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Ben Buckhurst Chronicle

An inventory of the collection at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: KM
Date: Feb 1997

Biographical History

The Powells were a Victorian country family of Kent, England. Brothers David, Baden, and James Powell between them had eight sons, all of whom in turn had large families. Baden was an Oxford professor of geometry and authority on radiation; his son Robert became the first Baron Baden-Powell of Gilway and founder of the Boy Scouts. Nathaniel Powell and his wife Agnes lived at Buckhurst Hill together with their two sons and seven daughters.

Nathaniel and Agnes' eldest daughter, Alice, began The Ben Buckhurst Chronicle as a monthly four-page quarto-size manuscript of family news and drawings. Later issues feature increasingly elaborate illustrations, some in color, with eight small folio pages on blue paper. At a cost of sixpence to read the single copy of the manuscript, the periodical was circulated among its subscribers by mail, and returned to the editor, often with comments on the blank leaves or in the margins. The subscribers, many of whom were also contributors, were cousins or other relatives, and appear never to have exceeded eight or nine in number.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Ben Buckhurst Chronicle collection consists of 33 issues of the monthly family newsletter. In addition to documenting family visits, travel departures, births, and marriages, much of it in verse form, the Chronicle offers accounts of balls, musical programs, church events, and athletic competitions including races, croquet, and cricket matches. Acrostics, riddles, and contents are interspersed with compositions on such widely diverse topics as mermaids and carbon. Often droll and always charming, The Ben Buckhurst Chronicle not only illustrates the maturation of an enterprising, talented, and energetic young woman, but also offers a glimpse into 19th century upper class family structure and social life.

Issues in the collection span May to October 1862 and September 1864 to May 1866, with an odd printed number dated March 31, 1867.

Arrangement of the Collection

Issues are in chronological order, in a slipcase.


Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Subject Headings


Powell family.
Powell, Alice.


Family histories -- 19th century.


Buckhurst Hill (England)
Kent (England) -- Intellectual life.
Kent (England) -- Manners and customs.

Genres and Forms

Family newsletters.
Manuscripts (document genre)

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Ben Buckhurst Chronicle,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

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