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George Butterworth war diary and letters, with later papers

 Single Item
MS. 6242
Held in our offsite storage facility

  • Request

Part of George Butterworth's archive comprising mainly of his war diary, with additional manuscript and printed material. The collection includes:

  1. Four reports from Eton College signed by C. H. Lloyd, Music Instructor, 1899-1904.
  2. George Butterworth's war diary in a form of loose leaves, a notebook and letters to his father Sir Alexander Kaye Butterworth (1854–1946) and future step-mother Dorothea Mavor (1897-1954), Aug 1914-29 Jul 1916. These come with Sir Alexander's note of 1937. An index to these and earlier letters (7 May 1911-17 Sep 1914) is also present.
  3. Additional letters to: Sir Alexander Kaye Butterworth from: Cyril Alington (n.d.), H. E. D. Blakiston (4 Jun 1918), R. P. L. Booker (4 Jun 1918), Sir Adrian Boult (17 Jul 1942), G. Brooksbank (14 Nov 1917), G. Elwes (18 Apr 1918), T. Hornsby (9 Jul 1918), Imperial War Graves Commission (21 Apr 1926 and 7 Dec 1928), Baron Joicey (12 Aug 1916), Baron Knaresborough (15 Aug 1916), R. Lennard (14 Nov 1917, 17 Dec 1917 and 21 May 1918), R. H. Lightfoot (14 Jun 1918), E. Speyer (19 Sep 1919), War Office (telegram 31 Jul 1916) and B. Wood-Hill (13 Jan 1918). These letters contain either condolences or memoirs, with the latter reproduced in the memorial volume of 1918. Here is also a letter from Sir Alexander to George Butterworth (26 Sep 1914) encouring his son to continue his war diary.
  4. Envelope listing names of the correspondents to Sir Alexander. Letters from the following are not present: Ralph Vaughan William, Lucy Broadwood, H. C. Colles and Mrs Vaughan Williams.
  5. Postcard of English Folk Dance Society members, including Butterworth and Cecil Sharp, in Stratford-upon-Avon c.1912, from a photograph by F. D. Spencer.
  6. List of items in 'Small parcel labelled "Folk songs"' and 'Larger parcel labelled "Compositions, sketches, and orchestral parts"'. The contents of the former is probably in the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library, London and the latter in the Bodleian Library, Oxford.
  7. Two printed items: part of RCM Magazine (vol. 10 no.2, 1914) with George Butterworth's article 'Vaughan Williams's "London" symphony' and press cutting from the Rochdale Observer (n.d.) with article 'George Butterworth's songs: a composer of local interest'.


  • Creation: 1914-1942, n.d.


1 box (5 folders)

Language of Materials

  • English

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MS. 6242].

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


MS. 6242

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 6242


Diaries, letters and other material related mainly to George Butterworth and the war he fought in. 1914-1942, n.d.

Biographical / Historical

George Butterworth (1885-1916) was a composer and collector of folk music. Further details of his life and work can be found at Oxford Music Online.

Other Finding Aids

A significant portion of the diaries and letters are reproduced in George Butterworth 1885-1916 (Printed for private circulation only, 1918), reprinted with additional introductions as George Butterworth memorial volume - centenary edition (Oxfod: Youcaxton Publication, 2015).

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Margaret Croft, 24 May 2008.

Related Materials

The Bodleian holds a significant collection of Butterwoth material, including his music manuscripts. Please refer to the Library's catalogues.

Catalogue of George Butterworth diaries and letters, 1914-1942, n.d.
Margaret Czepiel
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom