RepositoryChurch of England Record Centre
Alt Ref NoFCE
Extent11 series
TitlePapers of Dr. Francis Carolus Eeles
DescriptionDr. Eeles's papers reflect the nature and extent of his interests and influence. He transcribed liturgical texts; collected books and manuscripts; studied church buildings and ornaments; compared liturgical practice in different places and periods; and was an authorised Lay Reader. He was Secretary of the Alcuin Club from 1903-1910 and a member of its Council for many years; Secretary of the Henry Bradshaw Society from 1928-1934; and a founder of the Warham Guild. He wrote extensively on liturgical and ecclesiological subjects; on Scottish church history; on Bells; on Coronations; on Episcopal Ceremonial; on Prayer Book Revision; on the Reservation of the Sacraments; and much more. Above all, he became a powerful exponent of the 'English Use', based on tradition and authority, against both the 'Romanisers' and the Evangelicals.

His papers have come to CERC principally because of his Secretaryship of the Central Council for the Care of Churches (CCCC)- a body responsible to the General Synod. The present collection, however, includes some material that was clearly not written in Eeles's capacity as Secretary; and some that is difficult to ascribe to any particular 'capacity'. He was consulted on liturgical and ecclesiological questions, by both laymen and ecclesiastics (including bishops and archbishops). Sometimes they wrote to him as Secretary of the CCCC, as his replies make clear; sometimes as a man of known authority and scholarship; and sometimes no reply survives so that it is hard to tell in what capacity he was addressed. Similarly, his own writings range from works clearly written on behalf of the CCCC (for example, 'The Care of the Parish Church'), to others clearly not so written (for example, on behalf of some partisan group, and sermons written in his capacity as an authorised Lay Reader). In between is a body of liturgical or historical writing which cannot easily be classified as 'official' or 'private'. It is this difficulty of dividing the papers into 'official' or 'private' which has guided the decision to retain the collection intact.

It would, moreover, have been difficult to split up the collection without doing violence to the integrated nature of Eeles's work and thought. His historical scholarship was the foundation on which his liturgical advice was based. His studies of church architecture and ecclesiological history; his knowledge of vestments and hangings (enriched by his years at the Victoria and Albert Museum); and his widespread correspondence with ecclesiastics in all parts of Britain and throughout the world, about their practice and ceremonial; all contributed to his work as Secretary. To remove any of these groups of papers would have impaired the collection.
AccrualsNo further accruals are expected.
ArrangementDr. Eeles rarely filed correspondence or articles. He habitually used folders in which loose papers were inserted, or envelopes in which letters or notes were packetted. Where such a folder or envelope was labelled, and its contents match the label, it has been kept together. In some cases very general labels were used (e.g. 'liturgical papers') and the contents might be heterogenous. Such folders and packets have, in some cases, been split into more appropriate groupings.
CreatorNameDr. F. C. Eeles
AdminHistoryIn 1917 Dr. Eeles became the first Secretary of the CCCC, a body he had been largely instrumental in forming, and remained its Secretary until the year of his death in 1954. With Bishop Ryle, Sir Cecil Harcourt-Smith and Archdeacon Farrer, he had helped to establish the Diocesan Advisory Committee system (whose work he describes in FCE/CC/1) and was the natural choice for Secretary when a Central Committee was set up in 1917. He was at that time on the staff of the Library at the Victoria and Albert Museum, a post he continued to combine with the Secretaryship until 1924. He was already an authority on church history; a long-standing member of the Scottish and English Ecclesiological Societies; and had a long experience of liturgical research.

The Central Council was unusually closely identified with Eeles for the period of his Secretaryship. Its offices were first at the Victoria and Albert Museum, and then, from 1939 to 1954, at Eeles's Somerset home at Dunster. The architectural setting of the liturgy has always been a dominant interest of the Council, and Eeles's liturgical interests found full scope in its work.

Eeles was a distinguished liturgical scholar, an active controversialist, and, as Secretary of the CCCC, an administrator centrally placed to influence liturgical practice, through his advice on the design and furnishing of churches.

A full memoir of Eeles's life and work by Judith D. G. Scott was printed as a Foreword to his work King's College Chapel, Aberdeen, published posthumously. A photocopy of this is included in this collection, FCE/MISC/6.
AcquisitionLittle is known about the circumstances of the acquisition of the Eeles papers. A number of the boxes bore accession dates of 1992 and 1993 and were catalogued in 2010 (some records having been listed by Judith Scott in May 1992), but the bulk of the archive had been listed by Patricia Kelvin in July 1982. Eeles' printed books became the basis of the Library of the Cathedrals and Church Buildings Division.
RelatedMaterialLambeth Palace Library, Eeles Collection, MSS 1501-1551; Society of Antiquities, Consecration Crosses, SAL/MS/973

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Related name records
DS/UK/4487Eeles; Francis Carolus (1876-1954); liturgical scholar and historian1876-1954
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