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Stein's Recording Angel – Miss F. M. G. Lorimer

  • Helen Wang

In the Introductions to the Full Reports of his expeditions to Chinese Central Asia, Sir Aurel Stein (186–1943), professional as always, was careful to acknowledge the assistance of all involved with the production of the reports. Most of his colleagues in the academic world were men who to this day retain their positions as great scholars in the history of oriental studies. The people who helped Stein in the remote sites of Xinjiang live on through his affectionate, and often humorous, descriptions of them scattered throughout the Full Reports and the popular abridged accounts of his expeditions. Yet very little is known of the people who worked on a day-to-day basis with Stein, unpacking the many cases he sent to the British Museum, sorting through the various groups of often unfamiliar material, documenting the Stein collection, arranging exhibitions of objects and photographs relating to Stein's expeditions, as well as carrying out personal favours for Stein, such as posting on his spats and packing tea tablets bought on his account at the Army and Navy Store.

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I would like to thank the Lorimer family for their support in the preparation of this paper. I would also like to thank W. H. Clennell (Bodleian Library), Mrs G. M. Goudge (RHS Library), Paula Lucas (Royal Geographical Society), Miss F. M. Foster (Dundee Libraries), Ian Flett (Archives and Records Centre, Dundee), Mr Thackeray (Society for the History of Natural History), Mrs Patullo (Dundee High School), Pauline Adams (Somerville College), Seth Cardew (Wenford Bridge Pottery), Helen Barnett, Loma Poole (John Lewis Partnership) and Professor W. T. Steam.

1 Stein, M. Aurel (1907) Ancient Khotan: Detailed Report of Archaeological Explorations in Chinese Turkestan, 2 vols, Oxford; (1921) Serindia: Detailed Report of Explorations in Central Asia and Westernmost China, 5 vols, Oxford; (1928) Innermost Asia: Detailed Report of Exploration in Central Asia, Kansu and Eastern Iran, 4 vols, Oxford.

2 Stein's instructions for the personal favours could be as detailed as his work favours. Whilst in Europe, Stein had arranged for “a pound of compressed Indian tea in tablets which I am ordering to be sent to you by A&N Stores from my account.” [Bodleian Stein MS 37:177, Stein to Andrews, 27–08–09) The following day Stein again wrote to Andrews: “The tea, if it comes, could best be sent to me by instalments packed bookpost fashion and marked sample without value. The tablets pack flat & 5–6 in each packet (open at end) will pass unmolested, anyhow while I am in Austria. The spats, too, could go by sample post, each at a time, rolled up in plenty of paper”. (Bodleian Stein MS 37:179 Stein to Andrews, 28–08–09)

3 See Hopkirk's, PeterForeign Devils on the Silk Road: the Search for the Lost Cities and Treasures of Chinese Central Asia (1980). Stein also refers to the British Museum as the “beehive”: “Please do not trouble to write me a letter. Just jot down on a slip any communication needed, as if I were in another cellar or cell of that B.M. beehive, and post it”. (Bodleian Stein MS 37:192 Stein to Andrews, 09–09–09)

4 Renamed in 1992 as the Gallery, Joseph E. Hotung of Oriental Art.

5 Droop, John Percival (18821963).

6 SirWoolley, Charles Leonard (18801960).

7 Introduction to Serindia, , p. xiv.

8 Serindia, , p. 835.

9 Serindia, , p. 902.

10 Andrews, Frederick Henry (1866–1957), see obituary in the Journal of the Royal Society of Arts, 12 1957.

11 Introduction to Innermost Asia, p. xv.

12 Innermost Asia, Introduction pp. xviii–xix, Appendix B, pp. 989–95.

13 Bodleian Stein MS 37:216 Stein to Andrews 24–10–09. Corrected text of the version quoted in Mirsky, Jeanette: Sir Aurel Stein Archaeological Explorer. (Chicago, 1977), p. 341.

14 Bodleian Stein MS 37:225 Stein to Andrews 20–11–09. Corrected text of the version quoted in Mirsky, , p. 341.

15 Mirsky, (op. cit.); Annabel Walker: Aurel Stein, Pioneer of the Silk Road (1995).

16 M. H. Allen was a close friend of Stein's, and wife of Percy Stafford Allen, see fh 32 below.

17 Mirsky, , p. 340.

18 His publications include Mains and Strathmartine United Free Church: a Short Historical and Architectural Account (1909); see also Lamb's, J. A.Fasti of the United Free Church of Scotland 1900–1929 (1956). Details of the earlier Lorimer family can be found in Lorimer's, R. L. C. Introduction to his father's The New Testament in Scots (1983).

19 Daughter of David, Robertson H.E.I.C. (18111857), judge at Bareilly, India, and hanged in 1857 by his own servants during the Indian Mutiny. See Lorimer, R. L. C. (1983), p. ix.

20 Author's communication with R. L. C. Lorimer, grandson of Robert and Isabella Lorimer. Isabella Lorimer's work with the poor is confirmed by her obituary (no source, no date) held in the Dundee Archives. See also Lorimer, R. L. C. (1983), Introduction.

21 Somerville College Archives: the scholarship was worth £50 for threexs years.

22 This suggests that she completed die first two years of a degree. Examinations were taken after the first two years study of language and literature (Mods) and after another two years study of history and philology (Greats).

23 Who was Who, 1897–1915. His publications include Lorimer's Gazetteer of the Persian Gulf, Oman and Arahistan (1915). published posthumously.

24 Lorimer, D. L. R. was a close friend of Stein's; see correspondence in the Bodleian Library, Oxford. He and his wife, Emily Overend Lorimer [18811949] were well-known figures in the field of Asian studies, winning the Burton, Triennial Memorial Medal from the Royal Asiatic Society in 1948. His numerous publications include Syntax of Colloquial Pashtu (1915) and The Bumshaski Language, 2 vols (19351938). See Who was Who, 1961–70). Lorimer, E. O. (daughter of Judge Overend, T. G.) was Tutor in Germanic Philology at Somerville College, Oxford (19071910); her publications include What Hitler wants (1939) and Language Hunting in the Karakoram (1939). (See Who was Who, 1941–1950.)

25 Her publications include Homer and the Monuments (1950) as well as books on Serbian history.

26 Lorimer, Emilia: Songs of Alban (1912). She married Dr Kenneth Williamson, a biologist who assisted Sir Ronald Ross in his research on malaria.

27 For biographical details, see Lorimer's, R. L. C. Introduction to The New Testament in Scots, also Dover, K. J. “William Laughton Lorimer [1885–1967]”, Memoir printed in the British Academy's Proceedings, Vol. LIII, pp. 437–88. R. L. C. Lorimer edited his father's work, set up the Lorimer, W. L. Memorial Trust and himself translated Macbeth into Scots (1942).

28 Author's conversation with R. L. C. Lorimer.

29 SirCraster, Edmund, History of the Bodleian Library 1845–1945 (1952); Bodleian Archives: Lorimer to Stein 18–01–40.

30 Correspondence Cardew to Gibson 18–01–40.

31 Bodleian Stein MS 37:167 Stein to Andrews 18–08–09. Details of employment attached to letter.

32 Bodleian Stein MS 37:168 Stein to Andrews 18–08–09. Percy Stafford Allan (1869–1933) was a Fellow of Merton College, Oxford, in 1909. He was later Curator of the Bodleian Library (1913–33), Curator of the Indian Institute (1914–25), and the President of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, from 1924. See Who was Who, 1929–40.

33 Bodleian Stein MS 37:172 Stein to Andrews 27–08–09.

34 Bodleian Stein MS 37:170 Andrews to Stein 25–08–09.

35 Bodleian Stein MS 37:185 Stein to Andrews 05–09–09.

36 Bodleian Stein MS 37:192 Stein to Andrews 09–09–09.

37 Bodleian Stein MS 37:196 Stein to Andrews 26–09–09.

38 Bodleian Stein MS 37:201 Andrews to Stein 02–10–09.

39 Bodleian Stein MS 37:202 Stein to Andrews 06–10–09.

40 Bodleian Stein MS 37:204 Andrews to Stein 06–10–09.

41 Bodleian Stein MS 37:207 Andrews to Stein 10–10–09.

42 Bodleian Stein MS 37:208 Stein to Andrews 13–10–09.

43 Bodleian Stein MS 37:207 Andrews to Stein 10–10–09; MS 37:208 Stein to Andrews 13–10–09.

44 Bodleian Stein MS 37:219 Andrews to Stein 14–11–09.

45 Bodleian Stein MS 37:231 Stein to Andrews 10–12–09.

46 Stein uses a different term in each of his major publications to describe the region known by its political name in his time as Sinkiang (Xinjiang) Province (1884–1955) and since 1955 as The Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China.

47 Walker, p. 206, p. 240.

48 For the correspondence between Stein and Lorimer, 19121915, detailing the progress being made in the British Museum on the Stein collection from the Second Expedition, see Diamond, E. and Rogers, T. D. (1983) Catalogue of the Papers of Sir (Marc) Aurel Stein (1862–1943). These papers were bequeathed by Stein to the Indian Institute, now in the Bodleian Library, Oxford.

49 The RAS List of Members gives the following addresses for MissLorimer, from 19151932: The Stein Collection (1915–20); c/o Postmaster, Srinagar, Kashmir, (19211922); c/o Lloyds Bank Ltd, 9 Pall Mall, London SWi (1932) (this was also Stein's bank, see Stein, R. G. S. Correspondence Block 19211930 Stein to Hinks 12–11–25); 47 Barkston Gardens, Earls Court, London SW5 (1924–6); 11 Courtfield Road, London SWi (1927); 19 Holland Street, London W8 (1928); 4 North View, Wimbledon Common, London SW19 (1929–32).

50 Bodleian Stein MS 94:147 Lorimer to Stein n–02–14. The move to Bushire had marked a significant promotion for Lorimer, J. G.. Major-General Sir Percy Cox was Political Resident in the Persian Gulf (19091914), and Lorimer replaced him when Cox was made Chief Political Officer of the Indian Expeditionary Force “D” (G.C.I.E.) (1914–18).

51 His widow and daughters, Jean and Dorothy, returned to live in Scotland for one year and then in England.

52 Bodleian Stein MS 94:194 Lorimer to Stein 06–11–14.

53 Bodleian Stein MS 94:221 Lorimer to Stein 22–04–15.

54 Bodleian Stein MS 15:870. L. R. Lorimer to Stein 11–12–17.

55 Who was Who, 1929–40.

56 Bodleian Stein MS 16:18 Stein to Allen 26–02–19.

57 Bodleian Stein MS 16:26 Stein to Allen 23–03–19.

58 Bodleian Stein MS 16:38 Stein to Allen 16–05–19.

59 Bodleian Stein MS 16:27 Stein to Allen 06–04–19.

60 Royal Geographical Society Archives: Stein, M.A., RGS Correspondence, Block 1911–20, letter from Miss Lorimer to Secretary of RGS, 03–11–17.

61 RGS: Stein. M. A. RGS Correspondence Block 1911–1920: RGS Secretary to Foster 29–05–19.

62 Walker, (1995), p. 234, 240.

63 Quoted in Mirsky, , p. 406.

64 Mirsky, , p. 406.

65 Bodleian Stein MS 16:28 Stein to Allen 13–04–19.

66 Andrews was Principal of the Amar Singh Technical Institute, Srinagar (Thacker's Indian Directory 1921).

67 Walker, (1995), p.240.

68 Now the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. Walker, (1995), p. 238.

69 Bodleian Stein MS 16:38 Stein to Allen 16–05–19.

70 Bodleian Stein MS 16:40 Stein to Allen 24–05–19.

71 Bodleian Stein MS 16:49 Stein to Allen 02–07–19.

72 This was clearly a plan Stein had in mind for his colleagues. When his work on the Stein Collection was complete, Andrews became Assistant to Sir John Marshall [V&A Archives, India: Archaeology Survey, V&A Minutes 02–07–23].

73 Bodleian Stein MS 16:51 Stein to Allen 16–07–19.

74 Bodleian Stein MS 16:61 Stein to Allen 26–08–19.

75 Bodleian Stein MS 16:93 Stein to Allen 25–11–19.

76 Mirsky, , pp. 406–7.

77 Bodleian Stein MS 16:83 Stein to Allen 28–10–22.

78 Who was Who, 1929–40.

79 Wembley Stadium, originally known as the Empire Stadium, was built as the centre-piece of the British Empire Exhibition of 1924.

80 John Innes Centre Archives, Binyon to Bateson 15–11–23.

81 Bateson, was, from 1910, the first Director of the newly established John Innes Horticultural Institution.

82 Florence Warden [pseudonym of Florence Alice Price, afterwards James] was author of over 190 popular titles.

83 Lorimer, Norma was another popular novelist; Catherine Sterling (1903) is one of 30 titles (Who was Who, 1929–40).

84 V&A File Stein, M. R. Dr.: typed notice 09–04–31; also Stein to Wace, Keeper of Textiles 13–02–25. See also Innermost Asia, Introduction p. xx: “useful assistance was rendered by Miss J. Joshua with regard to the verification of all references, whether to Descriptive Lists, Plates, &c, or to other publications.”

85 John Lewis Partnership Archives.

86 Somerville College Register 1879–1971.

87 Ornithology may have been a Lorimer family interest. Her sister, Hilda, is also known to have had a keen interest. Somerville Archives, Craig to Deputy Secretary, The University, Dundee 05–05–69.

88 Marriage certificate.

89 Cardew, Michael: A Pioneer Potter (1989), p. 20.

90 Cardew's son, Christopher George Cardew, was resident in India. See Arthur Cardew's will of 10–06–31.

91 Cardew, , op. cit., p. 1, p. 153. Cardew's violin [my violin by Antonius son of Andreas Amati, with the case containing it and the violin bow by Lupet and the viola bow therein also contained”] was clearly a treasured possession; special mention of it was made in his will (10–06–31).

92 “The post [of Assistant Librarian] is now held by Mrs Arthur Cardew (formerly Miss F. M. G. Lorimer), who will be known to many members for her knowledge of Oriental matters. Mrs Cardew was on the staff of the Bodleian and was Assistant to Sir Aurel Stein for thirteen years, nine at the British Museum and four in India. She has been engaged in Oriental work for some twenty years.” JRAS Anniversary Meeting, JRAS, 1933, p. 729.

93 Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 1932.

94 RAS, Library Committee, Minutes of Proceedings of Council 20–03–34.

95 RAS, Library Committee, Minutes of Proceedings of Council 20–01–38.

96 RAS Minutes of Proceedings of Council 09–01–41 and 13–02–41. Edwards, Evangeline Dora (18881957), Professor of Chinese, University of London (SOAS) was then Honorary Secretary of the Royal Asiatic Society.

97 Arthur Cardew had arranged for his widow to receive £1,000 upon his death, and “a yearly sum of one hundred & fifty pounds to be paid quarterly during her life” (Cardew's will, 10–06–3 ')o

98 Bodleian Archives, Cardew to Gibson 28–12–39.

99 Bodleian Archives, Gibson to Cardew 17–07–40.

100 Bodleian Archives, Cardew to Gibson 07–04–41.

101 Letter to the author, 15–04–94.

102 Foreword by President D. Bowes Lyon: “On behalf of the Council I wish to express our gratitude to DR GEORGE TAYLOR and MRS F. CARDEW who have largely been responsible for the compilation of this brochure.”

103 JHRS, LXXII (1947), part 6, pp. 245–8.

104 JHRS, LXXII (1947), part 7, pp. 281–5.

105 JHRS, LXXII (1947), part 11, pp. 450–3.

106 JHRS, LXXIII (1948), part 6, pp. 180–2.

107 JHRS, LXIV (1949), part 6, pp. 256–61.

108 JHRS, LXXVIII (1953), part 8, pp. 293–4.

109 In the Lindley Library, Royal Horticultural Society (1953).

110 From the conversations with the Lorimer family and Mrs Dunlop; also from the death certificate.

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