A collection of one hundred and eighty letters from various correspondents to Rev. Henry Raikes (1782-1854), Chancellor of the Diocese of Chester from 1830 to 1854. The letters discuss personal and family matters, church affairs and wider political and social issues. Among the many correspondents are: William Martin Leake (1777-1860), topographer and numismatist; Sir Robert Peel (1788-1850), Prime Minister; W. [William Howley (1766-1848)], Archbishop of Canterbury; and James Milnes Gaskell (1810-1873), politician.
Correspondence of Rev. Henry Raikes
Scope and Content
Administrative / Biographical History
Henry Raikes (1782-1854), Church of England clergyman, was born in London on 24 September 1782. He was educated at Eton College (1793-1800) and entered St John's College, Cambridge in 1800, graduating in 1804. In 1807 he was ordained as a deacon and as a priest in 1808, becoming curate of Betchworth in Surrey. He was subsequently curate of Shillingstone in Dorset, Burnham in Buckinghamshire and Bognor, Sussex.
In 1828 Raikes became examining chaplain to John Bird Sumner, Bishop of Chester, and in 1830 he was appointed Chancellor of the Diocese of Chester. His influence rapidly grew, and he became well known in the city and diocese as a preacher, a public speaker, and an active philanthropist. A leading evangelical, he was prominent in the activities of the Church Missionary Society. On 8 August 1844 he was named an honorary canon of the cathedral. He was a president of the Architectural, Archaeological, and Historic Society of Chester and contributed numerous papers to its journal. He was also appointed historian to the society. Raikes's most important published work was Remarks on clerical education (London: J. Hatchard & Son, 1831). His other works were mainly collected sermons. He was a member of the commission for the subdivision of parishes in 1849, a measure of church reform that he had long advocated. He died at Dee Side House, Chester, on 28 November 1854.
Source: G.C. Boase, 'Raikes, Henry (1782-1854)', rev. Simon Harrison, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004. By permission of Oxford University Press - http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ref:odnb/23014.
Conditions Governing Access
The collection is available for consultation by any accredited reader.
Acquired by the John Rylands Library from an unknown source prior to February 1948.
Description compiled by Jo Humpleby, project archivist, with reference to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography article on Henry Raikes.
Other Finding Aids
Catalogued in the Hand-List of the Collection of English Manuscripts in the John Rylands Library, 1937-1951 (English MS 1121).