fonds AHM - Records of Arthur Harold May

Identity area

Reference code



Records of Arthur Harold May


  • [late 19th century]-1995 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

0.08 cubic metres

4 boxes

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Arthur Harold May was born 17 October 1910 in Aldershot, Hampshire, the son of Fred May, Chief Clerk at Aldershot County Hall, and his wife Nellie. He received his first BA in French at University College, Southampton, and in 1933 became a certified teacher.

He returned to university in the 1940s, graduating with a BA in Theology from St Catherine’s Society, Oxford, in 1947. He spent a further year at Wycliffe’s Hall, Oxford and was ordained deacon in 1947 and priest in 1948. Between 1947 and 1950 May served as Curate at the Church of Holy Trinity, Southall, before being appointed Precentor and Chaplain at Sheffield Cathedral from 1950 to 1952.

In 1952 May travelled to Nigeria with the Church Missionary Society and would remain there for the next 10 years. Between 1952 and 1955 he served as Provincial Chaplain to the Archbishop of West Africa and then from 1955 to 1962 as Chaplain at St Saviour’s Church, Lagos. It was here that he became involved with the Colonial Church School Trust, later the St Saviour’s Church Schools’ Trust, which operated two schools at Ebute Metta and Ikoyi for the children of ex-patriates. The Trust had been established by the St Saviour’s Church Council with the support of the United Africa Company and May served as a Trustee from 1955.

May returned to England in 1962 and was appointed Curate at Holy Trinity Church, Kensington 1962-1963, and then Rector of St Mary’s Church, Wavertree, Liverpool, 1963-1968, and Sub-Warden at St Deiniol’s Library in Chester, 1968-1973. In 1973 he was appointed Vicar of the parish of Middleton with Cropton, York, where he remained until his retirement. From 1975-1980 he was also Rural Dean of Pickering.

Arthur Harold May retired to Sussex in 1980 and died 10 June 1995 at the age of 84.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

The archive was deposited at the Borthwick Institute by the family of Arthur Harold May in 2006.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Photographs of May and other staff and students at University College, Southampton, 1930, 1932, St Catherine’s Society, Oxford, c.1940s, Wycliffe Hall, Oxford, 1947, as well as several unidentified locations, 1930s-1940s; notification of certificated teacher status, 1933; material relating to Nigeria, including photographs of May at formal events with the Archbishop of West Africa and others, c.1952-1955, personal photographs of Africa, c.1952-c.1962, invitations to official events, 1956-1959, material relating to St Saviour’s School including the St Saviour’s Church Schools’ Trust report, 1960, photographs of school children, c.1955-c.1962 and a photograph album presented to May by the Headmistress of St Saviour’s School, Lagos, 1960; material relating to Middleton with Cropton, York, including photographs of the vicarage at Middleton with Cropton, c.1910, photograph of May officiating, c.1970s, newspaper cuttings concerning the sale of St Andrew’s Church silver, 1974; personal effects of Arthur Harold May, n.d.; assorted family papers including newspaper cuttings, 1916, 1945, c.1962, 1971, photographs, 19th-20th century, and books of remembrance for May’s parents Fred and Nellie May from Park Crematorium, Aldershot, 1962, 1971.


Further accruals are not expected.

System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Records are open to the public, subject to the overriding provisions of relevant legislation, including data protection laws. 24 hours' notice is required to access photographic material.

Conditions governing reproduction

A reprographics service is available to researchers. Copying will not be undertaken if there is any risk of damage to the document. Copies are supplied in accordance with the Borthwick Institute for Archives' terms and conditions for the supply of copies, and under provisions of any relevant copyright legislation. Permission to reproduce images of documents in the custody of the Borthwick Institute must be sought.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

A typescript finding aid, to file level, is available for consultation in the searchroom of the Borthwick Institute.

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

Related descriptions

Notes area

Alternative identifier(s)

Access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

GB 193

Rules and/or conventions used

ISAD (G): General International Standard Archival Description, International Council on Archives (2nd edition, 2000); Rules for the construction of personal, place and corporate names, National Council on Archives (1997).

Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion

Created by S. A. Shearn, 22.04.15.




Accession area