Finding Aid for the John Stuart Verschoyle Papers 1884-1915

Processed by Collection processed and machine-readable finding aid created by Rebecca Fenning, Manuscripts and Archives Librarian.
William Andrews Clark Memorial Library
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UCLA
Los Angeles, CA 90018
Phone: (323) 731-8529
Fax: (323) 731-8617
Email: rfenning@humnet.ucla.edu
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©2008
The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.


Descriptive Summary

Title: John Stuart Verschoyle papers,
Date (inclusive): 1884-1915
Collection number: MS.2007.001
Creator: Verschoyle, John Stuart
Extent: 2 boxes (1 linear foot)
Repository: University of California, Los Angeles. Library. William Andrews Clark Memorial Library
Los Angeles, California 90095-1490
Abstract: Correspondence sent to John Stuart Verschoyle from a wide-ranging group of fin-de-siecle notables, dating 1881-1915 and undated. Though much of the correspondence issues from Verschoyle's role as assistant editor of the Fortnightly Review, a significant number of items related to African colonial interests are also included.
Physical location: Clark Library.
Language of Material: Collection materials in English

Access

Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Copyright has not been assigned to the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, UCLA. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Librarian. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], John Stuart Verschoyle papers, MS.2007.001, William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, University of California, Los Angeles.

Acquisition Information

The items in this collection were acquired by the Clark Library in 2007.

Biographical Note

John Stuart Verschoyle was born in Ireland in 1853 to Anglo-Irish gentleman James J. Verschoyle and his wife Catherine Foster. After receiving his B.A. from Pembroke College, Cambridge University in 1881, he was appointed curate of the Church of the Holy Trinity, Marylebone, London in 1882. During his early years in London, Verschoyle made the acquaintance of Frank Harris, whom he introduced to his group of literary friends and assisted by editing his early submissions to various London periodicals. This helped lead to Harris' appointment as the editor of the London Evening News in 1883. In 1886, Harris left the Evening News for a post editing the Fortnightly Review, which he would continue to do until 1894. While Verschoyle's formal role as editor during this entire time is unclear, it seems that by at least 1889, he was formally installed as an assistant editor at the Fortnightly, where, as several contemporaries remarked, he seemed to take on the lion's share of the work. During this time, he did not function just as an editor of Harris' writing, but actively solicited contributions to the Fortnightly from prominent individuals in a wide variety of fields, which is well-reflected in the correspondence collected here. In 1891, Verschoyle moved out of London and would not live in the city again for the rest of his life. During the years he served as the rector of Creeting St Peter, Suffolk (1891-1893), and Huish Champflower, Somerset (1893-1915), he still apparently visited London, helped Harris with editorial matters and kept in regular correspondence with his literary and political friends. His editorial work seems to have largely tapered off by the early 1900s, and there are several letters from this time also inquiring after his poor health.
In addition to Verschoyle's activity in literary circles, he was also quite involved in the "Scramble for Africa" in the late 19th century, which is well represented in his correspondence. He apparently spent some time in Africa in his youth, and became a staunch advocate of British mining interests. In 1889, he convened a dinner for Cecil Rhodes and Harry H. Johnston at his London apartment in order to facilitate their meeting, and throughout the 1880s and 90s published pro-Rhodes articles and editorials (some anonymously as "Imperialist" in British journals and newspapers). His advocacy on behalf of Rhodes reached its apex with his writing of a laudatory 1900 Rhodes biography apparently commissioned by Rhodes himself. Though it was published under the pseudonym "Vindex," Verschoyle's support of Rhodes was well-known enough that several contemporary reviewers suspected him as the author.
Verschoyle's work for social reform, is somewhat less overtly prominent in this correspondence, but is nonetheless significant. His activism, particularly in the anti-vivisection movement, seems to have its roots in his relationship and admiration for suffragist and reformer Frances Power Cobbe, whom he met as an undergraduate in 1878. At that time, he was involved organizing government petitions against the death sentence handed to Isabel Grant, a woman who had killed her abusive husband, and after this was apparently a close member of Cobbe's circle until her death in 1904. She recruited him to be the editor of the anti-vivisection journal The Abolitionist in 1899, and some of his letters seeking contributions for that paper are included here.
Verschoyle is most often remembered in the memoirs, biographies and histories of his friends and colleagues as a footnote or in a few short paragraphs at most. Those who mention Verschoyle in detail describe a handsome man, powerfully built with very blond hair and mustaches, of very broad theology but very hard-working and dedicated to his parishioners. The paradox of a clergyman working closely with the famously profane Harris seems odd, and indeed, Harry H. Johnston described Verschoyle as "one of the strangest characters of [his] acquaintance." (Johnston, The story of my life, p. 218) He often entertained parties both large and small in his London apartment, convening together groups of writers, journalists, politicians and social reformers.
John Verschoyle died on July 30, 1915 in a nursing home in Taunton, Somerset.

Scope and Content

This collection includes approximately 400 letters written to John Stuart Verschoyle between 1881-1915 by a diverse group of leaders in late Victorian literature, politics, journalism, social reform and society. The majority of letters are related to Verschoyle's work as an assistant editor of the Fortnightly Review and the social circle he built as a result of this work, but Verschoyle's connections to colonial African mining interests are also well-represented. Many letters also document his commitment to and involvement in social reform causes. Frequent correspondents include Frank Harris, Theodore Watts-Dunton, Oswald Crawfurd, Frances Power Cobbe, Edward Dowden, Edmund Gosse and Emile Joseph Dillon. Other important names represented here include Henry James, Rudyard Kipling, Thomas Hardy, W.T. Stead, and A.C. Swinburne.
The collection is organized into the following series:
  • Series 1. Correspondence, 1881-1915. 2 boxes (1 linear foot)
  • Series 2. Miscellany, 1888-1893. 3 folders

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.

Subjects

Africa -- Colonization
Animal rights activists -- England -- 20th century
Journalism -- England -- 19th century

Genres and Forms

Letters.


Container List

 

Series 1.  Correspondence 1881-1915

Physical Description: 2 boxes (1 linear foot)

Scope and Content Note

Approximately 400 letters written to John Stuart Verschoyle between 1881-1915 by various and diverse leaders in late Victorian literature, politics, journalism and society. The majority of letters are related to Verschoyle's work as an assistant editor of the Fortnightly Review and the social circle he built as a result of this work, but Verschoyle's connections to colonial African mining interests are also well-represented as is his involvement in social reform movements, particularly the anti-vivisection movement. Frequent correspondents include Frank Harris, Theodore Watts-Dunton, Oswald Crawfurd, Frances Power Cobbe, Edward Dowden, Edmund Gosse and Emile Joseph Dillon. Other important names represented here include Henry James, Rudyard Kipling, Thomas Hardy, W.T. Stead, and A.C. Swinburne.

Arrangement

Correspondence is arranged in alphabetical order by correspondent and in chronological order within folders.
Box 1, Folder 1

Aldin, Cecil undated

Physical Description: 1 item
Box 1, Folder 4

Archer, William 1889-1891

Physical Description: 5 items
Box 2, Folder 31

Balfour, Arthur James 1889

Physical Description: 1 item
Box 1, Folder 5

Barrie, J.M. 1890, undated

Physical Description: 2 items
Box 1, Folder 6

Beit, Alfred 1889

Physical Description: 1 item
Box 1, Folder 7

Black, Clementina undated

Physical Description: 1 item
Box 1, Folder 8

Blackmore, R.D. (Richard Doddridge) 1896-1897

Physical Description: 3 items
Box 1, Folder 9

Buchanan, Robert undated

Physical Description: 1 item
Box 1, Folder 10

Bunting, Percy William 1903, 1909

Physical Description: 2 items
Box 1, Folder 11

Burne-Jones, Philip undated

Physical Description: 1 item
Box 1, Folder 12

Blaze de Bury, Marie 1890-1892, undated

Physical Description: 4 items
Box 1, Folder 13

Cawston, George 1889

Physical Description: 2 items
Box 1, Folder 14

Chamberlain, Rahmeh undated

Physical Description: 3 items
Box 1, Folder 17

Cobbe, Frances Power after 1884

Physical Description: 17 items
Box 1, Folder 16

Compton, Lord Alwyne undated

Physical Description: 1 item
Box 1, Folder 18-19

Crawfurd, Oswald 1888-1897, undated

Physical Description: 34 items
Box 1, Folder 20

Dameron, N. (?) undated

Physical Description: 1 item
Box 1, Folder 21

Darmesteter, Mary 1891

Physical Description: 1 item
Box 1, Folder 23

Davidson, John 1899

Physical Description: 4 items
Box 1, Folder 22

Davidson, Randall T. 1889

Physical Description: 1 item
Box 1, Folder 24

Dilke, Charles Wentworth 1891, undated

Physical Description: 7 items
Box 1, Folder 25

Dilke, Emilia F. 1891

Physical Description: 1 item
Box 1, Folder 26

Dillon, Emile Joseph 1890-1892, 1899, undated

Physical Description: 22 items
Box 1, Folder 27

Dowden, Edward 1886-1897

Physical Description: 17 items
Box 1, Folder 28

Eastlake, Elizabeth Rigby 1888-1893

Physical Description: 8 items
Box 1, Folder 29

Everett, Katharine 1926

Physical Description: 1 item

Scope and Content Note

Postcard addressed to "W. Verschoyle-Campbell, 9 Fitzwilliam Sq, Dublin."
Box 1, Folder 30

Farrar, F.W. (Frederic William) 1902

Physical Description: 1 item
Box 1, Folder 31

Fawcett, Edgar undated

Physical Description: 1 item
Box 1, Folder 32

Fawcett, Dame Millicent Garrett 1891, undated

Physical Description: 2 items
Box 1, Folder 33

Francillon, R.E. (Robert Edward) 1895

Physical Description: 1 item
Box 1, Folder 34

Fremantle, W.H. (William Henry) 1887-1888, 1896

Physical Description: 3 items
Box 1, Folder 35

French Ministry of Commerce (Ministere du Commerce et de l'Industrie), Exposition Universelle de 1889 1889

Physical Description: 1 item
Box 1, Folder 36

Gattie, Catherine A. ca. 1909

Physical Description: 1 item
Box 1, Folder 37

Grand, Sarah 1899

Physical Description: 1 item
Box 1, Folder 38

Gosse, Edmund 1888-1891, 1896

Physical Description: 13 items
Box 1, Folder 39

Hardy, Thomas 1887, 1891

Physical Description: 4 items
Box 1, Folder 40

Hadwen, Walter (British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection) 1910

Physical Description: 1 item
Box 1, Folder 48-49

Harris, Frank 1884-1898

Physical Description: 24 items
Box 1, Folder 41

Harrod, Charles? 1896

Physical Description: 1 item
Box 1, Folder 42

Henley, W.E. (William Ernest) 1891, undated

Physical Description: 2 items
Box 1, Folder 43

Herbert, Auberon 1890-1891

Physical Description: 5 items
Box 1, Folder 44

Herbert, Clair undated

Physical Description: 1 item
Box 1, Folder 45

Hichens, Robert 1901

Physical Description: 1 item addressed to M. Arapott of Cairo
Box 1, Folder 46

Huxley, T.H. (Thomas Henry) 1888

Physical Description: 1 item
Box 1, Folder 50

Ingelow, Jean undated

Physical Description: 1 item

Scope and Content Note

Letter begins "My dear Madame," and it is unclear if it was originally sent to JSV.
Box 1, Folder 51

James, Henry 1900, 1906

Physical Description: 3 items
Box 1, Folder 52

Jephson, A. J. Mounteney (Arthur Jermy Mounteney) 1891

Physical Description: 1 item
Box 1, Folder 53

Johnston, H.H. (Henry Hamilton) 1881-1891, 1897

Physical Description: 11 items
Box 1, Folder 54

Knight-Bruce, G.W.H. (George Wyndham Hamilton) undated

Physical Description: 2 items
Box 1, Folder 55

Kipling, Rudyard 1896-1906, undated

Physical Description: 9 items
Box 1, Folder 56

Le Gallienne, Richard 1891, 1896

Physical Description: 4 items
Box 1, Folder 57

Leigh, J.W. (James Wentworth) 1891, 1895

Physical Description: 4 items
Box 1, Folder 58

Linton, E. Lynn (Eliza Lynn) undated

Physical Description: 3 items
Box 1, Folder 59

Low, Sidney J. 1889-1892, undated

Physical Description: 7 items
Box 1, Folder 61

MacQuoid, Katharine S. 1884-1891

Physical Description: 3 items
Box 1, Folder 62

Maguire, Rochfort 1891

Physical Description: 1 item
Box 1, Folder 60

Malabari, B.M. (Behramji Merwanji) 1891

Physical Description: 1 item
Box 1, Folder 63

Manning, Henry E. 1889

Physical Description: 3 items
Box 1, Folder 64

Meredith, George 1893-1894

Physical Description: 3 items
Box 1, Folder 65

Meynell, Alice ca. 1896

Physical Description: 2 items
Box 1, Folder 66

Morris, Lewis 1899, 1905

Physical Description: 2 items
Box 1, Folder 67

Morris, William undated

Physical Description: 1 item
Box 1, Folder 68

Moulton, Louise Chandler undated

Physical Description: 7 items
Box 2, Folder 1

Muller, F. Max 1888

Physical Description: 1 item
Box 2, Folder 2

Myers, F.W.H. (Frederic William Henry) 1889-1891

Physical Description: 5 items
Box 2, Folder 3

Norwich, Bishop of undated

Physical Description: 1 item
Box 2, Folder 4

Pater, Walter ca 1889

Physical Description: 4 items
Box 2, Folder 5

Patmore, Coventry 1893-1895

Physical Description: 6 items
Box 2, Folder 6

Peel, Robert undated

Physical Description: 1 item
Box 2, Folder 7

Plunket, William Conyngham 1888

Physical Description: 1 item
Box 2, Folder 8

Plunkett, Horace 1892-1893, undated

Physical Description: 8 items
Box 2, Folder 9

Pottinger, Henry 1889-1891, undated

Physical Description: 9 items
Box 2, Folder 10

Prior, C.H. 1887

Physical Description: 1 item
Box 2, Folder 11

Prothero, R.E. (Roland Edmund) 1891

Physical Description: 1 item
Box 2, Folder 12

Rajou, Antoine 1890

Physical Description: 1 item
Box 2, Folder 13

Rhodes, Cecil 1891, undated

Physical Description: 2 items

Scope and Content Note

1 item is an incomplete draft of a letter from JSV to Rhodes.
Box 2, Folder 14

Sarrazin, Gabriel 1889

Physical Description: 1 item
Box 2, Folder 15

Seaver, F.W. undated

Physical Description: 1 item
Box 2, Folder 16

Selous, F.C. (Frederick Courteney) 1889-1890, undated

Physical Description: 3 items
Box 2, Folder 17

Sharp, William 1890, 1900, undated

Physical Description: 6 items

Scope and Content Note

Includes 1 letter from Sharp's pseudonym Fiona MacLeod.
Box 2, Folder 18

Shorter, Clement undated

Physical Description: 1 item
Box 2, Folder 19

Stead, W.T. (William Thomas) 1889-1893

Physical Description: 7 items

Scope and Content Note

Includes an incomplete letter to Stead from JSV.
Box 2, Folder 20

Symonds, J.A. (John Addington) 1889

Physical Description: 1 item
Box 2, Folder 21

Swinburne, A.C. (Algernon Charles) 1889, undated

Physical Description: 3 items

Scope and Content Note

Includes a printed proof of a poem with JSV's notes.
Box 2, Folder 22

Tynan, Katharine undated

Physical Description: 1 item
Box 2, Folder 23

Tyrrell, R.Y. (Robert Yelverton) undated

Physical Description: 13 items
Box 2, Folder 24

Ward, Mary (Mrs. Humphry) 1902

Physical Description: 1 item
Box 2, Folder 25

Watson, William 1890, 1909, undated

Physical Description: 8 items
Box 2, Folder 28

Watts-Dunton, Clara 1914-1915

Physical Description: 2 items
Box 2, Folder 26-27

Watts-Dunton, Theodore 1888-1914

Physical Description: 25 items
Box 2, Folder 29

Webster, Wentworth 1881-1891

Physical Description: 4 items
Box 2, Folder 30

Whistler, J. MacNeil undated

Physical Description: 1 item
Box 2, Folder 32

Wolseley, Garnet Joseph 1891-1895, undated

Physical Description: 4 items
Box 2, Folder 33

Wyndham, George undated

Physical Description: 1 item
 

Series 2. Miscellany 1888-1893

Physical Description: 3 folders

Scope and Content Note

This series contains several miscellaneous items found in the Verschoyle archive.

Arrangement

These items are arranged in alphabetical order by author.
Box 1, Folder 2

Anonymous manuscript essay on Shakespeare undated

Box 1, Folder 3

Anonymous, religious text in Latin September 19, 1893

Box 1, Folder 15

Church of England, printed circulars 1888, undated

Physical Description: 2 items