File 14 - Manning to H.C. Darby

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Manning to H.C. Darby


  • 3rd January 1933 (Creation)

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(1892 - 1941)

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Born on December 31st 1892 at Caistor, North Lincolnshire, his father was a Congregational Minister and Manning was particularly close to him. He may have joined the Ministry himself but health complications set him back. While attending the Caistor Grammar School as a boy, he contracted an illness, severe enough to deprive him of the use of one of his lungs. The effect of this was drastic enough for Manning that it was impossible for him to walk at anything faster than a slow walking pace. If the weather was extreme, he would also have troubles breathing.

Manning arrived at Jesus College in 1912 and in 1915, he took his degree with a double first in History. He was awarded the Lightfoot Scholarship in Ecclesiastical History, the subject of which remained his primary passion. In 1917 he was awarded the Thirlwall Prize for one of his essays and during 1916-1918, he was also an editor for 'The Cambridge Review', whilst also being a Bye-Fellow of Magdalene College.

During WWI Manning worked at the Ministry of Munitions, although suffered an attack of tuberculosis whilst there.

In 1919, he became an educational adviser to the Indian Students and held the position for two years. He also returned to Jesus as a Fellow in the same year. In 1920, he was appointed Bursar and held this position for 13 years. His time in the position saw a number of architectural additions to the college, such as 50 sets of rooms for accomodation in the Carpenter Building. Additionally, he was a lecturer in History for the College and later was appointed a University lecturer.

In 1933, the position of Senior Tutor of the College became vacant and Manning was asked to fill the vacancy. Throughout this role, he was known for his afflable nature with undergraduates, maintaining strong relationships with them. As a historian, Manning also published a number of works on ecclestiastical history and similar subjects. Indeed, Manning kept his religion very close to his heart. He died aged 48 on December 8th 1941 at the Evelyn Nursing Home due to heart disease.

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This letter begins with Manning thanking Darby for his Christmas gift, which was the book 'Sin of Man'. Unfortunately he has been unable to read it, as his new position means he is still incredibly busy, even now. However, Manning's father has finished book and sings it's praises, noting that the beginning of the book is particularly insightful and valuable.

Manning also points out that they should keep aware of the new psychological historians and asks if Darby has held a lecture on Psychology and Geography and, if not, why not.

Manning also mentions that he does very little these days, other than take short walks, examime plants and listen to readings of Pendennis (likely referring to 'The History of Pendennis: His Fortunes and Misfortunes, His Friends and His Greatest Enemy' by William Makepeace Thackeray) and scribbling letters.

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