The history of the Museum in Colchester Castle, run from its inception jointly by the Society and Colchester Corporation, is a long and complicated one. Originally the idea was for the establishment to be run by the two bodies on an equal footing, although the Corporation (for reasons which are unclear) soon assumed greater responsibility than the Society, whose influence has continued to diminish. In addition to the ‘paid' Curator, whose salary was met jointly by the two sponsoring bodies,

the Society had its own Honorary Curator from 1876-1917. The trend to style the Curator of the Colchester and. Essex. Museum as the Society’s Honorary Curator was incorrect, as he was paid by the Society for his work on their behalf. The Essex Society for Archaeology and History today, regrettably, has but a tenuous link with the Museum.



  • ? 1869 Mr Hampton
  • 1869-85 Mr Gunner (Styled Deputy Curator, 1873-85)
  • 1885-1901 Mr Frederick Spalding (Styled Sub Curator)
  • 1902-28 A G Wright (Styled Curator and Librarian, 1918-26)
  • 1927-63 M R Hull (Styled Curator and Librarian, 1927-46)
  • 1963-88 David Tyrwhitt-Drake Clarke (O. 40)
  • 1989 G Mark R Davies
  • 1990-97 O Green
  • 1998 G Mark R Davies
  • 1999-2001 Peter Berridge
  • 2002- Philip Wise

Honorary Curator

  • 1873-93 Rev C L Acland
  • 1893-1917 H Laver
  • 1917-44 Rev T H Curling
  • 1945-49 H W Lewer
  • 1949-? Rev T D S Bayley

Classes of Records

  • S/CUR/1 Museum catalogues and accessions
  • S/CUR/2 Museum visitors
  • S/CUR/3 Relations between the Society and Colchester Corporation

1. Museum Catalogues and Accessions

S/CUR1/1 Printed Catalogue of the Antiquities in the Colchester Museum: being partly the property of the Corporation of Colchester, partly of the Essex Archaeological Society, and partly lent by the several owners for exhibition. Second edition with illustrations. Colchester: Benham & Harrison 1870, pp40, 6pl.  
S/CUR/1/2 MS exercise book, pp55,being a catalogue of archaeological artefacts and manuscripts in Colchester Museum, with notes on ownership. At the back a list of 'offers for the Temporary Museum', with notes as to whether they were taken up or not. Not dated, c1870?  
S/CUR/1/3 Printed Guide to the Collection of Antiquities the property of The Corporation of Colchester and The Essex Archaeological Society on Colchester Castle, by Henry Laver FSA Honorary Curator. Colchester, Wiles 1893. pp16. (Copy online: )  
S/CUR/1/4 MS single sheet list of 'pictures in the Museum belonging to the EAS’, not dated, but late nineteenth century.  


<p>S/CUR/2/1 Large MS ledger, used as a Visitor's Book, presumably to Colchester Museum, Sep 1933 - Jun 1935</p>


S/CUR/3/1A - D Documents relating to the attempt to define and regularise the Society's relationship with Colchester Corporation, with especial reference to the Society's property housed in the Castle Museum. (A). Extracts from EAS Minutes 1852-93, (see S/SEC/1/2-4) compiled by WCW (William Chapman Waller) 1912; (B). Minutes of a special committee meeting of Jul 1914; and 49 letters (mostly addressed to W C Waller) and memoranda, period Feb 1912 - Jan 1915. (C) Two exercise books, ‘Museum Sub-Committee 1914’; ‘Extracts from Minute Books 1852-93’. (D) White Folder. Papers relating to relationship with Colchester Museum.  
S/CUR/3/2 TS letters and copies of minutes, pp7, of Oct 1928 - Nov 1929 relating to the agreement between the Society and the Corporation to increase the Society's contribution to the cost of the Museum to £60, and agreement regarding the use of rooms in Hollytrees.  
S/CUR/3/ 3 Formal votes of thanks to the Society from the Corporation of Colchester, given under the Borough Seal, for the gift of two silver spoons to the Borough Regalia in Jun 1928 and Sep 1943.  
Last modified on Wednesday, 09 November 2016 02:40