Correspondence of John S. Hoyland (1887-1957), Quaker and missionary,1820-1958

Scope and Content

The collection comprises:

  • Typescript extracts from correspondence and journal entries by John S. Hoyland and his fatherJohn W. Hoyland. 1910-1919;
  • Correspondence from John S. Hoyland ('Jack'). Most of the letters are to his father, his wifeHelen, and to other members of his family. The period 1910-1927, and consequently his life and workin India, are the main focus of the letters. 1901-1927;
  • Correspondence to John S. Hoyland ('Jack'). Most of the letters are from members of his family,particularly his father and his wife Helen. 1911-1948;
  • Correspondence of the Hoyland family that was not sent or received by John S. Hoyland. Thisincludes letters sent by his wife Helen to his father and other relatives, 1872-1939;
  • Other correspondence including letters from Daniel Wheeler in Russia to David Mallinson and theBalby Monthly Meeting in the 1920s. 1820-1905;
  • Typescript, manuscript and printed verse by John S. Hoyland and his brother Geoffrey.c.1900-c.1930;
  • Other manuscript items including: a journal of travels in Russia by John S. Hoyland (1932);memoirs of school days at West House by an unidentified author (1903); a family history memoirwritten by Rachel Anna Hoyland (undated); and certificates of birth and death for members of theHoyland family (1888-1919). 1888-1932;
  • Other typescript and printed items including: proceedings of a conference of Young Friends onIndia and Ceylon held at Kingsmead (1909); a copy of John S. Hoyland, a biography by Reginald Reynolds (1958); Hoyland's privately printed Letters from India (1930); and newspaper cuttings. The collection also contains some photographs: undated but c.1910-c.1920. 1909-1958.

Administrative / Biographical History

John Somervell Hoyland was born in Edgbaston, Birmingham in 1887, the eldest son of John WilliamHoyland (died 1927) and Rachel Anna Somervell. His mother died in the early 1890s and John Williamremarried. The Hoylands were an old Quaker family from Sheffield and John William Hoyland was thefirst principal of the Kingsmead College in Selly Oak, Birmingham. John Somervell was educated atKing Edward's School, Birmingham; Christ's College, Cambridge (MA. 1914); and Hartford SeminarySchool of Missions, USA. In 1911, Hoyland took part with other British Young Friends in a visit tothe USA which contributed to the unification of American Quakers.

From 1912 to 1926, Hoyland worked as a missionary in India. He began as principal of the Friends'Mission High School at Hoshangabad and in 1919, moved to Nagpur to become a lecturer in history andEnglish at Hislop College where he remained until 1928. He was awarded the Kaiser-i-Hind Gold Medalin connection with his assistance during an influenza epidemic in 1918. He also compiled thesuccessful book, A Book of Prayers: written for use in an Indian college (London: TheChallenge Press, 1921). On his return to England, Hoyland gave the Swarthmore lecture to the Societyof Friends. He joined the staff of Woodbrooke, the Quaker college in Selly Oak. He remained therefor 24 years as a lecturer in biblical, social and international questions and as warden ofWoodbrooke's Men's Hostel, Holland House 1930-1940.

John S. Hoyland was known as 'Jack' to his friends and family. He married a high school teacher,Helen Doncaster (1887-1919) from Sheffield in 1913 but she died while in India. He married SouthAfrican born Jessie Mary Marais in 1921 who survived him. Hoyland died on 31 October 1957.

Hoyland was a prolific writer. His Who's Who entry records some 60 titles but alsohundreds of articles, poems and prayers were published. The published works can broadly be dividedinto poetry and prayers, history and civilisation, social issues, India, and religion. Examples ofthese include: the collection of poems, Indian Dawn (Heffer, 1934); Prayers for a One YearOld (Heffer, 1927); A Brief History of Civilisation (Oxford University Press, 1925);Digging with the Unemployed (Student Christian Movement Press, 1934); The Case forIndia (J.M. Dent, 1929); and The Way of St Francis (Student Christian Movement Press,1935). Journal entries recording his time in India were published by the Quaker press under thetitle, 'Omnibus'.


The collection has been divided into series. Within these series, items have been arrangedchronologically where possible.

Access Information

ACCESS: Restricted pending full cataloguing: contactDepartment for advice.


Other Finding Aids

This description is the only finding aid available for the collection. Copyright in thedescription belongs to The University of Nottingham.

Conditions Governing Use

REPROGRAPHIC: Reprographic copies can be supplied for educational use and private study purposesonly, depending on access status and the condition of the documents.

COPYRIGHT: Permission to make published use of any material from this collection must be soughtin advance in writing from the Keeper of the Department of Manuscripts and Special Collections(email TheDepartment will try to assist in identifying copyright owners but this can be difficult and theresponsibility for copyright clearance before publication ultimately rests with the person wishingto publish.

Custodial History

The collection was given to The University of Nottingham's Department of Manuscripts and SpecialCollections in March 2002.

Geographical Names