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Wycliffe College Certificate
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Title: Wycliffe College Certificate
Identifier: 2008.13.1
Donor: Unknown
Item Date: 1919
Creation Date: 2011
Location: Bradley Museum

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Description: A certificate issued to Rev. R. L. Brydges, M.A., from Wycliffe College, Toronto. The certificate is on paper, with red, blue, green and black type for lettering. Across the top, centred, is the college name and crest. Below, there is a list of names of people who served overseas and in Canada during World War One. Rev. Brydges is listed under "Graduates - Service Overseas." In the centre there is a box with names of those who died in service. At the bottom there is a small box with Rev. Brydges' name handwritten in black ink. Below that reads, "The valiant service of Her sons in defence of KING and COUNTRY during the GREAT WAR 1914-1919, a grateful college will ever hold in honourable remembrance." The lettering is in black, except the capitalized words which are red. It is signed by the President and Principal of the college. There is an embossed seal of the college in the proper bottom right corner. It is dated 27 Nov 1919.

Certificate found with papers relating to the Jarvis family. Reverend Ralph Lionel Brydges (1856-1946) married Florence Caroline Jarvis in 1886. He came to Canada from England (n.d.) and was apparently working as a clerk for the Department of Agriculture in Toronto in 1874. In 1879, he studied for the priesthood at Wycliffe College and was ordained as a Deacon in 1881 and priest in 1882. He ministered in various places around the world during his career, including: Toronto, New York, Rome, San Rose, Costa Rica, British Honduras, and Holland. Rev. Brydges enlisted in 1916 as a Chaplain and honorary Captain in the 123 Battalion CEF Royal Grenadiers; he saw active service in Canada, England, and France/Belgium. He retired in 1934 and spent his summers in Toronto and winters in Florida.

There is mention of a scandal that caused him to have to leave from Canada for Rome in 1922. He was also a suspect in a series of murders in Italy between 1924-1927. It is said that influential friends, including upper Church of England connections as well as the Jarvis family in Toronto, are part of the reason he was never convicted of any crime.

Wycliffe College was founded in 1877 by an Anglican evangelical organization called the Church Association of the Diocese of Toronto. In 1885 the school became affiliated with the University of Toronto and in 1889 it became one of its federated colleges. It was formerly approved as an Anglican theological college in 1891.
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