Collection of Correspondence relating to the Shakespeare Commemorative Service, Southwark Cathedral, 23 April 1909

Scope and Content

The collection consists of letters relating to the Shakespeare Commemorative Service in Southwark Cathedral, 1909, and includes too a Shakespeare commemorative hymn by Canon H. D. Rawnsley. The correspondence is mostly in the form of replies to Leftwich for his invitations to attend the service.

Administrative / Biographical History

A Shakespeare commemorative service was held in Southwark Cathedral on 23 April 1909. This appeared to occur on (or rather the day before) the 345th anniversary of Shakespeare's birth, and had been organised by Dr. Ralph Winnington Leftwich.

In 1912 the polymath and homeopath Ralph Winnington Leftwich M.D. (1849-1919) had written a pamphlet entitled Bacon is not Shakespeare refuting claims years made by Sir Edward Durning-Lawrence in Bacon is Shakespeare. Leftwich had also published An index of symptoms as an aid to diagnosis (1888 in India), The international alphabet (1898), An index of symptoms as a clew to diagnosis (1904), Aids to rational therapeutics: with US pharmacopoeia (1918), and The evidence of disease in Shakespeare's handwriting (1918).

Access Information

Generally open for consultation to bona fide researchers, but please contact repository for details in advance.


The biographical/administrative history was compiled using the Index material.

Compiled by Graeme D Eddie, Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections Division.

Other Finding Aids

Important finding aids generally are: the alphabetical Index to Manuscripts held at Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections and Archives, consisting of typed slips in sheaf binders and to which additions were made until 1987; and the Index to Accessions Since 1987.


Check the local Indexes for details of any additions.