Finding Number (Click this to view full catalogue structure)CMS/ACC926
TitleAccession 926: Papers of Frank Keay
Extent2 boxes
Date1879-c 2010
DescriptionA collection of personal and family material principally relating to Frank Keay's missionary and clerical career.

This collection includes both his educational certificates and the certificates and licences relating to his many clerical and missionary appointments in India, England and continental Europe over a period of nearly 50 years. It also includes some interesting correspondence relating to his missionary service in India, personal copies of the books he wrote about India and printed and manuscript materials he collected during his missionary service in India. There are, in addition, some papers of his two wives, including a guest book which records the names of people who stayed with the Keays
ArrangementThis collection forms part of the Church Missionary Society Unofficial Papers. It is arranged into one series: Family Papers
Finding AidsA catalogue of this collection (forming part of the wider CMS/ACC unofficial papers catalogue) is available on the online archive catalogue. Click on the Finding Number to display the summary contents list of the catalogue and to view the full catalogue. A paper copy of this catalogue is also available for consultation at Special Collections.
Access StatusOpen
Administrative HistoryFrank Ernest Keay (1879-1974) was an Anglican clergyman, CMS missionary and author. He was born in Richmond-on-Thames, Surrey the son of John Oliver Keay, a grocer and Alderman and JP and Naomi Keay (nee Barrat). He studied at the University of London by night school and was awarded his BA as an external student in 1900. He initially joined the civil service but in 1906 was admitted to the Church Missionary Society's Training College in Islington to train for the ministry. He passed the Oxford and Cambridge Preliminary Theological Examination (1st Class) in 1908, was ordained deacon by the Bishop of London on 14 June 1908 and priest by the Bishop of Nagpur on 30 January 1910. His other educational qualifications included a teacher's diploma, 1916, an MA awarded in 1916 and DLitt in 1922, all from the University of London.

Keay was accepted as a CMS missionary in 1908 and sailed for Central Provinces Mission, to Japalpur High School on 6 November. He came back to England, with his German wife, in 1915, and undertook teacher training at the London Day Training College receiving his diploma in 1916 and his MA (Education) in the History of Education and its philosophical basis in 1917. He served as a priest at Great Horton, Bradford for a short period in 1918 and also wrote several books on Indian history, religion and education: Indian Education in Ancient Times' (1918) and 'A History of Hindi Literature (1920). He returned to India probably in 1919 and after a furlough in England in 1922 was located to Meerut where he was appointed as Principal at Talghari Boys' School. Keay returned to England where he served as rector of Burslem in 1928, at Burton Fleming in Yorkshire in 1929 and then, in 1931, as chaplain to the British residents of Amsterdam. It was during this time that he published his third book 'Kabir and His Followers' (1931). The Keays returned to Nagpur in India in 1937-38, coming back to England for a short time where he was appointed rector of Holton with Bratton in Somerset. In May 1939 Keay left for Vienna where he acted as chaplain to the English congregation there but by August 1941, Keay was appointed priest to the Bishop Cotton School in Simla and in 1944 was accepted on relief service by the CMS for two years to a mission in the diocese of Bhagalpur.

The Keays returned to Europe in 1946, initially to Gothenburg in Sweden and, in 1948, to Vevey in Switzerland. In 1950, Keay was given another English parish - Botus Fleming in Cornwall - but by 1954, when Keay's first wife died they appear to have retired to Bournemouth. He re-married later that year and they visited India before returning to live in Church of England retirement homes in Worthing and then Knutsford.

Frank Keay died on 28 December 1974 at Sharston House, Manor Park, Knutsford, Cheshire. He was married twice: firstly to a German missionary Alice Asta Celestine Amalia von Schmiedeseck in February 1911 who died on 12 June 1954; and secondly to Vera Nowell (1901-1973), a pharmacist.

Source: Biography of Frank Ernest Keay, c 2010 (see CMS/ACC926 F3/7)
AcquisitionPresented by a descendant of Frank Keay, April 2011


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