fonds MCF - The MacCarthy Foulds Archive

Identity area

Reference code



The MacCarthy Foulds Archive


  • 1870-2000 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

0.1 cubic metres

5 boxes

Context area

Name of creator

(fl 1848-2008)

Biographical history

The MacCarthy Foulds family is comprised of the parents, spouses, siblings and children of Maud MacCarthy (1882-1967), violinist, Theosophist and esoteric teacher.

Members include her father Charles William MacCarthy, senior (1848-1919), medical doctor; her mother Marion MacCarthy, née Cuddihy (c1862-c1925), contralto singer; her younger brother Charles William MacCarthy, junior (1884-1909); her first husband William Mann (1881-c1929), Theosophist and writer; her lover and second husband John Herbert Foulds (1880-1939), composer and writer; and her son John Patrick Foulds (1916-2008), Major.

The family lived and worked variously in Ireland, England, India and Australia in the late nineteenth and twentieth century. They shared broad interests in art, music (especially Indian music) and esoteric spirituality (specifically Theosophy).

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

The archive was donated to the Borthwick Institute in 2008.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Material relating to Charles William MacCarthy, senior, comprising correspondence, 1885-c.1910, medical certificates, 1870-1884, and a press cutting concerning a display of plaster casts by MacCarthy, 1918; material relating to Marion MacCarthy, nee Cuddihy, comprising correspondence, 1902-1920, and a press cutting concerning a performance as a contralto with the Philharmonic Society, 1887; material relating to John Herbert Foulds, comprising personal correspondence, 1915-1925, material relating to musical compositions, including flyers, programmes, press cuttings, correspondence and other administrative and organisational papers for ‘A World Requiem’, 1905-1934, publicity brochures, c.1915-c.1932, Workers Educational Association Lectures programmes, 1923, press notices and articles on lectures by Foulds, 1923, correspondence relating to Foulds’ membership of The Theosophical Society, 1915-1916, and a photographic portrait, n.d.; personal correspondence of William H. Mann, 1913-1920; material relating to Maud MacCarthy, comprising personal correspondence, 1899-1926, papers relating to musical compositions and performances, 1898-c.1935, promotional materials, 1897-c.1935, astrological charts, 1912-1916, photographs, c.1894-1909, correspondence, articles, lectures, press cuttings, and other papers relating to MacCarthy’s membership of The Theosophical Society, 1900-1917, papers relating to The Mussoorie Ladies Literary and Debating Society, 1908, papers relating to The Brotherhood of Arts, Crafts and Industries, 1914-1918, papers relating to The School of the Mysteries, 1919-1920, papers relating to Red Triangle Play Guilds, 1919-1920, papers relating to the Temple of Labour Worker’s Guild, 1920-1921, papers relating to Everyone’s Concern (Grove End Phonotherapy Clinic), 1932-1933, papers relating to Puppet Festival Theatre Club, c.1931-1935, material relating to MacCarthy’s journalism in India, comprising manuscript draft lecture, c.1936, scrapbook and press cuttings of articles written under the pseudonym Tandra Devi, 1915, 1936-1938; material relating to Charles William MacCarthy, junior, comprising daily diaries, including press cuttings, cash accounts and ephemera, 1902-1903, and article ‘The Place of Peace,’ 1909; material relating to John Patrick Foulds, comprising correspondence, 1978-2000, original artwork, 1936-1938, and material relating to posthumous concerts and recordings of John H. Foulds’ work, c.1980-2000.

There is one file of unlisted correspondence c.1909-1917, comprising mainly of personal letters between Maud MacCarthy and John Herbert Foulds dated 1915-1916, together with a few letters from Maud MacCarthy to other recipients, and a few letters from William Mann. Some of the letters are undated.


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.

Conditions governing reproduction

A reprographics service is available to researchers subject to the access restrictions outlined above. 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
  • French
  • German

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

A typescript finding aid, to item 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

Further correspondence and papers of John Herbert Foulds are held by the British Library (Foulds Collection, BL Add 56469 – 56483; 56482). These are comprised of musical manuscripts, correspondence and papers deposited by his daughter, Marybride Watt, née Foulds, in 1970. They cover the period 1900 to 1965. Two letters to Maud MacCarthy are preserved as part of the same collection in BL Add 56478.

Related descriptions

Publication note

Malcolm Macdonald, 'John Foulds: His Life in Music' (London. 1975)

Notes area

Alternative identifier(s)

Access points

Place 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, 28.05.15.




Accession area