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Papers of the Babington family of Rothley Temple

  • BABN
  • Fonds
  • 1788-1921

This archive includes papers (mostly correspondence) of the following. Charles Roos Babington, 1818-1826; George Gisborne Babington, 1809-1837; Jean Babington, 1802-1840; Joseph Babington 1822-1826; Matthew Babington, 1821-1833; Thomas Babington, 1788-1837; Thomas Gisborne Babington, 1809-1834; Colin Macaulay, 1811-1835; Zachary Macaulay, 1791-1835; Sir James Parker, 1818-1857; Margaret Parker, 1820-1843; Mary Lady Parker, 1806-1857; Susan Darroch 1820-1839; Lydia Rose 1803-1844 and Mary Ellen Rose, 1836-1921.

Correspondents include Thomas Babington Macaulay, Aulay and Zachary Macaulay and Sir James Parker. The correspondence between Zachary Macaulay and Thomas Babington contains many references to the anti-slavery campaign and its champions including William Wilberforce.

Babington family of Rothley Temple

Letter from E. M. Forster to Elizabeth Trevelyan

W[est] H[ackhurst]. - Thanks Bessie for her letter. Knew that Hsiao Ch'ien was coming to the Shiffolds; has seen him in London and asked him to 'turn up' whenever he likes on Thursday afternoon. They would be 'equally delighted' if it were more convenient for Hsiao Chi'en to come in the morning and stay to lunch: Forster will be in all day. However, could not give him a bed, as Miss Hill is stopping with them.

Thought he would write rather than calling from 'that dreadful buzzy telephone kiosk'. Sends love, and would like to come over and see her soon.

Letter from E. M. Forster to Elizabeth Trevelyan

On headed notepaper for Kings College Cambridge, with note 'Coventry actually, where I am spending Christmas and New Year with the Buckinghams. - Thanks Bessie for her card and letter; is glad she is 'as comfortable as these uncomfortable times allow. The Suez imbecility has robbed us of both comfort and honour, and I do resent being deprived of both'.

Is well in himself, and still has 'enough money to stem the rising tide of prices', but is unsure how long that will continue; the 'transport problem is an immediate vexation'. Is very glad to have 'got to Greece in the spring', and Leiden for a week more recently.

Unfortunately Florence [Barger] 'lacks her old strength, and has to live more quietly'; Harriet 'looks after her splendidly', and Evert has 'a good and totally new job in London' so will settle there. Has 'satisfactory news of G. M. T. from [George Trevelyan's son] Humphry.

Had a 'charming and unexpected invitation' to eat Christmas dinner with George Moore and his wife; could not accept as he was going to Coventry. 'Various other professorial or semi-professorial lame or semi-lame dogs' would also have been there, 'an unusual and probably most agreeable occasion'. Kings 'seems to have started off well under its new Provost, Noel Annan. Provost [J. T.] Sheppard is in Texas!'

Encloses a Hungarian Relief card, which he 'only got by writing direct to the Lord Mayor [of London, Sir Cullum Welch, who launched the fund]. The Trash [perhaps the Times?] has boycotted it - really disgusting'.

Sends much love, and hopes to see her 'when things get easier - and may they!'.

Letter from E. M. Forster to Elizabeth Trevelyan

W[est] H[ackhurst]. - 'How nice it will be to see [Gordon] Luce again; hopes to come over on Monday afternoon by the bus leaving Abinger Hammer at 3 pm and return by the 5.30 pm bus. The 'word "hope" recurs' as the buses may be full because of the bank holiday weekend. Will ring if he cannot get to the Shiffolds, 'and if I can't get away from you - I don't know!'.

Is just going to see Macbeth 'for the purpose of broadcasting on it to India'. Does not 'usually like Gielgud'.

Letter from E. M. Forster to R. C. and Elizabeth Trevelyan

129 Wendell Road, W.12. - Writes to 'Dear dear Bob' and 'Dear dear Bessie' since 'a little bird whose name... begins with a J [Julian Trevelyan' has told him about their [golden wedding] anniversary'; has 'praised the bird highly and thanked it for enabling me to participate'.

Supposes the 'chief feeling' which comes to him on such occasions is 'a selfish one: memory of all the kindness and helpfulness that you have both shown me through so many years'; this letter conveys 'much gratitude', and also 'many good wishes and very much love''. Hopes they will 'spend this day, and many others, happily'. They must realise 'how much you have done for others' happiness', among them his own.

Adds postscript: Florence [Barger] visited yesterday, and he was 'tempted to pass on the news', knowing she would have liked to write. Thought however that he should not be 'officious'; knows they do not want 'anything of a celebration, or even of a snowball'.

Letter from E. M. Forster to Elizabeth Trevelyan

King's Coll. Cambridge [headed notepaper, 'as from' added by hand]. -Sends a draft of his Skelton paper [no longer present], which she said she would like to read. The 'final script was rather longer, and started differently'; the paper [given at the Aldeburgh Festival 'went quite well and the people laughed - they had not been given the opportunity before'. The Festival was a 'great success'; he saw Julian, also meeting his wife [Julian Trevelyan and Mary Fedden did not in fact marry until 1951], and they had 'some pleasant talk'

Forster's health is 'much better after a month of sea air, sunshine, and easy living'. Returns to Cambridge tomorrow, and from there if all goes well to London. Can 'now walk about three miles without getting tired, a great improvement'.

Asks if Bob could lend him the issue of the Abinger Chronicle containing 'a piece of fun by me entitled Luncheon in Pretoria'; wants to have it typed out, as he is 'collecting together various pamphlets, articles, etc, to see whether they look like a book'. Will return it quickly. Sends love to both.

Letter from E. M. Forster to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Kings College Cambridge [headed notepaper). - Thanks Bessie for her letter, and the 'welcome things' she says about his Hill of Devi. This 'cannot be called a letter in return', as he is 'so rushed and Christmas so accelerates the rush', but he wanted her to see the enclosed [no longer present], which 'gives him great pleasure'; also hopes it will please her. Sends love and good wishes for 1754.

Postcard from E. M. Forster to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Postmarked Cambridge; sent to Bessie at the Shiffolds, and forwarded on to 36 Brunswick Gardens, London, W.8.- Has just paid a 'very pleasant call' on Bob, who 'seemed comfortable and cheerful, and said that no harm had been done him by the Dinner [given in his honour by the Apostles]'. Bob says Bessie is coming up to Cambridge shortly; Forster is going to Aldeburgh, but will be back here on Tuesday, when he hopes to see her.

Letter from E. M. Forster to Elizabeth Trevelyan

As from 129 Wendell Road, Shepherd's Bush, W.12. - Thanks her for her letter and news; does 'sympathise' with her over 'this miserable upheaval [the possibility of moving from the Shiffolds]. Sorrow in itself is wretched enough' and from it comes 'the necessity for choices and decisions - at a time when one longs to rest and drift'. She also does 'not have the haven Cambridge so miraculously opened for' him. Julian seems the 'obvious person' for advice, but Forster supposes he 'is not what is called "good" at it, and no amount of trying can produce that sort of "goodness".

Is writing partly as he is 'broadcasting on the Third Programme on the subject of the Third Programme on Saturday and Monday. Great solemnity - recording van sent specially to the Buckinghams in case my ankle [which he had recently broken] feels tired'. He 'got out of plaster earlier this month', and spent a 'pleasant week' in Aldeburgh. His ankle has been 'rather troublesome' since then, but he understands this is 'not unusual'. Has a 'most comfortable and genteel shoe', and is seeing the surgeon again next week. Is just about to leave for London now by car, partly so that he can pick up Agnes [Dowland] at Barnet.

Thinks 'the opera [Billy Budd, for which Forster had written the libretto] will be fine'; has now heard it all, and has been 'strumming at' a proof copy of the piano score this morning. They have still not found a singer to play Billy: he 'must look fine, so central European stomachs are unfortunately excluded'. The final possibility is 'a young man who cannot sing all the notes', as the part is a high baritone. Forster is 'all for having him. What do a few notes matter?'.

Has not seen Florence [Barger] since her return, but has spoken to her on the phone, she 'seemed most happy and prosperous'. Is using another sheet of paper to 'urge you, whatever you decide [about her home and future] not to be too unselfish, but to procure whatever money can provide towards the comfort of your body and mind'.

Occurs to him that she might like to see the enclosed piece [no longer present], written for 'a "Reader's Club" magazine in the States which has been founded by Auden, Trilling and Barzun', whom he respects: they have chosen his new book [Two Cheers for Democracy] for this October, and requested 'something for the magazine'; asks if she can return it.

Postcript: 'Unfinished novel [what was later published in short story form as The Open Boat?] in an awful mess I fear'.

Postcard from E. M. Forster to Elizabeth Trevelyan

'Near Bayreuth'; postmarked Kulmbach. - Bessie's 'kind letter' reached him and Florence [Barger] here in Germany, where they have been seeing the Ring and Parsifal 'under Evert [Barger]'s good auspices and management'. Gets back at the end of the month, and would 'much like' to see her in London or the Shiffolds before 20th Sept; was 'so pleased to be asked to speak [at the ceremony then to mark the opening of Robert Trevelyan's memorial library at Birkbeck College]. I shan't talk long!'. Very glad that Bessie will also be speaking.

Florence sends love, she is 'off to America! when she returns'

Letter from R. J. Buckingham to Elizabeth Trevelyan

129 Wendell Road, London, W.12. - Since Mrs Barger has gone to Paris, and Morgan [Forster] was unsure whether she had written to Bessie, he has asked Buckingham to tell her he is 'over the first part of the operation & is feeling much better than he expected'; the 'major operation' will be in about ten days time, and Buckingham will let her know the result 'immediately'.

Letter from E. M. Forster to Elizabeth Trevelyan

King's Coll. Cambridge [headed notepaper]. -Thanks her and Bob for sending the Abinger Chronicle 'so quickly [see TRER/ADD/87]; can return it, as he has found his own copy. No hurry for her to return his Skelton piece; in the 'revised version' he 'did mention R[alph] V[aughan] W[illiams] - his setting of Skelton's Hymn to the Father had been sung two days earlier in the church [at the Aldeburgh Festival]

Letter from E. M. Forster to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Kings College Cambridge [headed notepaper). - Very nice to hear from her; will answer 'at once like a good boy - which I am not always!'. Agrees that Florence [Barger] is 'wonderful'; he 'found her looking out of the way well'. Has also had a 'good year'; his 'great achievement was getting to Italy for six weeks, to stay with American friends'.

Bessie asks about the London LIbrary; is not on the committee and thinks she should write directly to the Secretary and ask whether Bob's life membership entitles her to become an 'ordinary annual member without paying an entrance fee'; thinks the annual subscription is five or six pounds now but is unsure as he has a life membership himself. Would be more difficult for her to join on a reduced subscription; the Carlyle Fund provides for this, but 'the applicant has to prove special need'. It is 'very nice, and very right' that Birkbeck College allows her to borrow from Bob's library [which she has given to them as a memorial].

His book is about Dewas, the Indian state he was in years ago. Malcolm Darling, 'whom Bob liked and stayed with', has much information about it which Forster has worked in with his own letters from there to his mother. Hopes the book will be published next year; it will be called The Hill of Devi, which is the 'little acropolis that stands about Dewas and gives it its name'.

Would like to come and see her in the warmer weather; may be able to find a 'young friend to bring me in a car - they will sometimes'. Earlier this year he got to the Hammer with John Meade, son of a former rector at Abinger, now at the Staff College at Camberley, who is married to 'a grand-daughter of Major Lugard'.

Letter from E. M. Forster to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Kings College Cambridge [headed notepaper). - Asks if she would be free on Thursday 9th; if so, would 'very much like' to visit for lunch, to see her and 'talk about our talks on the 20th [at the ceremony to mark the opening of Robert Trevelyan's memorial library at Birkbeck'. Fears he would have to return in the afternoon. If that is not convenient, perhaps it would suit her to meet another day in London.

Is doing a broadcast on Bayreuth, and 'must tidy up my script! Florence [Barger] has gone off to America!"

Postcard from E. M. Forster to Elizabeth Trevelyan

3 Wilbraham Place; sent to Elizabeth Trevelyan at the Shiffolds. - Thanks her for letter; it [an operation] 'is not a big business, as before: only tiresomeness'. Hopes they may let him out soon; will then go for a few days to the Buckinghams, then to Cambridge, then to Aldeburgh. Very glad she 'saw and enjoyed the bluebells'. Sends love to her and Bob.

Letter from E. M. Forster to Elizabeth Trevelyan

King's Coll. Cambridge [headed notepaper]. - Of course realised that she would not be writing letters 'for some time [after her husband's death on 21 Mar]; is 'very glad' to hear from her. Hopes she is 'feeling somewhat rested now...'; good that she has 'people to look after [her]', and that she is for the present staying 'as you are, and where you are. After these great changes, it is much better that one should wait - when it is possible to do so - and should let the future shape itself'.

Afraid that he will not be able to come and visit her in early June, as he will be 'so wound up in Aldeburgh and other matters'; would like to come later in the year. His 'pleurisy went off very easily, thanks to a new pill', so he was 'able to receive the King, Queen, and Princess Margaret fairly well, and able very well indeed to receive an Hon[orary] Degree at Nottingham'. This was a 'very pleasant experience. After the ceremony, we all processed through the city in our coloured bits and odds and ends, with the Mayor and the Mace in front, and held up the traffic'. Sebastian Sprott is now Public Orator, and made a 'charming' speech about him.

Sends love and hopes to see her later.

Letter from E. M. Forster to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Mackenzie-Robinson Hotel, 40 Drumsheaugh Gardens, Edinboro'. -Thanks Bessie for her 'welcome and surprising note': 'delightful' that he will find her at Wallington, as he had no idea she was there. Hopes he will manage to get there, as 'Nothing could have been more miraculous' than his arrival in Edinburgh: he came up by plane, which landed him in Glasgow instead, and he did not reach Edinburgh until midnight when he was 'deposited on the pavement in a crowd of drunks'. One of them 'kindness itself' took Forster to his hotel in his car.

The Festival has started 'with a bang and a bit of a jerk. Wild welcome last to the Colonne Orchestra'. Is going to the Verdi tonight.

Card from E. M. Forster to Elizabeth Trevelyan

King's Coll. Cambridge [headed card]. - Florence [Barger] has asked him to give Bessie and Bob 'the tragic news that Margaret [her sister] died yesterday morning'. Florence herself returned from America a few hours later. 'Everything has been seen to for her by that splendid friend of Harold's and herself William Baxter, and she is bearing the shock as well as can be expected'.

Florence asks Bessie not to write at the moment, as 'Letters upset her', and she knows what the Trevelyans both feel. She sends her love, and looks forward to visiting them in the future. Margaret did not suffer.

Postcard from E. M. Forster to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Reform Club, London, S.W.1, but postmarked Chiswick; sent to 'Mrs. R. C. Trevelyan' at the Shiffolds. - Sends thanks, also to Bob, for 'nice letter and kind greeting'. The address [of the nursing home he is to go to after an operation, see TRER/ADD/83-84] will be 3 Wilbraham Place, Sloane Sq, S.W., but he will not go there until next weeks. Sends 'all good wishes for 1950'.

Letter from E. M. Forster to Elizabeth Trevelyan

W[est] H[ackhurst]. - Is going to the Beethoven mass at Kings [College Cambridge] next Sunday; if it is in one of the Tovey editions, asks if he could borrow it for a while; would be 'very grateful'; asks if it could be posted to him as soon as convenient.

She will find with this letter a sponge which he 'stole during a pleasant visit' and has been meaning to return; he 'did indeed bring it one afternoon as far as the top of Water Lane, which is a very good address indeed for a sponge', but instead it went through the Leith Hill Place woods and 'would proceed down the other hill to Forest Green and the Parrot [a pub]'.

Has finished Thomas Mann's Joseph series, and is 'rather shocked' by Bessie's 'undocumented scorn'; has also read R. K. Narayan's The English Teacher. Saw Julian 'in the distance' at a concert of Monteverdi's Vespers; hopes he 'enjoyed them as much as I did'. Adds postscript: Florence [Barger] should be back tomorrow.

Letter from E. M. Forster to Elizabeth Trevelyan

King's Coll. Cambridge [on headed notepaper, 'as from' added by hand]. - Had meant to answer her 'kind letter' before now, but his plans have been 'uncertain'; now he can suggest a time for him to visit it it is 'probably too near Christmas for your convenience'. Could come for a night on Friday 3rd [December]; if the Trevelyans are not free then perhaps Bessie could suggest another time around then.

Florence has 'shown her expected restraint and consideration for others [at the death of her sister Margaret]', and 'now seems fairly normal'. Believes 'his' Agnes [Dowland] is staying with her at the moment; asks if he told Bessie that [Florence's maid] Harriet 'alas! alas! has gone to take care of a father'.

Letter from E. M. Forster to Elizabeth Trevelyan

W[est] H[ackhurst]. - In response to her 'kind invitation', he could come to stay for the night next Saturday or Sunday; however, since it is the Easter weekend, she may have other visitors. Must be here on Tuesday 'in the hope that a workman will turn up, indeed he will cast a shadow on all plans until he does turn up'. If this Saturday or Sunday do not suit, will suggest other dates as soon as he can. Expects the bus will be all right; can walk if it 'fails' as he will 'only have a rucksack'. Asks her to tell him 'what food I can bring if I can'.

Very pleased she liked his broadcast; is now 'preparing one of a very different kind on Iqbal'. Sends love, also to Bob; is looking forward to his visit.

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