Football and the War

The World Cup is over for another four years but in the last month we have seen the power that football has to arouse strong passions in people. How much stronger such passions can be in times of war and conflict is shown by a pamphlet entitled Football and the War, which we came across when reviewing our collections for the World War I commemorations. The author of the pamphlet, Frederick N. Charrington (1850-1936), a member of the wealthy brewing family who gave up his fortune after converting to Christianity, is best known as a temperance reformer and for his philanthropic work. However, in late 1914 he was prominent in a campaign to halt professional football so that players could join the war effort.

Football and the War

First page of Charrington’s Football and the War which was published late in 1914

Charrington believed that the 7,000 professional footballers should set an example by enlisting and he wanted to see the Football Association free them from their contracts. Furthermore, he thought that the football stadiums should be turned into drill grounds and recruitment centres. He wrote letters to the press, the football association and even the King in support of his idea. For Charrington it was “a National shame and disgrace to our country if we have our best athletes charging one another on the football field instead of charging the Germans on the battlefield.” Charrington was a fiery campaigner. During his campaign against music halls in the 1870s and 1880s he had been arrested several times for harassing patrons and in 1915 he stormed into the House of Commons, took up the Mace and began to protest against the members’ bar. This passion was also evident in his crusade against professional football when he tried to make an unauthorised speech at a game at Fulham’s ground, Craven Cottage, in September1914, and had to be forcibly ejected by two members of club staff, an incident captured by the press photographers in attendance.

Your country needs you

“Your country needs you” – a contemporary press cartoon reproduced in Football and the War

The Football Association decided to continue with the 1914/15 programme and responded to their critics by pointing out that they were making their facilities available for recruiting and that they had made a financial contribution to the war effort. It is clear from Football and the War that Charrington thought that the FA’s response was inadequate. The language and tone of Football and the War are uncompromising. He accuses the players of the national teams of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland of lacking patriotism, writing that:

Men who won’t fight for their country are unfit to represent their country in any capacity. They have not a shred of patriotism in their souls. They are the mountebanks of a great game.

He thinks that after the hostilities cease, the decision to continue playing football will meet with opprobrium:

What will the Belgian and French hosts at whose banquets they will be guests think of the men and the employers of the men who on the other side of the English Channel kicked footballs about when the towns of Belgium and the fields of France were ravaged by the Huns?”

He goes even further and accuses both players and their employers of cowardice, calling them the “white feather brigade” and says that:

On their caps and on their jerseys, in addition to the national emblem the players sport, let each player have a neat white feather worked by loving hands. This will be a perpetual memorial to master and man-to the Football Association and its hirelings-of their selfish cowardice in the hour of Imperial danger.


“Patriotism” – a cartoon by Joseph Morewood Staniforth reproduced in Football and the War

The campaign against professional sport, and football in particular, was not Charrington’s alone and was taken up by the press. Indeed, he included several press photographs and cartoons in the pamphlet. Much of the criticism levelled against the FA and its players was unfair as many players, particularly the unmarried ones, had joined up and the clubs were active in recruitment. Eventually, with dwindling crowds and difficulty in paying players, the FA decided to suspend professional football for the duration of the War. The FA Cup Final of 24 April 1915, the so-called “Khaki-final” because of the numbers of spectators in uniform, was the last major professional game of the war. It was played between Sheffield Wednesday and Chelsea. When presenting the Cup to the victors, Sheffield, Lord Derby said:

You have played with one another and against one another for the Cup; play with one another for England now.

Further Reading

Frederick N. Charrington. Football and the War. London: Book Saloon, [1914]

Cyril A.E. R. Gull. The great acceptance: the life story of F.N. Charrington. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1913.

Derek Birley. “Sportstmen and the deadly game” in J. A. Mangan (ed.) A Sport-loving Society: Victorian and Edwardian Middle-class England at Play. Routledge, 2005

The Young Lions: Archbishop Ramsey and football

As much of the world’s attention turns to the World Cup, we can reveal an unlikely link between football and a former Archbishop of Canterbury.

In 1971, Archbishop Michael Ramsey agreed to a donation of £100 to help set up a team for black South African refugees in Kenya. Ramsey had visited Kenya earlier in the year for the Anglican Consultative Council at Limuru and had granted a group of the refugees an audience. On 14th May he wrote “I look forward to hearing that the cheque has reached you safely and also to receiving any news about the group and its fortunes”. The letter shown here was sent in acknowledgement of the donation.

Letter from the Young Lions  Football Club

Letter from the Young Lions Football Club. Archbishops’ Papers, Ramsey 213, f.260

Ramsey was not noted for an interest in sport, although his period as Archbishop of Canterbury (1961-1974) coincided closely with the tenure of his England manager namesake Sir Alf.

There are many links between the Church and the national winter game. Several prominent English clubs were founded as church sides. Fulham were St. Andrew’s Church Sunday School FC of West Kensington, and Bolton Wanderers began life in 1874 as the Christ Church Sunday School. Everton were originally St.Domingo’s FC, a Sunday School team from St. Domingo’s Methodist Church in the district of Everton in Liverpool.

Arsenal’s former stadium, Highbury, was originally leased in 1913 from St. John’s College of Divinity, which occupied the southern end of the stadium until the end of the Second World War when it burnt down. The original terms of the lease prevented the club from playing on Christmas Day or Good Friday.

St John’s Church, Smith Square at 300

The file, deed and map rooms are full and provision of further storage space… urgently necessary.’

 Words from the minutes of the Estates and Finance Committee of the Church Commissioners in May 1955 that may be all too familiar to archives and records professionals.

Space, it would seem, is always an issue. How to get more of it, and how to better use that available is a recurring discussion for people from all walks of life. In London, space is of a premium. Cramped into the city, space becomes a currency and a commodity to be traded. ‘Head space,’ ‘breathing space,’ ‘living space,’ ‘working space;’ the right kind of space is always the question.

In the mid Twentieth Century the Church Commissioners were becoming increasingly concerned about their space. Needing room to house their expanding collection of records, the Commissioners were for a time keen to pursue a plan under discussion by the Diocese of London to convert a damaged church into an Ecclesiastical Records Office for London.

St John’s Church, Smith Square, is today a renowned concert hall and in May 2014 will celebrate 300 years since its first corner stone was laid on 14th May 1714. The church was built as one of the ‘fifty new churches’ or ‘Queen Anne’ churches built for London. Designed and built by Thomas Archer, the church was seriously damaged during the Second World War and a scheme was proposed to convert the church into a records office and archive for the Diocese of London, in which the Commissioners would rent space. Plans were drawn up by Robert Atkinson for what would have been an impressive space. The plans make provision for an exhibition area, several private study rooms, staff offices and plenty of natural light.

The plans to turn St. John's, Smith Square,  into a record office.

The plans to turn St. John’s, Smith Square, into a record office.


Cross section looking east.

Cross section looking east.

In the end, it was the classic coupling of time and money that ended the Commissioners involvement in the scheme, and they formally extracted themselves from any agreements in 1955. As St John’s get ready to celebrate their 300th birthday, it’s interesting to contemplate the twists and turns and the paths not taken on the road to becoming an acclaimed classical music venue.




Related material:

CC/SEC/T/4 Proposed Ecclesiastical Record Office at St John’s Smith Square: correspondence and papers. Church of England Record Centre

MSS 2690-2750 Commission for the Building of Fifty New Churches (The Queen Anne Churches). Lambeth Palace Library

Completion of the cataloguing of the Stott papers

The fourteen month project to catalogue the personal papers of John Stott (1921-2011) and the complementary collection of research papers from his biographer Bishop Timothy Dudley-Smith is now complete, with the descriptions full searchable via , using the references STOTT* and TDS* for the respective collections.

John Stott’s personal papers primarily document his activities after his time at All Souls Langham Place, focusing as they do on his work as a writer and as a key protagonist in events on the national and international evangelical stage. As previous blog posts (9 July and 11 September 2013) mention, the papers provide rich evidence of Stott’s wide range of professional activities such as his involvement as a founder, supporter and member of a significant number of organisations, including the Church of England Evangelical Council and the Langham Partnership International. However, the papers also crucially provide evidence of the man himself,  his personal faith and his convictions. Within papers lent to Bishop Dudley-Smith for the biography, you can find a fascinating file of correspondence referred to by Stott as ‘Pre-Ordination’ (ref. STOTT/11/3/1). The majority of letters concern the efforts of Stott, his teachers and Cambridge tutors to confirm that Stott had formally declared his wish to be ordained prior to September 1939, and therefore that he might be exempt from military service. It was not, however, just a battle for recognition from the War Office – it also involved a concerted effort to justify his decision to his father Sir Arnold Stott, a physician who served in both World Wars and had high hopes for his son’s career. Sir Arnold  was concerned that John was both rushing into a career in the Church and neglecting his obligation to serve his country. There is a series of letters from John in which he determinedly sets out how strongly he perceived his calling. In one, featured here, he states that- ‘nothing short of complete conviction would bring me to the decision I have made in view of the sorrow I am causing you…I have had a definite and irresistible call from God to serve him…I would not be writing this unless I were convinced in my own mind’. Furthermore, Stott contrasts his father’s involvement in the physical war, with his own involvement in the spiritual war and suggests to his father – ‘I have been called to the one war, you no doubt the other. Both are service to our country’.

Stott's letter of justification to his father STOTT/11/3/1 f. 67 r. and f. 70 r.

Stott’s letter of justification to his father STOTT/11/3/1 f. 67 r. and f. 70 r.

Furthermore, at the time John Stott concluded that he could not, as a Christian, justify fighting in a war. Indeed he made notes, including biblical passages, to support his belief.

Stott's thoughts on justifications for war STOTT/11/3/1 f. 41 r.

Stott’s thoughts on justifications for war STOTT/11/3/1 f. 41 r.

Notably though, as time passed and events on the world stage progressed, Stott came increasingly to believe that under certain circumstances the concept of a ‘just war’ could warrant involvement by Christians. However, his alertness to the pitfalls of war were maintained through his involvement in the debate on nuclear weapons. Indeed, this last point directs us to one of the guiding forces of Stott’s ministry, a keen sense of the importance of maintaining the relevance of Christian faith to the modern world, with both the London Institute of Contemporary Christianity, established by Stott in 1982, and the four editions of his book ‘Issues Facing Christians Today’, bearing testament to that effort.

Books and their Owners III: The Prayer Book of Elizabeth I

Christian Prayers and Meditations in English, French, Italian, Spanish, Greeke, and Latine. London: John Day, 1569

At Lambeth Palace Library we hold the only surviving complete copy of Christian Prayers and Meditations in English, French, Italian, Spanish, Greeke and Latine (London: John Day, 1569). As with the books that we have looked at previously in this series of blog posts, this volume has inscriptions showing its provenance. Notes on the flyleaves outline how it passed from hand-to-hand from the time it was removed from the Wardrobe at Whitehall in the 1640s by a Mr Jolliffe, one of the Keepers, until it was given by Sir Charles Cottrell to Thomas Tenison, Archbishop of Canterbury (1694 to 1715).  Tenison, in his turn, presented the book to Lambeth Palace Library. However, the evidence for this volume’s first owner, Queen Elizabeth I, is less direct but no less convincing.


Christian Prayers and Meditations is beautifully illustrated and has been called ‘a Protestant Book of Hours’.  It is clearly meant to be associated with the monarch; it contains woodcuts of the Royal arms as well as a fine woodcut portrait of Elizabeth with the attributes of Kingship around her (see below). The title page shows the tree of Jesse (above), while the borders in the first part of the book depict the life of Christ and associated Old Testament scenes and those in the second part of the volume show a Dance of Death. Throughout the book the woodcuts have been carefully hand-coloured. The distinctive palette used to colour the illustrations indicate that the work was done by artists employed by Archbishop Matthew Parker at Lambeth Palace. This copy was clearly meant for someone important.


Day took much of the text of this collection of prayers from Henry Bull’s Christian Prayers and Holie Meditations, which had been published the previous year. Some of the prayers included in the volume were original compositions, however. Several of the prayers refer to the Queen in the first person. One such prayer, A Prayer for wisdom to governe the Realme, is somewhat reminiscent of Elizabeth’s famous Tilbury speech in its wording, with phrases such as “I thy handmaide, being by kinde aweake woman… ” Other prayers that refer to the Queen in the first person include four prayers for use in time of sickness. It has been suggested that the Queen composed these prayers as well as the prayers in Greek, Latin, Spanish and Italian that appear at the end of the book herself. Indeed, they have been published as part of her collected works. S. W May, however, takes the contrary view and argues that, while the publication of the book was approved by the Queen, the prayers in it were not written by her.

Whatever the truth about the authorship of the prayers the Lambeth Palace Library copy has a unique textual variation which gives a clue to the original owner of this copy of Christian Prayers and Meditations.  Unlike other copies of this book, references to the Queen in the Litany are in the first person, providing clear evidence, as Robert Harding has pointed out, that this copy was meant for the Queen’s personal use. Taken together with the evidence that the book came from the palace at Whitehall and that it was coloured in Parker’s workshop here at Lambeth, it is safe to conclude that this was a presentation copy for Elizabeth. Whether she ever used it is a very different matter!

Further reading

Robert Harding, “The Prayer Book of Elizabeth I” in Richard Palmer and Michelle P.  Brown, Lambeth Palace Library: Treasures from the Collection of the Archbishop of Canterbury. London: Scala, 2010

Elizabeth Evenden. Patents, Pictures and Patronage: John Day and the Tudor Book Trade. London: Ashgate, 2008

Leah S. Marcus, Janel Mueller, Mary Beth Rose (eds.),  Elizabeth I: Collected Works. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000

R. S. Luborsky and E. M. Ingram,  A Guide to English Illustrated Books 1536-1603. Tempe: Medieval & Renaissance Texts & Studies,1998

S.W. May, ‘Queen Elizabeth Prays for the Living and the Dead’, in P. Beal and G. Ioppolo (eds.), Elizabeth I and the Culture of Writing. London: British Library, 2007

S. W. May (ed.) Queen Elizabeth I: Selected Works. Washington Square Press: New York, 2005

With a little help from our Friends: the Audley Psalter

Psalterium, first half of 15th century, Lambeth Palace Library MS 3285, The Audley Psalter

This year is the fiftieth anniversary of the foundation of the Friends of Lambeth Palace Library. During the past half-century the Friends have been very generous in helping the Library acquire books, manuscripts and prints of the highest quality for its collections. Of all the wonderful items which the Friends have helped us to acquire one of our particular favourites is the Audley Psalter. Acquired in 1982 it represented the first addition to the Library’s collection of illuminated medieval manuscripts since the 18th century. It was written and illuminated in England in the first half of the 15th century but has 16th century additions and its illuminated title-page dates from the 19th century.

King David with Harp

The end of the Calendar and the start of the Psalms with King David playing his Harp. LPL MS 3285 ff. 6v.-7r.

It once belonged to Edmund Audley (d.1524) who, when Bishop of Salisbury (1502-24), gave it to his niece Anne Audley, then a nun at Shaftesbury Abbey. There is an ex dono inscription on f.191 which reads:

Liber iste pertinet domine Anne Awdeley, moniali monasterii shaston’, ex dono reverendi domini domini (sic) Edmundi Awdeley, Sarum episcopi as avvnculi predicte domine.

Ex dono inscription from Bishop to Audley to his niece. LPL MS 3285 f.191

Ex dono inscription from Bishop to Audley to his niece. LPL MS 3285 f.191

The name Anne Awdeley also appears on f.2. In her turn, Anne gave it  to the convent and it is one of only a handful of manuscripts that survive from the Abbey library.

It is very attractively decorated and, as well as a number of accomplished borders, it also contains eight historiated 5 to 6-line initials, most of which depict King David, the traditional author of the Psalms. These are: David playing the harp ; David slaying the Lion ; David and Goliath ; the Annointing of David ; David in the waters ; David before the Ark and David with a group of clerics before a lectern. The final initial is a representation of the Trinity. They may not be of the highest artistic quality but they are lovely just the same.

David and Goliath. Note the sling in David's hand. f.61v.

David and Goliath. Note the sling in David’s hand. LPL MS 3285, f.61v.

We are grateful for the support of the Friends of Lambeth Palace Library and over in the coming year we will be presenting more treasures from our collections which they have helped us acquire.

Further reading

David N. Bell, What nuns read: books and libraries in medieval English nunneries (Cistercian Publications,1995)

J. Luxford, The Art and Architecture of English Benedictine Monasteries, 1300-1540: A Patronage History (Boydell, 2005)

Richard W. Pfaff, The liturgy in medieval England: a history (CUP, 2009)

Kathleen L. Scott, Later Gothic Manuscripts, 1390-1490 (Survey of manuscripts illuminated in the British Isles, Vol. 6) (Brepols,1996)

The negligent choir of Westminster

Lambeth Palace Library regularly loans items from its collections to other institutions for their exhibitions. For example, in 2013 the Death Warrant of Mary, Queen of Scots was lent to the National Museums Scotland for a major exhibition on the life of that ill-fated Queen and a copy of Basilika: the workes of King Charles the Martyr, that had been expurgated by the Inquisition in Lisbon, was lent to Tate Britain for their exhibition Art under Attack: Histories of British Iconoclasm. We have had many requests for exhibition loans for this year and next and earlier this month one of our conservators installed a book at the Foundling Museum as part of an exciting new exhibition.

Annotated Coronation Service

Annotated copy of Coronation service of George II

The book in question was presented to the Library by Archbishop Secker in 1767 and is entitled The form and order of the service that is to be performed and of the ceremonies that are to be observed, in the coronation of their Majesties King George II and Queen Caroline, in the Abby Church of S. Peter, Westminster, on Wednesday the 11th of October, 1727 (London:  John Baskett, 1727). It is known as Lambeth Palace Library MS 1079b, as it is heavily annotated by Archbishop William Wake, who presided at the coronation.

The service does not seem to have gone as well as it might have, as Wake’s annotations in the book make clear. He notes, for example, that the first anthem was omitted due to “the negligence of the choir of Westminster”and describes a later anthem as being sung “in confusion”. Even Zadok the Priest, the  anthem composed especially for the Coronation of George II, and sung at the coronation of every British monarch since, was sung in the wrong place.

If you would like to see this fascinating book it is on display in By George! Handel’s Music for Royal Occasions, which runs from 7 February to 18 May 2014 at the Foundling Museum, 40 Brunswick Square, London WC1N 1AZ.