Believed to have been written while Tolkien was professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford University, the poems were found in the 1936 annual of Our Lady’s School in Oxfordshire. The discovery was made when the US Tolkien scholar Wayne Hammond contacted Our Lady’s headteacher, Stephen Oliver. Hammond had found a note from Tolkien in which The Hobbit author mentioned that he had published two poems in a magazine he named as the Abingdon Chronicle.
Hammond realised this was Our Lady’s school magazine, and got in touch with Oliver. Initially, the latter could not locate the correct edition of the magazine, and passed Hammond on to the archives of the Sisters of Mercy, who had founded the school in 1860. More