|Admin_History||Cuthbert Cary-Elwes was born on 1 October 1867 in Boulogne. Educated at Downside School, Bath, and Stonyhurst College, Lancashire, he entered the novitiate of the then English Province of the Society of Jesus on 7 September 1887. Having completed his novitiate and 3 years of philosophy, he taught Mathematics, Chemistry and Physics at Beaumont College, Old Windsor, Berkshire from 1893-1895 and was then transferred to St Ignatius, Stamford Hill, where he taught for a further year. He began his study of theology at Jersey, moving to Lyons at the beginning of his second year to complete his studies. He was ordained at Farm Steet Church, London on 22 July 1900 and completed his tertianship at Tronchiennes, Wales in 1901. |
Fr. Cary-Elwes joined the parish staff at Wimbledon from 1902 until 1904 and then sailed for Guyana, being stationed at the Cathedral, Georgetown until 1906, and at Morawhanna mission between 1907 and 1909. In November 1909, he left Georgetown with Bishop Galton to start a new mission in the interior: the headquarters of which (Saint Ignatius) were established on the Takutu River. Over the next fourteen years, Fr. Cary-Elwes worked to establish the mission, learning the language and customs of the indigenous population and making several journeys further into the interior: 1911-1912, 1916, 1917, 1919-1920, 1921 and 1922.
In May 1923, Fr. Cary-Elwes became ill and ultimately had to return to England. As he regained his health, he undertook mid-week lectures and retreats from Great Billing, Northamptonshire, and, in 1927, moved to the parish of Richmond, Yorkshire, and two years later to Boscombe, Bournemouth. From 1933 until 1940, Fr. Cary-Elwes was based at the Jesuit residence in Mount Street, London, and devoted his time to giving missions and retreats. He then moved first to Elsham Hall, Lincolnshire, and later to Craigarnhall, Stirlingshire.
During his latter years he spent much time rewriting his notes on the dialects of the indigenous population of Guyana; compiling comparative vocabularies, hymns and translations of scripture. He also focussed on writing his autobiography, focussing on his experiences, travels and discoveries during his years in Guyana. A heavily abbreviated version of this autobiography was published by Fr. John Bridges S.J. in 1986, under the title "Rupununi Mission".
Fr. Cary-Elwes died in Glasgow on 22 August 1945.