The Williamson Papers

Scope and Content

The papers relate to Mrs Williamson's involvement with the Common Wealth Party between 1942 and 1945:

the Parliamentary by-election, Ashford, in which she stood, 1942-1943: correspondence with Sir Richard Acland, election leaflets, Common Wealth publications, press cuttings.

Common Wealth Party activities in Canterbury, 1943-1945: cuttings from Kentish and national press.

Also: a few press-cuttings on Sir Richard Acland's gift of family estates in Devon to the National Trust, 1943.

Administrative / Biographical History

Mrs Catherine Ellis Williamson (1896-1977) was educated at Cheltenham Ladies College. She was a director and manager for 35 years of her husband's family business of tanners in Canterbury. A Labour member of the City Council in 1936 to 1943, she was the City's first woman mayor. She contested parliamentary elections at Ashford (1943) and Canterbury (1945) as a candidate for the Common Wealth political party and East Grinstead (1950) and Hastings (1951) as a Labour candidate. (See Who was who, 7, 1971-1980.)

Access Information

Items in the collection may be consulted for the purpose of private study and personal research, within the controlled environment and restrictions of The Keep's Reading Rooms.

Acquisition Information

Given by Mr Stephen Williamson (Mrs Williamson's widower) in 1978.


Prepared by John Farrant, September 2002.

Other Finding Aids

An online catalogue is available on The Keep's website.

Conditions Governing Use

COPIES FOR PRIVATE STUDY: Subject to copyright, conditions imposed by owners and protecting the documents, digital copies can be made.

PUBLICATION: A reader wishing to publish material in the collection should contact the Head of Special Collections, in writing. The reader is responsible for obtaining permission to publish from the copyright owner.

Related Material

SxMs 9, the Common Wealth Papers, comprises the official archive of the organisation and related papers of Sir Richard Acland, Hugh Lawson and several other party officials and activists.

SxMs 47, Kathleen Allsop Papers, comprises manuscripts, personal correspondence, election leaflets, press cuttings and other printed ephemera gathered by a member of the Common Wealth Party, relating to its provincial affairs.

Corporate Names