RepositoryJesuits in Britain Archives
TitleSt Francis Xavier's College, Liverpool
LevelSub fonds
DescriptionThis collection contains items relating to St Francis Xavier's College, Liverpool from its foundation until the withdrawal of the Jesuits in the mid 1970s. The collection includes financial records, administrative documents, correspondence, property deeds, plans and photographs.
Admin_HistorySt Francis Xavier's College is a Roman Catholic school owned and operated by the Society of Jesus until 1974, when the direction of the College was taken over by the Brothers of Christian Instruction. Upon its opening in 1842 it became the first Catholic Secondary Day School in the country.

Rector Fr Francis Lythgoe SJ welcomed the College's first pupils on 27 October 1842 at 36 Soho Street, Liverpool, at this stage in time the College was called 'St Francis Xavier's Preparatory, Classical and Commercial Day School'. Similar to other boys' schools in the area the school started out with a Commercial School alongside a Classical School, in order to recruit boys from more vocationally orientated families. This meant that there were two departments of the same school, teaching separate curricula and charging different fees. The College kept its Commercial School until 1908, when the two departments were amalgamated.

In November 1843 the school moved to 43 St Anne Street before moving again in 1846 to 6 Salisbury Street, using rooms in the newly-built Presbytery, which it shared with the Jesuit Community, to host the 24 boys attending the school at this time. Here is where the College would remain, in various different forms, until the move to a new purpose-built location in Woolton, Liverpool, in 1961. Following this move to Woolton, the old school building at Salisbury Street was re-designed for the Liverpool Education Authority and re-opened as St Francis Xavier's Bilateral School. Unfortunately this school lasted only until 1974, when it was closed due to the re-organisation of St Francis Xavier's. The building was put to various uses in the 1980s and came close to demolition in 1991 before being transformed into a campus for Liverpool Hope University.

For the first 100 years or so of its existence, the College ran as an independent fee-paying school and initially relied heavily upon fees and donations for its survival. In the 1940's it became a direct grant school - meaning that it received funds directly from central government but was still afforded relative independence in its curriculum and decision-making.

In the late 1960s the Jesuits were faced with dwindling numbers throughout the English Province, causing difficulties in staffing their Colleges. Many options were considered, including closure and handing the College over to the Archdiocese. In December 1970 an agreement was reached in principle for the hand-over of the College to the De La Mennais Brothers of Christian Instruction. Four years later in April 1974 the decision was announced to the public and in July of the same year Brother Robert Power succeeded Fr Anthony Doyle SJ as Headmaster and the Brothers of Christian Instruction took charge. To this day (2019) the Brothers of Instruction are still the Trustees of the College and continue to undertake its direction.

For a full history see: Pat Heery, 'The History of St Francis Xavier's College: 1842-2001' (2002)
Related Material Archive:
- For papers and correspondence concerning visitation of schools in the diocese of Shrewsbury see: F/3
- For a plan of the School and College at Salisbury Street see: RW/1
- For the accounts of the construction of the first purpose-built College next to the Presbytery in 1956 see: RW/4
- For [a list of articles published in the Xaverian on the school] see: RY/2
- For a specification for schools in Hague Street, attached to St Francis Xavier's Liverpool see: AX/2
- For specifications for Haigh Street tunnel for SFX College dated 1875 see: AX/1
- For a printed plan of the SFX Church and College (undated) see: AX/1
- For a committee book of the St Francis Xavier society dated 1839-1845 see: 6/4/3/5
- For a notebook with the Historia Domus of St Francis Xavier's College and Church from 1884-1904 see 6/4/3/2
- For mention of the College in the St Francis Xavier's Consultation Minute Book see: 27/3/6/4
- For mention of the College in the St Francis Xavier's Consultation Minute Books dated 1869-1899 and 1907-1910 see: 6/4/2/7-8
- For mention of the College in Minister's Journals dated 1946-1950 and 1948-1949 see: 6/4/2/9
- For correspondence and architectural plans regarding St Francis Xavier's College properties and finances dated around the early 20th century see: 27/4/2/16
- Mention of SFX College in Blackett Letter books see: Vol. 5/19,20; vol 7/1915 ff 308-9, 349; vol 19 f 281
- For letters concerning purchase of the SFX College sports ground see: Blackett Letter book vol. 18 ff.96,192
- For letters concerning the College and Church see: Blackett Letter book vol. 19 ff. 212, 293 & vol 20 ff.373
- For memorandum for Consulation meeting dated 1912 see: Blackett letters vol.6 ff.497-500 & vol. 10 ff. 4
- For letters concerning Salisbury Street see: Blackett letter vol. 15 ff.262
- For Shaw street deeds and mortgages see: Blackett letter vol. 17 ff.350, 381, 363
- For 1911 accounts see: Blackett Letters vol.5 ff.99 & vol.10 ff.4
- For insurance of teachers dated 1910 see: Blackett Letters vol.1 ff.145
- For correspondence and papers between Fr James Cammack SJ, Rector of SFX College, and other members of the Society regarding the Jesuit Development Fund see: UG/8
- For papers concerning income tax on mortgages for St Francis Xavier College's properties, held under the name of Fr James Bridge SJ and the Trustees of St Francis Xavier's Elementary School see XE/4

Pat Heery, 'The History of St Francis Xavier's College, Liverpool: 1842-2001' (2002) see: BY41 L
Printed document
AccessConditionsThe papers are available subject to the usual conditions of access to archive material in the Jesuits in Britain Archives. Contains some closed material.

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