Scope and Content

The papers in this series document some of the key events in the life of Sir James Phillips Kay-Shuttleworth. As with the correspondence series, this material presents fascinating insights into some of his most triumphant, and most painful, moments.

There are official papers such as the Warrants (1833-40) appointing him as Assistant Poor Law Commissioner, and the Privy Council Minute (1840) appointing him as Assistant Secretary of the Education Committee. There is a draft of Kay-Shuttleworth's historic Letter to Earl Granville (1862), on the Report of the Education Commission appointed to inquire into the state of national education.

There is an interesting fragment of Kay-Shuttleworth's journal (1841) which details his day-to-day life in Battersea, around the time of the early days of Battersea College, the pioneering teacher training college he co-founded with Edward Carlton Tufnell in 1840. Other papers relating to his pedagogical interests include texts such as The Punishment of Pauper Children in Workhouses (1840-41).

Kay-Shuttleworth's lifelong interest in literature is seen in his early attempts at writing, for example his poem, 'The Winter Wind Howls through the Woods of Lime' (1840). There are manuscript copies of his unpublished historical novel, Cromwell in the North, 1648, A Story (1875), and his autobiography, To review the sources of the chief impulses which have governed a life without egotism, also unpublished at his death (1877).

There are various papers relating to Kay-Shuttleworth's courtship of and marriage to the Gawthorpe heiress, Lady Janet Shuttleworth. These include: a copy of extracts from a journal by Caroline Davenport, cousin to Lady Janet, describing how she introduced the pair; marriage settlements; a Kay family tree; a copy of the marriage certificate of Kay-Shuttleworth's grandparents, James and Mary Kay (1761); and the baptismal certificate of Mary Kay. The breakdown of the Kay-Shuttleworth marriage is documented in part by a doctor's report on the health of Lady Janet (1854) which states that it would be beneficial if Sir James maintained a distance from her; and a legal document (1858) in which Kay-Shuttleworth instigates a suit against his wife for the custody of their children.

There is an unusual series of seventeen statements of evidence (1855), given as to the character of the Kay family by members of the extended family, as well as by people who had known them or worked for them. These papers appear to have been collected and summarized on behalf of Sir James, in response to a query regarding his [mental] health, raised by June Kennedy, mother of Helen, the woman he unsuccessfully wooed in 1833-34.

Later papers relate to the management of the Gawthorpe and Barbon estates by Kay-Shuttleworth and his son, Ughtred.