Ward Family Papers

Scope and Content

The collection contains family diaries and appointment books of Thomas Humphry Ward and Mary Augusta Ward, 1871-1926; personal diaries of Dorothy Ward, 1889-1955; family letters of Arnold Ward, 1890-1915; newspaper cuttings, 1891-1920.

Administrative / Biographical History

Thomas Humphry Ward, who married Mary Augusta Arnold in 1872, was a Fellow of Brasenose College Oxford, where he was Tutor from 1870 to 1881, when the family moved to London. There he wrote leaders for 'The Times', while his wife reviewed books for the 'Pall Mall Gazette' and for 'The Times' itself, as well as writing articles for 'Macmillan's Magazine'. In 1884 Mrs Humphry Ward's novel 'Miss Bretherton' appeared, to be followed by 'Robert Elsmere', her first major novel, in 1888, and by over twenty-five other novels. In 1908 she was one of the founders of the Women's National Anti-Suffrage League. During the First World War, Mary Ward was asked by Theodore Roosevelt to undertake a series of articles to explain to Americans what England was doing during the war. After Eton and Oxford, Arnold Ward acted as Special Correspondent for 'The Times' in Egypt, the Sudan and India from 1899 to 1902. He then studied for the Bar and in 1910 became MP for West Hertfordshire. In 1914-1915 he served with the Hertfordshire Yeomanry in Egypt and Cyprus. Dorothy Ward helped with the work of the Passmore Edwards Settlement (now Mary Ward House) which her mother founded, and with children's play centres and a school for invalid children. She accompanied her mother to visit war zones in France during the First World War.

Access Information


The papers are available subject to the usual conditions of access to Archives and Manuscripts material, after the completion of a Reader's Undertaking.

Acquisition Information

Presented to Unversity College London in 1969 and 1970 by Mrs Mary Moorman, grandaughter of Thomas Humphry and Mary Augusta Ward.

Other Finding Aids

A detailed list is available on the online catalogue

Conditions Governing Use

No publication of items without the permission of the donor.

Related Material

For further papers of members of the Ward family, see the National Register of Archives.