William Perkins Collection

Scope and Content

Papers relating to William Perkins' work as a solicitor in Istanbul, including newspaper clippings relating to maritime legal cases and judgements of the Supreme Consular Court of Constantinople, as well as printed judgements of the Court, from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. There are also several files relating to the court cases concerning the collision of the Turkish submarine 'Dumlupinar' and the Swedish cargo vessel 'Naboland' on 4 April 1953 off Nagare Point in the Dardanelles. There is also a collection of personal correspondence, comprising mainly of letters from William Perkins to his daughter Glen Perkins between 1933 and 1969. There are also several letters to Glen Perkins from other family members and friends, some of which refer to William Perkins.

Administrative / Biographical History

Perkins, William Jackson CBE, MC (c1892-1969)

Lived and worked in Istanbul as a solicitor from at least the 1930s to the 1950s. Married to Millicent Edith Whitehouse, whose family had lived and worked in Turkey for some decades. Their eldest daughter, Glen, was born in 1925, the second, Philippa, in 1927, and a son, Benjamin, in 1932. Perkins had served as a captain in the First World War, experiencing the gas attacks at the Second Battle of Ypres in May 1915. Whilst in Turkey in the 1940s Perkins ran the British Information Office and served as Chairman of the Community Council. He also edited a bulletin that was regularly distributed to British subjects and many Turks in Istanbul. Perkins remained in Turkey for most of the Second World War whilst his family resided in England at 'Slates', the family home in Woking. In March 1954 Perkins was appointed a CBE. He left Turkey for good in 1955, and returned to live in England. His children Glen and Benjamin lived in England, whilst Philippa married James (Jim) Treadwell, a New Zealand born diplomat, who served in various countries in Africa and the Middle East. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s William and Millicent often cared for Philippa and Jim's three children, Simon, Nicholas and Luke, as small children in Turkey and later, at weekends and during the school holidays, in England. William Jackson Perkins died in February 1969.


1. Maritime Legal Cases Newspaper Clippings

2. Printed Judgements of the Supreme Consular Court of Constantinople

3. The 'Naboland' Case

4. Correspondence

Conditions Governing Access


For further information on how to use the Middle East Centre Archive, please see our Archon entry at http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/a/A13531965

Acquisition Information

Received as a gift (bequest) from Glen Perkins (daughter of William Perkins) in 2004

Archivist's Note

Fonds and file and item level description created by Annabel Peacock, May 2011. Biographical History based on the correspondence held within the collection.

Custodial History

In the possession of Glen Perkins (daughter of William Perkins)

Related Material

In Middle East Centre Archive

For papers of other individuals involved in legal or court work see:

  • GB165-0025 Norman Bentwich Collection: Papers relating to his service as Legal Secretary to the Government of Palestine 1921-1929
  • GB165-0026 Ernest Besley Collection: Egyptian judicial system 1935-1940
  • GB165-0387 Alexander Brebber Collection: Papers relating to Brebber's work as President of a military court at the end of the Palestine Mandate, 1946-1947
  • GB165-0169 Stuart Kermack Collection: Memoirs of work in the Judicial Service, Palestine 1920-1930
  • GB165-0315 Sir John Spry Collection: Papers relating to land law and land tenure in Palestine, 1919-1948
  • GB165-0293 Sir Richard Vaux Collection: Memoirs including his legal training and later career as President of the Mixed Court of Appeal, Egypt 1903-1939

Geographical Names