The Godley Letters

John Arthur Godley came to Radley in 1857 aged 10, under the Wardenship of William Sewell. He left upon Sewell’s resignation in 1861 and went on to Rugby School. Godley had a distinguished academic career at Oxford, winning the Latin Verse Prize, the Gaisford Verse Prize and the Prose Prize. He became Private Secretary to Gladstone, head of the Inland Revenue and Permanent Under-Secretary of State for India. He was raised to the peerage as Baron Kilbracken in 1909. He was a Trustee of the British Museum.

The letters were transcribed by A.K. Boyd from an unknown set of originals in the 1940s-1950s.

St. Peter’s Coll. Radley. Sunday: Feb 14/58
My dear Mother
Thank you very much indeed for the parcel … The chocolate was very good indeed … Would you be kind enough to get something for me I want very much. That is, a psalter. The formal name for it is …The Psalter: as used in St. Columba’s Colledge. … You will get it at Crammer & Co., Regent St., or at J. & J. Rivington, St. Paul’s Churchyard
J.A. Godley

It is interesting to note from this that by 1856 Sewell had already suppressed the Psalter which Singleton had arranged specifically for Radley in 1847, and had reverted to a Psalter which was designed for his earlier foundation of St. Columba’s in Ireland.

Papers of Baron Kilbracken at the National Register of Archives

Papers of John Robert Godley at the National Register of Archives

Baron Kilbracken in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography