Fonds GB 0210 MSHAINESED - Jack Haines (Edward Thomas) manuscripts

Identity area

Reference code



Jack Haines (Edward Thomas) manuscripts


  • [1903]-[1922] (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

2 volumes.

Context area

Name of creator

Biographical history

Edward Thomas (1878-1917), poet and writer, was born Philip Edward Thomas in Lambeth to Welsh-born parents on 3 March 1878. He was educated at St Paul's School, London and Lincoln College, Oxford. Having left St Paul's, Thomas studied for the civil service examination, a move which expressed parental ambition rather than his own as he had reacted against the wordly views of his father, who worked for the Board of Trade and was prominent in Liberal politics. He was encouraged in his early literary ambitions by the critic James Ashcroft Noble and Thomas's first book, The Woodland Life, inspired by his love of the natural world, appeared as early as 1897. Thomas married Noble's daughter Helen (1877-1967) in 1899 and, having graduated from Lincoln College in 1900, made a precarious living as a literary reviewer for the Daily Chronicle whilst also writing essays, anthologies, guidebooks and folk-tales. He also published further books, including The Heart of England (1906), as well as biographical writings, most notably those on Richard Jefferies (1909), Maurice Maeterlinck (1911), Algernon Charles Swinburne (1912) and Walter Pater (1913). This period also produced his autobiographical works The Happy-Go-Lucky Morgans (1913), The Icknield Way (1913) and In Pursuit of Spring (1914). Possibly from an overwhelming feeling that his creativity was shackled and frustrated, Thomas at this time suffered recurrent physical and psychological breakdowns which once took him to the brink of suicide. It was not until 1914 that he wrote his first 'real' poem, entitled 'Up in the Wind'. The wartime collapse of the literary market at last afforded Thomas more time to write poetry; over a space of two years, he was to write over one hundred and forty poems. In 1915 Thomas joined the Artists' Rifles; he was commissioned second lieutenant in 1916 and volunteered for service overseas. In April 1917 he was killed during the first hour of the battle of Arras in northern France and buried the following day on the outskirts of the town; he therefore did not live to see the publication of his Poems (1917) (under his pseudonym Edward Eastaway), nor the subsequent Last Poems (1918) and Collected Poems (1920). His wife Helen wrote of their time together in As It Was (1926) and World Without End (1931). Thomas numbered amongst his poetical and literary influences Robert Frost, Thomas Hardy, W. B. Yeats, D. H. Lawrence, Walter de la Mare, and W. H. Davies.

Name of creator

Biographical history

John Wilton (Jack) Haines (1875-1960) was a Gloucester based solicitor, amateur botanist, poet and bibliophile. He was associated with the group of poets living in the vicinity of Dymock, Gloucestershire, during the Edwardian period, becoming a close friend of Edward Thomas and Robert Frost; it was Haines who later coined the phrase 'Dymock Poets' to describe the group. His own poetry was published in John Haines, Poems (London, 1921). He married Alice Dorothy Mary Woodroffe (1881-1956) in 1911 and they had one son John Robert (Robin) Haines (1913-1988), also a solicitor. Jack Haines died on 24 April 1960 in Gloucester.

Archival history

The papers remained in the possession of the Haines family until the 2018 Bonhams auction.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

NLW MS 24122B: Bonhams; London; Purchased at auction, lot 290; 20 June 2018; 99884263502419.
NLW MS 24123D: Bonhams; London; Purchased at auction, lots 289, 291-294; 20 June 2018; 99884263502419.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Papers, [1903]-[1922], of Jack Haines relating to his friend, the writer and poet Edward Thomas, comprising manuscript and typescript poems and drafts of poems, 1914-[1916]; a book review, [1903]; and letters from Edward Thomas, 1915, and Helen Thomas, [1922].

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

Arranged according to NLW MSS reference numbers: NLW MSS 24122-24123.

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Readers consulting modern papers in the National Library of Wales are required to abide by the conditions set out in information provided when applying for their Readers' Tickets, whereby the reader shall become responsible for compliance with the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulation 2018 in relation to any processing by them of personal data obtained from modern records held at the Library.

Conditions governing reproduction

Usual copyright laws apply. Information regarding Edward Thomas and Helen Thomas copyright can be found at (viewed August 2018).

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Language and script notes


Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

For further papers relating to Edward Thomas see NLW, Edward and Helen Thomas Manuscripts.

Notes area


Purchased with financial assistance from The Friends of the National Libraries.


Title based on contents of fonds.

Alternative identifier(s)

Alma system control number


Access points

Subject access points

Place access points

Genre access points

Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru = The National Library of Wales

Rules and/or conventions used

Description follows NLW guidelines based on ISAD(G) 2nd ed.; AACR2; and LCSH


Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion

August 2018.


  • English



The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: Gloucestershire Archives Online Catalogue <> [accessed 21 August 2018]; Ancestry WWW site <> [accessed 21 August 2018>; John Haines, Poems (London, 1921).

Archivist's note

Description compiled by Rhys M. Jones.

Accession area

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