Papers of Reverend Thomas Elliott, predominantly concerning his teaching at Bishop Wilson Theological College, Bishopscourt

Scope and Content

The content consists of typescript loose-leaf (and handwritten) lecture/teaching notes relating to worship, Old and New Testaments, Church history, Christian doctrine, Christian morals, the Hebrew Bible and Psalms. Lecture notes taken by Elliot on papers delivered by visiting speakers are also included. Examination papers and General Ordination Examination (GOE) trial examinations papers regarding topics such as the Old Testament, Church history, Christian doctrine, Christian morals and Christian worship are present. Further contents include correspondence from former students of Bishop Wilson Theological College regarding their change of address, change of job and informing Elliot on their respective careers and families.

Administrative / Biographical History

Reverend Thomas Elliott (1908-1985) was from Chester-Le-Street, Co. Durham and educated at Selwyn College, University of Cambridge and Ridley Hall (theological college), University of Cambridge. He was ordained a deacon in the diocese of Durham in 1933 and achieved priesthood the following year. He took up the position of curate at St Michael’s and All Angels, South Shields before arriving on the Isle of Man in 1936 for a vacancy at the theological college. Revd Elliott had accepted the position of Vice-Principal (1936-1938) at Bishop Wilson Theological College (BWTC), Bishopscourt. 1938 saw Revd Elliott step down as Vice-Principal and appointed as the new Rector for the northern parish of Ballaugh. The College was eager to retain Revd Elliott as a member of staff and he was offered and accepted the position of tutor, enabling him to continue teaching between 1938 and 1942 whilst also undertaking his parochial duties. The Principal at BWTC during Elliott’s time was Revd Eric Gordon (1905-1992), in post between 1935 and-1942. Together they worked to further establish the college as a reputable institution with high academic standards. They maintained contact with the outside world through its connections with Durham University and they encouraged visits from distinguished scholars. Gordon later served as Bishop of Sodor and Man (1966-1974).

For three generations BWTC (1879-1943) provided a steady stream of academically trained men for the Anglican Church, however by the Second War the situation was very different. In 1942 BWTC had entered a difficult period (as did other similar institutions in the British Isles), having little prospect of gaining new students due to young men away on war service. Running a school with a depleting enrolment was not a viable option and the Executive Committee of the College Council stated they would give careful consideration to the situation on a termly basis. Revd Elliott acted as Principal (1942-1943) for the last academic year and by 1943 BWTC closed its doors permanently.

Revd Elliott continued as Rector for Ballaugh until 1948 when he accepted a vacancy in Norfolk. He was Rector of the parish of North Creake until his retirement in 1977. Revd Elliott died January 1985 and is buried in St Mary’s Church, North Creake with his wife Dorothy Eleanor (1910-1993).

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Archivist's Note

The biographical information was gathered from notes made by Roger Elliott (son of Rev. Elliott) in MS 09474's deposit file and Manx newspapers the Isle of Man Times (12 February 1938) and the Ramsey Courier (11 February 1938, 25 March 1938 & 1 October 1948).

Isle of Man newspapers available online at (accessed 25 Jan 2016).

Fonds-level description created by Eleanor Williams (MNH Project Archivist), January 2016.

Related Material

Related material held by Manx National Heritage includes the 'Records of Bishop Wilson Theological College'. Reference number: MS 09473.

Further papers of Revd Thomas Elliott, Rector of North Creake (1948-1977) are housed at the Norfolk Record Office, Norwich. Reference number: ACC 2008/252.