Document ReferenceMS 733
TitlePapers of John S. Hoyland (1887-1957), Quaker and missionary; c.1814-2000
Date1814-2000 c
Extent24 boxes, 1 parcel
AbstractThe collection comprises correspondence and personal papers of the Hoyland family, a Quaker family from Birmingham and Sheffield. The largest series contains correspondence between John Somervell Hoyland (1887-1957) and his family relating to his time as a missionary in India between 1912 and 1928.
Admin HistoryJohn Somervell Hoyland was born in Edgbaston, Birmingham on 12 December 1887, the eldest son of John William Hoyland (1855-1927) and Rachel Anna Somervell (born 1853). His mother died in 1893 and John William remarried, his second wife being Josephine Clark. The Hoylands were an old Quaker family and John William Hoyland was the first principal of the Kingsmead College in Selly Oak, Birmingham, a college for training missionaries. John Somervell was educated at King Edward's School, Birmingham; Christ's College, Cambridge; and Hartford Seminary School of Missions, USA (1907-1910). In 1911, Hoyland took part with other British Young Friends in a visit to the USA which contributed to the unification of American Quakers.

From 1912 to 1928, Hoyland worked as a missionary in India. He began as principal of the Friends' Mission High School at Hoshangabad and in 1919 moved to Nagpur to become a lecturer in history and English at Hislop College where he remained until 1928. He was awarded the Kaiser-i-Hind Gold Medal in connection with his assistance during an influenza epidemic in 1918. He also compiled the successful book, 'A Book of Prayers: written for use in an Indian college' (London: The Challenge Press, 1921). On his return to England, he joined the staff of Woodbrooke, the Quaker College in Selly Oak. He remained there for 24 years as a lecturer in biblical, social and international questions and between 1930 and 1940 was warden of Woodbrooke's Men's Hostel, Holland House. In 1928 he gave the Swarthmore lecture to the Society of Friends.

John S. Hoyland was known as 'Jack' to his friends and family. He married a high school teacher, Helen Doncaster (1887-1919) from Sheffield in 1913 but she died while in India. He married South African-born Jessie Mary Marais in 1921 who survived him. Hoyland died on 30 October 1957.

Hoyland was a prolific writer. His 'Who's Who' entry records some 60 titles but also hundreds of articles, poems and prayers were published. The published works can broadly be divided into poetry and prayers, history and civilisation, social issues, India, and religion. Examples of these include: the collection of poems, Indian Dawn (Heffer, 1934); Prayers for a One Year Old (Heffer, 1927); A Brief History of Civilisation (Oxford University Press, 1925); Digging with the Unemployed (Student Christian Movement Press, 1934); The Case for India (J.M. Dent, 1929); and The Way of St Francis (Student Christian Movement Press, 1935).
Custodial HistoryThe collection was given to The University of Nottingham's Department of Manuscripts and Special Collections in March 2002. An accrual was received in 2005.
DescriptionThe collection includes:

Correspondence from John S. Hoyland. Most of the letters are to his father and mother (i.e. his step-mother), and to other members of his family. The period 1913-1928, when he was in India are the main focus of the letters, with much material about his work during the influenza epidemic, 1918 for which he was awarded the Kaisar-i-Hind gold medal; 1890-1943;

Correspondence to John S. Hoyland. Most of the letters are from members of his family, particularly his father and his wife Helen; 1908-1956;

Correspondence from other members of the Hoyland family. This includes letters sent by his wife Helen to his father and other relatives; 1872-1958;

Other correspondence including letters from Daniel Wheeler in Russia to David Mallinson; 1820, 1829;

Copies of many of his printed books (some printed privately) and articles, along with manuscript and typescript unpublished verses, prayers and other writings; 20th century;

The typescript of 'Universal Indian Hymns' or 'Hymns of the Indian Dawn' translated by Mahatma Gandhi and edited by John S. Hoyland;

Papers concerning John S. Hoyland's membership of the Society of Friends, his work during the Second World War establishing Relief Centres in London and elsewhere in the country, a journal of his travels in Russia, 1932; and his memoirs of school days at West House, 1903;

Family papers including memoirs written by Barbara Hoyland, (1814) and Rachel Anna Hoyland (died 1829), and family photographs and films; (1814)-1998

The collection also includes papers produced by Reginald Reynolds, notably his biography of John S. Hoyland, 1958 and his 'Tropical Budgets' being his letters from India, 1929-1930. Those items shown to him for the biography by Rachel Gilliatt, John S. Hoyland's daughter, are noted in the catalogue.
MgtGroupLiterary and cultural records
Personal papers
ArrangementThe collection has been divided into series as follows:
MS 733/1: Letters from John Somervell Hoyland
MS 733/2: Letters to John Somervell Hoyland
MS 733/3: Correspondence from family members (mainly to John S. Hoyland)
MS 733/4: Correspondence of other family members
MS 733/5: Literary works
MS 733/6: Hoshangabad School and Hislop College, Nagpur, India
MS 733/7: Society of Friends
MS 733/8: Second World War work
MS 733/9: Personal papers
MS 733/10: Family papers
MS 733/11: Journals, diaries and common place book
MS 733/12: Photographs and film
MS 733/13: Miscellanea
MS 733/14: Papers of Reginald Reynolds
Within these series, items have been arranged chronologically where possible.
TermMissions and missionaries - Society of Friends
Society of Friends - Missions - India
Missions, British - India - History
FindingAidsThis description is the only finding aid available for the collection. Copyright in the description belongs to The University of Nottingham.
ReprodnNoteReprographic copies can be supplied for educational use and private study purposes only, depending on access status and the condition of the documents.

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Click the links below to view related place indexes

CodePersonNameDates of existence
NA898Hoyland; John Somervell (1887-1957); Quaker and missionary1887-1957
NA75858Hoyland; family; of Birmingham and Sheffield
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