National Library of Australia View Catalogue Record
- The Christian Brethren Archive
- Records held by the Christian Brethren Archive (as filmed by the AJCP)
- Date Range
- 1875 - 1976
- Collection Number
- 93 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
Papers 1875-1880 of John N. Darby, including descriptions of visit to New Zealand and floods in Motueka Valley.
Papers 1934-1937 of bible scholar, teacher and missionary Harold St John concerning lectures given in Australia and New Zealand.
Papers 1974-1975 of Ransome W. Cooper, including drafts of his poems and articles and lists of names and addresses of British World War II refugees and other emigrants to New Zealand.
Conditions Governing Access
Available for Access.
Conditions Governing Use
Readers wishing to publish or reproduce documents should seek permission, from The John Rylands Library, University of Manchester.
For more information contact The John Rylands Library, University of Manchester https://www.library.manchester.ac.uk/rylands/]
Acknowledgement of use of this material should refer to The John Rylands Library, University of Manchester and to the Australian Joint Copying Project.
Items from this collection should include references to the The John Rylands Library, University of Manchester and to the AJCP nla.obj number, which serves as the online identifier for the digital copy.
Example: John Nelson Darby, CBA 5540, The John Rylands Library, University of Manchester (AJCP ref: https://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-770252360/findingaid#nla-obj-798988621).
Material selectively filmed at the University of Manchester as part of the Australian Joint Copying Project, 1991-1992 (AJCP Reels: M2576-M2577). Original microfilm digitised as part of the AJCP Online Delivery Project, 2017-2020.
Existence and Location of Originals
The John Rylands Library of Manchester. University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Deansgate, Manchester M3 3EH, England.
Collection reference: CBA.
For further information see The John Rylands Library, University of Manchester (https://www.library.manchester.ac.uk/rylands/)
Existence and Location of Copies
The original AJCP microfilm of the records filmed from this collection is available at the National Library of Australia [https://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn1070899] as well as other institutions holding AJCP microfilm.
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.
Pieces that were not filmed by the Australian Joint Copying Project have not been included in this Finding Aid.
Australia; Christian Brethren (Open Brethren); Cooper, Ransome W.; Darby, John N.; Motueka, New Zealand; New Zealand: visits to; Plymouth Brethren; Refugees; St John, Harold; World War I; World War II
Originally cited in Australian Joint Copying Project Handbook. Part 8: Miscellaneous (M) Series. Third Edition, published 1998. Entry 99, pp.34-35.
Biographical / Historical
The Christian Brethren, or simply the Brethren, had its origins in Ireland in the late 1820s when groups of Anglicans and other Christians met informally to celebrate the Lord's Supper and to discuss the Bible and prophecy. The meetings were non-denominational and there were no presiding ministers or order of service. Brethrenism soon spread to England, especially Plymouth, Bristol and other towns in the west. The leaders were Anthony Grove, an Exeter dentist, John Nelson Darby, an Anglican priest, Benjamin Newton, an Oxford scholar, and George Muller, a German-born missionary. The first meeting in Plymouth took place in 1831 and by 1845 the assembly had over 1,000 people. They became known as the Plymouth Brethren.
In 1848 there was a major schism arising from a dispute between Darby, who attempted to bring about a uniformity of ideas, and Newton and Muller, who asserted the independence of each congregation. The Darbyites were called the Exclusive Brethren and their opponents were the Open Brethren. After Darby's death in 1882 there were several subsequent splits among the Exclusive Brethren. In the years after the schism itinerant preachers brought the ideas of both the Exclusive Brethren and the Open Brethren to the British colonies, the United States and a few European countries.
It is difficult to date precisely the beginnings and spread of Brethrenism in Australia and New Zealand, mainly because it consisted of gatherings of laymen, with no centralised hierarchy. There were certainly both Open and Exclusive groups operating in Melbourne in the 1850s, while an assembly was established near Nelson in New Zealand in 1863. In the other colonies assemblies emerged in the 1870s and 1880s, or even later. In 1888, for instance, it was reported that there were eight assemblies in Sydney and three in Newcastle, while in Queensland there were three assembles in Brisbane and at least seven assemblies in provincial centres. The formation of these assemblies was often due to the influence of overseas preachers, some of who remained in the colonies for years. John Nelson Darby himself visited Sydney and Melbourne in 1876. Charles Perrin came from Dublin in 1866 and worked in Melbourne and later in Tasmania and New Zealand. Walter Douglas, an American, also arrived in Melbourne in 1866, having previously toured New Zealand. Other evangelists included William Brown and Edward Moyse in the 1860s, Harrison Ord and Thomas Manders in the 1870s, and George Grove and Frank Brewster in the 1880s.
Reference: Kenneth John Newton. A history of the Brethren in Australia, with particular reference to the Open Brethren, Brisbane, 1999.
Biographical / Historical
John Nelson Darby: 1800-1882.
One of the leaders of the early Brethren and later of a group of Exclusives.
MA Capper (n. pl.) to [Darby?] re great work being done in Wanganui through Mr Elmslie and Mr (Beaver?) and among Maoris of Ngaleansa tribe, n.d. (File 27)
Includes: part letter re Haseldon and others seeking independence. (2p.)
James G Deck (n. pl. and Sandridge) to [Darby?] re possible conference at Wellington; admission of John Cody to asylum after bad sea journey to England; sectarian problems in Nelson; Darby's visit to NZ. (12p.), 1875 - 1878 (File 49-53)
Some letters in this file are undated.
James G Deck (Motueka, Timaru, Christchurch, Wellington, Nelson) to [Darby], 1870s-1880s (File 367-91)
Subjects include: Darby's visit to NZ; fanaticism of J Code; Goulding's move to Tasmania; the Hargrave controversy; his beliefs and faults; news of Brethren in NZ including GV Wigram, Capper, Kelly, Raikes, G Muller; his journeys to Sandridge and Dunedin; devastating floods in Motueka Valley, 'bridges and roads have been washed away'; the putting away of Mrs Bliss of Wellington for drunkenness; arrival of Osborne on ship of emigrants sufferring from scarlet fever. (114p., some incomplete).
Includes: letters from son Samuel (Invercargill) re his pamphlet 'Church discipline'.
Headed 'John F Capper'. Printed tract with ms. annotations.
Biographical / Historical
Harold St John: 1876-1957. Bible scholar, teacher, missionary.
Those items relating to Cooper's life in NZ and his personal beliefs (CBA 5713) have been filmed. The second part of the archive relating to 'The Gospel to Britain's Guests' and various printed tracts (CBA 3087-3194) was not filmed by the AJCP.
Biographical / Historical
Ransome Wallace Cooper: 1881-1979.
Cooper was born in North London and qualified as an analytical chemist, specialising in paints and wall papers. In 1912 he married Grace Pledger who shared his evangelical missions to Europe. During WW2 they were troubled by the plight of refugees in Britain and worked extensively with them in the 'Gospel to Britain's Guests'. After a very successful visit to New Zealand in 1950-1955, they settled there in 1966, firstly at Titahi and then Paraparaumu.
Bundle of 3 letters and 1 note
Milwaukie, U.S.A., Nov. 1974-Jan. 1975.
(Typescript and MS, 7p. 9',8',5').
Referring to B. Sauerbrey in Germany: thanking Cooper for help 25 years before; her friendship with B. and G. Hallat in England; Charismatic prayer group at her Catholic church; effects of World War II on her faith; her husband and children.
Referring to B. [Sauerbrey]; recent prayer meeting with Baptist ministers attending; her husband and children; request for tracts; ref. to tract entitled: 'Fusspuren im Sande'.
Thanking him for tracts; recollecting German soldiers in East Germany; recent prayer meeting and prayers for health of Mrs. Cooper; Mr. Hughes; her husband; gift of a German Bible; Charismatic Movement in Catholic Church; 'Baptized in the Spirit' by S.B. Clarke.
Letter to [R.W. Cooper referring to P.O.W. camp at Nutley]. In German.
Osterode-Lerbach, 27 Nov. 1974.
(Typsecript, 2p. 11.5').
Bundle of 13 letters of Bill [Stunt] to R.[W.] Cooper at Paraparaumu, N.Z., with 12 copy/draft replies regarding [Stunt]'s suggestion that Cooper write autobiographical notes for [Echoes Of Service].
Bath, Feb.-Sep. 1973.
(Typescript, MS. and xerox copy of MS., 33p. 6.5'-12.5').
Letter of Bill [Stunt] to R.[W.] Cooper at Paraparaumu referring to chapters sent of Cooper's autobiographical notes and his difficulty in receiving 'Echoes Quarterly Review'. Appended: notes for reply.
Bath, 17 Sep. 1973.
(Typescript and MS., 2p. 12').
Letter of Bill [Stunt] to R.W. Cooper thanking him for poem; [Stunt's] plans to travel to Columbo, South Africa and Madrid.
Bath, 23 Jan. 1974.
(Typescript, 2p. 8').
Notes of [R.W.Cooper on alterations to his autobiographical notes].
(MS., 2p. 3').
Copy and draft letter to W.T. Stunt referring to request by C. Grant as to whether 'A Veteran Remembers' might be printed in book form; remarks on health of Mr. and Mrs. Cooper.
[Paraparaumu], 6 Aug. 1974.
(MS., 3p. 10',8').
Bundle of 3 letters and 1 copy letter.
Regarding material sent by Cooper; [C.] Grant's suggestion [about printing 'A Veteran Remembers' in book form]; visits to Ceylon and South Africa by S[tunt] and Mr. Childs; health of Mrs. Ruth Cooper and Armatude.
Regarding possibility of publishing 'The life and times of Ransome W. Cooper'; visits to Waharoa in Waikato; ref. to Phyllis.
Regarding [above letter of] C. Grant and his own comments on possibility of an autobiography.
Regarding printer's errors and error in statement of fact; ref. to photograph sent by Cooper of Messrs. Eoll, [S.K.] Hine, Kresina and [J.] Siracky.
Bath, Wellington, N.Z., Paraparaumu, 20 Aug.-12 Sep. 1974.
(Typescript and MS., 7p. 8',9').
Letter to R.W. Cooper regarding mistakes in last issue of the 'Quarterly'; thanking him for the 'New Zealand Addendum'. Appended: [Cooper's note for reply].
(Typescript with MS. annotation, 1p. 6.5').
Notes of [R.W. Cooper] for [letter] to Bill Stunt regarding large type for 'Daily Prayer'.
(MS., 1p. 6').
Letter to R.W. Cooper referring to size of type in 'Echoes'; thanking him for donation for work in Ireland; ref. to work of R. McLuckie in Ireland; work of Miss Pledger for children of missionaries.
(Typescript, 1p. 10').
Letter to R.W. Cooper thanking him for item entitled: 'Removal to New Zealand'; ref. to Phoebe and Joy; Stunt seeing Dorothy and her mother about papers relating to Miss Pledger's estate; Mrs. Cooper; ill health of Mrs. R.W. Cooper; ref. to poem 'Thy way is best' by R.W. Cooper.
(Typescript, 2p. 8.5').
Bundle of 1 letter, 2 copy letters with draft notes and 1 draft note
Copy letter with draft notes, of R.W. Cooper at [Paraparaumu] to [W.T.] Stunt, 25 January 1975 (Item 3.)
Regarding photographs; suggesting additional copy for book in form of poems, photographs and notes of [brethren] in the 1860s.
Letter to R.W. Cooper acknowledging letter; expressing sympathy on hearing of ill-health of Mrs. Cooper; good health enjoyed by Mrs. Boyd Cooper.
(Typescript, 1p. 6.5').
Notes of [R.W. Cooper] for letter to Bill [Stunt] regarding [Cooper]'s poems.
(MS., 2p. 8').
Letter of Bill S[tunt] to R.W. Cooper at Paraparaumu acknowledging poems; ref. to publishing of Cooper's autobiography. Appended: note acknowledging additional material sent.
(Typescript and MS., 2p. 12.5').
Letter of Bill S[tunt] to R.W. Cooper at Paraparaumu referring to enclosed MS. [not present] of the 'New Zealand Addendum'. Appended: note of [R.W. Cooper] for reply.
(Typescript and MS., 1p. 6.5').
Letter of Bill S[tunt] to R.W. Cooper at Paraparaumu acknowledging letters, poems and letter from Mrs. [J.] Siracky. Appended: note of [R.W. Cooper], dated 1 April , regarding photographs
(Typescript with MS. annotation, 2 p. 8').
Letter of Bill S[tunt] to R.W. Cooper at Paraparaumu regarding photographs; requesting that Cooper arrange for ['Echoes'] to receive a copy of the photograph of Cooper printed in the 'Kapati Observer'.
Bath (Typescript, 2p. 8').
Note of [R.W. Cooper] that he has sent photographs and key to Bill Stunt.
[Paraparaumu] (MS., 1p. 8').
Letter of Bill S[tunt] to R.W. Cooper at Paraparaumu acknowledging photographs.
Bath (Typescript, 2p. 8').
Letter of Bill S[tunt] to R.W. Cooper at Paraparaumu regarding difficulties Cooper was having in receiving 'Echoes'. Appended: note of [R.W. Cooper] for reply.
Bath (Typescript and MS., 2p. 8').
Fair copy of chapters 1-15 and [New Zealand] Addendum [for publication in series : 'A Veteran Remembers' in 'Echoes Quarterly Review', Jul./Sep. 1973-October /December 1976] - being autobiographical notes. Enclosed in folder tabulating contents.
(Typescript and MS., 232p. 10').
Draft copy of autobiographical notes: explanation as to how Cooper began to write his memoirs; chapter 1, relating lives of parents and grandparents, chapter 2, [incomplete] his early life.
(MS., 11p. 12.5').
Copy of chapters 1-15 and New Zealand Addendum [for publication in series entitled: 'A Veteran Remembers' in 'Echoes Quarterly Review', July/September 1973-October /December 1976] - being autobiographical notes.
(Typescript with editorial MS. annotations, 93p. 13').
Notes of addresses etc. of European and other emigrants to whom tracts should be sent; list of orders for advertisements in European publications for [copies of the New Testament] with cuttings of the advertisements. Enclosed: 3 letters, dated December 1939, of the Canadian Dept. of Mines and Resources, the Canadian Pacific Railway Co. and the Canadian National Railways to R.W. Cooper regarding his request for information about East European settlers in Canada; loose cuttings of advertisements; 10 letters, dated 1943-1946 to R.W. Cooper regarding order for advertisements; other notes regarding advertisements. 1 notebook and loose pages.
Names and addresses of ex-P.O.W.s and others, some saved, some interested. 1 notebook.
(MS., 25p. 6').
Names and addresses kept by [R.W. Cooper] of [ex-P.O.W.s]. Enclosed: 2 loose pages of notes in German and English. 1 notebook.
(MS., 47+3p. 6').
Names and addresses kept by [R.W. Cooper]. Enclosed: loose notes of names and addresses; notes of [?R.W. Cooper] on: Isaac and Rebekah; God the Steward; Joseph: a type of Christ; notes of [reading at Potters Bar Open Air 1909]. 1 notebook.
(MS., 164+12+12p. 6.5').
Notes of [R.W. Cooper] of readings and comments on attendance at German P.O.W. camp, Chapel Wood, Nutley. 1 notebook.
List of [R.W. Cooper] of those present at conference at Kingsway Hall and other notes. 1 notebook.
(MS., 15p. 6.5').
Note of [R.W. Cooper] to Phoebe [R. Cooper] requesting his [correspondence] regarding publications of 'A Veteran Remembers'.
(MS., 1p. 7').
Note regarding attached article. Attached: copy of 'Widening Horizons' by [R.W. Cooper], dated 22 Sep. 1975, -being thoughts on his personal belief..
(MS. and duplicated typescript, 1+2p. 8', 13').
Note to Phoebe [R. Cooper] regarding attached articles. Attached: unpublished articles and notes of R.W. Cooper entitled: 'Two very important trees', 'Two word pictures', 'Two birds', 'Vine and olive', 'The vine', 'The Palm Tree', 'The Cedar Tree'.
(MS., 1+17p. 5', 6', 10').
Note of [P.R. Cooper] stating that the attached note was among her father's papers. Attached: note of Biblical references.
(MS. and print, 1+1p. 8', 7').
Notes of [R.W. Cooper] of receipts and expenditure relating to tract entitled: 'For The Journey', and personal finances.
(MS., 5p. 9').
Ransome Wallace Cooper, born 22 December 1881, died 13 December 1979. [By Phoebe R. Cooper]: Appended: note of C. Grant that the memoir was sent to him, to G.C.D. Howley and to editors of 'Echoes' for obituary notices.
(Duplicated typescript and MS., 2p. 11.5').
See also CBA 3087.
Photograph, black and white, of R.W. Cooper.
Copies of poems bound together with list of contents.
(Typescript, MS., print, duplicated typescript, 121p. 10').
Bundle of copies of poems with list of contents.
(Typescript, MS., print, duplicated typescript, 155p. 5.5'-13').