Archive Collection icon Archive Collection: Cecil Lay correspondence and papers

Details

Title: Cecil Lay correspondence and papers

Level: Collection 

Classmark: BC MS 20c Lay

Creator(s): Lay, Cecil Howard (1885-1956)

Date: c.1870-1981

Main language: English

Size and medium: 25 boxes, 9 vols, and 8 pamphlets; manuscript, typescript, photographs, postcards, press cuttings, and printed material (some photocopy).

Persistent link: https://explore.library.leeds.ac.uk/special-collections-explore/8545 

Collection group(s): English Literature

Referencing help | Visit Special Collections

Description

Comprises: (1) 10 boxes of correspondence, including 6 boxes of Lay's letters to his wife Joan dated 1926-1956, 2 boxes of letters to Lay from many other correspondents, 1 box of letters from Lay to Elfrida Thornycroft dated 1928-1955, and 1 box of letters from various other correspondents, including Sir Frank Brangwyn, to Lay; (2) 7 boxes of Lay's autograph manuscript and typescript drafts of his poems, probably dating from ca. 1925 until his death, totalling at least 1000, including some galley proofs and printers' copies; (3) 3 boxes of similar drafts of his prose works, consisting largely of literary essays, stories, and architectural and artistic articles, with some journalism and humorous writing, of uncertain date, but probably starting in the early decades of the twentieth century; (4) 3 boxes of press cuttings, including reviews of his books, reviews of exhibitions to which he contributed paintings, and his many letters to the press, dating from about 1927 until his death, together with an old newspaper scrapbook of such cuttings; (5) 1 box of miscellaneous other items, including Brangwyn's sketches and Christmas cards, the Parkin Gallery Exhibition papers, and articles on Lay by R.L. MÌgroz and Christopher Ravilious; (6) 1 box of personalia and biographical items, including juvenilia, Lay's school reports, his war documents and badge, family photographs, including one of his father aged about 14 years of age (i.e. ca. 1870), his parents' marriage certificate, his own birth, marriage, and death certificates, sketches drawn by him, photographs of some of his paintings, and correspondence concerning a Clodd Memorial plaque which he advocated; (7) Steven Tuohy's 1980 thesis devoted to Lay, which has further details of the contents of the collection; (8) 1 volume, now empty, which, according to a typed list on the outside front cover, once held certain letters to Lay from various well-known correspondents; (9) 7 vols of his published poems, including, 'Sparrows' (1927), 'Grotesques and Arabesques' (1928), 'In and out' (1930), 'April's Foal' (1932), 'To Suffolk' (2nd edition, [1937]), 'The collected poems of Cecil Lay' (1962), and 'An Adder in June' (1978); and (10) 8 pamphlets published by Lay, including, 3 copies of 'Love's Ethic' (1922), 'Seven poems' (1932), 'Ha and He' (1933), 'Samples' (1934), 'To Suffolk' (3rd edition, n.d.), and 'Eight poems' (n.d.).

Includes several sketches, a few Christmas cards, personal documents, certificates, and a badge.

Administrative or biographical history

Cecil Howard Lay, the Suffolk poet, painter, and architect, was born in the village of Aldringham on 3 April 1885. His father, who came from an Essex sea-faring family, was the village schoolmaster for forty years. C.H. Lay was educated at the Queen Elizabeth School at Ipswich and the Architectural Association, London. He was elected an Associate of the R.I.B.A. in 1912 and a Fellow in 1925. After visits to Belgium and Holland to study paintings, he returned to live in Aldringham until his death on 6 February 1956. He married his wife Joan (née Chadburn) in 1932, but they had no children. Apart from his poetry, painting, and architecture, his chief interests were the local countryside and his friends there. He was also an antiquarian. His first collection of poems, 'Sparrows', was published in 1927, and was followed by several other collections, but his 'Collected poems' was not published until 1962, posthumously. He is buried in Aldringham village churchyard.

Access and usage

Access

This collection is subject to various access conditions. Please see individual catalogue descriptions for further details on access.

Visit Special Collections

Related people and organisations

Brangwyn, Frank Brangwyn, Frank

Lay, Joan Lay, Joan

Related subjects

WARNING: many of our records have not been classified by subject. So if you search our catalogue by subject using the links below then you are unlikely to find all relevant records. But you will find some...

English poetry

Letters

Art, English

Collection hierarchy 

This archive only has a description of the entire collection. An archive hierarchy is not available.

What is an archive hierarchy?

Catalogues of archives are usually arranged in hierarchies - one hierarchy for each collection in the archive. The details on display will be of a record at a particular level of the hierarchy. There may be other records above, below, or alongside this record in the same hierarchy. The full hierarchy is shown below.

Learn more about archive hierarchies

What is the Level?

Catalogues of archives are usually arranged in hierarchies - one hierarchy for each collection in the archive. The details on display will be of a record at a particular level of the hierarchy. There may be other records above, below, or alongside this record in the same hierarchy. You can see the full hierarchy under 'In this collection'.

Learn more about archive hierarchies


Contact us