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Authority record

Walter Aidan Cotton

  • Canada
  • Person
  • c. 1878-1960

The following biographical sketch is taken from the authority record prepared by the Borthwick Institute for Archives at the University of York, UK, at

Walter Aidan Cotton was born 13 March c. 1878 in Canada. He was educated at King's College in Windsor, Nova Scotia and was ordained deacon in 1902 and priest in 1903. Cotton began keeping a diary in 1893 while he was still at high school, and this practice continued, with some gaps, until 1960.

In 1907 Cotton moved to England to take up the curacy of St Michael's in Croydon. In 1908 he resigned his position to take up permanent residence at the Community of the Resurrection in Mirfield, an Anglican religious order for men founded in 1892.

In 1911 he joined the Community's South African Mission and was based in Johannesburg, becoming Prior of the suburb of Rosettenville in 1915 and principal of St Peter's Theological College there in 1917. In 1924 Cotton became Prior of Penhalonga, in Southern Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe.

Cotton remained at Penhalonga for five years but felt increasingly isolated and later returned to Johannesburg and resumed his position as Prior of Rosettenville. In 1942 he left Johannesburg to work at Jane Furse Hospital in Sekhuniland.

Whilst in South Africa, Cotton wrote several books and pamphlets addressing race. In 1926 he published 'The Race Problem in South Africa,' in 1931 he followed this with 'Racial Segregation in South Africa,' and in 1945 he published the 'Sepeli Prayer Book.' His works advocated complete territorial segregation for whites and black Africans whilst approving of 'occasional mixed marriages' as a bridge between the races.

He also produced a number of unpublished theological works, including 'Priesthood and the Reformation,' and 'The Sublimation of Life in God's Sacramental Universe.'

In 1946 he returned to Mirfield. Dissatisfied with the Community, Cotton disputed the practice of private masses and criticised the Community's work in South Africa. In 1952 his strong views led him to attempt to establish a new community in his native Canada called the Society of the Servants of the Church. The Society was unsuccessful and in 1954 Cotton returned to Mirfield.

Walter Aidan Cotton died at Mirfield in February 1960.

William Cundall

  • Canada
  • Person
  • 1805-1876

After emigrating from England in 1928, PEI. In 1935, he moved to Charlottetown. After several years, he left the firm and became the headmaster of the Central Academy. When the Bank of Prince Edward Island was formed, he left the Central Academy fo become the bank's manager, a position he held until his death. He was a loyal member of St. Paul's Anglican church in Charlottetown. Although he was not a supporter of the growing tractarian movement within the Anglican community, he believed that stress between factions within the church would be ameliorated if a second Anglican church could be established in Charlottetown. To this end he donated land in the western end of the city, commonly referred to as the West Bog for the erection of a Chapel of Ease. The Chapel was to become St. Peter's Cathedral.

William Lawson Cotton

  • Canada
  • Person
  • 1848-1928

William Lawson Cotton was born in New London P.E.I. He left school in New London at 16 to learn the printing and newspaper business in Charlottetown under John Ings, editor of the "Islander". After two years reporting for the "Halifax Citizen" he returned to Charlottetown in June 1873 and became the editor and manager of the "Examiner" owned by Jedediah Carvell. He retired when the "Examiner" was absorbed by the "Charlottetown Guardian" remaining on the Board and contributing a column on island history. He wrote insightful pieces supporting confederation, free education, land reform, Construction of a P.E.I. railroad as well as the need for a new water and sewage system in Charlottetown.

William Lockhart

  • Canada
  • Person
  • 1893-1962

According to research in, William Rufus Lockhart was born on September 14, 1893, in Petitcodiac, New Brunswick, to father Edwin and mother Lyla. William's brother was Frank Edwin Lockhart (1883-1916) was killed on April 8, 1916, in Ieper, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium, during the First World War. William married Mary Jane McCully in 1918 in Petitcodiac. William died on May 23, 1962, in Petitcodiac. The relationship between the Lockharts and St. Peter's Cathedral Church, and the reason St. Peter's Cathedral Church Archives has a scrapbook compiled by the two brothers, is unknown.

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