Archive reference number: MS 797
The correspondence in this collection is largely concerned with domestic and personal
details of the lives of the Macaulay and Booth families, related by the marriage of Mary Macaulay to Charles Booth in 1871. There are some letters, particularly between Charles and Alfred Booth that relate to the business of their Company. The covering dates of the papers are 1799 to 1967. Most of the Macaulay papers fall within the years 1800-1850 and most of the Booth papers fall within 1860-1916.
The collection contains over 6000 items of correspondence from 359 identified people. The letters were sent by and sent to members of the Macaulay (mainly between 1800 and 1850) and Booth (mainly between 1860 and 1916) families.
The Charles Booth Online Archive will make the catalogue of the collection available online .
Among the papers are 80 letters of Zachary Macaulay (1768-1838), most of them to his nephew Kenneth Macaulay (1780-1841) in India. They are personal letters containing information about Zachary Macaulay's family and friends, his public life and information about Kenneth Macaulay's life in India [archive reference numbers: MS 797 I/5587-I/5670].
The collection contains 19 letters written by Thomas Babington Macaulay (Lord Macaulay), most of them to his brother, C. Z. Macaulay, with a few to his sister Hannah (Trevelyan). Politics, social life, India and the writing and publication of History are among the subjects mentioned [archive reference numbers: MS 797 I/5513-I/5532].
A series of journal letters written by Thomas G. Macaulay (c 1842-c1864), the son of C. Z. Macaulay, describe the life of a young army officer in India during the years 1859 to 1862. They are written in a lively and informal style and provide a chronicle of army life in India during this period [archive reference numbers: MS 797 I/5533- I/5586].
About 450 letters from C.Z. Macaulay (1813-1886) to his daughter Mary ( Mrs Charles Booth) provide a picture of his life and thoughts, mostly during his years of retirement (1866-1886), together with much information about friends and acquaintances, and the daily life of the period [archive reference numbers: MS 797 I/4967- I/5463].
There are about 1000 letters from Charles Booth, [archive reference numbers: MS 797 I/ 1161-I/2308] nearly all to Mary, his wife. Many of them were written from abroad and describe in great detail his travels in America and Brazil, on business and Europe, on holiday. Information about Alfred Booth and Company business is found in the letters from abroad. letters written while Booth was in England are more concerned with family matters, but contain details of his work and news of friends and acquaintances.
The collection contains letters from Charles Booth's business associates, including his brother Alfred Booth, [MS 797 I/59-I/73], Thomas Fletcher, [MS 797 I/4865-I/4868], Esme Howard [MS 797 I/4930-I/4931] and Henry Romilly [MS 797 I/5961-I/5965].
Letters from Ernest Aves [MS 797 I/20- I/39], Jesse Argyle [MS 797 I/6-I/18] and George Duckworth [MS I/4839-I/4848] are largely concerned with the work on Life and Labour of the People of London. Other letters relate to Booth's public work on pensions, housing, etc., or contain criticism of his writings.
Mary Catherine Booth's letters (about 1400 mostly to Charles Booth [MS 797 I/314-1/4565]) are more domestic in character with information about household matters and the children. Friends and acquaintances are often mentioned, public affairs discussed and advice about Booth's work both in business and public matters is frequently given, in reply to his questions. A number of letters from neighbours, friends and relations were written to Mary Booth on her husband's death in 1916. The writers include Anstey Guthrie, Sir James Barrie (writing to G. M. Booth), Frederic Harrison, Sir William Rothenstein and his wife and Virginia Woolf.
Many letters from three of Charles Booth's children are included in the collection. There
are about 1000 letters from Antonia Mary Booth (1873-1957) [MS 797 I/76-I/1150], which complement the letters of her parents, particularly in providing information about the Booth family and contain many details of social and intellectual life, with some information about Charles Booth's work. Two smaller series of letters about 600 letters from Margaret Macaulay Booth (1877-1971) [MS 797 I/2442 - I/3140] and about 400 letters from George Macaulay Booth (1877-1971) [MS 797 I/2312 - I/2423] to Antonia Booth's letters, Their letters written in the 1950s are mainly concerned with T.S. and Margaret Simey's publication Charles Booth: Social Scientist. [MS 797 II/86]
Papers of the Booth family
The second part of the collection includes family deeds, indentures, [MS 797 II/1-9], genealogical information, newspaper cuttings, and fragments and copies of correspondence. The papers also include: a retrospectively compiled diary of Hester Emily Booth (Charles Booth's sister), dated 1842-1905; notes and drafts of essays by Charles Booth relating to religious questions, political economy, social welfare, Irish land laws and Home Rule, and Life and Labour of the People in London [MS 797 II/26-32]; obituaries of Charles Booth; drafts of essays and novels by Mary Catherine Booth; papers relating to the Thringstone Trust, founded by Charles Booth in 1911; travel diaries by Charles Booth, 1862 [MS 797 III/1; and sketches and drawings made by Charles Booth, 1852-1884 [MS 797 III/2-III/132]. There are also sixteen family photographs and negatives [MS 797 II/96]. The collection also contains seven volumes of a family magazine, The Colony, [MS 797 II/24] a family journal, that aimed to represent high-standards of social conscience and discussed issues such as universal suffrage and religion, 1866-1871. The Charles Booth Online Archive has digitised all seven volumes of The Colony - click here to search a catalogue of their pages.