Papers of Sir Selwyn Macgregor Grier

Scope and Content

The collection mainly covers the years Grier was in Nigeria, and mostly consists of family letters from Grier to his mother and to his sister 'Dorothy' (Mary Lynda Dorothea Grier) who was Principal of Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, from 1921-1945. There is also a file of papers relating to Nigera and an album of photographs (mostly dated 1911).

Administrative / Biographical History

Sir Selwyn Macgregor Grier was born on the 1 April 1878 and educated at Marlborough College, and Pembroke College, Cambridge. He taught at Berkhamsted School (1901-1902) and Cheam School (1902-1905) before joining the Colonial Service in Nigeria as Assistant Resident in Zaria Province (1906). He was later transferred to Bauchi (in 1912) and to Ibadan (in 1913). In 1921 Grier was appointed Secretary for Native Affairs (1921-1925) and in 1925 was seconded as Director of Education of the Southern Provinces.

Grier left Nigeria in 1929 when he was transferred to Trinidad as Colonial Secretary (1929-1935). In 1935 he was appointed Governor of the Windward Islands but the onset of blindness caused his resignation in 1937. His services were rewarded with the CMG in 1929 and he became a Knight Bachelor in 1934 and a KCMG in 1936. Grier died on the 8 November 1946.

Access Information

Bodleian reader's ticket required.


Collection level description created by Marion Lowman, Bodleian Library of Commonwealth and African Studies at Rhodes House.

Other Finding Aids

The library holds a card index of all manuscript collections in its reading room and a handlist is also available for this collection.

Listed as no. 508 in Manuscript Collections (Africana and non-Africana) in Rhodes House Library, Oxford, Supplementary accessions to the end of 1977 and Cumulative Index, compiled by Wendy S. Byrne (Oxford, Bodleian Library, 1978).

Conditions Governing Use

No reproduction or publication of personal papers without permission. Contact the library in the first instance.