S. E. Cottam

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Samuel Elsworth Cottam (1863–1943) was an English poet and priest.


Cottam was educated at Exeter College, Oxford, where he was a friend of Edwin Emmanuel Bradford. He was a lifelong Anglo-Catholic, unlike Bradford who later became a Modernist. Cottam and Bradford were co-Chaplains of St George's Anglican Church in Paris, France. He was later incumbent at Wootton, Vale of White Horse, where John Betjeman and W. H. Auden went to see him celebrate Sung Mass.


In his will he left Trust funds for "the purchase of objects of beauty for the furtherance of religion in ancient gothic churches." This Trust is now administered by the Friends of Friendless Churches and has been used to benefit many dozens of churches in England and Wales, by the addition of furnishings, stained glass and bells.


  • A lantern for Lent, brief instructions on biblical subjects for the forty days of Lent (London: n.p., 1897)
  • The royal thanksgiving, a sermon on the recovery of King Edward VII (London: n.p., 1902)
  • New sermons for a new century (London: n.p., 1900)
  • 'Philosophy of Truth', The Philosopher vol. 12 (1934)
  • Cameos of boyhood: and other poems (London: Arthur H. Stockwell, 1930)
  • Friends of my fancy, and other poems (Eton; Windsor: Shakespeare Head Press, 1960)

Sources and further information[edit]

  • Bevis Hillier, Young Betjeman (London: John Murray, 1988), p. 177
  • "Deaths", The Times, 3 April 1943, p. 1 [death date, 30 March 1943]