Dunstan Papers

Scope and Content

This small collection contains the following items: one personal daily journal, 1963, and assorted conference papers relating to the All Africa Seminar on the Christian Home and Family Life, 1963.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Revd. Professor Gordon Reginald Dunstan (1917-2004), theologian and historian, was born in Devon and educated at Plymouth Corporation Grammar School. He read history at the University of Leeds, where he went on to achieve a masters with distinction. He prepared for Holy Orders at the monastic College of the Resurrectio, Mirfield, and held curacies in Yorkshire between 1941 and 1946. He was appointed sub-warden at St. Deiniol's Library, Hawarden, North Wales, and then became Vicar of Sutton Courtenay with Appleford, near Abingdon, from 1949-1955. During this period he lectured at Ripon Hall, Oxford, and at William Temple College, Rugby. He became a minor canon at St. George's Chapel, Windsor in 1955, and moved to a minor chapelry at Westminster Abbey in 1959. He became editor of the Church of England's Council for Social Work's journal Crucible, and later took up the editorship of the Anglican quarterly Theology. He published his first book, The family is not broken in 1962, and published widely on ethical issues.

In 1967, he was appointed to the new post of F. D. Maurice Chair of Moral and Social Theology of King's College, London, where he stayed for the next fifteen years. From 1959 to 1976 he ministered in the Chapel Royal at St. James, and on retiring as Priest-in-Ordinary to the Queen, became a Chaplain to the Queen. He was awarded honorary Doctorates by the Universities of Exeter and Leicester, was a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries from 1974, a Fellow of King's College from 1974, and was also an Honorary Fellow of all the royal medical colleges.

He retained his interest in Exeter and medieval history in the editing of the five volume The Register of Edmond Lacy, Bishop of Exeter, 1420-1455. He returned to Devon on his retirement in 1982, where he became Honorary Research Fellow in the Department of Theology, University of Exeter from 1982-2002. He was President of the Devon and Cornwall Record Society from 1984-1987. He died in Birmingham.


Retained in the original order of the creator of the collection.

Access Information

Usual EUL arrangements apply.

Other Finding Aids

Not currently listed.

Archivist's Note

Description compiled by Charlotte Berry, Archivist, 22 April 2005, and encoded into EAD 3 June 2005.

Conditions Governing Use

Usual EUL restrictions apply.

Custodial History

Transferred from the General Office, Main Library, University of Exeter in 2004.

Related Material

Exeter University Library also holds the following collection relating to Dunstan: EUL MS 166: BA and MA dissertations, University of Leeds, on church history in Exeter.


It is not known whether this collection has formed the basis for publication.

Geographical Names