Papers of the Havergal family

Scope and Content

This collection comprises papers principally of William Henry Havergal (1793-1870), composer of sacred music and of one of his daughters, Frances Ridley Havergal (1836-1879) a writer of religious verse. It includes an album arranged by another of William Havergal's daughters, Maria as a memorial to her father and sister which contains manuscript notes of sermons preached and speeches made by William Havergal on tours on behalf of the CMS, hymns sheets and posters for services, some correspondence, photographs of family members and some watercolours. In addition to the immediate family members the album includes photographs of Reverend Archibald D. Shaw a CMS missionary in East Africa and his wife, Amy (ne Havergal, a niece of Frances Havergal). Other items include a volume containing original manuscript copies of some of Frances Havergal's poems and William Havergal's sermon case and notes of sermons. There is also correspondence of Maria Havergal relating to a Frances Ridley Havergal Memorial which includes letters from Ellen Clay, a missionary with the Church of England Zenana Missionary Society (CEZMS) in the Punjab and a friend of Frances Havergal.

Administrative / Biographical History

Administrative/Biographical History

William Henry Havergal (1793-1870), a composer of sacred music, was educated at Merchant Taylors School and St Edmund Hall, Oxford. He was rector of Astley, Worcestershire in 1829, St Nicholas, Worcester in 1845 and vicar of Shareshill in 1860. In 1836 he was awarded the Gresham prize for Evening Service in A , and in 1841 for the anthem Give Thanks . He composed A Hundred Psalm and Hymn Tunes , (1859), published Old Church Psalmody , (1847) and other works. His daughter, Frances Ridley Havergal (1836-1879) was a writer of religious verse and published Ministry of Song , (1870) and other hymns and poems, Poetical Works ,(1884) and her autobiography. Both William and Frances were active supporters of the Church Missionary Society (CMS).

Reference: Concise Dictionary of National Biography ; Church Missionary Gleaner ( January 1887 ).


This collection forms part of the Church Missionary Society Unofficial Papers. It is arranged into one series: Family Papers

Access Information

Access Conditions

Open. Access to all registered researchers.

Acquisition Information

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Presented by to the CMS by Miss Maria V. G. Havergal in 1886; a report of the gift is published in the Church Missionary Gleaner , January 1887, p. 8; transferred on permanent loan to the Special Collections Department by the CMS in the 1980s.

Other Finding Aids

See full catalogue for more information.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to make any published use of any material from the collection must be sought in advance in writing from the University Archivist, Special Collections. Identification of copyright holders of unpublished material is often difficult. Special Collections will assist where possible with identifying copyright owners, but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user of the material.

Related Material

Correspondence and papers of Frances Ridley Havergal, 1844-c1890, are held by Worcestershire Record Office, County Hall Branch (Reference: 0045 705:825).

The University of Birmingham, Special Collections Department and the Orchard Learning Resources Centre hold a rich collection of archives relating to missions, charities and other religious and ecclesiastical organisations and individuals.