Few Harvard men, except those who have been on High Street, Stratford upon-Avon, Warwickahire, England, are acquainted with the fact that there is an outpost of the University in Europe; namely, Harvard House, in Stratford.
Built in 1596, a fine specimen of Elizabethan architecture, the House is the birthplace of Katharine Rogers, mother of John Harvard. Katharine married Robert Harvard, of St. Saviour's, South wark (London), and there is good reason to believe that her most famous contemporary, William Shakespeare, was present at the wedding, for not only was he a Stratford neighbor of the Harvards, but also was a member of the South-wark parish where John was baptized.
Links Two Nations
At the beginning of the 20th century, Miss Marie Corelli, with the financial support of Edward Morris, Chicago millionaire, purchased the House and completely restored it to its 16th century aspect. Miss Corelli was convinced that the structure should belong to the University; she wrote to Morris, "You may call it a romantic notion perhaps, but I should like to think that the house of John Harvard's mother was a link with John Harvard's university, and a sign of friendship between the two nations."
On October 6, 1909, exactly 29 years ago, the House was formally delivered to the University by the American Ambassador to the Court of St. James, William Whitelaw Reid, and it was a remarkable coincidence that the same day and almost the same hour, A. Lawrence Lowell '77, was installed as president in Memorial Hall, some 3000 miles away. While our ambassador was paying honor to John Harvard at Stratford, the British ambassador was paying his respects to the University at President Lowell's inaugural ceremonies.
Elior Spoke at Dedication
At the unveiling of a memorial tablet to Lionel de Jersey Harvard, descendant of John Harvard's brother who died during the Great War, Thomas H. Eliot '28, now running for Congress from the Ninth district, but then holder of the Lionel Harvard scholarship at Cambridge University, spoke briefly on his association with Lionel when he attended college here as an undergraduate.
A dispatch from Miss Corelli announcing delivery on the House was read at the ceremonies and was greeted with "a long and loud outburst of enthusiasm."
Harvard House is now watched over by a Mrs. Pplow, who lives on the premises, and who is continually deploring the misspelling of her name. She takes care of the Visitor's Books, one for Harvard men and another for other visitors. The non-Harvard guests must pay an admission fee of sixpence (12c), while Crimson cohorts may enter free.
Copies of the Alumni Bulletin and University Gazette arrive at the House weekly, and on the promise of this correspondent, the CRIMSON will join them shortly on the huge oak table in the center of the heavy-beamed front door.
Drumming Up Business
Mrs. Pplow delights in relating tales of Harvard men who have dropped in, attracted by the "Veritas" motte outside, who are amazed to find their father's names in the Harvard Book. Some, she declares, have even found their grandfathers' signatures. The day this correspondent visited the House, business was rather slack, so he and Mrs. Pplow opened the top part of the front door and engaged in a loud conversation regarding the fact that the House was University property, in the cans outside might be tempted in. Northing but a small Yale man clad in shorts and a huge knapsack was drawn. however.
Shakespeare and Harvard
Miss Corelli's wish that Harvard House could be "a sign of connection between Shakespeare and Harvard, and a pledge of amity between British and American scholars all over the world..." is now partially realized every summer when travelling Cantabrigians sign the cherished Harvard Book for future generations to view.