RepositoryUniversity of Exeter Penryn Campus (GB 3242)
Ref NoICS3
Extent3 boxes /1 linear metre
TitleCanon R H Adams: manuscript and typescript material - CATALOGUING IN PROGRESS PLEASE CONTACT ARCHIVES@FXPLUS.AC.UK
DescriptionThis Collection mainly contains two research projects undertaken by Canon Adams between c1930-1970, including:

- 6 ring bound folders containing Adams' work on Medieval Chapels in Cornwall, arranged alphabetically by parish. Includes research notes, plans, photographs, sketches of churches and particular points of interest, correspondence, newspaper cuttings, details of archaeological finds, and critical analysis of existing sources.

- Additional research folders containing similar materials referring to chapels in Cornwall and beyond entitled: Lighthouses, Church Ovens, Antiquarian correspondence concerning Landulph, Church in Cornwall Exhibition, Votive and Pilgrim Chapels, Chantry Chapels and Collegiate, Chapels of Ease - Guild Chapels - Free Chapels, Domestic chapels and oratories, Hermitages, Lazar House Chapels, M Folder (Manorial, Monastic, etc), Celtic, Borough, Castle Chapels, Almshouse, Bridge Chapels.

- 1 ring bound folder of correspondence regarding medieval chapels, including incoming correspondence with Gorsedh Kernow bards and contemporary historians. Organised alphabetically by sender.

- Several smaller folders containing research materials and draft type-written documents about the history and genealogy of Theodore Palaeologus. These include multiple drafts of a 99 page manuscript titled 'Theodore Palaeologus "The Greek Prince of Cornwall"', a 19 page lecture titled 'Theodore Palaeologus', a bundle of letters labelled 'Palaeologus Pedigree notes and letters', a collection of letters relating to Palaeologus research, and a manuscript titled 'The host of Palaeologus'.
Admin HistoryCanon John Herbert Adams MA (1897 -1985) was born in Newbury, Berkshire to Alfred Adams MD and Maud Muriel Adams. He was the grandson of antiquarian and geologist Rev. John Adams who, following his death in America was described in US President Rutherford B Hayes's address in 1877 as "A Cornishman of considerable ability". By March 1901 the family had relocated to West Looe, Cornwall. Adams boarded at Marlborough School, Wiltshire, before being mobilised for service in the First World War. He served as a Private in the Royal West Kent Regiment and the Royal Army Service Corps for which he received the British War Medal WWI and Victory Medal WWI.

In 1921 Adams gained his BA in Theology from Exeter College, Oxford University. He was ordained a Deacon in 1922, a Priest in 1923, and worked as both in various locations around the Midlands until he was instituted to the rectory of Landulph in Cornwall in 1930, where he became Reverend of the Church of St Leonard and St Dilpe. In 1937 he married Marion Dymott from Saltash at St Germans Church and they later had two children, Richard and Elizabeth.

Adams remained Rector of Landulph until the late 1950s during which time he undertook significant historical research into the history of the church and parish. As well as writing a detailed pamphlet titled 'Notes on Landulph Church', he wrote a pageant on the history of the parish which many parishioners took part in in the early 1950s. In 1937 he became a Bard of Gorsedh Kernow in recognition of his work on the history of Landulph. His bardic name was Holyer Delegh, meaning 'follower of Delech' - a Cornish saint whose name was the origin for Landulph.

Adams had a lifelong interest in history, genealogy and antiquarian research, and was well respected amongst his peers, serving as President of the Saltash Old Cornwall Society (1958-60) and President of the Royal Institution of Cornwall (1969-70).

From 1930 until beyond retirement Adams pursued two major research projects. The first was an attempt to create a definitive account of medieval chapels in Cornwall including detailed historical research into existing churches, and personal investigations into local accounts of defunct chapels. This was a tremendous undertaking; Adams spent decades travelling to sites, recording observations about different building styles and materials, talking to local people, cross referencing existing texts, and corresponding and sharing observations with other experts in the field.

The second project was a historical and genealogical investigation into Theodore Palaeologus (1560-1637), whose burial brass remains in the church of Landulph. The brass claims that Palaeologus was descended from the Byzantium kings of Greece, which has led to much speculation about his ongoing bloodline and triggered much appropriation of the Palaeologus legend into fiction. Following in the footsteps of F. V. Jago Arundel, a 19th century reverend of Landulph and widely accepted as the first Palaeogus scholar, Adams sought historical evidence and managed to expand on Arundel's research by following leads beyond the UK to Barbados, the USA, Athens and Italy. During over 40 years of study on the subject Adams published papers through the Royal Institute of Cornwall, Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries, The Genealogists Magazine and The Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge. He also gave lectures to audiences and on BBC radio's The Today Programme, and corresponded widely with interested parties.

Adams retired from the clergy in 1967, having left Landulph parish to become Vicar of St Goran, near St Austell in 1961. In 1970 he published his pamphlet titled 'Theodore Palaeologus' through the Royal Institute of Cornwall and gave an accompanying presentation to the public. His research inspired and informed a biography of his subject titled 'An Elizabethan Assassin. Theodore Paleologus: Seducer, Spy and Killer' by John Hall who credits Adams as the leading Palaeologus scholar.

References: - Canon Adams' pamphlet on the history of Landulph.
John Herbert Adams MA, Rector of Landulph 1930-1961: a timeline by Colin Squires 2004
The President's Address, Vol. 5, 1877
Cornish Bards of the Tamar Valley, available through the Gorsedh Kernow website:
The Saints of Cornwall by Nicholas Orme. - information about Delech - census 1901
An Elizabethan Assassin. Theodore Paleologus: Seducer, Spy and Killer by John Hall

Roo Pescod, July 2017
Access StatusOpen
Related MaterialThe historical records of Landulph Church held at Kresen Kernow contain some of Canon Adam's notes and further papers have been donated by his son Richard to the Courtenay Library, Royal Cornwall Museum, Truro.
Access ConditionsOpen except for those records subject to Data Protection legislation.
ArrangementThis collection remains arranged as per original order.
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