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Archive of the Clough family


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Material relating to the family of Reverend John Clough includes correspondence and much photographic material.

There is also material relating to the family of Clough's wife, the Kennys.


  • Creation: 1682-2007


3.0 Linear metres (19 physical shelfmarks)

Language of Materials

  • English

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MSS. Brit. Emp. s. 581/1/1, fols. 1-2].

Please see our help page for further guidance on citing archives and manuscripts.

Full range of shelfmarks:

MSS. Brit. Emp. s. 581/1-19

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 1262


Papers relating to the Clough family, principally Reverend John Clough (1835-1920), his wife Amy Louisa Clough (1852-1934) née Kenny, and four of their fifteen children: Mabel, Henry, Margret, and Joan. There is also material relating to the connected Kenny and Bland families.

Biographical / Historical

John Clough, son of John Clough of Newbald Hall, Yorkshire, and Rosina Clough née Cumberland, was born in 1835. After taking a degree at Brasenose College, Oxford, he went into the Church, becoming a deacon in 1859 and a priest in 1860. Following a couple of curacies, he joined the Bengal Ecclesiastical Establishment as an army chaplain from 1863 to 1873, serving at Rangoon, 1863-1865, and Toungoo in British Burma, 1863-1873. Whilst there he met his wife, Amy Louisa Kenny, daughter of a Colonel in the Madras Army. They married in 1867 when she was aged fifteen and a half years old and he was nearly twenty years her senior, after the death of her father necessitated the removal of her mother and family to England. Their early marriage was predicated on John's unwillingness to tolerate a long period of separation. In 1873 he was presented to the rectorship of Clifton in Nottinghamshire. The living had an annual income of £575. Amy Louisa and their children preceded him to England, going ashore whilst their ship was quarantined due to a bout of smallpox amongst the crew; the cargo vessel carrying their silver, saddling, and guns sank off Persia, some of which was later salvaged. Initially Amy Louisa stayed at Newbald Hall with John's brother; they arrived at Clifton on her 21st birthday. In 1889, John became rector of the neighbouring parish of Wilford, a post he held until his death in 1920. The Rectory was too small for the new rector's large family and was enlarged. Joan Welcome gives a long description of the house and the life of the children in a manuscript account of her family history that she began but does not seem to have finished. In total, John and Amy Louisa had fifteen children, born between 1868 and 1895. John died in 1920 and Amy Louisa in 1934.

Four of the children feature prominently in the family papers. Mabel Clough, known as "Maillie", was born in 1874, and married Arthur Sclater, travelling with him when he went to Helvetia near Melsetter in South Rhodesia as a pioneer farmer. She died in England and was buried at Wilford rectory in 1919. Arthur subsequently married her sister, Cicely.

Henry Kenny Clough, O.B.E., born 1876 and died 1970, known as "Laddie", was a soldier who served in the trenches during the First World War with the King's Own (Royal Lancaster) Regiment. In retirement he was a Military Knight of Windsor; his funeral was held at St. George's Chapel Windsor.

Margret Clough, "Mag", born in 1890, the twin of Cicely, married an electrical engineer, Charles Roxberry Bland (born 1883), at St Paul's Cathedral, Calcutta, in 1916. She died in 1990. [Her daughter, Cicely Mayne, undertook research into family history, communicating in the 1980s with Paul Kenny, a relation from New Zealand, who provided other material in this collection.]

Lastly, Joan Welcome Clough, the unexpected youngest child of John and Amy Louisa, was born in 1895. During the First World War she worked at a munitions factory at Chilwell in Nottinghamshire, and was awarded an O.B.E. in 1919 for her actions during an explosion at the factory in 1918. In the 1930s she married Hugh Kirby and lived in India in the 1940s, before returning to Britain in 1947, having inherited Wellington Lodge in Cheltenham from her aunt, Alice Holt, the previous year. She died in 1987.

Amy Louisa's Kenny family had for several generations served in the military establishment in India. One connexion, Lieutenant-Colonel William Kenny, of the 11th Madras Native Infantry, died in 1804 of wounds sustained leading the storming party at the siege of Gawlighur in 1803. Her father, Thomas Geils Edward Gammell Kenny was born in Norwich in 1804, the son of Captain Courtney Crowe Kenny and Mary, daughter of General Geils, an officer in the Indian army of Scottish ancestry. Educated at Sandhurst, he went to India as a cadet together with two brothers, arriving there in 1820, and going on to serve actively for 45 years in various positions, including as Commandant of the frontier station at Toungoo in British Burma from 1863, where his daughter met her future husband. After two years of sick leave he died of cholera in 1867. His wife returned to England, various members of the family ultimately emigrating to New Zealand; Amy Louisa would resume contact with some of her relations there in the 1920s.


The collection is broadly arranged by the type of material contained: correspondence, photographic, and family history and miscellaneous material. Within these categories it is organized chronologically and by family.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The papers were donated in 2004 by Susan Boyd, Reverend John Clough's great-granddaughter.

Catalogue of the Clough family archive
Finding aid prepared by Benjamin Arnold, Marion Lowman and Lucy McCann
Language of description
Script of description
Cataloguing of the papers was funded by Mrs. Susan Boyd

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom