We are very pleased to announce that a treasure trove of material about the history of St George’s Chapel has recently been made available online.
Two very important sequences of publications have been digitised and posted to our website so that anyone can access and enjoy them free of charge. This has been made possible by the Friends of St George’s Chapel, who paid for seventy-five of the Friends’ Annual Reports and fourteen volumes from the Historical Monographs series to be scanned to PDFs by technicians at TownsWeb Archiving.
You can now find the publications online at the following address: https://www.stgeorges-windsor.org/archives/resources/ [St George’s Chapel > Archives > Resources].
Although all published in print for public interest, in recent decades these volumes had ceased to be widely available. A decision was taken to republish them online to continue the spirit of sharing information about St George’s Chapel as widely as possible.
The Annual Reports of the Society of the Friends of St George’s Chapel and Descendants of the Order of the Garter date back to 1931, the year that two societies – one of the Friends and one of the Descendants – combined forces (they were fully amalgamated in 1935). The Society is committed to supporting St George’s Chapel and maintaining its historic buildings. Its reports provide almost a century’s worth of history of events at St George’s Chapel, including the celebrations for the College’s sexcentenary in 1948; the discovery of medieval skeletons in the vestry during renovations in 1978; the installation of Lavinia, Duchess of Norfolk as the first Lady of the Garter in 1990. Many also contain scholarly articles about the earlier history of the Chapel.
The series of Historical Monographs relating to St George’s Chapel was first proposed in 1937 by Minor Canon Edmund Fellowes; the series now runs to nineteen volumes, five of which were written or edited by Fellowes himself. The Dean and Canons’ vision for the series was that the wealth of comparatively unexplored material contained in the Chapel Archives would be examined by scholars and the results of their research published to enable public access to it and encourage interest in St George’s fascinating past. Through the resulting volumes, it is possible to assess the ways in which St George’s has and hasn’t changed since the fourteenth century in Babette Roberts’ work on early collegiate administration, to trace the baptisms, marriages and burials of the families in the Cloisters through Fellowes’ own edition of the Chapel’s Registers, or to read about the hair-raising exploits of seventeenth-century Lay Clerks in Shelagh Bond’s edition of the earliest Chapter Acts.
You can now browse these works at leisure and benefit from decades of historians’ efforts from the comfort of your own home. If there are any enquiries you would like to follow up in greater detail, please contact the Archives on [email protected] or 01753 848725.
Kate McQuillian, Archivist and Chapter Librarian.