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1912 31 Dec `Abdu'l-Bahá visited Oxford at the invitation of Dr Thomas Kelly Cheyne to address a meeting at Manchester College. [BW4p384-385, AB352–354, ABIM284, Journey West 20130210; Ahmad Sohrab's Diary - The Great Tour p99; The Dawn Vol 1 No 2 October 1923 p2]
  • In 1886, Cheyne was appointed Oriel Professor of Interpretation of Scripture at Oxford University, and, as an ordained Anglican priest (1864), was installed as Canon of Rochester Cathedral (Church of England) that same year. An advocate of "higher criticism" as applied to biblical scholarship, Professor Cheyne was the first at Oxford University to teach students how to apply the methods and tools of higher criticism to the Hebrew Scriptures. See An Oxford Scholar on the Spirit of Truth by Christopher Buck.
  • For biographical information see a paper by Crawford Howell Toy entitled Thomas Kelly Cheyne.
  • See Hurqalya Publications for a translation by Stephen Lambden of a Tablet to Dr Cheyne as well as the address to Manchester College.
  • After the visit of 'Abdu'l-Bahá the elderly and infirmed professor, who was unable to walk and had difficulty speaking, went on to write the book, The Reconciliation of Races and Religions. See BWXp483 for an excerpt regarding Bahá'u'lláh and 'Abdu'l-Bahá.
  • His second wife was the poetess Elizabeth Gibson Cheyne (1869-1931) whom he married (aged 69) on August 28th [19th] 1911 about four years after the death of his first wife. Elizabeth Gibson was the sister of the `War Poet' Wilfred Wilson Gibson. A paper by Judy Greenway, a grand niece of Elizabeth Gibson entitled "From the Wilderness to the Beloved City: Elizabeth Gibson Cheyne", pays tribute to the woman whom 'Abdul'-Bahá lauded during His visit. This paper was given at the invitation of the Oxford Bahá'í Community in December 2012, as part of the celebration of the centenary of Abdu'l-Bahá's visit to Oxford.
  • See an article by Christopher Buck on Cheyne's interpretation of Isaiah's prophecies
  • Oxford; United Kingdom Abdul-Baha, Travels of; Abdul-Baha, Second Western tour; Thomas Kelly Cheyne (T. K. Cheyne); Elizabeth Gibson Cheyne; Stephen Lambden; Judy Greenway
    1920 20 Apr Shoghi Effendi left Haifa for France with the intention of taking up his study of English at Oxford University. As instructed by 'Abdu'l-Bahá he stayed in a sanitarium in Neuilly (Maison d'Hydrothérapie et de convalescence du Parc de Neuilly, 6 Boulevard du Château, Neuilly-sur-Seine) before leaving for England in July. [SEO58]
  • See AY179-186 for and account of Shoghi Effendi's stay in the Paris area. According to Marzieh Gail he was probably in the area from about the 9th of April until the 13th of July.
  • Haifa; Oxford; United Kingdom; Neuilly; France Shoghi Effendi at Oxford; Shoghi Effendi, Life of; Balliol College (Oxford University)
    1920. mid July - mid October Shoghi Effendi arrived in England to take up his studies at Oxford. His stated objective was:

      "My sole aim is to perfect my English, to acquire the literary ability to write it well, speak it well & translate correctly & eloquently from Persian & Arabic into English. My aim is to concentrate for two years upon this object & to acquire it through the help of a tutor, by attending lectures, by associating with cultured & refined literary circles & by receiving exercises in Phonetics. I would be much obliged if you could help me along that line." [SEO61]
  • He spent one week in London. He brought with him Tablets from the Master for Lady Blomfield, Lord Lamington and Major Tudor-Pole.
  • 21 July: Shoghi Effendi met Dr. Esslemont at a meeting of the believers Lindsay Hall in Notting Hill Gate. The meeting was also attended by Mr and Mrs Ober visiting from America.
  • 22 July: Dr Esslemont called on Shoghi Effendi at his hotel and they went to Miss Grand's home were the Obers were staying.
  • 23 July: Dr Esslemont met Shoghi Effendi at Miss Rosenberg's and together they went to the Grand home where some 17 people were introduced to the Faith. [PG141]
  • 26 July: Dr Esslemont came to London to meet Shoghi Effendi and they both visited Miss Herrick. [PG142]
  • He relocated to Oxford and stayed at the Randolph Hotel. He met with professors and looked for tutors. [PG142]
  • Probably in the early days of August Shoghi Effendi met with Lord Lamington. [PG142]
  • Although it was still the long vacation Shoghi Effendi started his work with the assistance of a tutor. [PG142]
  • 10-15 September: Shoghi Effendi visited Dr Esslemont at the sanitorium where he practiced in Bournemouth. They were joined by Shoghi Effendi's sister Rúhangíz and by a Persian believer Aflátún. [PG142-143]
  • London; Oxford; Bournemouth; United Kingdom Shoghi Effendi at Oxford; Shoghi Effendi, Life of; Translation
    1920. 11 Jun Shoghi Effendi made application to Balliol College at Oxford University as a non-collegiate student for a period of two years. [PG134] Neuilly; France; Oxford; United Kingdom Shoghi Effendi at Oxford; Balliol College (Oxford University); Universities; Shoghi Effendi, Life of; Shoghi Effendi, Basic timeline
    1920 Jul Harlan and Grace Ober made a pilgrimage to visit 'Abdu'l-Bahá in Haifa. They returned via Germany and England where they had the privilege of meeting Shoghi Effendi, then a student at Oxford. In Germany, at the suggestion of 'Abdu'l-Bahá they went to Leipzig where they spoke about the Faith at the Theosophical Society where two persons accepted the Faith. One was future Hand of the Cause Dr Hermann Grossmann and the other was Frau Lina Benke who shared the message with her husband George Adam Benke, the first European martyr. [BW13p869] Haifa; Germany; Leipzig; Oxford Harlan Ober; Grace Ober; pilgrimage; Hermann Grossmann; Lina Benke; George Benke
    1920. 19 Jul Shoghi Effendi departed from France two weeks after receiving 'Abdu'l-Bahá's permission to study at Oxford. According to Dr J. Fallscheer, the German woman physician that 'Abdu'l-Bahá had engaged to attend to the ladies of His household, 'Abdu'l-Bahá had decided to send Shoghi Effendi to England while he was still in high school. [PG137-138] Paris; France; Oxford; United Kingdom Shoghi Effendi at Oxford; Balliol College (Oxford University); Shoghi Effendi, Life of; Abdul-Baha, Life of; Fallscheer, Dr J.
    1920 Oct Shoghi Effendi entered Balliol College, Oxford University. [CB284; DH149; GBF11-12]
  • For his purpose in going to Oxford see GBF12.
  • For his time in Oxford see PP34-8.
  • A Q Faizi is reported to have said, during a talk to pilgrims in May-June, 1965 that "Shoghi Effendi was sent to Oxford to protect him from potential enemies, not to learn English or be educated." [SDSC273]
  • Oxford; United Kingdom Shoghi Effendi at Oxford; Shoghi Effendi, Life of; Balliol College (Oxford University); Universities; Shoghi Effendi, Basic timeline; - Basic timeline, Expanded
    1920. 16 Oct Shoghi Effendi at Oxford - The Michaelmas Term 1920

  • Because there wasn't a vacancy in Balliol College, Shoghi Effendi could not register during the first term. Although he was not registered in the College he attended every day and took instruction from tutors. During this time he took lodgings at 45 Broad Street. [PG151-155]
  • 23 October: Shoghi Effendi officially matriculated in the Non-Collegiate Delegacy, a week after starting lectures for the Michaelmas term (Oct-Christmas, or, more formally Michaelmas term — 13 Sundays before to 5 Sundays before the feast day of St Hilary). [PG157]
  • Shoghi Effendi hosted a visit from his childhood friend Ali Yazdi who was on his way to America. [RG 158-159]
  • Oxford; United Kingdom Shoghi Effendi at Oxford; Shoghi Effendi, Life of
    1921. Jan - mid Mar Shoghi Effendi at Oxford - The Hilary Term 1921
  • Permission was issued by the Non-Collegiate Delegacy for the migration of Shoghi Effendi into Balliol. He now had the privilege of living in the college and fully participating in college life. [PG161]
  • Shoghi Effendi continued his translation work while at Oxford. During the second term (Jan - Easter or, more formally Hilary term — 1 Sunday to 9 Sundays after the feast day of St Hilary). Some examples are: Persian Hidden Words, the Tablet of Visitation, Arabic Hidden Words and the Epistle to Queen Victoria.
  • He read a paper on the Faith to the Oxford University Asiatic Society. For the full text of the paper see PG227-240. The paper was serialized in "The Dawn", a monthly Bahá'í journal of Burma in 1923 - 1924. [PG168-169, 259]
  • Oxford; United Kingdom; Myanmar (Burma) Oxford University Asiatic Society; Shoghi Effendi at Oxford; Shoghi Effendi, Life of; Shoghi Effendi, Writings of; Dawn, The (newsletter); Newsletters; Translation
    1921. mid Mar - 20 Apr Shoghi Effendi at Oxford - Spring Vacation 1921
  • 27 March: He visited his sister Rúhangíz in Scotland during the early part of his spring vacation.
  • In all likelihood, at some point he visited London and stayed at the home of Mírzá Yúhaná Dáwúd. [PG171]
  • Shoghi Effendi and spent the latter part of the vacation period in Sussex where he spent a few days in Fermote Villa for rest following 'Abdu'l-Bahá's instructions to do so. [PG171]
  • He continued to work on translations during this period. [PG171]
  • Oxford; Scotland; Sussex; United Kingdom Shoghi Effendi at Oxford; Shoghi Effendi, Life of
    1921. 25 Apr - 23 Jun Shoghi Effendi at Oxford - The Trinity Term at Balliol College 1921

  • The Trinity Term — 15 Sundays to 21 Sundays after the feast day of St Hilary.
  • In order to not waste any time during his stay at Oxford, in the first part of this term he made plans for a competent tutor to work with him during the upcoming long vacation. [PG173]
    • He sought the assistance of Ethel Rosenburg and Miss Cropper to secure a place with Reynold Nicholson as his tutor. He was professor of Persian and Arabic at Cambridge and was known for his translation of Rumi into English. [SEO106]
    • During this term he was able to socialize with his fellow students and participate in college clubs such as the Lotus Club where he presented a paper. [PG177]
    • 4 May: Shoghi Effendi presented a paper to the Bahá'í community in London. [PG177}
  • Oxford; United Kingdom Shoghi Effendi at Oxford; Shoghi Effendi, Life of; Reynold Nicholson
    1921. 20 Jun - 3 Oct Shoghi Effendi at Oxford - The Long Vacation 1921

  • Those students who wished to continue their studies during the vacation were required to move to an annex situated near Manchester College known as Holywell Annexe.
  • His English style was influenced by his reading of the King James Bible as well as British historians Thomas Carlyle and Edward Gibbons, the author of The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. [SEO106; PP37]
  • At some point during this period of his residency in England Shoghi Effendi made the acquaintance of Sir E Denison Ross, the first director of the University of London's School of Oriental Studies. He was the British Empire's leading scholar of the Persian and Arabic languages. His opinion was the gold standard and he had high praise for Shoghi Effendi's translation of The Dawn-Breakers. [PP216]
  • Shoghi Effendi met with Edna True at her hotel in London as she was passing through. [PG178]
  • He visited Dr. Esslemont in Bournemouth probably around the 20th of July for two weeks. [PG179]
  • 26 July: He went to London to meet his sister and went with her to the home of Mrs Thornburgh-Cropper. [PG179]
  • At some point during the vacation he visited Crow-borough. [PG179]
  • Obedient to the instructions of the Master he spent some time during the break in rest in Torquay in August, at least from the 10th to the 29th of the month. [PG179-180]
  • 25 September (approx.) He travelled to London to sent his sister to Scotland to resume her studies. She had been staying with Mrs Thornburg-Cropper (at 20 Bloomsbury Square?). While there he met with Lady Blomfield. [PG181]
  • 1 to 6 October: Shoghi Effendi and his friend Díyá'u'lláh Asgharzádih travelled to Manchester, a community of some thirty believers. They stayed at the home of Jacob Joseph where a meeting of the community was held that evening. The group sent a letter to the Master which Shoghi Effendi translated the following day. He also sent a report of the situation in Manchester to the Master. [PG182-190]
  • See PG206-207 for a photo of Shoghi Effendi with the Manchester Bahá'ís and with the Joseph brothers.
  • See PG193 for a subsequent note from Shoghi Effendi to the friends in Manchester.
  • See PG193-194 for the Master's response to their joint supplication dated 18 October, 1921 and excerpts from Tablets to individuals.
  • Oxford; London; Bournemouth; Torquay; Manchester; United Kingdom Shoghi Effendi at Oxford; Shoghi Effendi, Life of
    1921. 6 Oct Shoghi Effendi at Oxford - The Michaelmas Term 1921
  • Shoghi Effendi continued his translation work. During his time in Oxford he acquired a love for The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon and could often be seen reading his abridged copy. He also admired the translation of the King James version of the Bible. [PG191-197]
  • 29 November: Shoghi Effendi was summoned to the office of Major Tudor-Pole at 61 St. James Street in London. [PG198]
  • Oxford; United Kingdom Shoghi Effendi at Oxford; Shoghi Effendi, Life of
    1921 29 Nov A cable was sent to London with news of `Abdu'l-Bahá's passing. Shoghi Effendi was summonsed to the office of Wellesley Tudor Pole, probably at at 61, St. James St. in London, and learned of his grandfather's passing about noon after seeing the cable on Tudor Pole's desk. [GBF13]
  • See GBF13, PG199 and PP39-40 for Shoghi Effendi's reaction.
  • Oxford; London; United Kingdom Abdul-Baha, Ascension of; Abdul-Baha, Life of; Shoghi Effendi at Oxford; Shoghi Effendi, Life of; Shoghi Effendi, Basic timeline; Wellesley Tudor Pole
    1943. (In the Year) The founding of the publishing house George Ronald by David Hofman using his stage name. Its first title was The Renewal of Civilization, a book he wrote as an introduction to the Baháʼí Faith. Later publications were Bahá'u'lláh, the Prince of Peace: A Portrait, Commentary on the Will and Testament of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, and George Townshend, A Life.

    They published intermittently until 1947 when consultations began with Shoghi Effendi and the National Spiritual Assembly of the British Isles when it became a full-time business. They published on a variety of subjects until about the mid 1960's when they concentrated on Bahá'í themes. [Bahaipedia]

  • A list of publications can be found on Bahaipedia. Please note that the list covers two pages.
  • Oxford; United Kingdom Publishing
    1950. 26 Mar - 10 Apr The British Community needed 22 declarations to complete the goals of their Six Year Plan. The National Spiritual Assembly of Canada sponsored a trip by John Robarts to lend his assistance. During his 13 day stay he visited London, Manchester, Blackpool, Blackburn, Sheffield, Oxford, Dublin, Belfast, Glasgow and Edinburgh and witnessed 18 declarations. By April 10th the goal had been won. [CBN No 13 May, 1950 p4] London; Manchester; Blackpool; Blackburn; Sheffield; Oxford; Dublin; Belfast; Glasgow; Edinburgh John Robarts
    1988. 11 - 15 Apr The Global Survival Conference in Oxford attracted 200 spiritual and legislative leaders. For five days parliamentarians and cabinet members met with cardinals, metropolitans, bishops, swamis, rabbis, imams and elders. Among them were the Dalai Lama, Mother Teresa, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the High Priest of Togo's Sacred Forest, Cardinal Koenig of Vienna and Native American spiritual leader Chief Oren Lyons of the Onondaga. They conferred with renowned experts on the issues: astronomer Carl Sagan, Soviet scientist Evguenij Velikhov, women's leader Wangari Maathai, environmental scientist James Lovelock, Cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova and population specialist Fred Sai. [] Oxford; United Kingdom Global Survival Conference; Carl Sagan
    2003. 18 Jul The passing of Dr David Kelly. He was buried in Mt Mary's churchyard in Longworth, near Farringdon in Oxfordshire. [BBC News 6 August 2003]

    Dr Kelly, an Oxford-educated microbiologist, had spent the majority of his career as a consultant to the MoD and other government departments and agencies, advising them on his area of expertise - arms control. He had been scientific adviser to the Proliferation and Arms Control secretariat for more than three years and, following the first Gulf War, he had worked as a weapons inspector in Iraq between 1991 and 1998. He became the senior adviser on biological warfare for the UN in Iraq in 1994, holding the post until 1999.

    Dr Kelly apparently committed suicide after being named as the source of a BBC report suggesting that intelligence on Iraq's weapons was "transformed" on the orders of Downing Street shortly before its publication. Such was the conclusion of a controversial inquiry conducted by Lord Hutton. [The Hutton Report] [BBC News 27 January 2004; BBC News 2 September 2003; BBC News 30 October 2003; BBC News 13 May 2004]

    Longworth, Oxfordshire, UK In Memoriam; David Kelly; Suicide
    2007. 24 Apr The publication of Baha'u'llah: A Short Biography by Moojan Momen. It was published by Oneworld Publications in Oxford, UK Oxford; UK Moojan Momen; book
    2013 (In the year) The publication of the article George Ronald: A Bibliographic Historyby Jan T Jason. The article lists their publications from the founding in 1950 until 2012. Oxford; United Kingdom Publishing
    2016. 6 Jun The publication of Lady Blomfield: Her Life and Times by Robert Weinberg. It was published by George Ronald Publishers.

    Robert Weinberg's detailed research has yielded a fascinating insight into the life of Lady Blomfield, her family and her circle, and into the life of Àbdu'l-Bahá as it touched the lives of the British Bahá'ís. Punctuated by glimpses into London society and the rapidly developing Bahá'í community, Weinberg's book provides compelling grounds for Lady Blomfield's inclusion in the ‘galaxy of unforgettable women' who ‘became the principal exponents of the Bahá'í message on both sides of the Atlantic'.

    Oxford; United Kingdom
    2023. 26 Aug The publication of Baha'i Community of the British Isles 1844–1963 by Adam Thorne, Moojan Momen, Janet Rose, Earl Redman. It was published by George Ronald Publishers.

    The British Bahá'í community has been in existence since 1899 and its elected national leadership council, the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the British Isles (later the United Kingdom), was first elected in 1923. Although a number of monographs, articles and biographies have appeared over the years, no overall survey of the community's history has yet been published. The Bahá'í Community of the British Isles, 1844–1963 is an attempt to fill some of the gap.

    Oxford; United Kingdom

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    from the Main Catalogue

    1. 'Abdu'l-Baha in Britain, 1913: The Diary of Ahmad Sohrab, by Ahmad Sohrab (2018). Diary of the travels to Liverpool, London, Oxford, Edinburgh, Bristol, and Woking, 1912/12/05-1913/01/21. Presented as a "hybrid" book with internet links, maps, and QR codes. Includes copious notes, alternative accounts, and an appendix of the talks. [about]
    2. Art and the Interconnectedness of All Things, by Todd Lawson, in UK Bahá'í, 30 (2020-03). Art as a mode of divine revelation in the Wrings and Calligraphy of the Báb. [about]
    3. Bahai Movement, The: A paper read by Shoghi Effendi at Oxford, by Shoghi Effendi, in The Dawn, 1:1-8 (1923-1924). Text of an address given to the Oxford University Asiatic Society, February 1921, before the passing of 'Abdu'l-Bahá and before Shoghi Effendi was appointed the "Guardian." [about]
    4. Shoghi Effendi in Oxford, by Riaz Khadem, and Her Eternal Crown, Queen Marie of Romania and the Bahá'í Faith, by Della Marcus: Reviews, by Lil Osborn, in Bahá'í Studies Review, 10 (2001). [about]
    5. Threatening Agenda, A: Iran's Shameful Denial of Education to its Bahá'í Community, by Geoffrey Cameron, in Cherwell (2008-06-06). Iranian government hardliners promote a coordinated and threatening agenda aimed at suffocating the Bahá'í community; Iran’s actions to block an entire community from education indicate sinister intentions that should not be ignored. [about]
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