Papers of Alan Tindal Lennox-Boyd, 1st Viscount Boyd of Merton

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 161 MSS. Eng. c. 3338-3823, d. 2426-2433; Photogr. c. 34-7
  • Dates of Creation
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      486 shelfmarks

Scope and Content

Lennox-Boyd's papers largely relate to the period after Boyd's resignation from the Cabinet in 1959. There is a small amount of general correspondence for the period before 1960 but virtually no material relating to his time as Colonial Secretary except a number of letters of encouragement concerning the Parliamentary debates on the Hola Camp massacre and the Devlin Report in the summer of 1959. The principal point of interest to historians of British colonial affairs will probably be the long run of correspondence and papers relating to Rhodesia from the early 1960s to the time of Boyd's death in 1983. The main topics covered by the collection are: British politics, colonial and Commonwealth affairs, the colonial service, Rhodesia, British business, charities and voluntary agencies, secondary and university education, museums and galleries.

The collection is arranged under the following headings:  

  • Diaries
  • Political Career
  • General Correspondence
  • Special Subjects - Persons
  • Special Subjects - Non-Political
  • Visits
  • Early Life, Personal and Family
  • Speeches
  • Pamphlets and Leaflets
  • Press Cuttings
  • Photographs

Administrative / Biographical History

Alan Tindal Lennox-Boyd, 1st Viscount Boyd of Merton (1904-1983) was a politician. He was elected to Parliament in 1931 and remained the Member for Mid-Bedfordshire until 1960 when he was granted a peerage, adopting the title of Viscount Boyd of Merton. In 1938 he was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Labour. Other positions he held included Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Aircraft Production, from 1943; Minister of State for Colonial Affairs, 1951-2; Minister for Transport and Civil Aviation, 1952-4; Secretary of State for Colonial Affairs, 1954-9. Following his resignation from the Cabinet in 1959 Lennox-Boyd became managing director in 1961 and vice-chairman in 1967 of Arthur Guiness, Son and Co Ltd. He was also a director of ICI and Tate & Lyle and a leading member of business pressure groups such as the Brewers Society and the Institute of Directors. At the same time he kept up his interest in Conservative Party politics and Commonwealth affairs. In addition, he was a member of the Board of the British Museum and he devoted much of his time to numerous charities including Save the Children, Lepra and the Ranfurly Library Service. Further details are given in the Dictionary of National Biography.

Access Information

Entry to read in the Library is permitted only on presentation of a valid reader's card (for admissions procedures see

Large sections of the collection are open to researchers although the more recent papers (generally from the mid-1970s onwards) are currently restricted.

Acquisition Information

The papers were donated to the Library in 1992.


Collection level description created by Emily Tarrant, Department of Special Collections and Western Manuscripts.

Other Finding Aids

A draft catalogue is available in the Library.


At some stage in the future the current collection will be augmented by about 200 albums of press cuttings, photographs and some correspondence covering Boyd's life from the 1920s.