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Inventory for AB1001 
Collection Index:ROBBEN ISLAND, Leper Colony 1895-1961.
Collection Name:ROBBEN ISLAND Records relating to the Leper Colony 1895-1961.
Photos:ROBBEN ISLAND• click to view
Collection - AB1001
AB1001 The Robben Island Papers 
  
 Copyright 2006, The Library, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa 
  
 Records collected and deposited by Miss Elsa Witt, who lived and nursed on Robben Island, containing records relating to the Leper Colony, 1895-1961 
  
  
 BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES 
  
 CLEMENTSON, William Lawson, U.C.T., M.A., 1876. B.D. (Durham) 1902. d.1874, p.1877. Cape Town. Chaplain to Lepers, Robben Island 1919-27. Hon. Canon of Cape Town 1922 
 DAVIES, Caradoc, Oxford, M.A. 1902. d.1899. p.1900. Likoma. Chaplain of Robben Island (excluding Lepers) 1905-10. 
 ENGLEHART, Clinton, Ch: Ch: Oxford, M.A. 1892. d.1892. p.1893. York. Assist. Chaplain, Leper Inst: Robben Island 1898-01; Chaplain 1901-19. Subsequently Archdeacon of Caledon. 
 GRESLEY, Geoffrey Ferrers, Sarum Theol: Coll: 1876. d.1876. p.1878. Oxford. Assist: Chaplain, Robben Island 1894-97. Canon of Cape Town 1915 
 LE MESURIER, Thomas Gerald, St Edmund Hall, Oxford, M.A. 1903. d.1899. p.1900. Lincoln. Chaplain Robben Island 1910-13. Annalie, born Lenz. Wife of the above. b. on Robben Island. 
 MATSON, Edward, d.1887. p.1889. Cape Town. Chaplain of Robben Island (excluding Lepers) 1913-22. 
 PEACHEY, Ernest William. Burgh Theo: Coll: d.1922. p.1923. Cape Town. Died 1964 (sic) Chaplain Robben Island 1927-31 
 WATKINS, William Uniacke, Ch: Ch: Oxford. B.A. 1882. d.1882. p.1883. Lincoln.Chaplain to Inst: & Hospital, Robben Island 1890-01. Actg: Chaplain to Hospital 1914-15 & 1923-24. 
 WEBB, Horace Hamilton, St. Augustines Canterbury 1901. d.1904. p.1908. Cape Town. His mother was Assist. Matron in the female compound of RobbenIsland c. 1900.H.F. brother to above. Worked in the Post Office. 
 WILSHERE, Alfred Richard Myddleton, d.1845 Hereford p.1846. Rochester.Chaplain on Robben Island 1877-1890 
 WITT, Elsa, b. on Robben Island, November 1912. d. of Charles & Lily Witt (ne Webber). He was a Ships Engineer who came to work on Robben Island in 1900 and remained till 1928. d.1949. Mrs Witt was a Leper Nurse, b. 1885 in Guernsey. Elsa left the Island in 1928. 
  
  
 ALL SAINTS SISTERS 
  
 Their Mother House was at St. Albans in England. They came to work in the diocese of Cape Town at the invitation of West Jones in 1876. Their head-quarters when working among the Leper children on Robben Island was St. Michaels Home in Kloof St. There is a Jubilee Booklet of their work in the diocese 1876-1926 in folder of their correspondence. 
  
  
 NOTES SUPPLIED BY ELSA WITT ABOUT THE ISLAND 
  
 The Church on the Island was built by convict labour in 1841 under the supervision of Mayor Wolfe, Military Commander on the Island from 1833. His name is inscribed on the foundation stone. A plaque commemorating this was unveiled in 1957 by Mrs Fay Trew whose great-great-grandfather was Charles Trew, the first Commissioner in charge of the Island: 1894-04. 
 There were also three Chapels: St. Marys for the female lepers, the Good Shepherd for the male, and a Childrens Chapel under the care of the all Saints Sisters. The ground on which the Good Shepherd stands belongs to the Church of the Province and is the only private property on the Island. The Church is now a National Monument. 
 There was a small Museum on the Island from which some of the exhibits in this collection come. They were preserved by Miss Witt when the Museum was disbanded in 1958 when the Royal Navy left and the Island became a Penal Settlement. 
 The Robben Island Registers are deposited with the Government Archives (Cape Province) in Queen Victoria St. 
  
  
 ITEMS AND PHOTOGRAPHS 
  
Various photographs 
 Some photographs have detailed explanations at the back of photos. All are stored with photographic collections. 
1.1 Resolution, made out to Erica Witt, sister of Elsa Witt 
1.2 Sactuary of the Village church 
1.3 Altar in Leper children's home 
1.4 Altar in Leper children's home chapel 
1.4a Rev. Gresley, approx. 1905 
1.5 Leper children's home, fish pond 
1.6 Band of Hope picnic 
1.7 Children around donkey cart 
1.8 Leper children's home, Sister Mary Esther 
1.9 Donkey cart 
1.10 Roger, Geoffrey and Stafford Gresley at Butleigh, August 1928 
1.11 Wedding of Lizzy Jay/Taylor 
1.12 Hermann Luden, carpenter 
1.13 Memorial for those who faught in the First World War, 1914-1918 
1.14 Memorial for those who faught in the Second World War, 1939-1945 
1.15 Photo of painting by Mrs Clementson, wife of Canon Clementson 
1.16 Group photograph of delegates at the 32nd Synod of the Diocese of Cape Town 
1.17 The Village church, Robben Island 
1.18 Group photograph of staff, 1919 
  
Reverend Canon Engleheart  
2.1 Photograph of his cottage in Male Leper compound (Stored with photographic collections) 
2.2 Leper band in grounds of the Rev Canon's cottage (Stored with photographic collections) 
2.3 Portrait of Rev Clinton Engleheart (Stored with photographic collections) 
2.4 Rev Engleheart on donkey cart (Stored with photographic collections) 
2.5 Christmas card with photo of children around donkey cart, 1915 (Stored with photographic collections) 
2.6 Newspaper cutting about Canon Engleheart's father's 101st birthday (Stored with photographic collections) 
  
Gresley painting of the Female Leper institution 
 Photograph of the painting with key sketch to the work (Stored with photographic collections) 
  
Correspondence from All Saints sisters 
 Cards, letters and small gift items from the sisters at All Saints to Elsa Witt and her family 
  
Correspondence from Rev Peachey 
5.1 Photograph of Rev Peachey (Stored with photographic collections) 
5.2 Greeting cards from Rev Peachey, and newspaper clip of his death 
  
Correspondence from the Le Mesurier family 
6.1 Le Mesurier family photo (Stored with photographic collections) 
6.2 Letters to the Witt family, Annalie was born on the Island; newspaper clips mainly of Major Le Mesurier, son of Canon Le Mesurier 
6.3 Handwritten diary notebooks of Annalie Le Mesurier nee Lenz, which begin when she left Robben Island - 1911, 1912, 1912-1916, 1931-1933 
  
Correspondence from the Clementson family 
7.1 Photographs (Stored with photographic collections) 
7.1.1 Trolley with lepers on way to a funeral 
7.1.2 A leper patient's funeral 
7.1.3-6 Concert produced by Mrs F.M. Clementson, Robben Island 1926, with key to participants 
7.1.7-9 From Mrs Clementson's photoalbum 
7.1.10 Interior of female leper church 
7.1.11 Group of female lepers 
7.1.12 Entrance to the male leper church "Church of the Good Shepherd" 
7.1.13 The Anglican church 
7.1.14 Sunday school picnic 
7.1.15 Canon W.L. Clementson 
7.2 Letters, postcards and handwritten historical notes from Canon W.L. Clementson, Chaplain of Robben Island, and Mrs F.M. Clementson 
  
On Rev W.U. Watkins 
8.1 Photographs (Stored with photographic collections) 
8.1.1 Male leper church "Church of the Good Shepherd", which was build with funds provided by Rev Watkins 
8.1.2 Portrait of Rev Watkins 
8.1.3-4 Interior of the Church of the Good Shepherd 
8.2 Articles on W.U. Watkins, Anglican Priest, by H.F. Webb; notes on Wilshire, by H.F. Webb, 24 August 1958; letter by H.F. Webb, 3 January 1960 
  
Memorial Plaque 
 Programme of the memorial service for the unveiling of a memorial plaque for those islandders who fell during World War 2, at the Garrison Church, 10 February 1957 
  
10 Vestry Minutes 1911-1931 (copied) 
 The original minute book is kept at St. Paul's Church 
  
11 Article When Robben Island was a leper compound by Mrs M.E. Birch. Photocopy of Ts. 4p. 
  
12 Correspondence - E. Witt 
 File of correspondence belonging to E. Witt, 1957-1960, re The Old Robben Island Association and a carpet fund for the sanctuary of the lepers church, Pretoria. Main correspondent is F.M. Clementson. 
  
13 Obituary of Mrs Annie Hogarth` 
 Extract of portion of the obituary of Mrs Annie Hogarth, mother of the Rev. O.J. Hogarth, rector of St. Lukes Church, Salt River, 1908-1913. Taken from article in Church Bells, May 1912 she lived on Robben Island 1869-1874 where her father, Canon Baker, was chaplain. Annie taught in the day school and played the harmonium for the services attended by lepers, lunatics, sick and convicts. 
  
14 Covers embroidered with sea shells, the work of the Lepers. 
  
15 Article on the early history of Robben Island, by G.F. Gresley, published in The Cape Illustrated Magazine, October 1895 
  
16 Robben Island - the home of the leper. A narrative of thirty four years gospel work amongst lepers, by James W. Fish, Kilmarnock publishers, 1924 
  
17 Prayer-book, Nederlandsche-English. S.P.C.K. 1882. Used on the Island, belonged to H.F. Webb (?) 
  
18 Hymn Book: Nederlandsche. S.P.C.K. 1894. Used by H.H. Webbs mother on the Island. 
  
19 B.C.P. & Hymns A & M Presented to Elsa Witt by the All Ss. Sisters 1919. 
  
20 B.C.P. Presented to Elsa Witt by W.L.C. (W.L. Clementson). 
  
21 Plain Prayers. Mowbray. Presented to Elsa Witt by F.M. Clementson. 
  
22 Cathedral Psalter. Novcleo. With Island Church stamp. 
  
23 Picture of the Good Shepherd, from one of the Chapels (Stored as photo folio item) 
  
24 Six water colours of the Island, signed by F.M. Clementson, wife of the Revd: W.L. Clementson (Stored as folio items) 
  
 Also included were: 
 Memorial plaque to Emily Lewis Englehart, wife of the Revd. C. Englehart. She died 22.IX.II. - Missing ? 
 Walking stick, originally the property of the Revd: C.F. Gresley - Returned to St Michaels Church, Observatory