Special collections reading rooms are currently open to Emory University students, faculty, and staff by appointment. Non-Emory-affiliated researcher access may be limited until January 31, 2022 in some repositories.

For assistance, please contact us at rose.library@emory.edu or 404-727-6887.

BRANDRETH, HENRY R. T., 1914-1984.
Henry Renaud Turner Brandreth papers, 1912-1974

Emory University

Pitts Theology Library

1531 Dickey Drive, Suite 560

Atlanta, GA 30322


Permanent link: http://pid.emory.edu/ark:/25593/pmqmk

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Brandreth, Henry R. T., 1914-1984.
Title: Henry Renaud Turner Brandreth papers, 1912-1974
Call Number:Manuscript Collection No. 003
Extent: 1 cubic ft. (3 boxes)
Abstract:This collection contains the papers of Henry Renaud Turner Brandreth, the bulk of which pertain his work on the wandering bishops.
Language:Materials primarily in English.

Administrative Information

Restrictions on Access

Unrestricted access.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

All requests subject to limitations noted in departmental policies on reproduction.


[after identification of item(s)], title statement, Archives and Manuscript Dept., Pitts Theology Library, Emory University.


Processed by Anita K. Delaries, 1982.

Collection Description

Biographical Note

Henry Renaud Turner Brandreth (1914- ) spent most of his life researching a group of individuals commonly referred to as episcopi vagantes or wandering bishops. These were men who claimed apostolic succession through valid but irregular consecrations. Their ranks grew as they in turn consecrated a number of their followers. They were perceived as a threat to the Church of England whose leaders heard of their presence not only in England but also in Africa, America, India and all over the Continent. Brandreth was asked to present a report on their activities. This he did in addition to publishing two editions of a book on the subject. He acknowledged the sincerity of some and the strictly parasitic nature of others but he condemned the lot for their abuses of the privilege of consecration. His work is thus far the most comprehensive source of information on episcopi vagantes.

Brandreth was born in England in 1914. Graduating from the Lincoln Theological College in 1940 he attained the position of Deacon in 1942 and Priest in 1943. Brandreth served as the Curate of St. Ives until 1945 and of St. Barnabas, Wood End Conventional District, Northolt Park, London, until 1949. He left London for Paris in 1949 to be the Chaplain of St. George. In 1965 he returned as the Vicar of St. Savior, Aberdeen Park, Highbury, until his retirement in 1982. During this period he also served as Guild Vicar of St. Dunsan-in-the-West, London, from 1970-1976 and Priest in charge from 1976-1978. In 1970 he was asked to sit on the Church of England's Council on Foreign Relations in the position of Associate Secretary. He remained on the Council until 1974.

Little documentation is available on Brandreth's private life. He never married, devoting himself entirely to the Church. As is apparent in his papers, his interest in episcopi vagantes began while he was still in college and continued well after the publication of the second edition of Episcopi Vagantes and the Anglican Church in 1961. His contribution to the body of theological literature, however, was not limited to his work on these wandering bishops. He also authored several other publications including Celibacy and Marriage: A Study in Clerical Vocation, 1944; Unity and Reunion: A Bibliography, 1945 and 1948; The Ecumenical Ideals of the Oxford Movement, 1947; Anglicanism in France: A Brief Account of St. George's Paris, 1949; Dr. Lee of Lambeth: A Chapter in Parenthesis in the History of the Oxford Movement, 1951; An Outline Guide to the Study of Eastern Christendom, 1951; and Huysmans, 1963.

Brandreth died in Ealing, London on October 31, 1984.

Scope and Content Note

This collection consists primarily of correspondence and materials dating from 1912 that Brandreth used to construct his works on the episcopi vagantes. Brandreth's lifelong interest in these wandering bishops is apparent in his papers. When he was called upon by the Church of England's Council on Foreign Relations to help in the preparation of a report in 1939 Brandreth was only twenty-five. Eight years later he published a book on the subject and in 1961 he came out with a second edition. His papers show that not only did he continue correspondence and research on the subject during this period, but he continued to receive material until 1974.

Although the collection consists primarily of episcopi vagantes material it also contains a few items that reflect Brandreth's other interests such as the ecumenical movement, Eastern Christianity and the time he spent in France from 1949 through 1965. The records have been divided into two series. These are Correspondence and Printed Material. Correspondence has been arranged according to the chapters of Episcopi Vagantes and the Anglican Church. Printed Material starts with material concerning the episcopi vagantes and is then arranged by language: English, French, and Greek.

Series one, correspondence, consists of a bound volume of letters concerning various episcopi vagantes (1939); letters sent and received: Matthew Succession (1912-1968); letters sent and received: Vilatte Succession (1935-1963); letters sent and received: Ferrete Succession (1946-1966); letters received: Bishop Vernon Herford (1940-1947); letters received: Aftimios Succession (1951 and 1962); letters received: Dr. F.G. Lee and the Order of Corporate Reunion (1958); letters received: Anthony Aneed (1946-1964); letters received: Unclassified Episcopi Vagantes (1939 and 1961); letters received: miscellaneous episcopi vagantes (1947-1970); and miscellaneous correspondence (1940-1973).

Included in the second series are Printed Material written by Brandreth or given to him by other authors. The series contains pamphlets and periodicals from the Liberal Catholic Church (1945-1972); pamphlets and periodicals from the Old Roman Catholic Church (1962-1965); a pamphlet on the apostolic succession of Joseph Rene Vilatte (1974); a copy of Episcopi Vagantes and the Anglican Church (1947); Ten Years in South London (1913); works of former Harvard professor Robert P. Casey (1933-1959); Leaflets 1-12 of the Assyrian Liberation Committee (1948-1949); L'oecumenisme Les eglises Orientalis (1965); works of Jean-Michel Hornus (1969-1974); Questions D'Enfantes (1954); He thesis to laikon entos tou Ekklesiastikou Organismou (1956); Ekklesia kai Baptisma kata ten K. Diatheken Thessalonike (1972); and New Testament; Text with Critical Apparatus (1942).

The scope of this collection in its coverage of Brandreth's life is very narrow. Little evidence of his private life is to be found in these papers. However it does establish the fact that Brandreth communicated with other scholars including former Harvard professor Richard P. Casey, Jean-Michel Hornus of France and Austin Oakley. In addition the material that Casey sent Brandreth regarding homosexuality provides evidence of the Church of England's concern with the subject along with the reaction of some of its clergy.

In the area of episcopi vagantes the collection is very rich and provides information on each of the leaders mentioned in Brandreth's book with the exception of Louis Charles Winnaert and Duarte Costa. Moreover information and correspondence are included on a number of others in the book who claimed apostolic succession through these leaders. In most cases the participants themselves wrote in their own defense. In other instances they wrote to inform on each other. Taken together the collection provides the researcher with insight into how the episcopi vagantes viewed themselves, how they viewed each other and how they were viewed by the hierarchy of the Church of England.

Arrangement Note

Organized into two series: (1) corresponsdence and (2) printed material.

Selected Search Terms

Personal Names

Corporate Names

Topical Terms

Form/Genre Terms

Container List

I. Correspondence
Box Folder Content
1 1 Letters sent and received: July-December 1939. Bound volume of letters concerning various episcopi vagantes and the Church of England's Council on Foreign Relations' interest in them.
1 2 Letters sent and received: Matthew Succession; 1912-1968. Letters to and from Brandreth and other solicited materials such as newspaper clippings, correspondence and flyers concerning Arnold H. Matthew and episcopi vagantes who claimed apostolic succession through him. Included individuals are: Arnold Harris Matthew, James Banks (Old Catholic Orthodox Church), W.A. Barrington (Evans-Independent Old Roman Catholic Church), P.J. Beyhan (Liberal Catholic Church), F.B. Bond (Old Catholic Church), J.H. Bonjer (Liberal Catholic Church), C.H. Carfora (North American Old Roman Catholic Church), E.O. Cope (Llanthony Abbey Brothers), G.F. Davis (North American Old Roman Catholic Church), W.H. Da (Liberal Catholic Church), A.W. Howarth, G.T. Koerner (Old Roman Catholic Church), C.W. Leadbeater (Liberal Catholic Church), A.P. Mahoney (Old Catholic Church of Canada), R.A. Marchenna (North American Old Roman Catholic Church), B. Mary-Williams (Old Roman Catholic Church), J. McFall, G.P. Paget-King (Old Roman Catholic Church), H.A. Rogers (Old Roman Catholic Church of North America), W.E. Scott-Hall, G.C. Shelley (Old Roman Catholic Church), W.L. Sheppard (Liberal Catholic Church), and R.S. Zeiger (American Orthodox Church).
1 3 Letters sent and Received: Vilatte Succession; 1935-1963. Letters to and from Brandreth and other solicited material such as correspondence and flyers concerning Joseph Rene Vilatte and episcopi vagantes who claimed apostolic succession through him. Included individuals are: Joseph Rene Vilatte, D.W. Alexander (African Orthodox Church), E.J. Anderson (African Universal Church), R.G. Barrow (African Orthodox Church), C. Danyell (L'Eglise celtique de Bretagne), I.G. De la Thibauderie (Eglise catholique francaise), C.B. d'Eschevannes (Eglise orthodoxe gallicane autocephale), D. Herbert (The British Church), U.V. Jalbert-Ville, M. Laemmer (Eglise Primitive Catholique and Apostolique), R.P. Laurent (Eglise Catholique Gallicane), F.E.J. Lloyd (American Old Catholic Church), H.M. Marsh-Edwards, G. Nurse (African Orthodox Church), A. Stumpfl (Primitive Orthodox Church), P.H. Vogel, L.P. Wadle (American Catholic Church), and J.S. Williams (Indian National Church).
1 4 Letters sent and received: Ferrete Succession; 1946-1966. Letters to and from Brandreth and other solicited material concerning Julius Ferrete and episcopi vagantes who claimed apostolic succession through him. Included individuals are: Julius Ferrete, H.P. Abbinga (Oosters Apostolisch Eposcopale Kerk), J. Barker (Free Catholic Church), C.D. Boltwood (Free Protestant Episcopal Church), C.M. Chamberlain (Orthodox Catholic Church), W.B. Crow (Ancient Orthodox Catholic Church), A. Fry-St. Nicholas' School, F.E. Langhelt, R.M. Lutgen (Eglise Catholique Apostolique), W. De Ortega Maxey (First Universalist Church of Los Angeles), R.W. Morgan (Ancient Celtic Church), M. Nelson (Apostolic Episcopal Church), H.G. De Wilmott Newman (Catholic Apostolic Church: Catholicate of the West), R. de Palatine (Pre-Nicene Gnostic Catholic Church), G. Pinder (Evangelical Church of England), C.L. Saul (Free Protestant Episcopal Church), and C.M. van Assendelft (Altland-Ancient Catholic Byzantine Church).
1 5 Letters received: Bishop Vernon Herford; 1940-1947.
1 6 Letters received: Aftimios succession; 1951 and 1962.
1 6 Letters received by Brandreth from two individuals claiming succession through Aftimios: J.R. Toombs (Anglican Universal Church) and A.T. Turner (North American Orthodox Church).
1 7 Letters received: Polish Mariavite Church; 1940-1962.
1 8 Letters received: Dr. F.G. Lee and the Order of Corporate Reunion; 1958.
1 9 Letters received: Anthony Aneed; 1946-1964. Letters and other solicited information concerning Anthony Aneed and his Byzantine american Church and Nicholas Urbanovich and his Greek Catholic Church of America.
1 10 Letters received: Unclassified Episcopi Vagantes; 1939 and 1961. Included are correspondence concerning Raymundo O'Donnell and his Inglesia Independista de la Santisima Trinidad de Filipinas and C.C.J. Stanley and his Catholic Episcopal Church.
1 11 Letters received: Miscellaneous Episcopi Vagantes; 1947-1970. Included are correspondence received and materials solicited on minor episcopi vagantes and independent churches not mentioned in Brandreth's book.
1 12 Miscellaneous Correspondence: Episcopi Vagantes; 1940-1973. Reactions to and comments on the publication.
II. Printed Material
2 13 Pamphlets and periodicals from the Liberal Catholic Church; 1945-1972.
2 14 Pamphlets and periodicals from the Old Roman Catholic Church; 1962-1965. Included are Constitutions of the Old Roman Catholic Church, 1962; The Caer-Glow Recorder, April, June-July, September-December 1965; The Old Roman Catholic Church: Its History and Purpose, n.d.; The Theology of Animal Welfare by G.F. Tull, n.d.
2 15 A Collection of Documentations on the Apostolic Succession of Joseph Rene Vilatte with Brief Annotations by Bertil Persson; 1974. Autographed with the author's compliments.
2 16 Episcopi Vagantes and the Anglican Church by Henry R.T. Brandreth; 1947.
2 17 Ten Years in South London by Rev. M. Hay; 1913. Accompanied by a letter from the author dated August 12, 1913.
2 18 Works by Robert P. Casey; 1933-1959. A number of pamphlets authored by Casey are bound together. The folder also includes items found in the bound volume such as a paper entitled "Homosexuality and Christianity", six letters from Casey addressed to "My dear Henry:-" and a newspaper clipping of Casey's obituary.
2 19 Leaflets 1-12 of the Assyrian Libration Committee; 1948-1949. Bound.
2 20 L'Eglise: L'oecumenisme Les eglises Orientalis; 1965. Autographed by several individuals.
2 21 Works of Jean-Michel Hornus; 1964-1974. Included are Foi et Vie, January 1974; Les petites Eglises catholiques non romaines; L'eveche anglo-prussien a Jerusalem, 1841-1881; Controverses autour de sa creation, 1841; "Introduction Aux Eglises Orientalis". Also contained in the folder is a letter and card from Hornus.
3 22 Questions D'Enfantes by Everett P. Smith; 1954. Included is a letter addressed to Brandreth from Smith.
3 23 He thesis ton laikon entos tou Ekklesiastikou Organismou (Kata to Kanonikon dikaion Tes Orthodoxou Anatolikes Ekklesias) by Hieronymos I. Kotsone archimandrite; 1956. Autograph and manuscript notations of Austin Oakley.
3 24 Ekklesia kai Baptisma kata ten K. Diatheken Thessalonike by Georgios A. Galite; 1972. Signed by the author.
3 25 New Testament: Text with Critical Apparatus; 1942. Greek testament gift of Edward Ely.