Sister Mary Raphael

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 133 JHG/3/1/1
  • Former Reference
      GB 133 GR H/3-20
  • Dates of Creation
  • Physical Description
      18 pieces

Scope and Content

Fifteen letters and postcards from Sister Mary Raphael, O.S.B. (Beatrice Hannah Gray), to Brocard Sewell. Sewell and Sister Raphael initially corresponded about the John Gray commemorative edition of the Aylesford Review. Her letters contain detailed biographical information about John Gray and André Raffalovich, much of which appears to have influenced Sewell in his work Footnote to the Nineties. She provides information about the Gray family, including her siblings, and recounts Raffalovich's conversion to Catholicism. The names of other authors and academics who have shown interest in writing about Gray and Raffalovich are also mentioned.

Sister Raphael continued to correspond with Sewell after the Aylesford Review was published, and her further letters contain additional biographical information about where the family lived in Gray's early life, Gray's baptism and his attendance at the Scots College in Rome. There is also a reference to articles by Lady Margaret Sackville and John Gawsworth (see JHG/3/2).

JHG/3/1/1/15/1-4 comprises a letter from Sister Mary Raphael dated 22 July 1961 enclosing another letter from Frederick Gray to Sarah Tinklar (née Gray) dated 22 July 1934. Frederick sends his condolences to Sarah Tinklar on the death of their brother, John. Also enclosed is a copy of Frederick Gray's reminiscences about his brother (2 pages), transcribed from the original by Sister Raphael and annotated by her. Sister Raphael also sent two pages headed "various items about the early life of John Gray, got from his sister Ada", to which she has added her own annotations. These reminiscences appear to have been used as source material for Sewell's Footnote to the Nineties, as many of the comments made by Frederick Gray appear in the opening chapter of the work.