RepositoryJesuits in Britain Archives
Ref NoABSI/SJ/51
TitleFr Leslie Walker SJ (1877-1958)
LevelSub fonds
DescriptionThe greater part of this collection contains material relating to Walker's published work and research towards his unpublished work on cosmology. There is also a large series of correspondence, personal documents including school and university records, diaries, a series of detective stories and a series of sketchbooks, some of which date to Walker's service as a chaplain in the First World War.
Physical DescriptionMany files in this collection are in poor condition. Walker's papers had been stored loose in boxes - many pages are folded, crumpled and dirty. Old paperclips and binders have been removed, and some surface cleaning has been undertaken but the papers remain very dirty, particularly the sections on cosmology, logic and Machiavelli.
Admin_HistoryLeslie Joseph Walker was born in Birmingham on 18 October 1877. He was educated at King Edward's School in Birmingham and studied at the Birmingham School of Art. Walker, who had been brought up in a Baptist family, was baptised as a Roman Catholic on 8 March 1898 and entered the Society of Jesus the following year, 7 September 1899, joining the novitiate at Manresa. In the Province catalogues he appears under the name 'Ignatius Walker' - Ignatius was his confirmation name but it does not seem to have been widely used outside official documents.

After his noviceship and two years' juniorate, Walker studied Philosophy at St Mary's Hall, Stonyhurst. In 1906 he lectured on philosophy at Stonyhurst and the following year he taught rudiments at Mount St Mary's College. His work 'Indifference; or What is most Worth Caring About?' was published in 1907. He undertook a degree in philosophy at the University of London, graduating with an MA in 1908. 'Theories of Knowledge' was published in 1910. In 1908 he began the course of theology at St Beuno's and was ordained there in his third year on 24 September 1911. After completing a tertianship at Tullabeg in Ireland, he taught at Mount St Mary's and Liverpool until 1915. Aside from his academic abilities, Walker had many and varied interests: woodworking, painting and drawing cartoons, bee keeping, gardening and playing the mandolin.

During the First World War, Walker served as a military chaplain until demobilisation in 1919. As part of this role, he occasionally undertook sketching parts of the front. After the war, he was appointed to Campion Hall with responsibility for philosophical studies. Walker lectured on the history of ancient and medieval philosophy. 'The Problem of Reunion' was published in 1920 and 'Why God Became Man' was published in 1921. He was awarded a Masters degree by the University of Oxford in 1928 by Decree of Congregation. Walker published a large number of scholarly articles and books during his academic career, including 'The Discourses of Niccolo Machiavelli' in 1950. He did a great amount of research on a book on cosmology which was never published.

Whilst at Campion Hall, Walker was involved in the acquisition of the new site in Brewer Street and corresponded with Sir Edwin Lutyens on the design for the new hall. After relatively good health, barring one or two illnesses, Walker had to have his leg amputated in 1958. Although the operation was a success, Walker died very suddenly about a month later on 22 September 1958 at the age of eighty-one. His Requiem Mass was held at St Aloysius, Oxford, on 25 September 1958 followed by burial in the College cemetery at Heythrop.

A full obituary can be found in Letters and Notices 64 (1959), 117-124.
Related Material - For photographs see SJ/PH/1251; for Campion Hall group photographs see ref: 32/5/2A
- Papers of Fr Martin D'Arcy SJ: SJ/21
- Papers of Fr Joseph Rickaby SJ: see index cards
- Campion Hall: see index cards.
- Fr Francis Keegan SJ, 'Fr Walker's Cosmology' in Letters &Notices 64, pp. 82-86.

Material by Leslie Walker in the pamphlet collection:
- Anglia quaerens fidem [1922]: ALBSI/P/1410
- Augustinianism in the thirteenth century [1930]: ALBSI/P/1411
- The bearing of modern physical theories on Catholic Philosophy [1930]: ALBSI/P/1412
- L'Evolutionisme dans la théorie de la connaissance et de la vérité [1911]: ALBSI/P/1413
- Gilbert Ryle and Jean-Paul Sartre [1950]: ALBSI/P/1414
- Hegelianism in Great Britain, 1932: ALBSI/P/1415
- Humanism and the ethics of Martineau, nd: ALBSI/P/1416
- Martineau and the Humanists, nd: ALBSI/P/1417
- Nicolaus of Autrecourts' refutation of Aristotelianism [1949]: ALBSI/P/1418
- Our separated brethren: a plea for sympathy, Catholic Truth Society, 1921: ALBSI/P/1419
- The Philosophy of Saint Augustine [1930]: ALBSI/P/1420
- The Physical World, nd: ALBSI/P/1421
- The Pragmatic value of theism: I Scholasticism and the pragmatic method [1911]: ALBSI/P/1422
- The Pragmatic value of theism: II The Theistic Hypothesis [1911]: ALBSI/P/1423
- The Pragmatic value of theism: III The Theistic Hyphothesis verified by the facts of human experience [1911]: ALBSI/P/1424
- The Pragmatic value of theism: IV The Theistic Hypothesis pragmatically verified [1911]: ALBSI/P/1425
- Roman Catholic Truth: an open discussion between G. G. Coulton, MA and the Rev. L. J. Walker, SJ, MA, 1924.
Printed document
AccessConditionsThe papers are available subject to the usual conditions of access to archive material in the Jesuits in Britain Archives.
PublnNoteAmong his publications are:
- Indifference, or What is most worth caring about (Sands & Co., 1907)
- Theories of Knowledge: absolutism, pragmatism, realism (1910)
- Our Separated Brethren: a plea for sympathy (Catholic Truth Society, 1920)
- The Problem of Reunion (Longmans, Green & Co., 1920)
- Why God Became Man (Sands & Co., 1922)
- Roman Catholic Truth: An Open Discussion between G. G. Coulton and L. J. Walker (1924)
- Science and Revelation (Burns, Oates & Washbourne, 1932)
- The Return to God: a Catholic and Roman View (A. Barker, 1933)
- The Discourses of Niccolo Machiavelli (Routledge & Keagan Paul, 1950)
DS/UK/992Walker; Leslie Joseph (1877-1958); Jesuit Priest1877-1958

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