The Papers of Audrey Levick

Scope and Content

The papers of (Edith) Audrey Levick relate to her involvement as a lacrosse player and an officer with the Southern Ladies Lacrosse Club, the Ladies' Lacrosse Association (LLA) and the All England Ladies' Lacrosse Association (AELLA).
They comprise of printed materials of the LLA and the AELLA including annual reports, rules, newsletters and leaflets, magazines, fixture lists and handbills for matches and membership cards. Other material includes copies of minutes of meetings and reports of the AELLA; correspondence and other papers relating to the organisation of the 21st anniversary celebrations of the AELLA in 1933; correspondence and papers relating to the tours of the United States Women's Lacrosse Association Touring Team of 1951 and 1957; correspondence and draft texts relating to the history of the game of lacrosse; text of a speech given by Audrey Levick on the occasion of the first anniversary of the founding of the LLA, 1913; photographs of the Southern Ladies Lacrosse Club, press cuttings and other ephemera.

Administrative / Biographical History

Edith Audrey Mayson Beeton was born on 30 July 1890, the second daughter of Sir Mayson Beeton (1865-1947) who had a distinguished career in journalism and government, and a granddaughter of Isabella Mary Beeton (1836–1865), writer on household management and journalist.

Audrey Beeton entered Roedean School in 1905 and showed talent in art; stage management in school plays, music and dance, and became head girl in her final year. However, it was for her sporting ability that many of her contemporaries remembered her. She excelled in cricket, fencing, gymnastics, and developed a passion for lacrosse. Roedean had been one of the first schools to encourage it as a sport for girls, and a former Roedean pupil, Greta Hindley, had formed the Southern Ladies' Lacrosse Club, the first Ladies' Club, in 1905.

Beeton left Roedean in 1909, having gained a place to study at Oxford University, and in the same year was elected captain of the Southern Ladies' Lacrosse Club, going on to compete as an England international player. The Southern Ladies' Lacrosse Club had its headquarters and playing field at the Lords Cricket Club and played matches against schools, there being no other clubs in existence. In order to develop the game and encourage the formation of other clubs, Beeton founded the Ladies' Lacrosse Association in 1912, becoming its Honorary Secretary and Chairman. The following year she was involved in organising the first international matches in the sport between England, Scotland and Wales. Later, from 1928 to 1931 she was Vice-President of the All England Ladies' Lacrosse Association (AELLA) and then President from 1933 to 1936.

The LLA governed the affairs of women's lacrosse and controlled its amateur status; it was the official body to which schools, clubs and colleges could affiliate and it published the rules of the game. In 1920, Scotland formed their own association, with Wales following in 1930, and in 1925, the LLA changed its name to the All England Ladies' Lacrosse Association.

Beeton married Surgeon Commander (George) Murray Levick (1876-1956) in 1918, who had served as medical officer and zoologist on the Northern Party of Scott's last Antarctic expedition of 1910-1913. In later years, she worked closely with her husband in helping to run the expeditions of the Public Schools' Exploring Society (PSES – later the British Schools' Exploring Society), which he had founded in 1932. The purpose of the PSES was to foster the spirit of adventure in British schoolboys and teach them how to fend for themselves in wild country, with the aim of encouraging them to develop a longing for physical fitness. Audrey was elected Honorary Secretary and a Council member of the PSES from the start, and in its first years, went out in advance of eleven expeditions with the stores and equipment - to Finland, Newfoundland, Northern Quebec and Northern Norway – to select and establish the basic camps, and then maintain communications with the expeditions, often through amateur radio. In 1948, she became Vice-President of the Society and its Patron in 1956 following the death of her husband, maintaining an active interest until her retirement from the Council of BSES in 1967.

Audrey Levick died on 23 July 1980.

Arrangement

The collection has been arranged into the following four series:

  • Ladies' Lacrosse Association Membership: printed materials
  • Ladies' Lacrosse Association Membership: correspondence and other papers
  • Ephemera
  • Photographs

Acquisition Information

The collection was purchased by the University of Birmingham in April 1998 where it was subsequently catalogued under the Collection Reference MS102. Following the establishment of the Levick Boyd Archive for Women's Lacrosse at the University of Bedfordshire, the collection was gifted to the University of Bedfordshire in January 2014.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to make any published use of any material from the collection must be sought in advance in writing from University of Bedfordshire 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.