Fonds MS 11322 - George Borrow Centenary Celebrations, 1913, and other Papers of Frank J. Farrell

Identity area

Reference code

MS 11322


George Borrow Centenary Celebrations, 1913, and other Papers of Frank J. Farrell


  • 1677-1948 (Creation)

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Extent and medium

1,172 items, 6 files

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Born on 5 July 1803 at East Dereham. Died 26 July 1881. Son of Captain Thomas Borrow (1758-1824), adjutant of the West Norfolk militia, and his wife, Ann (1772-1858), daughter of Samuel Parfrement, a farmer. His elder brother was John Thomas Borrow.
The centenary of George Borrow's birth, in 1903, passed with little notice or celebration. As a result, a group of local Borrovians set-up a committee to organize a major celebration in 1913. The committee boasted many prominent members including the Lord Mayor of Norwich, the Dean of Norwich, William Jarrold, Herbert Jenkins and E.M. Beloe. Frank J. Farrell, a Great Yarmouth silk manufacturer, was appointed Honorary Secretary and as such was responsible for most of the planning and arrangements. The celebration took place on 5 July 1913, events including a guided tour of Borrovian Norwich, a reception at St Andrew's Hall, performances by Gypsy bands and dancers, and a dinner at the Maid's Head Hotel. At the reception the Lord Mayor, Arthur Samuel, presented the deeds of Borrow's house in Willow Lane to the City: the house was to become a museum in Borrow's memory, a purpose which it served until 1948.

Name of creator

Archival history

From a price-list (MS 11322/677) it appears that the collection was purchased by the City Library, together with other Borrow-related manuscripts, in 1939, from Bowes & Bowes, a Cambridge booksellers. It was divided into five boxes, labelled I-V in the early 1950s.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Received by the Norfolk Record Office on an unknown date.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

The bulk of the collection consists of correspondence and other documents relating to the celebration. There are also manuscripts relating to Borrow and his family, and further correspondence of Farrell's mainly of a personal or antiquarian nature. Unless otherwise specified correspondence is addressed to Farrell (in which case only the writer's name is given), and subject matter concerns the celebrations in general.

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System of arrangement

Each item is one paper, and manuscript, unless otherwise specified. Filed in searchroom under MC 525.

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