Guide to the Papers of the Acland Family (as filmed by the AJCP)


M2055 - M2059

National Library of Australia View Catalogue Record

Created: 2018

Collection Summary

Acland (Family)
Papers of the Acland Family (as filmed by the AJCP)
Date Range
1840 - 1902
Collection Number
M2055 - M2059
40 items
Language of Materials
Australian Joint Copying Project
The Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP) online portal was created with the assistance of the Australian Public Service Modernisation Fund, 2017-2020. The National Library of Australia gratefully acknowledges the contribution of the other foundation AJCP partners, the State Library of New South Wales and The National Archives of the UK, and all other organisations which supported the work of the AJCP, the world's most extensive collaborative copying project, operating from 1948 to 1997.


Scope and Contents

Correspondence, diaries, newspaper cuttings and a photograph album.

The diaries 1863-93 of Joanna Harper contain brief entries referring to family activities, visitors, social events, shopping, church services, health, music and weather. Her letters contain family news, news from Australia and New Zealand, social events and church affairs.

The journal and letters 1897-98 of Francis Acland refer to social and sporting events, schools, universities, paintings, and governors and politicians in Australia and New Zealand.

Correspondents include Joanna Harper, J.B. Acland, Bishop G.A. Selwyn, Bishop Henry J.C. Harper, Sir Fairfax Moresby, Sir Francis Acland and Sir Thomas Acland.

Conditions Governing Access

Available for Access.

Conditions Governing Use

Many of the records digitised as part of the AJCP are still in copyright. Readers wishing to publish or reproduce documents should seek permission, in the first instance, from the owner of the original material.

Preferred Citation

Acknowledgement of use of this material should refer to the location of the original material and to the Australian Joint Copying Project.

Items from this collection should include references to the location of the original material and to the AJCP nla.obj number, which serves as the online identifier for the digital copy.

Example: M Series: Journal of Capt. James Cook, 18 February 1770, British Library Add. MS 27885 (AJCP ref:

Archival History

Material selectively filmed as part of the Australian Joint Copying Project, 1985 (AJCP Reels: M2055-M2059). Original microfilm digitised as part of the AJCP Online Delivery Project, 2017-2020.

Existence and Location of Originals

South West Heritage Trust: Devon Archives and Local Studies (formerly Devon Record Office. Castle Street, Exeter, Devonshire).

Collection reference: 1148M, 2851M, 2862M, 51/12.

For further information see South West Heritage Trust: Devon Archives Catalogue (

Existence and Location of Copies

The original AJCP microfilm of the records filmed from this collection is available at the National Library of Australia [] as well as other institutions holding AJCP microfilm.

The papers of Sir Henry W. Acland (1815-1900) are held in the Bodleian Library, Oxford University, and selections from them have been filmed by the AJCP: M1924-M1926 Collections held by the Bodleian Library relating to the British colonies (

Finding-aid Notes

This finding aid is a revised online version of the original finding aid prepared by the Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP), published by the National Library of Australia in 2018. The original AJCP finding aids were unpublished typescripts or photocopies available from libraries that held copies of the original microfilm.

Dates used in this finding aid refer to the date range of the records selected for filming rather than to the date range of the Series or Files.


Acland Family; Acland, John B.A. ; Acland, Sir Francis D.; Acland, Sir Thomas; Anglican Church: New Zealand; Australia: politics and government; Education; Harper, Henry J.C., Bishop; Harper, Joanna; Moresby, Sir Fairfax; Music; New Zealand; New Zealand Wars; New Zealand: politics and government; Schools: Australia; Schools: New Zealand; Selwyn, George A., Bishop; Sport; Universities


Originally cited in Australian Joint Copying Project Handbook. Part 8: Miscellaneous (M) Series. Third Edition, published 1998. Entry 4, p2.

Biographical / Historical

The family members included Sir Thomas Dyke Acland (1809-1848), John Barton Arundel Acland (1823-1904), Sir Charles Dyke Acland (1842-1919), Sir Francis Dyke Acland (1874-1934) and Joanna Harper (nee Acland). Harper emigrated to New Zealand with her husband in 1864, returning to England in 1892-93. Sir Francis Acland visited Australia and New Zealand in 1897-98. The family includes:

Sir Thomas Dyke Acland (1787-1871), 10th Baronet (succeeded 1794), Tory M.P. 1812-18, 1820-31, 1837-57.

Sir Thomas Dyke Acland (1809-1898), 11th Baronet (succeeded 1871), educational reformer, Conservative M.P. 1837-47, Liberal M.P. 1865-86.

Arthur Henry Dyke Acland (1811-1857), son of 10th Baronet, assumed surname Troyte in 1852.

Sir Henry Wentworth Acland (1815-1900), 1st Baronet (created 1890), son of 10th Baronet, Professor of Medicine, University of Oxford, 1857-94.

John Barton Arundel Acland (1823-1904), son of 10th Baronet, barrister, emigrated to New Zealand 1855, established station at Mount Peel. Member of Legislative Council, 1863-97. Married Emily Harper, daughter of H.J.C. Harper, Bishop of Christchurch.

Sir Charles Thomas Dyke Acland (1842-1919), 12th Baronet (succeeded 1898), barrister, Liberal M.P. 1882-92.

Sir Arthur Herbert Dyke Acland (1847-1926), 13th Baronet (succeeded 1919), brother of 12th Baronet, tutor at Keble College 1872-75, Principal of Oxford Military School 1875-77, Steward of Christ Church, Oxford, 1879-85, Senior Bursar of Balliol College 1884-88, Liberal M.P. 1885-99, Vice-President of Committee of Council of Education 1892-95.

Joanna Troyte (d. 1917), daughter of Arthur H.D. Acland, married Leonard Harper, barrister, son of Bishop H.J.C. Harper.

Sir Francis Dyke Acland (1874-1939), 14th Baronet (succeeded 1926), Liberal M.P. 1906-24, 1932-39, Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs 1911-15, Financial Secretary to Treasury 1915, married Eleanor Cropper (d. 1933).

Item Descriptions

Fonds 1148M. Acland of Killerton Papers (Broadclyst), 30 December 1840 - 1898

22 items

Archival History

Originally filmed on AJCP Reels M2055-M2056.

Series. 1st Deposit, 30 December 1840 - 1898

Joanna Harper (Canterbury, N.Z.) to C.T.D. Acland, July 1871 - September 1871 (File 6 [Box 3])

Visit of C. Acland to New Zealand; litigation; family news; J. Hector; Bishop J.C. Harper; death of Sir Thomas Acland.

(4 letters)

L. Mort (Sydney) to C. Acland, 22 June 1869 (File 22 [Box 6])

Plans of Acland to visit southern hemisphere; life in N.S.W.; station on Namoi River; purchase by Garnett of property on Barcoo River; bachelor life.

T.D.D. Harper (Christchurch) to C. Acland, 29 August 1874 (File 22 [Box 6])

Family news.

Bishop G.A. Selwyn (Auckland) to Sir Thomas Acland, 20 February 1850 (File 20 [Box 8])

Loss of Veitch's plants on long voyage of Acheron; return of New Zealand plants; cruise with Capt. Erskine to New Caledonia; missionary work in Melanesia.

(1 letter)

Appeal on behalf of Christ's College, Tasmania. (Printed. 12pp), [c.1850] (File 17 [Box 11 (ii)])
G.R. Farmer (Bideford) to Sir Thomas Acland, 10 November 1841 (File 29 [Box 11 (ii)])

Invention of process for preparing flax; urges Acland to bring it to attention of New Zealand Company and Admiralty; suitability of Thames River (N.Z.) for mills; advantages in making Britain independent of Russia and in inducing operatives to emigrate.

Joanna Harper (Christchurch) to Lady Acland, 8 January 1889 (File 6 [Box 16])

News of son; social events; Arthur Acland.

(1 letter)

C.J. La Trobe (Melbourne) to Sir Thomas Acland, 30 December 1840 (File 7 [Box 19])

Thanks for Surveys of Beagle; progress of Port Phillip; weakness of Church; growth of dissent and democracy in colonies.

Admiral Sir Fairfax Moresby (H.M.S. Portland) to Sir Thomas Acland, 31 July 1852 - 30 August 1852 (File 12 [Box 19])

Account of Pacific cruise, including visit to Marquesas; relations with natives, beachcombers; treatment of missionaries by French authorities at Tahiti; Queen Pomare; Pitcairn Island; M. Quintal; Mobbs; visits of whalers; need for Pitcairn Islanders to be tranferred elsewhere. (14pp.)

Admiral Sir Fairfax Moresby (Valparaiso) to Sir Thomas Acland, 1 September 1852 (File 12 [Box 19])

Refers to Pitcairn Islanders on H.M.S. Portland.

Bishop G.A. Selwyn (Auckland) to Sir Thomas Acland, 19 April 1844 (File 16 [Box 21 (iv)])

Thanks for books; solitude of library at Kerikeri; St John's College.

(2 letters)

Bishop J.C. Harper (Christchurch) to Acland, 13 February 1869 (File 16 [Box 21 (iv)])

Establishment of Irish Church; claims of Bishop H.Jenner to See of Dunedin; achievements of Canterbury College.

Sir Fairfax Moresby (Valparaiso) to Sir Thomas Acland, 25 February 1852 (File 22 [Box 21 (iv)])

Pacific surveys; accounts of starvation on Pictora Island; proposed transfer of Pitcairn Islanders to Norfolk Island; piracy in Magellan Straits.

Sir Fairfax Moresby to Sir Thomas Acland, 2 March 1852 (File 22 [Box 21 (iv)])

Rebellion on Chile; affairs of Pacific Station; possible visit to Pitcairn Island.

J.B. Acland (Auckland, Wellington, Rangitata) to Sir Thomas Acland and Charles Acland, 1872 - 1889 (File 37 [Box 21 (iv)])

Family news; ascent of Mt Cook (1882); British politics; Church establishment; property transactions; Christchurch Cathedral Fund; rabbit pestilence; Sir George Grey; criticisms of governors.

(11 letters)

Papers concerning bankruptcy of Harper & Co., land agents and solicitors, of Christchurch, 1893 - 1898 (File 3 [Box 22])

Correspondents include J.B. Acland (Rangitata), A. Mills (Bude), A.P. Harper (London), Sir Thomas Acland, W. Battishill (Exeter).

(23 docs.)

Series Add. 14. Series I, 1867-07-29 - 1900?

Subseries 44-99. Correspondence of Sir Thomas Acland, 11th. Bart, 1867-07-29 - 1900?

Filmed selectively.

Bishop A. Short to T.D. Acland, 29 July 1867 (File 75)

Insertion of conscience clause in School Trust deeds; South Australian system and exclusion of denominational catechisms. (copy)

J. Martin (Plymouth) to Acland, 29 May [1900?] (File 99)

Travels in New Zealand; visit to Mt Peel and Dunedin; golf; mutual friends; plans to settle in New Zealand.

Series Add. 14. Series II, 18 June 1896 - July 1898

Subseries 8-125. Papers of Sir Francis Acland, 14th Bart, November 1897 - July 1898
Letters of Francis Acland to his parents, November 1897 - July 1898 (File 8)

Very long letters describing voyage to Australia on S.S. Himalaya via Suez and Colombo and visits to Adelaide, Ballarat, Melbourne, Hobart, Milford Sound, Dunedin, Christchurch, Wanganui, Auckland, Sydney, Bungendore, Coolangatta, Brisbane, Port Darwin, Hong Kong, Peking and Vancouver. They refer to social events, concerts, cricket, schools, universities, politics, paintings, mines, landscape, Capt. Wallington, Lord Brassey, Acland and Harper Families, Sir Oswald Gibbs, R. Seddon, Sir James Hector, P.H.Osborne, G.H. Reid.

(38 letters)

Journal of Francis Acland, 4 March 1898 - 2 July 1898 (File 9)

Very detailed journal describing latter part of travels in New Zealand and Australia. Subjects are similar to those of letters in 8. Includes some sketches.

Also photographs, mostly unidentified, including several of Acland Family at Mount Peel, New Zealand.


Subseries 126-984. Papers of Eleanor Acland, 18 June 1896 - 23 December 1896

Filmed selectively.

W.J. Conybeare (Adelaide) to Eleanor Cropper, 18 June 1896 (File 156)

Birthday greetings; work as Private Secretary to Governor; impending visit to River Murray village settlements run on communist principles.

W.J. Conybeare to Eleanor Cropper, 23 December 1896 (File 166)

Social events; music in Adelaide; relations with Buxton Family.

Fonds 2851M. Papers of Troyte and Harper Families, 1857 - 1902

8 items

Archival History

Originally filmed on AJCP Reels M2056-M2059.

Diaries of Joanna Harper nee Acland, 1863 - 1893 (File F1-19)

Filmed selectively.

Biographical / Historical

Joanna Troyte married Leonard Harper in June 1864 and they emigrated to New Zealand in Oct. 1864-Jan. 1865 on S.S. London. They lived at Christchurch, where Leonard Harper conducted land agency and legal business. Following the collapse of his company, the Harper family returned to England in 1892-93. The diaries contain brief entries referring to family activities, visitors, social events, shopping, church services, health, music and weather.

Diary, 1863 - 1864 (Item F 3)
Diary, 1864 - 1870 (Item F 4)
Diary, 1870 - 1875 (Item F 5)
Diary, 1875 - 1878 (Item F 6)
Diary, 1881 - 1883 (Item F 7)
Diary, 1883 - 1885 (Item F 8)
Diary, 1886 - 1889 (Item F 9)
Diary, 1889 - 1891 (Item F10)
Diary, 1891 - 1893 (Item F11)

Letters of Joanna Harper to her aunt, Agnes Mills, 1864 - 1878 (File F20)

Written at Christchurch, Ilam, Timaru and elsewhere in New Zealand, the detailed letters refer to the voyage to New Zealand in 1864-65, family news, health, social events, travels, Church affairs, English news, isolation of New Zealand.

(46 letters)

Letters of Joanna Harper to her sister Frances Bere, 1863 - 1888 (File F21)

Detailed letters, usually intended to be circulated among family in England. They refer to voyage to New Zealand in 1864-65, family news, social events, travels, Church affairs and English news.

(61 letters)

Newspaper cuttings, 1897 (File F24)

Newspaper reviews of Arthur P. Harper. Pioneer work in the Alps of New Zealand, 1897.

(1 vol.)

Reminiscences of Joanna Harper, c. 1901 (File F25)

Reminiscences by Joanna Harper of her children: Arthur P. Harper (b. 1865), C. Coleridge Harper (b. 1866), Leonard L. Harper (1868-1897), Clara A.C. Harper (b. 1870), Henry T.A. Harper (b. 1872), John E.T. Harper (b. 1874), Reginald T. Harper (b. 1876), Joanna D. Harper (b. 1879), Joan A. Harper (b. 1883).

Also short account, entitled 'Our ruin', of years 1891-1900.

(1 vol.)

Reminiscences of Joanna Harper, c. 1902 (File F26)

Reminiscences by Joanna Harper covering period 1895-1902.


Photograph of Joanna Harper, c. 1900 (File F28)


Fonds 2862M. Papers of Acland and Anson Families, May 1884 - 26 January 1885

3 items

Archival History

Originally filmed on AJCP Reel M2059.

Series F. Family, May 1884 - 26 January 1885

Subseries F452-91. Letters to Agnes Acland, daughter of Sir Thomas Acland, 11th Baronet, May 1884 - 26 January 1885

Filmed selectively.

William Acland (New Caledonia) to Agnes Acland, May 1884 (File F.481)

Family news; cruise of Miranda; hopes it can visit Christchurch; music lessons.

A.D. Acland (Wellington) to Agnes Acland, 8 August 1884 (File F482)

News from England; friends in Wellington.

Mary Acland (Orari Gorge) to Agnes Acland, 26 January 1885 (File F484)

Family news; books; music.

Fonds 51/12. Acland Papers, 30 August 1851 - 1894

7 items

Archival History

Originally filmed on AJCP Reel M2059.

Custodial History

Records Formerly in Exeter City Library.

Series 51/12/1. Correspondence, 30 August 1851 - 3 October 1854

Filmed selectively.

T. Tancred (Cirencester) to Acland, 30 August 1851 (File 8)

Legal matters; plans for emigrating to New Zealand; pasturage licence at Canterbury.

T. Tancred to Acland, 5 October 1852 (File 10)

Requests Acland be executor to will; appointment of D. Daly as Governor of New Zealand (sic); rapid progress of N.Z.

J.B. Acland (Teignmouth) to Sir Thomas Acland, 26 September 1854 (File 113)

Travel arrangements; has heard criticisms of soil at Canterbury.

J.B. Acland to Sir Thomas Acland, 3 October 1854 (File 116)

Delays in departure; lists cabin passengers on Royal Stuart; books.

J.B. Acland to Sir Thomas Acland, n.d. (File 126)

Interview with New Zealand farmer.

Series 51/12/4. Correspondence, 1 September 1856 - 1894

Filmed selectively.

J.B. Acland (Christchurch) to T. Acland, 1 September 1856 (File 9)

Congratulations on engagement.

J.B. Acland and Emily Acland (Christchurch, Rangitata, Dunedin, Wellington) to Sir Thomas and Lady Acland, 1880 - 1894 (File 58-96)

Subjects include family news, farming, education, protectionism in New Zealand, Sir Julius Vogel, Irish Home Rule, Church-State relations, financial matters, New Zealand property tax, New Zealand politics, visit to England (1892), female suffrage, death of Bishop H.J.C. Harper (1893).