Fonds BC1240 - Crawford Family Papers

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Crawford Family Papers


  • undated (Creation)

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Biographical history

Lawrence Crawford was born in Glasgow on 14 March 1867. He was educated at Glasgow High School and the University of Glasgow, where he won the Metcalf, Muir and Ferguson bursaries and obtained the degree of B.Sc. in 1886. In 1887 he entered King’s College, Cambridge where he was a Scholar and Exhibitioner. He won the Glynn and Richards prizes and obtained first-classes in Part I of the Mathematical Tripos in 1890 and in Part II in 1891. In 1893, he was made a Fellow of the College. He lectured in mathematics at Mason College Birmingham. In 1899, he was awarded the degree of D.Sc. by the University of Glasgow. In 1899 he was appointed to the Chair of Pure Mathematics at the South African College. When the SAC became the University of Cape Town in 1918, Lawrence Crawford was appointed the first Dean of the Faculty of Science. At the University of Cape Town he served in several senior capacities. He was in turn secretary to the Senate, vice chairman of Senate, member of the College Council, and a member of the University Council from its foundation in 1918 continuously until his death. For several short periods he was also acting Principal of the University, and in 1949 acting Chairman of Council. For many years (1919-1927) he was head of the men’s residence, University House. He also served as a City Councillor of Cape Town, for Ward Nine (Observatory and Mowbray) after his retirement, from 1945 to 1951. He was a Fellow of the Royal Society of South Africa, also serving as its President for six years from 1935. He was president of the South African Society for the Advancement of Science in 1915 and 1916. He married Annie Magdalena Spilhaus in 1903 and they had five children, Barry, Margaret, Peter, Richard and Lydia. He died on 5 April 1951. Annie Spilhaus was the daughter of Willem Spilhaus and his wife Lydia (nee Sedgwick). She attended Cheltenham Ladies’ College. The Crawfords’ home was “Koreelah” in Pillans Road, Rosebank and the children went to local schools. Barry Crawford married Janet Anderson. Margaret Lydia Crawford was born on 6 February 1906. She was educated at the University at Cape Town, where she obtained her B.A. in 1925 and her M.A. in 1926. She subsequently studied at Cambridge University, where she obtained her B.A. in 1929 and her M.A. in 1951. She married David Tippett in 1930 and they had two children, Elizabeth and Helen, the donors of these papers. The marriage was dissolved in 1939. In 1947, she married George Keith Lindsay. Peter Crawford was born in 1910. He married Mary. Richard Crawford was born in 1917. He married Muriel. Lydia Crawford was born in 1923 and died in 1981.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Donated by Elizabeth Thurlbeck and Helen Higgs

Scope and content

The Crawford Family Papers contain the papers of Lawrence and Annie Crawford, their five children, and other members of the family. Papers included personal documents, school reports, certificates, correspondence and genealogical information. There are also university notebooks and notes of Margaret Crawford. There are a large number of family photographs.


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No restrictions apply

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  • English

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  • English



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