Skip to main content

COVID-19 Update

All Yale Library buildings and reading rooms are currently closed. Library staff working remotely continue to provide online support for research and Yale classes. Read more.

Henry Graham Dakyns Papers

Call Number: GEN MSS 698

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of correspondence, writings, photographs, financial papers, printed material and other related papers, created and accumulated by Henry Graham Dakyns. Correspondence often contains letters both sent and received by Dakyns, since he made a point of asking for his own letters to be returned in certain cases. Primary correspondents include his immediate and extended family, the Alfred, Lord Tennyson family, with whom he worked, and friends, colleagues, and pupils from Trinity College, Cambridge and Clifton College, Bristol, including John Addington Symonds and Horatio F. Brown, among others. Also found is extensive correspondence between various members of the immediate Dakyns family, including Dakyns, his wife Margaret Elsie Dakyns, his eldest son Henry Graham Dakyns, his daughter Margaret Frances Dakyns, and his youngest son Arthur Lindsay Dakyns.


  • 1846-1999




Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The Henry Graham Dakyns Papers is the physical property of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, consult the appropriate curator.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased from Andrew G. Dakyns on the Edwin J. Beinecke Book Fund, 2006-2008.


The collection is organized into four groupings: I. August 2006 Acquisition. II. October 2007 Acquisition. III. November 2008 Acquisition. IV. December 2009 Acquisition.

Material within this collection has been organized by acquisition reflecting the fact that the collection has been acquired in increments over time.

Researchers should note that material within each acquisition overlaps with and/or relates to material found in other acquisitions. For instance, correspondence can be found in all three groupings. In order to locate all relevant material within this collection, researchers will need to consult each acquisition described in the Collection Contents section.

Researchers should also note that similar material can be arranged differently in each acquisition, depending on how the material was organized when it was received by the library.


10 Linear Feet (18 boxes)

Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


The collection consists of correspondence, writings, photographs, financial papers, printed material and other related papers, created and accumulated by Henry Graham Dakyns and the Dakyns family.

Henry Graham Dakyns (1838-1911)

Henry Graham Dakyns was born on the island of St. Vincent in the West Indies on 1 August 1838. His father, Thomas Henry Dakyns (1803-1874) was a physician, who later left St. Vincent and became an attorney, running several estates. He later moved to England after the decline of the sugar trade in 1845 and was made Sub-Treasurer of the Middle Temple (Inn of Court) in London.

Thomas Dakyns had married his half-cousin, Harriet Dakyns née Dasent (1814-1868) in 1834. They had six sons: John Roche Dakyns (1836-1910), Henry Graham Dakyns (1838-1911), Bury Irwin Dakyns (1842-1918), Charles Stewart Dakyns (b.1844), Thomas Arnold Dakyns (1847-1910) and George Doherty Dakyns (1856-1939).

Henry Graham Dakyns attended Rugby School from 1850 to 1856 and Trinity College, Cambridge from 1857 to 1860. Upon graduation in 1860, Henry Graham Dakyns became the tutor of Alfred, Lord Tennyson's two sons: Hallam Tennyson (1852-1928) and Lionel Tennyson (1854-1886). He held this position at Farringford, Isle of Wight until 1861. In September 1862, he was appointed Assistant Master of Classics at Clifton College, Bristol.

Henry Graham Dakyns married Margaret Cay née Pirie (1846-1908) in 1872. She was the widow of Charles Hope Cay. They had three children, Henry Graham Dakyns (1874-1937), Margaret Frances Dakyns (1877-1960), and Arthur Lindsay Dakyns (1883-1941).

From 1881 until 1883, Henry Graham Dakyns took a sabbatical in Greece to work on his edition of the Complete Works of Xenophon. In December 1889, he retired from Clifton College, moving to Higher Coombe, Haslemere in 1891. He co-edited the Collected Poems of T.E. Brown (1900) with Horatio Brown & W.E. Henley and the Golden Treasury Selected Poems of T.E. Brown (1908) with Horatio Brown. He also contributed the chapter "Tennyson, Clough & the Classics" to Tennyson & his Friends (1911), edited by Hallam, Lord Tennyson, Macmillan & Co. Ltd.

Henry Graham Dakyns died of a heart attack at Haslemere station on 28 June 1911 at the age of 72.

General note

This finding aid describes a collection that has been acquired by the library in discrete segments over time. The narrative sections of the finding aid provide information about the content and context of the collection. The Collection Contents section provides a general description and in some instances a box or folder listing of the various acquisitions of the collection. The >Processing Notes section provides information about the way and extent to which the library has processed this collection. The Arrangement section provides information about how material within this collection is organized and tips on how to locate material across various acquisitions.

Processing Information

Collections are processed to a variety of levels, depending on the work necessary to make them usable, their perceived research value, the availability of staff, and competing priorities. The library attempts to provide a basic level of preservation and access for all collections as they are acquired, and does more extensive processing of higher priority collections as time and resources permit.

This collection received a basic level of processing, including rehousing and minimal organization. Material from the October 2007 Acquisition was originally housed in twenty-seven ring binders, with items housed in individual sleeves. During processing, material was removed from ring binders and sleeves, and was rehoused in acid-free folders and boxes. Material was largely maintained in the order in which it was received.

The same goes for material from the November 2008 Acquisition. The original numbering system of the previous custodian is indicated in parenthesis in the each of the folder headings for this acquisition.

This collection includes material formerly classed as Uncat MSS 891, Uncat MSS 974, and Uncat MSS 1142.

Descriptive information is drawn in large part from information supplied with the collection and from an initial survey of the contents. Folder titles were supplied by staff during initial processing. Biographical information is drawn largely from the dealer discription, and is included in the finding aid in order to provide context. Biographical facts have not been verified in all cases.
Guide to the Henry Graham Dakyns Papers
by Leigh Golden and Jennifer Meehan
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.

Revision Statements

  • 2010-02-10: Transformed with yale.addEadidUrl.xsl. Adds @url with handle for finding aid. Overwrites @url if already present.

Repository Details

Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository

P. O. Box 208330
New Haven CT 06520-8330 US
(203) 432-2977