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Fonds Level Description

Accession Number: 81-001

Title

Medd family fonds. -- 1819-1977. -- 2 m of textual records. -- ca. 500 photographs. -- 1 album (sketchbook) + 9 loose sketches.

Biography / History

The Medd Family were early settlers in Millbrook, Cavan Township, Upper Canada who later moved to Peterborough, Upper Canada. The first member of the Medd family to settle in the region was Robert Medd. His son Thomas Medd (ca. 1850-1916) married Mary Scott (1845-1922) in 1870. Mary Scott was the granddaughter of Adam Scott, the first pioneer settler on the site of Peterborough. They had two sons, Sidney T. Medd and A.W. Medd. Sidney Taylor Medd, a barrister, married Estelle Lumsden Ackerman in approximately 1909 or 1910. They had two children, Scott Ackerman Medd, born in 1911, and Mary E. Medd. Scott Ackerman Medd is the priciple person to whom items in this fonds relate to. He was educated at Trinity College School in Port Hope, Ontario and upon graduation, was employed by the Bank of Montreal in both Peterborough and Oshawa. In 1932, dissatisfied with his career in banking, Scott Medd successfully applied to the Royal Academy School in London, England. In 1938, he married Beryl Gray-Rees in London, and on June of the following year, their only child Miriam Frances was born. With the outbreak of World War II in 1939, Scott Medd's artistic career was interrupted as he spent the next six years of his life with the Royal Artillery. In 1945, he was a member of the British occupation force sent to liberate Norway from the Germans. After the War, Medd returned to art as a teacher at the Camberwell School of Art in London. In 1960, he was appointed Resident Advisor to the Students in Painting at the British School in Rome, Italy. He retained this position until 1970, when illness forced him to retire. Scott Medd had a long and successful career as an artist and teacher. He died November 9, 1984.

Custodial History

The items in the fonds were created over the years by various members of the Medd family and they were in the custody of Mary E. Medd before the fonds was donated to the Trent University Archives.

Scope and Content

This fonds consists primarily of the correspondence of Scott Ackerman Medd to his parents Sidney Taylor Medd and Estelle Lumsden Ackerman and his sister Mary E. Medd. The correspondence covers such topics as Scott's education at Trinity College School in Port Hope and at the Royal Academy in London, England, his development as and artist, life in England, and World War II. The fonds also contains the family records of Thomas and Mary Medd consisting of emigration and settlement letters, 1819-1919; correspondence to Robert Medd, 1820-1852; and correspondence to and from Sidney Taylor Medd during World War I. Also included are photographs of various members of the Medd family and sketches and sketchbooks of Scott Ackerman Medd.

Notes

Title based on the family which created the fonds.

Most of the photographs are black and white negatives.

In the Large Materials Cabinet - Drawer 27, there are two panoramic photographs: The Canadian Expeditionary Force at Barriefield Camp, 1915 and Trinity College Cadets, Port Hope, 1926. Once tightly rolled, these photographs have undergone humidification, cleaning and repair by the conservation students of Fleming College (2009) under the direction of instructor Dorothy McCord. We gratefully acknowledge their expertise and assistance.

The fonds was donated by Mary E. Medd in 1981.

Restrictions: N

Finding aids: Y

Addition to the fonds: 94-012.

 

Finding Aid

Box 1

Folder

1: Miscellaneous documents, 1848-1919. Includes letters to Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Medd and to Sydney Taylor Medd. Several legal documents relating to land transactions. two official commissions granted to S.T. Medd as a barrister. Photocopy of a letter from Mrs. Thomas Medd to F.H. Dobbin, dated May 7, 1919, concerning her grandfather, Adam Scott, the first settler at Peterborough.

2: Letters to and from S.T. Medd, 1914-1919:
- October 25, 1914: Letter from Arthur (Ross Ackerman) to his sister from Bustard Camp, Salisbury Plains, describing living conditions and camp life, English reaction to the coming of the Canadians, and expressing a general felling that they might not be needed at all.
- 1914: Nominal Roll "B" Squadron, 3rd Dragoons.
- Nov. 12, 1915: Letter to S.T. Medd from Arthur Ackerman from France, thanking him for cigarettes. Is at G.H.Q. taking a course on maps at a Cadet School etc.
- Nov. 25, 1915: S.T. Medd to his wife, whom he addresses as "Stell". Address, North Bramshott Camp, Liphook, Hants. Describes the camp and living conditions and writes about family matters.
- Dec.5, 1915: S.T. Medd, from North Bramshott Camp. Hopes that Arthur will get leave from France shortly and visit him.  
- April 2, 1916: S.T. Medd to Mrs. Medd. He's on the course at Shorncliffe and is despondent about getting to the front. Family and local affairs. Describes a dinner party to which he was invited.
- February 10, 1916: S.T. Medd to Mrs. Medd. Discussions of reorganization of units. Mentions the temporary nature of ranks during the war. Has visited arthur in London. Family affairs.
- May 30, 1916: Major S.T. Medd, 39th Battn. Certificate, Canadian Military School, Schorncliffe, Officers' Course.
- June 10, 1916: S.T. Medd to Mrs. Medd, discussing the problem of mail going astray. Gives new address, Strathcona House, Canadian Cavalry Depot, Army Post Office, London, England. Property prices in Peterborough and possible population shifts. Is pleased to have been transferred back to the calvary.
- December 11, 1916: The Allan Line Steamship Co., Limited, Montreal to Major S.T. Medd, 452 Charlotte Street, Peterborough confirming return passage to England. S.T. Medd appears to have been given home leave at the end of 1916.
- January 6, 1917: B.F. Ackerman to Hon. George E. Foster, London, England, introducing his son-in-law, Major S.T. Medd, now on active service overseas.
- February 4, 1917: S.T. Medd to Mrs. Medd, describing his return trip to England.
- February 2, 1917: A continuation of the preceding letter. Describes mainly the treatment at Queen Alexandria Hospital of a relapsed case of dysentery which he contracted during a stint at the front in Belgium earlier in 1916.
- December 28, 1918: S.T. Medd to Mrs. Medd from North Bramshott Camp. Has been in command of the Regiment on the rifle ranges. Family affairs.
- March 9, 1919: S.T. Medd to Mrs. Medd from Queen Alexandria Hospital, Millbank, London. Is being treated for another bout of dysentery.

3: Letters from Scott Ackerman Medd to his mother, 1922- 1927, written at Trinity College School, Port Hope Ontario.

4: Letters to and from Scott Medd, 1928. On March 3, 1928, Trinity College School was gutted by fire and T.C.S. was sheltered by Woodstock College from the end of March until it could be rebuilt. In a letter to his mother on March 5, Scott gives an excellent description of the fire. Two letters from S.T. Medd to Mrs. Medd, April 12 and April 16, 1982. One letter to Scott dated January 5, 1929.    

5: Undated letters from Scott Medd to his mother from Trinity College School. One of the letters has attached two sketches by Scott Medd, probably of buildings and T.C.S. Another has an excellent account of a visit to the Royal Military College at Kingston for an athletic completion.

Box 2

1: Letters between Scott, Mary and Mrs. Medd, November 1930, Feb. to Aug. 1931. During this period Scott had joined the Bank of Montreal in Peterborough and in early August was transferred to Athens, Ontario.

2: Letters, Sept. - Nov. 1931. Some of the correspondence indicates Scott's growing dissatisfaction with working in a bank and a difficult decision in trying to decide on music or art as a career.

3: Letters, January - Feb., 1932, from Scott Medd to his parents and Mary. During this period Scott left for England on R.M.S. Duchess of York and began his studies in art at St. Johns Wood Art School. The letters are vibrant with the young man's first reactions to London, the sense of history, the art and architecture, the cultural activities, the people, especially "the characters", all things that he had read about in writers like Dickens but which were infinitely enhanced in real life.

4: Letters, March - April, 1932, from Scott Medd to his mother and Mary. In April, Scott was accepted as a student at the Royal Academy Schools, Burlington Gardens, London.

5: Letters, May - July, 1932, from Scott Medd to members of his family.

Box 3

Folder

1: Letters, August, Oct. - Dec., 1932, from Scott Medd to members of his family. Mary and Mrs. Medd visited Scott in London during August and Sept. Letter of Oct. 20 is accompanied by seven sketches. Seven undated letters but internal evidence indicates that they were written in 1932.

2: Letters, January - March, 1933, from Scott Medd to members of his family,

3: Letters, April - June, 1933, from Scott Medd to members of his family.    

4: Letters, July - Sept., 1933, from Scott Medd to members of his family.

5: Letters, Oct. - Dec., 1933, from Scott Medd to members of his family. Three undated letters and a postcard.  

Box 4

Folder

1: Letters, Jan - Feb, 1934, from Scott Medd to members of his family.

2: Letters, March - April, 1934, from Scott Medd to members of his family.

3: Letters, May - June, 1934, from Scott Medd to members of his family. At the end of June, Scott left England for Peterborough to visit his family.

4: Letters, Nov. - Dec., 1934, from Scott Medd to members of his family. One letter dated July 28, one undated letter. Scott returned to England at the beginning of November.

5: Letters, Jan - Feb, 1935, from Scott Medd to members of his family.

6: Letters, March - May, 1935, from Scott Medd to members of his family.  

Box 5

Folder

1: Letters, June - August, 1935, from Scott Medd to members of his family. Two letters to Mary Medd, one of which, dated June 27, 1935, is from a fellow student of Scott's and she describes Scott's life as a student.

2: Letters, Sept. _ Oct., 1935 from Scott Medd to members of his family. On Friday, Oct. 18, Mary Medd took ship for England to visit Scott.

3: Letters, Nov. - Dec., 1935, between Mary and Scott Medd in London and their parents in Peterborough. Sydney Medd's letter of December 30, 1935, has a long commentary on the contemporary situation in Europe.

4: Letters, January _ March, 1936, between Mary and Scott Medd in London and their parents in Peterborough. Much on the death of King George V and his funeral.

5: Letters, April - September, 1936, between Mary and Scott Medd in London and their parents in Peterborough. In May, Scott was awarded the Second Edwin Abbey Memorial Scholarship and met Beryl Gay-Rees, his future wife. Mary began singing lessons at the Royal Academy. In July, they crossed the ocean to visit their parents, returning in September.

6: Letters, Oct - Dec, 1936, from Scott and Mary Medd to their parents. In a letter of December 11, there is much comment on the abdication of King Edward VIII.

7: Letters, Jan - March, 1937, from Mary and Scott Medd to their parents.

8: Letters, April - June, 1937, from Scott Medd to his parents. One letter from Beryl Rees to Mary. Scott became engaged to Beryl on April 26 and Mary returned to Peterborough at the end of May.

9: Letters, July - Sept., 1937, from Scott Medd to members of his family. Three letters from Beryl Rees.

10: Letters, Oct. _ Dec., 1937 from Scott Medd to his mother and Mary. One letter from Beryl Rees to Mary medd. Three undated letters.

11: Letters, January - February, 1938, from Scott Medd to his mother and Mary. Letters from Beryl to Mary.

12: Letter, March - June, 1938, from Scott Medd to members of his family. Five letters from Mary to Scott. One letter from Meryl Rees to Mary. Mrs. S.T. Medd on June 16.

13: Letters, July - August, 1938, between Scott and Mary Medd and their father. Scott and Beryl were married in Sept. and went home to Peterborough. A letter, dated Oct. 9, describes the defence preparations in London resulting from the Czechoslovakian crisis. Two undated letters.

14: Letters, April - August, 1939, from Scott Medd to his father and Mary. Scott and Beryl had returned to London by April and their daughter, Miriam Frances, was born on June 30. A letter dated August 25, discusses the growing tension in Europe.

15: Letter, Sept. - Dec., 1939, from Scott Medd to mary and his father. Five letters from Beryl to mary. With the outbreak of war in Sept., Scott joined the 15th Middlesex Regiment, Royal Artillery, in the searchlight section. Several letters, especially that of Oct. 31 to his father, gives Scott's reaction to army life and comments on the progress of the war.  

16: Letters, Jan. - May, 1940, from Scott Medd to Mary and his father. Nine letters from Beryl to Mary. Many of the letters mention aspects of camp life. This is the period of the "phony" war but by April things are beginning to happen in Europe and this is reflected in the letters of April and May.

17: Letters, June - Dec., 1940, from Scott Medd to Mary and their father. Twenty-seven letters from Beryl to various people including Mary and her father. Sixteen undated letters. Descriptions of the bombing raids on England and comments on the aerial warfare going on during the period. At this time, Scott moved this family from Cricklewood, London to Rode, near Bath, to escape the bombing. Their London home appears to have been damaged by an incendiary bomb.

Box 6

Folder

1: Letters, Jan - June, 1941, from Scott and Beryl Medd to Mary and her father. More commentary on the war and the army.

2: Letters, July - Dec., 1941, from Scott Beryl Medd, mostly to mary Medd

3: Letters, Jan - June, 1942, from Scott and Beryl Medd, mostly to Mary Medd. Letters dated April 26 and May 6 a couple of air raids on nearby Bath.

4: Letters, July - Dec., 1942, from Scott Medd and Beryl Medd. mostly to Mary Medd. Seven undated letters.

5: Letters, Jan - Dec, 1943, from Scott and Beryl Medd to Mary and her father.

6: Letters, 1943, undated, from Beryl to Scott Medd. Twelve letters on family affairs.

7: Letters, Jan - April, 1944, from Scott and Beryl Medd to Mary Medd and her father.

8: Letters, May - Aug, 1944, from Scott and Beryl Medd to Mary and her father. Scott's letter of May 3 has good commentary on the Canadian war art section to which he was trying to get a transfer. Letter of June 12 comments excitedly about the invasion of Normandy on June 6.

9: Letters, September - December, 1944, from Scott and Beryl Medd mostly to Mary Medd. Three undated letters. The latter of Sept. 21 describes an interview that Scott had with a Canadian officer concerning his application to transfer to the Canadian war artist section. In December, Scott and Beryl were ordered by a court of law to vacate their home at Rode.

10: Letters, Jan - April, 1945, from Scott and Beryl Medd to Mary and her father. Two letters from Mary to Scott. At the end of March, Scott and Beryl moved from Rode to a house which they purchased in Clifton Park, Bristol. In March, Scott was transferred to the Royal Engineers as a draughtsman.

11: Letters, May - August, 1945 from Scott and Beryl Medd.

12: Letters, Sept - Dec, 1945, from Scott and Beryl Medd to Mary Medd. Five letters from Mary Medd. Seven untitled letters. In June, Scott was sent to Norway as a member of the liberation army. A letter, dated Sept. 29, describes Norwegian life under the German occupation.

13: Letters, 1946 - 1949, to and from Scott, Beryl and Mary Medd. Only two letters for 1947. Scott was demobilized at the beginning of 1946 and went with his family to visit Mary and his father in Peterborough. On his return to England, he began teaching, in 1948, at the Camberwell School of Art in London.

14: Letters, 1950, mainly from Scott, beryl and Miriam Medd to Mary Medd. In October - Nov., Scott spent a month touring Italy.

15: Letters, 1951, mostly from Scott to Mary Medd.

16: Letters, 1952, mostly from Scott to Mary Medd. One letter, from Mary to Scott, dated Nov. 16. In July, Scott and his family moved from Bath to Holland Park Road, London. In August, Mary visited the Medds in England.

Box 7

Folder

1: Letters, 1953, mostly from Scott to Mary Medd.

2: Letters, 1954, mostly from Scott to Mary Medd. During the year, Scott was commissioned to aid Mr. W.T. (later Sir Thomas) Monnington to execute a large mural decoration in the Council House, Bristol. By Christmas, he was visiting Mary Medd in Peterborough, a visit which had been put off several times because of the above commitment.

3: Letters, 1055, mostly from Scott to Mary Medd. Much on the artistic work he was doing on the Council House, Bristol.

4: Letters, 1956, from Scott Medd and others to Mary medd. Scott and his visited Mary in July and August, returning to England in Sept.

5: Letters, Jan - July, 1957 mostly from Scott to Mary Medd. In the spring, Scott began the artistic decoration on the ceiling of the Chapel of Exeter University, Devonshire.

6: Letters, August - Dec, 1957, from Scott Medd and others to Mary Medd. In Oct, Miriam Medd went to Italy to study Italian in Rome. Letter of Dec 10, contains a genealogical account of the Medd family and Adam Scott, the founder of Peterborough.

Box 8

Folder

1: Letters, Jan - Aug, 1958, from Scott Medd and others to Mary Medd. Mary Medd visited Medd family in London during the summer.

2: Letters, Sept - Dec., 1958, from Scott Medd to Mary Medd. Letter of Sept. 1, lists the galleries in which he has exhibited his art work. Letter of Sept. 8 contains and account by Sandy Mattshett of Adam Scott and the founding of Peterborough.

3: Letters, 1959, from Scott to Mary Medd. At the end of May, Scott took a group of people to Corsica who wanted to combine a holiday with painting. At the end of Sept. Scott visited Mary Medd in Peterborough and returned to England by Christmas.

4: Letters, 1960, 1961, from Scott to Mary Medd. In Oct, 1960 Scott went to Italy on a four month appointment as Resident Advisor to the Students in Painting at the British School in Rome. He was accompanied by Beryl and Miriam who studied art in Florence. They joined by Mary for a visit during the winter. Only five letters in 1961. May 7, 19, June 10, 22 and Oct 18.

Box 9

Folder

1: Letters, 1962, from Scott to Mary Medd. During the summer, Scott began work on the restoration of the interior of the dome at Castle Howard, York. The original mural on the underside of the dome, The Fall of Phaeton by Antonio Pellagrini, was destroyed by fire in 1940.   In Oct., Scott returned to the British School in Rome. In a letter of Nov. 10, he thanks Mary for her information about Trent University and notes that "It will be a great help in improving Peterborough's tone..." In the early fall, the Medds moved into 7 Ormond Road Richmond. (see James Dunbar's A Prospect of Richmond, coloured illustration 16 for a view of Ormond Road).

2: Letters, 1963, from Scott Medd to Mary Medd. This year Scott continued his work at Castle Howard in spring and summer and returned to Rome in Oct.  

3: Letters, 1964, from Scott to Mary Medd. Six letters from Beryl to Mary Medd. Miriam Medd was married to Charles Daniels in June and Mary Medd travelled to England for the occasion. Letter of Oct 24 mentions the official opening of Trent University at Rubidge Hall.

4: Letters, Jan - June, 1965, from Scott to Mary medd.

5: Letters, July - Dec 1965, from Scott to Mary Medd.

6: Letters, Jan - June, 1966, from Scott to Mary Medd.

7: Letters, July - Dec. 1966, from Scott to Mary Medd.

8: Letters, 1967, from Scott to Mary Medd.

9: Letters, 1968, from Scott to Mary Medd. Charles and Miriam Daniel's son, Marcus, was born on June 7, 1968.

Box 10

Folder

1: Letters, 1969, from Scott to Mary Medd. In June, Mary visited the Medds in England.

2: Letters, 1970, from Scott and Beryl to Mary Medd. Scott visited Mary Medd in Peterborough during April. During this year, Scott spent several periods in hospital with Parkinson;s Disease which prevented him from returning, as usual, to the British School in Rome.

3: Letters, 1971, from Scott to Mary Medd. Mary visited the Medds in December.

4: Letters, 1972, from Scott to Mary Medd.

5: Letters, 1973, from Scott to Mary Medd.

6: Letters, 1974, from Scott to Mary Medd.

7: Letters, 1975, from Scott to Mary Medd. Mary visited the Medds at the end of Feb and Scott visited Mary in Peterborough in October. The daughter od Charles and Miriam Daniels, Susan, was born in December.

8: Letters, 1976, 1977, from Scott to Mary Medd. Only two letters from 1976.

9: Miscellaneous undated letters and other papers.

Box 11

Scott Medd's sketchbook, along with miscellaneous photographs, negatives and postcards.

Envelope

1: Photographs probably of Miriam Medd.

2: Family photos.

3: Small family photos.

4: Small negatives.

5: Small negatives.

6: Negatives.

7: Negatives.

8: Negatives.

9: Negatives.

10: Negatives.

11: Negatives.

Large Materials Cabinet - Drawer 27
Two panoramic photographs: Canadian Expeditionary Force, B Squadron, 8th Canadian Mounted Rifles, Barriefield Camp, Sept 1915. : Trinity College Cadets, Port Hope, 1926 (these were once housed in Box 11).

Box 12

Folder

1: Letter, unsigned, undated, original and photocopy. Gives instructions on how to proceed from Quebec to Montreal, Prescott or Kingston, Presquile or Cobourg.

2: Letter, unsigned, original and photocopy dated Monaghan, Sept 30, 1819. Reports the arrival of John Ainley and his family at Smith's Creek (Port Hope) on June 22. Describes the living conditions and the land and the crops in the area and gives advice to anyone wishing to immigrate there. Letter, photocopy, from William Lumsden, St, Catherines, Canada, may 12, 1841 to his father, John Lumsden, Peterborough, Newcastle District, Canada. he complains of his inability to enter college at Gambien, Ohio because of lack of credentials and the lack of support from home. Letter, typescript, from William to John Lumsden, Trafalgar, Jan 11, 1844. William has become a minister in the Presbyterian Church.

3: Letter from William Thompson, original and photocopy, addressed Toronto on Smith Creek (Port Hope) Jan 23, 1819. Describes living and working conditions, procurement and clearing the land, prices of food, goods and equipment.

4: Letter from John Thompson, original and photocopy, address Toronto on Smith Creek (Port Hope) June 23, 1829. More description of the country and pioneer conditions. A section also on the Indians inhabiting the Rice Lake area.

5: Letter, unsigned, original and photocopy, Smith Creek or Port Hope, Jan 31, 1820. Describes the climate, the settlers and the need for people with certain skills.

6: Letter, Thomas Medd to Robert Medd, June 21, 1821, original and photocopy. Complains about the poor state of the English economy and asks about conditions in Canada. A note at the end of the letter from S. to N. Bletcher to their children in Canada.

7: Letter, Thomas Medd to Robert Medd, June 24, 1822, original and photocopy.

8: Letter, Thomas Medd to Robert Medd, March 29, 1820, original and photocopy. Bad times in England. Thomas has sent Robert some machinery and seeds.

9: Letter, Thomas Medd to Robert Medd, March 29, 1823, original and photocopy.

10: Letter, Thomas Medd to Robert Medd, June 8, 1825, original and photocopy. Mentions Robert's marriage and birth of a son.

11: Letter, Thomas Medd to Robert Medd, April 2, 1827, original and photocopy. Drought and hard times in England. A note at the end of the letter from Robert's sister, Mary Westoby.

12: Letter, Thomas Medd to Robert Medd, March 27, 1831, original and photocopy. Crop failures in England.

13: Letter, Richard Westoby to Robert Medd, Feb 28, 1852, original and photocopy. Richard, a nephew, informs Robert of the death of his brother, Thomas.

14: Thomas Medd, son of Robert Medd, original diary kept during a visit to England in 1868. Manuscript copy of a diary made by Scott Medd in 1947. Typewritten copy of the diary made by Mary E. Medd in 1964.

15: Two photographs: Thomas Medd, c. 1850-1916, Mary (Scott) Medd, c. 1855-1922.

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