Skip to main content

Correspondence of the Merivale Family, mainly of Walter Merivale, railway engineer, and his wife Emma Magdalene


  • How to

Correspondence of the Merivale family, 1869-1943, mainly of Walter Merivale, railway engineer (1855-1902) and his wife Emma Magdalene (Maggie, 1854-1940) in India from 1881 to 1889, Costa Rica from 1890 to 1892 and Barbados from 1894 to 1899. Letters to and from many different members of the family were circulated and retained by Walter and Maggie. The principal family correspondents are Charles Merivale, Dean of Ely (1808-93), his wife Judith (née Frere), their daughters Maria Sophia (Sophy) and Judith Anne, and sons John Herman and Charles.


  • Creation: 1869-1943


2.25 Linear metres (21 Shelfmarks)

Language of Materials

  • English

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MS. Eng. c. 5239, fols. 1-2].

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

Full range of shelfmarks:

MSS. Eng. c. 5239-5250, d. 2635-2640, e. 2910-2912

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 10017


Correspondence of the Merivale family, 1869-1943, mainly of Walter Merivale, railway engineer in India, Costa Rica and Barbados.

Biographical / Historical

Walter Merivale (1855-1902) was educated at Haileybury College, his first position was with Messrs. Black, Hawthorn and Co., Locomotive Engineers of Gateshead-on-Tyne. He completed a six month apprenticeship with Societe anonyme John Cockerill in Seraing, Belgium and then became a pupil of Mr Alfred R.C Harrison on the North Eastern Railway After finishing his training in 1881 he was employed by the West of India Portuguese Railway Company as Executive Engineer working on the construction of a line to connect Portuguese Goa with the Southern Mahratta system of railways in British India. After falling ill whilst surveying the Sonauli Valley, Walter Merivale took a voyage to Australia. Upon his retun from Australia he married Emma Magdalene (1854-1940) in Bombay and recommenced his work in Sonauli. His work with the West of India Portuguese Railway concluded in 1885. A short time after he joined the Indian Midland Railway becoming District Engineer in charge of the Saugor Division. He left India in 1889 and began working in Costa Rica (1890-1892) surveying a projected railway line. After Costra Rica he was appointed Manager of the Barbados Railway(1894-1899). See - Minutes of the Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers, Volume 149 Issue 1902, 1902, pp. 349-350 PART 3 .

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Given by Mrs. Rosamund Young and (MSS. Eng. c. 5240-2) Miss Judith Bunbury and Mrs. Patricia Barber, 1994.

Correspondence of the Merivale Family, 1869-1943
Language of description
Script of description
Conversion to EAD supported by the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom