished material is often difficult. Permission to make any published use of any material from the collection must be sought in advance in writing from the Keeper of the Department of Manuscripts and Special Collections (email ). The Department will try to assist in identifying copyright owners but the responsibility for copyright clearance before publication ultimately rests with the reader.

LANGUAGE: English and Arabic.

Custodial History

The papers were given to Nottingham University Library in 1965 and 1970.


Geographical Names