Ref No

D2313

Charles Kay Ogden (1889-1957) born Fleetwood, Lancashire, founder of the Orthological Institute, and Ernest Axon (1868-1947) and Dora nee McLardy (1989-1977) of Manchester and Buxton, librarians and local historian

Letters from Ernest and Dora Axon to Charles Kay Ogden, with pamphlets etc. by Ernest Axon on topics of Buxton Local History


The majority of the letters in this collection were written by Dora Axon in the four years after her husband’s death. There are clear indications that Charles Ogden wrote regularly in response. In the six months after Ernest Axon’s death Dora Axon wrote at almost weekly intervals. There was a slight reduction in frequency in the first six months of 1948, with a further reduction in frequency in the second half of that year. Just six letters survive from 1949; one...

1943-1951

D2313/1

Letters from Ernest Axon to Charles Kay Ogden

Almost entirely concerning literary and scholarly matters, particularly linguistic matters, books and bibliographical queries, Basic English etc., with an occasional reference to events in Buxton and occasional offers of hospitality. Although no letters from Charles Ogden to Ernest Axon are known to have survived it is clear from the text of Ernest Axon’s letters that the two men sustained a regular exchange of correspondence.


Over the same period of time there are twelve letters written independently by Dora Axon as well as a couple of instances in which she added a postscript to...

Sep 1943-Feb 1947

D2313/1/1

Typescript letter from Ernest Axon to Charles Ogden

Expresses thanks for Basic English pamphlets and Psyche vol 13. Comments on articles in Daily Telegraph by Mr English about history of house numbering in London.

6 Sep 1943

D2313/1/2

Typescript letter from Ernest Axon to Charles Ogden

Expresses thanks for Psyche 14. Discusses articles about English as a dominant language written by his father. Asks for a reference to Bentham's visit to Buxton; and for information about "Drawcabion tongue". Congratulates on Churchill's speech.

13 Sep 1943

D2313/1/3

Typescript letter from Ernest Axon to Charles Ogden

Thanks for proofs: has made corrections and added queries. Asks who is the author of "Letters to Ivy"" and returns Robertson's Guide. Copies of Pitman edition articles by his father have been found in the attic. Is unwell: invites to visit when better.

10 Feb 1944

D2313/1/4

Handwritten letter from Ernest Axon to Charles Ogden

Confirms invitation to tea: is still confined to the house. Expresses thanks for, and comments on two books now being returned: mentions Miss Seward's sonnets and poems in Mrs Jemmet's book.

8 Nov 1944

D2313/1/5

Handwritten letter from Ernest Axon to Charles Ogden

Expresses thanks for loan of "Letters to Ivy." Has remembered seeing Selenus before: at Manchester Libraries 53 years ago. Selenus said to be the pseudonym of Augustus, Duke of Brunswick-Lunenburg. Suggests a reference for information about the author. Adds an invitation to tea and news of Mrs Axon playing in the Gardens.

28 Nov 1944

D2313/1/6

Handwritten letter from Ernest Axon to Charles Ogden

Returns "Letters to Ivy." Expresses thanks for mem. on Benedictus Abbas. Gives an invitation to tea.

3 Jan 1945

D2313/1/7

Handwritten letter from Ernest Axon to Charles Ogden

Gives an invitation to tea. Suggests that a volume seen at last visit might be John Speed's "Prospect of the most famous parts of the world" of 1627 or 1676. Hopes Ogden will not rush back to London now that bombing has stopped.

11 Apr 1945

D2313/1/8

Typescript letter from Ernest Axon to Charles Ogden

Encloses letter received from J. F. Moseley. Asks whether to invite Moseley to write direct to Ogden. Gives some information about Moseley's interests: has been a generious donor to Manchester Libraries. Gives an invitation to tea.

4 Jun 1945

D2313/1/9

Handwritten letter from Ernest Axon to Charles Ogden

Is forwarding Ogden's undelivered letter to Moseley's factory. Expressses thanks for Burr's book and describes him as a strange character. Ogden's books would be better kept together in one building. Gives an invitation to tea.

25 Jun 1945

D2313/1/10

Handwritten letter from Ernest Axon to Charles Ogden

Gives an open invtiation to visit. Refers to death of Sir Percy and to the number of sudden deaths. Discusses Brougham pedigrees but dismisses them as having no genealogical value. Encloses recent papers (by Axon) about Catholic conversions and about Buxton. Mrs Axon is playing the violin nearby, hence interlineations.

27 Sep 1945

D2313/1/11

Typescript letter from Ernest Axon to Charles Ogden, with handwritten postscript

Gives an invitation to tea. Comments on the implications of the election result for fresh lobbying about Basic: regrets having limited acquaintance with M. Ps. Discusses Ogden's house hunting: recalls a genealogical client who lived in Brunswick Square, Brighton. Gives information about Mr Haward, Curator of Art Galleries in Manchester. Discusses Brougham pedigrees but dismisses them as being of no interest. Postscript: asks how text was obtained: in the past this needed regular Sunday school attendance.

2 Aug 1945

D2313/1/12

Typescript letter from Ernest Axon to Charles Ogden

Discusses Wilsha's connection with various CambrIdge colleges. Has a copy of Venn's Alumni first series, but not of second series. Mentions recent ideal winter weather in Buxton. Refers to Ogden's portrait of Shakespeare but implies it may be a fake. Sends a reference to Ogden.

21 Jan 1946

D2313/1/13

Typescript letter from Ernest Axon to Charles Ogden

Expresses thanks for Cooper extract and comments on Wilsha. Found Bentham review of interest and envies the amount of space given to it in the Manchester Guardian. Refers to a radio broadcast by E. M. Forster and to Mr Teeling, an M. P. Discusses his [Axon's} father's involvement in various organisations; the disposal of his books and his early advocacy of printing the B. M. catalogue. Mrs Axon enjoys the receipt of a fee when his work is published: for him the value is the evidence that he is not yet doddery. Ogden's offer to look up references should be limited to items about Buxton.

30 Jan 1946

D2313/1/14

Typescript letter from Ernest Axon to Charles Ogden

Asks about the source of a report about editing historical documents and discusses some aspects of editing practice. Discusses provenance of Ogden's Shakespeare portrait. Describes wet weather; reports delay in arrival of Wilsha portrait and mentions ill health of Dr Shipton.

7 Feb 1946

D2313/1/15

Typescript letter from Ernest Axon to Charles Ogden

Expresses thanks for reference to report about editing historical documents. Discusses pronunciation of "Bowring." Returns a letter apparently sent by mistake.

23 Feb 1946

D2313/1/16

Handwritten letter from Ernest Axon to Charles Ogden

Hopes for safe arrival in Buxton and confirms meeting.

15 Mar 1946

D2313/1/17

Typescript letter from Ernest Axon to Charles Ogden

Thanks for gift of Beaton's British Photographers. Discusses books by Fonblanque and Gerald Brenan about Percy family. Attaches a newspaper notice of a book of Shakespeare discoveries by Arthur Field. His next lecture to the Buxton Archaeological Society has been deferred for one month.

21 Mar 1946

D2313/1/18

Typescript letter from Ernest Axon to Charles Ogden

Acknowledges an opinion that Buxton was found better than London for shopping for bookcases, but assserts it is limited for meeting interesting people. Comments on honours list. Refers to Ogden's Brougham collection and comments on the pedigree in early editions of Burke's Peerage. Refers to death of Capt Jones and makes a joke about false conclusions that might be drawn if his collection of horns is found one hundred years hence. UNESCO would find Basic useful. Will English be an official language of republican India? Suggests that old medical books might contain references to Timothy...

13 Jun 1946

D2313/1/19

Typescript letter from Ernest Axon to Charles Ogden

Discusses Latin variants of the name Bacon, in relation to Bacon Gawdy.

25 Jun 1946

D2313/1/20

Typescript letter from Ernest Axon to Charles Ogden

Acknowledges good news of Basic and confirms date of visit. Refers to Ogden's forthcoming dental appointment and attributes "defective stopping" to Sahmer. Discusses Bright and Willis systems for taking down a speech. Mentions Norwich portrait and Shakespeare's knowledge of Latin. Expresses doubt about a claim from a sweep to have an early Shakeespeare folio.

13 Aug 1946

D2313/1/21

Typescript letter from Ernest Axon to Charles Ogden

Regret at death of Ogden's pet. Sweep's folio not old, nor a volume of Longfellow. Mrs Kerfoot is moving to Temple Road: Heathfield being sold. Has passed proofs of his 21st Buxton paper. Praises Ogden's Shakespeare portrait. Comments on a T. L. S. article in relation to logic and library classifciation.

3 Sep 1946

D2313/1/22

Typescript letter from Ernest Axon to Charles Ogden

Gives details of most recent letters sent.

23 Sep 1946

D2313/1/23

Typescript letter from Ernest Axon to Charles Ogden

Has examined cricket score volumes brought by Miss Armstrong, and has informed Robinson of the library. Comments favourably on photograph albums and asks whether the negatives might become available. Considers a question about date of blacklead being used by describing a document dated 4 & 5 Philip & Mary which bears what might be blacklead.

20 Oct 1946

D2313/1/24

Handwritten letter from Ernest Axon to Charles Ogden

Discusses a grant for the 'Basic English Foundation' and its relationship to the Orthological Institute, an inscription for Shakespeare possibly written by T. Heywood, Buxton weather, gossip in London about the prospects of a Third World War given the situation with Russia, using several editions of Salmon's 'Polygraphice' in relation to "blackhead", photograph of the Shakespeare portrait which may be the dramatist-actor, speculation about India becoming a republic and the consequences for world languages, including English, Russian, French and Hindustani and stating that the "Moslems would...

19 Dec 1946

D2313/1/25

Handwritten letter from Ernest Axon to Charles Ogden

Refers to wintry weather, electricity cuts and Buxton road and rail disruption. A Scandinavian scholar is seeking Sir John Bowring's papers. Mentions references to "crayon" in John Evelyn's Diary. Asks about progress with the portrait: has the photograph ready for collection, but not a good time for travelling.

23 Feb 1947

D2313/1/26

Typescript and handwritten letter from Ernest Axon to Charles Ogden

Discusses supposed frozen pipes and a plumbing error, a Hampden publication of the 19th century, the death of F. A. Holmes of Buxton who was interested in the English Speaking Union.

A manuscript addendum has been written by Dora Axon and discusses the snow and ice in Buxton, reading the diary of Frances Lady Shelley, 1818-1873, and a visit of Dr Harrison who had been watching the toboganning at Temple Fields

30 Jan 1947

D2313/2

Letters from Dora Axon to Charles Kay Ogden

Aged 49 when her elderly husband died, many of Dora's letters reflects on her need for an income and relate to her return to employment. She describes her preparation for letting some rooms, explaining in detail the movement of books and furniture, the acquisition of gas fires and installation of plumbing, as well as her apprehension and success in the recruitment of tenants, including a memorable young Latvian woman and two actors appearing at Buxton Repertory Theatre.


In discussing the challenges of returning to employment she describes a number of discouraging enquiries before being...

Jun 1944-Dec 1951

D2313/2/1

Handwritten letter from Dora Axon to Charles Ogden

Reports expediture on his behalf during a visit to Manchester; and gives details of work to Ogden's fiddle. Names funeral march as "Coronach or Highland Lament." Has obtained a score by Arensky: "Essays on forgotten rhythms": gives details of this. Mentions two books about rhythm theory seen at the library. Wonders whether Arensky's interpretation of language cadence agreed with Ogden's reading of Latin.

29 Jun 1944

D2313/2/2

Handwritten letter from Dora Axon to Charles Ogden

Expresses thanks for Penguin reprint: expects to enjoy his work and comments on the biographical notice. Comments on Ogden's dog and behaviour of Axons' dog. Proposes the time of a visit. Refers to the Arensky and asks about a poem that could be read with a berceuse. Pleased to have expenditure authorised and expresses thanks for stamps.

25 July 1944

D2313/2/3

Handwritten letter from Dora Axon to Charles Ogden

Names a Mrs Neville, and gives her address, as someone recommended who undertakes darning. Invites Ogden to have some work done by her. Knows of a second person, if needed.

17 Jan 1945

D2313/2/4

Handwritten letter from Dora Axon to Charles Ogden

Gives an invitation to tea and tells of repeated burst pipes. Expresses thanks for Flaxman drawing.

8 Feb 1945

D2313/2/5

Handwritten letter from Dora Axon to Charles Ogden

Gives an invitation to tea when Dora's sister will be present with the Arensky: comments on the playability and rhythms of the music.

20 Feb 1945

D2313/2/6

Handwritten letter from Dora Axon to Charles Ogden

Comments that he has not visited from London and reminds him of Buxton's existence. Describes an October visit to Dovedale with friends. Comments on Buxton election results; re-opening of the Spa as a hotel; size of post-war audience for the Gardens entertainments and closure and future re-opening of the repertory theatre. Lists three paintings at the Museum given by Mr Turner. Gives news of Ernest's moderate health; she is busy with musical events. Sandy is well: hopes Thomas is well.

3 Nov 1945

D2313/2/7

Handwritten letter from Dora Axon to Charles Ogden

Describes a "glorious" weekend: grateful to be no longer at work living in Manchester and for the enjoyment of walking. Hopes Ogden's dog will soon recover: mentions Sandy [? the writer's dog]. Has read of a mechanical canary owned by the poet Rogers and wonders whether Ogden might add one to his collection. Comments on acquisition of the Shakespeare portrait and on valuation: cites a communication in 1838 from "E. B. B." to H S Boyd about sale of a Shakespeare autograph. Has has two items about E. B. B. published in"M G". A defaced picture is being put right by the artist. Ernest...

21 Jan 1946

D2313/2/8

Handwritten letter from Dora Axon to Charles Ogden

Thanks for the congratulations, but her work is less significant than his (uses metaphor of comparing bell of Big Ben with tinkle of a baby's rattle). Praises his T. L. S. review and use of the word "mismake". Pleased at the amount of space allowed for a review of Balston's Jonathan Martin in this week's T. L. S. Gives details of the reference to E. B. B. and about the canary reference [letter of 21 Jan 1946]. Thanks for information about Roger's Tabletalk. Comments about possible facial features of a Shakespeare. Pleased Thomas [dog] is better.

29 Jan 1946

D2313/2/9

Handwritten letter from Dora Axon to Charles Ogden

Expresses appreciation of Beaton's British Photographers. She and Ernest have found Roger's Table-talk interesting. Her jottings about E. B. B. have been included in three M. G. Miscellanies. Offers advice about Ogden's "wonky ligature" and relates to her own wrist ligature. Hopes Ogden had a comfortable journey.

21 Mar 1946

D2313/2/10

Handwritten letter from Dora Axon to Charles Ogden

Thanks for Bach score and Handel Festival picture. Regrets the trouble he is having with Government: refers to Bentham's Panopt. Corners. Describes membership of weekly amateur music ensembles: Mrs Kerfoot wants to play duets. Comments on Ogden having portrait painted. Mentions Buxton tennis week, bu court has been waterlogged and rain is falling. Hopes Ogden is well: people say she looks well.

12 Apr 1946

D2313/2/11

Handwritten letter from Dora Axon to Charles Ogden

Attaches notice from Manchester Guardian of death of Violina Braddyll; and comments on the forename as one that Ogden had jokingly applied to her. Would like to see Leon's wife; and Ogden's latest musical bird and book with curious notation. Would like his opinion of a painting she's inherited.

[c May 1946]

D2313/2/12

Handwritten letter from Dora Axon to Charles Ogden

Expresses sympathy at death of pet dog and recalls death of her own pet. Envious of the ticking of Ogden's clocks. Invites him to check the crop of grapes in his vinery. Asks whether his collection of mechanical birds includes one mentioned by J C Squire as having belonged to G K C and Cedric Chivers and perhaps Marie Antoinette. A friend stayed last week: visited Tideswell and saw the brothers Hunstone; saw work on an altar piece and screen for Chesterfield Church and in the cottage of one brother an amazing sight of original woodwork, incuding a carved oak beam. Found the church...

11 Sep 1946

D2313/2/13

Handwritten letter from Dora Axon to Charles Ogden

Has not received letters from him recently: they must have gone astray. Invites him to check all his pockets for missing papers and suggests mis-filing as an explanation: invites him to recall and seach again.

23 Sep 1946

D2313/2/14

Handwritten letter from Dora Axon to Charles Ogden

Acknowledges receipt of Shakespeare portrait and notes, on behalf of Ernest who is unwell. Discusses the Grafton portrait in H J Massingham's "Where man belongs" Disappointed that his last visit ended abruptly. Has seen his criticism of "Reading I've Liked" by Clifton Fadiman; and refers to having had a visit from someone who may write a biography of Arthur Machen. To go to a rehearsal of Tom Jones being peformed on Sunday at the Pavilion: then will start Messiah. Adds good wishes from Sandy [a pet?].

14 Nov 1946

D2313/2/15

Handwritten letter from Dora Axon to Charles Ogden

Writing on Ernest's behalf: he is unwell. Welcomes news of Ogden's progress with Basic. Regrets impact of the Foundation tangle: hopes Ogden can enjoy remainder of summer. Refers to his Shakespeare work and acquisition of Bright letters. Refers to an item in June Holleyman & Treacher catalogue. Gives a history of Ernest's illness: is heartbroken. A visit from Ogden would be welcome - "a tonic for my invalid husband".

27 Jun 1947

D2313/2/16

Handwritten letter from Dora Axon to Charles Ogden

Ernest not conscious: said by the doctor to have a few days.

12 Jul 1947

D2313/2/17

Handwritten letter from Dora Axon to Charles Ogden

Ernest died on 15 July. Manchester Guardian obituary does not pay enough tribute to his Buxton researches nor his vegetarian work. Gives news of funeral date.

17 Jul 1947

D2313/2/18

Handwritten letter from Dora Axon to Charles Ogden

Is feeling stressed and his offer of help is welcome. Discusses at length disposal of Ernest's library: mentions takeover of Sherratt & Hughes by W. H. Smith; warnings received about Dr McLachlan's possible wish to acquire some books for himself; advice received about other possibilities for disposal, including through Dr McLachlan's son, a librarian. Lists elements of Ernest's books and papers and their locations through the house. Mentions her intention to let some rooms in the house amd describes a visit from an estate agent: but apprehensive at the prospect. Recounts Ernest's decline...

4 Aug 1947

D2313/2/19

Handwritten letter from Dora Axon to Charles Ogden

Expresses thanks for his advice: concerned about burdening him and invites him to withdraw assistance at any time. Discusses work involved in disposing of books. Describes her decison to stay at Crich and the benefits thereof. Mentions Ernest's extensive Buxton notes and previous discussions about publication. Discusses at length her housing and financial circumstances. Welcomes his invitation for her to visit him in London. Her maid is on sick leave so she [Dora] is free to stay longer at Crich: describes pleasant characteristics of her host and his wife.

12 Aug 1947

D2313/2/20

Handwritten letter from Dora Axon to Charles Ogden

Discusses her health and curtailment of a beneficial stay at Crich. Describes positive visit by Hampson in relation to probate, the house, contents including books and notes possible division of house into flats and genuineness of a portrait. Complains of failings of a firm of solicitors. Has writen to her cousin about trusteeship. Describes some fears about forthcoming London visit - has "gone to seed." Suggests a date and asks for cheap accommodation. Has many letters of sympathy to deal with. Encloses letter from Dr McLachlan asking about books for son Josh. Woolis has offered...

21 Aug 1947

D2313/2/21

Handwritten letter from Dora Axon to Charles Ogden

Thanks for map: will look for two maps she has of London. Had extravagant provision from Mrs Cannell: implies an over-abundance of food and reiterates her preference for economy. Confirms proposed date and predicts that she will enjoy Ogden's library. Reports a letter from Dr McLachlan about possible purchase of some books; and visit from Ernest's son Geoff and his wife - discussed disposal of Ernest's books, notes and papers. Geoff and wife are trying to treat her as a marionette, but for her own good. Her obstinacy will assert itself. Suggests Ogden should have a holiday.

27 Aug 1947

D2313/2/22

Handwritten letter from Dora Axon to Charles Ogden

Date of her visit to London is approaching. Describes visits to Manchester and Southport: was glad to return to Buxton. Discusses dealing with books: will need Ogden to tell her what to include. Will look for Shakespeare portrait to bring with her. Comments on actions of the Foundation and its head. Asks about arrangements for her "duty" in London. Gives her wishes about meal arrangements and thanks for making the provision. Describes weather and gives time of arrival of her train.

10 Sep 1947

D2313/2/23

Handwritten letter from Dora Axon to Charles Ogden

Suggests he will recognise her by he suitcases and suggests he checks the arrival time of her train.

14 Sep 1947

D2313/2/24

Handwritten letter from Dora Axon to Charles Ogden

Describes looking at paintings. Saw bomb damage in the course of a walk. Comments that this is an attempt to write in Basic. Asks if Ogden has put into Basic any books on music or Mendelssohn: she might give a forthcoming talk in Basic.

21 Sep 1947

D2313/2/25

Handwritten letter from Dora Axon to Charles Ogden

Arrived at Buxton but Miss A not present so will deliver the case when possible. Alex not at the house: had been told time of arrival but not date. Reviews appreciatively events of her visit to London: "O I" [Orthological Institute], galleries, Lincoln's Inn and a recital by Ogden. Mentions a book she has in Basic: Song of Solomon. Discovered a mistake in figures Ogden had given Mr Brown calculating a payment in time to correct the cheque. Comments on her wrong use of words and expresses thanks for her visit.

30 Sep 1947

D2313/2/26

Handwritten letter from Dora Axon to Charles Ogden

Apologises for troubling him again. Has been told by Geoff that under Ernest's will she has no right to dispose of any items/property. This is not her understanding. Asks for his advice: will send him a copy of the will if he chooses. Describes feeling under scrutiny by "in-laws"

5 Oct 1947

D2313/2/27

Handwritten letter from Dora Axon to Charles Ogden

Refers to him having moved lots of books. Pleased to hear of return to life of the Cambridge Institute. Reports confirmation obtained during a visit to the Public Trustee Office that she is not allowed to dispose of household goods and books. Discusses likely views of Geoff and Florrie (Ernest's son and daughter). Regrets the position she has been left in. Anticipates being able to get an advance from her bank, and would then not need the advance offered by Ogden. Concerned about the possible impact of troubling Ogden further: his support has been very welcome. Finds sanity in Basic...

12 Oct 1947

D2313/2/28

Handwritten letter from Dora Axon to Charles Ogden

Expresses thanks for summary of the will and discusses interpretations of the will. Describes time consuming task of trying to make progress with Ernest's manuscript. Reflects on the death of Mrs Harrison and encloses related newspaper cuttings. Asks about specific words in Basic, referring to "Keave" Mentions Ogden's "Basic English versus Artificial Languages" and "Word Economy" by Miss Lockhart. Was to have gone to Bakewell today but went to Mrs Harrison's memorial service. Mentions Ogden's visit to Hove.

22 Oct 1947

D2313/2/29

Handwritten letter from Dora Axon to Charles Ogden

Reports getting a letter from her sister. Discusses the will, her part ownership of the house and possible future transactions. Has given non-commital acknowledgment of a letter about the public library's interest in books and papers. Mr Woolis also interested: mentions Woolis's opinion of Menuhin's playing. Cannot imagine what the rooms will be like when the books have gone: would be like Ogden being relieved of his clocks and music boxes. During a walk met Mrs Hill and a woman who voiced pleasure at a recent recital. Mr Hill, pianist; and teacher at Buxton school will invite her to...

7 Nov 1947

D2313/2/30

Handwritten letter from Dora Axon to Charles Ogden

Attaches and discusses newspaper notice inviting claims against Ernest Axon's estate. Describes impact of pleasant weather on herself and her dog, and comments on errors made in the text.

11 Nov 1947

D2313/2/31

Handwritten letter from Dora Axon to Charles Ogden

Expresses thanks for a lawyer's reading of the will. Discusses implications and predicts likely responses of Geoff and Florrie. Asks advice about appointing a lawyer and comments on the experience of herself and her sisters in relation to the wills of aunt Wardle and uncle McLardy. Congratulates on "Headlam" find. Discusses Manchester's view of Mr Hayward: refers to an article in Manchester Guardian about Switzerland (which attracted corrections). Acknowledges his congratulations on her Basic - but mentions the number of her errors and discusses various issues of usage and vocabulary...

16 Nov 1947

D2313/2/32

Handwritten letter from Dora Axon to Charles Ogden

Expresses thanks for interim report. Trying to get things straight as Alex is reducing her hours of work. Discusses personal financial matters. Reports feeling better. Asks Ogden to look at notes. Calculates that Buxton notes would run to 817 pages: considers this too much. Would be a pity if Buxton history is not published as a book. Has completed index to Ernest's father's letter files (1864-1913) Asks for advice about what to do with "Autographs" many of which are difficult to read. Realises that there is a year's work dealing with house contents. Asks about what to expect about...

1 Dec 1947

D2313/2/33

Handwritten letter from Dora Axon to Charles Ogden

Expresses thanks for his letter which has lifted her low mood: pleased at his confirmation of her work on Analyses. Intends to work on Ernest's father's Autographs, but will need someone who can help with those difficult to read. Describes letters books just found: doubts their value and is thinking of burning them. Discusses typed Buxton notes: difficult to distinguish notes from finished chapters. Refers to "Uncommon Attorney" (or similar title) by R L Hines and to his work about Hitchin. Found nothing at sale room today but has hopes of getting a gas fire and gas stove next week...

5 Dec 1947

D2313/2/34

Handwritten letter from Dora Axon to Charles Ogden

Expresses thanks for return of typescript and for the copy. Will retain letter books. Another book shelf installed. Will need a keen eye to identify anything valuable amongst junk in the attic. Reports Mrs Statter's advice to set light to the accumulation and claim on insurance. Mentions Mrs Statter's father, Greenwood: "a hoary old sinner". Is getting a gas fire. Mentions forthcoming performance of Messiah. Impressed by his new notepaper. Asks about location of Virginia Woolf's house. Has done no baking for Christmas.

14 Dec 1947

D2313/2/35

Handwritten letter from Dora Axon to Charles Ogden

Ignoring Christmas festivities as much as possible, but mentions cards on mantelpiece and puddings. Sends a few jottings about some of the 600 autographs she has looked at. Asks for advice about what to do with pedigree notes and refers to a "Lancashire and Cheshire clergyman" file. Discusses copies of Ernest Axon's articles: items retrieved from the top floor. Has had a letter from Mrs Aston, Ernest's friendly half sister: reports her suggestions about attempting to "clear the air" with Geoff about how to dispose of books and other items. Dora would prefer to proceed without needing...

22 Dec 1947

D2313/2/36

Handwritten letter from Dora Axon to Charles Ogden

Appreciates the reassurance of his letter but continues to feel downhearted at what needs to be done in the house. Acknowledges his suggestion of using items with family inscriptions (which she lists) as a lever in relation to other goods, but dreads negotiation with Geoff. Asks about trying an alternative. Has put the other wills in the hands of a new solicitor. Describes actions taken with the autographs file contents. Includes a Thackeray item. She finds herself no longer caring about what happens to items. Discusses the thoughts she and her sisters had at Christmas about the books...

31 Dec 1947

D2313/2/37

Handwritten letter from Dora Axon to Charles Ogden

Sister is staying. Asks whether parcel of stamps, early postmarks and letters sent to Ogden has arrived. Reports successful performance at the Spa. Said that the Spa is closing again: the Palace is going strong. Henry reports that Alex is comfortable after an operation. Has done quintet practice. Neighbours hearing them tried to tune in on their wireless.

11 Jan 1948

D2313/2/38

Handwritten letter from Dora Axon to Charles Ogden

Offers reassurance that there is no need for an immediate reply and explains she was fearful of non-delivery [no sign off]

14 Jan 1948

D2313/2/39

Handwritten letter from Dora Axon to Charles Ogden

Encloses H.N.22 with a pasted slip to correct mis-spelling of "Axon". Estate not yet settled: asks for advice about her plan to acquire books, manuscripts and furniture. Repeats her reluctance to negotiate with Ernest's son and daughter. Discusses similiarity between a Rembrandt etching "Abraham and Isaac" in B M [British Museum?] and "ours" in the library. Mentions other pictures seen at B. M. and in a Bond Street window. Remembers one at home removed from its frame some years ago, but never restored. Mentions etchings by Hugh Paton. Agrees that items bearing Axon name cannot be...

14 Feb 1948

D2313/2/40

Handwritten letter from Dora Axon to Charles Ogden

Appreciates his advice and will act on it. Reports regret of Ernest's brother-in-law at Ernest having involved Public Trustee. Undertakes not to destroy any more letters and lists those already destroyed. Comments on evidence of Ernest having been an extraordinary source of information for correspondents. Dealing with the letters is interesting but tiring. Has found folders of letters from Ernest's sister in New Zealand: left over from when most had been returned to family members in New Zealand ten years ago and used by Joe in a volume of reminiscence after Sophie's death. Asks if she...

2 Mar 1948

D2313/2/41

Handwritten letter from Dora Axon to Charles Ogden

Describes at length her meeting with Mr Smith, solicitor, about administration of Ernest's will. Reports that the solicitor will approach Public Trustee to seek some flexibility. Reports progess in relation to the McLardy Trust: mentions her cousin Frank. Concerned about the burden on Mr Smith in view of his frailty and age. Mentions meetings of the English Association in Manchester: lists some lecturers. Has seen a Hodgson advertisement about old postmarks. Will check the files for names he has mentioned. Apologises, but insists that Ernest was aware of implications of how his will...

15 Mar 1948

D2313/2/42

Handwritten letter from Dora Axon to Charles Ogden

Quotes letters (1934) relating to John Lord, headmaster of Audenshaw Grammar School, and the possibility of him becoming secretary of the Lancashire and Cheshire Historical Society. [Letter is unfinished: see note in letter of 13 Apr 1948.)

20 Mar 1948

D2313/2/43

Handwritten letter from Dora Axon to Charles Ogden

Draws attention to unfinished letter about Mr Lord. Pleased at news of a £200 legacy. Has not heard further from Mr Smith about various wills. Reports progress with putting letters in order: asks about their possible value and whether to make an index. Has found an index made by Ernest of his father's letters. Has listed some names under "M.G." [?Manchester Guardian]. Describes batches of letters about which she is unsure: mentions Bradford; death of Miles Hartley; Alex Gordon, head of Unitarian College, Manchester; Arthur Croxton, Ernest's first best man; Clement-Shorter; G. L...

13 Apr 1948

D2313/2/44

Handwritten letter from Dora Axon to Charles Ogden

Reports receipt of disappointing letter from Mr Smith. Discouraged, too, by incomplete work of a gas man.

14 Apr 1948

D2313/2/45

Handwritten letter from Dora Axon to Charles Ogden

Will await any suggestions about books from his legal friends. Discusses infomation from Public Trustee and Ed Smith about the effect of Geoff and Flo foregoing their claim to the books; but expresses misgivings about various options. Asks for clarification of Ogden's suggestion of giving some items away. Reflects wryly on earlier suggestions of Dr Harr., Mr Moseley, and Robinson of the British Library and indicates her conviction that Geoff would challenge any ploy. Asks Ogden's advice about whether to get a copy of probate document from Hampsons and about whether she should continue...

20 Apr 1948

D2313/2/46

Handwritten letter from Dora Axon to Charles Ogden

Asks for a decision about indexing a file of letters. Reports unable to see Fred Hampson who is convalescent but has seen his brother Frank, who agreed to help (in relation to probate). Has had a friendly letter from step son. Has replied but does not want to see him again. Has decorated after completion of plumbing and gas fitting. Describes smoke problem with kitchenette chimney involving a fire brigade visit. Neville Harburn has not asked for her help yet and employment prospects in Buxton appear hopeless. Expresses thanks for typing offer, but has a typewriter. Describes...

12 May 1948

D2313/2/47

Handwritten letter from Dora Axon to Charles Ogden

Reports at length the content of a discussion with Mr Smith [solicitor] and her subsequent thoughts about dealing with aunt Wardle's estate and Ernest's furniture, books and papers and her own financial circumstances. Mentions Mr Moseley as the person who recommended her to instruct Mr Smith. Discusses a delay in receiving a legacy from a distant cousin of Dr Harrison. It was in one of her letters that the name Audley H Ainsworth appeared. Has searched indices without finding any of the names mentioned by Ogden. Has seen a reference to "Glossic" in a letter from J Higson, possibly...

18 May 1948

D2313/2/48

Handwritten letter from Dora Axon to Charles Ogden

Discusses her thoughts about Hampson brothers, [valuers] and encloses a communication from them [not present]. Asks Ogden to consult his legal friend about possibility of negotiation with the other legatees. She remains reluctant to negotiate with Geoff. Discusses preparations for letting of rooms: but store room and kitchen are now full like a junk shop. Asks about likely sale value of Ernest's Buxton history notes. Alex, domestic help, is ill and not working. Has finished her "job". Anticipates that Nev wanted her to work permanently: she gave way to a more experienced candidate...

24 May 1948

D2313/2/49

Handwritten letter from Dora Axon to Charles Ogden, encloses copy of a letter about probate and expresses dissatisfaction with the contents

Mentions airmail letter from Joe, brother-in-law, and communication from "Gatley pair", (son and wife Mabel) that has arrived via New Zealand. Has asked Joe to explain some matters about the house: mentions possible alterations. Describes Joe as a shrewd old boy; his daughter Phyllis has been recognised for her service during the war in China. Still looking for a job: observes young unqualified staff in the library. Anticipates that Robinson will appoint an entertainments manager.

9 Jun 1948

D2313/2/50

Cutting or partial copy from a letter (sender unknown) probably to Dora Axon concerning notification of the response of the Public Trustee Office in relation to possible purchase of household furniture and effects

 

c1948

D2313/2/51

Typescript letter from Dora Axon to Charles Ogden

Acknowledges troubling him with her difficulties. Describes her dissatisfaction with Ed Smith (solicitor) and recognises that she might need to negotiate: anticipates that Ernest's daughter, Flo, would be amenable. Mentions involvement of Joe; and her wish not to have any further involvement with the Gatley pair. Estimates that the books might weigh two tons; with additional weight of letters, steel files and pedigree notes. Asks if he will visit Buxton in the summer. Discusses access to trust money and related questions about obtaining household items and furniture. Reports...

16 Jun 1948

D2313/2/52

Typescript letter from Dora Axon to Charles Ogden

Expresses pessimism about a private sale. Has met the Grundy-Heapes: describes their domestic circumstances. Describes discussion with Mr Hough, secretary of the Veg[etarian] Society about her circumstances: asks whether Ogden thinks he might be helpful. Mentions Mr Moseley's method for book disposal. Has no time to pursue ideas about Basic. Refers to an item in M[anchester] G[uardian] about a Sotheby's sale.

22 Jun 1948

D2313/2/53

Typescript and handwritten letter from Dora Axon to Charles Ogden

Describes events leading to achievement of two lets and gives information about tenants. Relates discussions about jobs: has asked for a post available at Whaley Bridge library. Asks for Ogden's opinion about this. Has heard from Mr Moseley. Explains her thoughts about asking Mr Hough to act as go-betwen in relation to assignment of the books between legatees. Regrets that it had not been possible to dispose of books earlier and mentions dampness of the cellar. Asks if it was a Willis MS at Sothebys.

4 Jul 1948

D2313/2/54

Handwritten letter from Dora Axon to Charles Ogden

Alone in the house so writing letters. Has been appointed to Whaley Bridge branch: hopes it will be congenial. Repeats comment by Henry (maid's husband) about returning to work at her age. Expresses thanks for information about R. S. A. library. Regrets news that his library may need to be put back in store. Comments on disposal of her books: has beeen told of low sale prices for books. Asks for an opinion about Gibson (dentist) wanting a filing cabinet and chair. Discusses illness and nursing of Latvian "charmer" [?lodger] who has beeen sacked from her job and now admitted to hospital...

17 Jul 1948

D2313/2/55

Typescript letter from Dora Axon to Charles Ogden

Refers to hot weather in London and the advantage of a cooling breeze in Buxton. Discusses her regret at news of Mr Moseley's death. Reports the circumstances in which both tenants have left. Describes a visit to the library at Chapel. Describes communications with P[ublic] T[rustee] and advice from NZ brother-in-law. Asks Ogden about various of his concerns and expresses a wish for the O[rthological] I[nstitute] to be prominent in Buxton. Regrets that her list of Buxton attractions no longer includes the little Latvian. Is looking forward to Leon {Goossens] playing at the Gardens.

7 Aug 1948

D2313/2/56

Typescript letter from Dora Axon to Charles Ogden

Comments on her use of Basic and asks about the likelihood of having a role in his organisation. Expects that he is in despair at Government's attitude and state of the world. Describes converting bed-sitting rooms into a flat, with help from Parson Dyer. Has attracted possible tenants. Describes other household re-arrangement in progress. Reports Mr Wooliscroft's news of a decline in the market for books and furniture. Reports conversation with neighbour who has given notice to her tenants, (Dora Axon's former tenants, including the Latvian girl now suspected to be pregnant...

29 Aug 1948

D2313/2/57

Typescript letter from Dora Axon to Charles Ogden

Reports at length conversation with Parson Dyer about financial matters relating to Meadow Street houses. Enjoyed supper with Ann Harrison. Gives news of Dr Harrison's retirement intentions and of his assistant, Dr Nina Warwick, a Russian-French woman.

2 Sep 1948

D2313/2/58

Typescript letter, with handwritten additions, from Dora Axon to Charles Ogden

Relates her enjoyment at having started work at Chapel library: describes the range of work, including mobile library service; and positive response of her colleagues. Hopes to be able to continue at Chapel even after starting the forthcoming part-time post at Whaley Bridge. Gives news of new tenants. Reports correspondence with NZ Joe and discussion with Parson Dyer about financial matters relating to the Manchester houses. Asks Ogden's opinion about likely state of the second hand furniture market. Acknowledges that Neville was right in his opinion of the Latvian girl. Gives an...

28 Sep 1948

D2313/2/59

Handwritten letter from Dora Axon to Charles Ogden

Expresses hope that the arrangements Ogden has been making in relation to Basic English prove satisfactory. Comments on his indexing work at Montague Street. Mentions sale of Haddon Hall [Buxton] and Limehurst and dispersal of residents: the Grundy- Heapes are moving to Wychwood. Mentions references in B[uxton] A[dvertiser] to Grundy-Heapes's book about Buxton history. Asks whether December is a good time for an auction in Buxton. Reports receipt of £200 following the sale of an uncle's house in Manchester. Gives financial details from, and comments on a letter from P[ublic] T[rustee...

14 Nov 1948

D2313/2/60

Handwritten letter from Dora Axon to Charles Ogden

Sends Christmas and New Year good wishes. Is fully engaged with work. Encloses a letter from Miss Watson [not present] and regrets that Miss Watson had been misinformed.

20 Dec 1948

D2313/2/61

Handwritten letter from Dora Axon to Charles Ogden

Hopes his plans and organisation are flourishing. Discusses book by Grundy-Heapes about history of Buxton. Mentions news of a literary prize won by Dr Scholes and of Leon [Goossens] being prevented by illness from performing at a concert. Gives detailed news of the popularity of Whaley Bridge library. Mentions the unusual appointment of a Derbyshire librarian as deputy chief at Manchester. Has been asked by Buxton Borough Surveyor for access to Ernest's notes in relation to a talk about Buxton's roads. Gives financial news from P[ublic] T[rustee] in relation to the houses. Is thinking...

23 Jan 1949

D2313/2/62

Handwritten letter from Dora Axon to Charles Ogden

Encloses a letter of Ernest's just found: marvels at the extent of reminiscences and literary contacts. [Enclosure not present.] Asks for return of the letter. Mentions Mr Linton; and Old Woolis has had a heart attack. Gives a list of Basic books she has.

3 Mar (?1949)

D2313/2/63

Handwritten letter from Dora Axon to Charles Ogden

Encloses an item from M[anchester] G[uardian] [not present]: inclusion in a Government estimate bodes well for survival of Basic English. Expresses interest in wriitng an article about Basic English in Basic English: might have an audience at Whaley Bridge. Asks for his advice about useful books. Lists furniture in the drawing room. Is waiting in the hope of an improvement in the market: mentions Ball, a dealer. Acknowledges Ogden's advice about disposal of books but despairs about getting the task done. Reports opinion of Mr Hough (late secretary of the Veg[eterian] Soc[iety]) in...

13 Mar 1949

D2313/2/64

Typescript letter from Dora Axon to Charles Ogden

Is being encouraged to apply for post of Librarian and Museums Curator at Buxton. Mentions her apprehension, choice of referees, (asks Ogden to be one), her experience, interests and formal qualifications. Lists positive aspects of Whaley Bridge; but cellar location is depressing and travel likely to be difficult during the winter. Lists advantages of the Buxton post: variety, responsibility, dealing with art shows and arranging public lectures.

19 Apr 1949

D2313/2/65

Typescript letter from Dora Axon to Charles Ogden

Reports forthcoming job interview. Explains her view that there was not enough time to send him a draft testimonial but has used his suggestions in writing her application. Offers her good wishes for his dealings with a troublesome Board. Discusses the acquisition of a third testimonial and relates some of its positive comments. Describes playing in a concert at Bakewell and a daunting day playing in a quintet. Describes the challenge of re-entering library work when aged fifty: appreciative of encouragement received from several people. Anticipates being able to afford a London visit...

4 May 1949

D2313/2/66

Handwritten letter from Dora Axon to Charles Ogden

Reports her reaction to not getting the job and gives information about other applicants. Asks Ogden's opinion about a job in Buxton that she has been asked to consider. Describes possible changes being considered for Buxton library. Expresses hopes that Ogden's situation is becomimg more hopeful.

11 May 1949

D2313/2/67

Handwritten letter from Dora Axon to Charles Ogden

Reports that after a week's holiday Whaley Bridge and Buxton libraries feel remote. Describes confusion of communications about her appointment to a library post in Buxton. Discusses her thoughts about taking leave then resigning from the Whaley Bridge job and about the prospect of the new job. Discusses the interview. Asks about the fate of Basic. Reports this holiday to have been better than a previous one; mentions positively the walk leader at the holiday. Mentions a letter from Raymond Richards, author of Cheshire Churches; wishing to buy Ernest's notes about Nonconformist history...

10 Jun 1949

D2313/2/68

Typescript letter from Dora Axon to Charles Ogden

Declares that she does not regret the change to her new job. Believes she is underpaid. Bemoans the inadequate practice of the existing staff. Describes the range of her work. Is learning about meteorology in order to understudy Miss Pilkington, Borough Meteorologist. Praises Mr Arthur, the new Librarian. Her hours of work allow for some evening leisure activities. Reports response of P[ublic] T[rustee] about Nonconformity papers. Mentions presentation of Grundy-Heapes's book to Princess Elizabeth when she visited Buxton. Asks about Ogden's affairs: hopes he has secured the deal he...

20 Jul 1949

D2313/2/69

Typescript letter from Dora Axon to Charles Ogden

Anticipates quiet Christmas with her sisters, with an opportunity to play duets with Ida, who has been studying under Dora Gilson. Mentions performance of Messiah. Bemoans chaotic absence of systems encountered at Buxton library; and the uphill task of making improvements. Describes assistants as "stupid glamour girls" and condemns a voluntary worker as avoidant of any work. Otherwise likes the work and is relieved not to be travelling to Whaley Bridge. Full time work leaves no time to worry about the Axon material. Did not reply to Mr Richards. Describes a holiday spent at a vegetarian...

20 Dec 1949

D2313/2/70

Handwritten letter from Dora Axon to Charles Ogden

Is enjoying walks on holiday despite dull weather. Comments on Ilfracombe as a resort and describes the libraries at Ilfracombe and Bideford. Reports dissatisfaction with Buxton library and the departure after nine months of Mr Arthur. Recounts the wish of the Library Committee to appoint her to the vacancy and the refusal of the Mayor to accept a woman as head of a department. Describes the inexperience of the selected candidate and his initially uncouth speech and behaviour. Describes Library Committee's response to her claim for re-grading: now awaits Finance Committee decision...

26 Jul 1950

D2313/2/71

Handwritten letter from Dora Axon to Charles Ogden

Hopes he is well and has overcome previous obstructions to Basic plans. Expresses thanks for "Word Stress and Sentence Stress" and refers to evidence she has seen that he is still publishing material. Chides Ogen for not having approached G[eorge] B[ernard] S[haw] for support for Basic English. Has been pursuing re-grading appeal for a year: has reached a higher grade and believes herself to be the first woman to do so in Buxton. Describes her experience of the process. Reports on the state of the library, responsiveness of the staff and demands of library users. Rates the average...

30 Aug 1951

D2313/2/72

Handwritten letter from Dora Axon to Charles Ogden

Sends good wishes for Christmas and New Year and recognises that not everyone keeps Christmas. She is well and hopes he is well. Believes he should visit Buxton. Mentions despair at local administration and failed proposals to move the library. Mentions performance of Messiah: met the person who had earlier asked to play her violin. Asks questions intended for Ogden's friend who is knowledgeable about sonics. Asks if Ogden has visited an exhibition in London of wool figures by Lilian Lunn, a Buxton resident. Asked by NZ brother-in-law to place his novel; but feels it has no merit as a...

19 Dec 1951

D2313/2/73

Handwritten letter from Dora Axon to Charles Ogden, undated

Enthuses about symphony concert with Leon Goossens. Mentions removal in which one item got scratched.

[1940s-1950s]

D2313/2/74

Handwritten letter from Dora Axon to Charles Ogden, undated

Enthuses about a concert at Westminster Hall: names performers and remembers an earlier concert in Manchester with some of the same performers. Describes audience's pleasure. Describes meeting at Montague Hotel a former Reform Club librarian who showed items from his collection of European decorations and silver monies. Discusses wriitng in Basic. Has been invited to take part in a public recital. Attaches 6 pages (made in the Annexe) with lists of furniture and contents (books and papers) in rooms numbered 31-36.

[1940s-1950s]

D2313/3

Letters to Ernest and Dora Axon

Including

- letter from Charles Ogden to Ernest Axon, Feb 1944

- letter from Herbert McLachlan, Unitarian Historical Society to Dora Axon providing advice about where to deposit her husband's papers, Aug 1947

1944-1947

D2313/3/1

Handwritten letter from Charles Ogden to Ernest Axon

[Marked "Draft" in crayon] Expresses thanks for proofs and useful corrections. Discusses Bentham and Buxton visits. Names S H Romilly as author of "Letters to Ivy". Glad to have the Pitman items.

13 Feb 1944

D2313/3/2

Handwritten letter from Herbert McLachlan of the Unitarian Historical Society to Dora Axon

Refers to [obituary] notice in the Inquiries: has had appreciative comments about it from George H Payne, retired Unitarian minister. Expresses preference for Manchester College as a destination for Ernest's papers: McLachlan's son is tutor and librarian there. Library at Summerville Unitarian College is being neglected. Offers advice and assistance.

11 Aug 1947

D2313/4

Estate of Ernest Axon

 

c1948

D2313/4/1

Typescript summary of the arrangement of 'Historical notes on Buxton by Ernest Axon'

Consisting of a contents list of Axon's folders of notes for his proposed publication 'Buxton's History'

[c1940s-c1950s]

D2313/4/2

Copy (typescript) of obituary of Ernest Axon, written by H McLachlan, from The Inquirer

 

9 Aug 1947

D2313/4/3

Copy of notification from solicitor concerning probate valuation by Messrs Hampson of furniture and effects of E C A Axon, deceased

 

7 Jun 1948

D2313/5

Pamphlets etc. by Ernest Axon on topics of Buxton Local History

 

c1943-1947

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