HADFIELD, Ellis Charles Raymond, 1909-1996, Publisher and Historian of Canals

Scope and Content

Notes on the history of the canals and waterways of Britain, with press cuttings and indices.

Administrative / Biographical History

Ellis Charles Raymond Hadfield, 1909-1996, was born in Pietersburg, South Africa, and educated at Blundell's School, Devon, where he began his first researches into canal history. After studying economics at St Edmund Hall, Oxford, Hadfield became a bookseller. He joined the Oxford University Press in 1936 and rose to become Director of Publications, Central Office of Information, 1946-1948, and Controller (Overseas), 1948-1962. David and Charles publishers was formed in 1960, and Hadfield was Director of this company from 1960-1964. Hadfield is best known for his extensive publications which chart the history of British canals and waterways. His most notable publications are The Canal Age , David and Charles (1968), and British Canals - An Illustrated History , David and Charles (1984). In 1945 he became the first Vice Chairman of the Inland Waterways Association, and he was a member of the British Waterways Board from 1962 to 1966.


The Hadfield papers are arranged in 14 sections. Within each geographical area, the files are arranged alphabetically by the name of the waterway.
1. Canals of North East England
2. Canals of North West England
3. Canals of the Midlands
4. Canals of the East Midlands Waterways to Stratford
5. Canals of South and South East England
6. Canals of South West England
7. South Wales and the Border
8. Canals of Scotland
9. Canals of Ireland
10. General and Miscellaneous Canal Papers
11. Press Cuttings
12. Indices of persons, canal bibliographies, dates, subjects etc.
13. Indices of engineers, surveyors and contractors
14. Notes on William Jessop.

Access Information


Other Finding Aids

Printed handlist and online catalogue available.

Archivist's Note

Output from CAIRS using template 14 and checked by hand on March 27, 2002

Conditions Governing Use