Sir William Ellison-Macartney collection

Scope and Content

The collection comprises of correspondence by Ellison-Macartney relating to the British National Antarctic Expedition, 1901-1904 (leader Robert Falcon Scott) and the British Antarctic Expedition, 1907-1909 (leader Ernest Henry Shackleton).

Administrative / Biographical History

William Grey Ellison-Macartney was born in Dublin in 1852. He was educated at Eton College and Exeter College, Oxford, graduating with an arts degree. From 1885 until 1903, he served as the Member of Parliament for South Antrim, and in 1895, was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty, remaining in that post for five years.

In 1897, he married Ettie Scott, the eldest sister of Robert Falcon Scott. In 1903, he was appointed deputy-master of the Royal Mint, a post he held until 1913, when he became governor of Tasmania. Four years later, he was appointed governor of Western Australia, where he remained until 1920. He was knighted in 1913 and died in 1924.


The correspondence is arranged alphabetically by recipient.

Access Information

By appointment.

Some materials deposited at the Institute are NOT owned by the Institute. In such cases the archivist will advise about any requirements imposed by the owner. These may include seeking permission to read, extended closure, or other specific conditions.


Anyone wishing to consult material should ensure they note the entire MS reference and the name of the originator.

The term holograph is used when the item is wholly in the handwriting of the author. The term autograph is used when the author has signed the item.

Descriptions compiled by N. Boneham, Assistant Archivist with assistance from R. Stancombe and reference to Who was who, 1916-1928 volume 2, Adam & Charles Black, London (1947) and Robert Keith Headland Antarctic Chronology, unpublished corrected revision of Chronological list of Antarctic expeditions and related historical events, (1 December 2001) Cambridge University Press (1989) ISBN 0521309034

Other Finding Aids

Clive Holland Manuscripts in the Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge, England - a catalogue, Garland Publishing, New York and London (1982) ISBN 0824093941.

Additional finding aids are available at the Institute.

Conditions Governing Use

Copying material by photography, electrostat, or scanning device by readers is prohibited. The Institute may be able to provide copies of some documents on request for lodgement in publicly available repositories. This is subject to conservation requirements, copyright law, and payment of fees.

Copyright restrictions apply to most material. The copyright may lie outside the Institute and, if so, it is necessary for the reader to seek appropriate permission to consult, copy, or publish any such material. (The Institute does not seek this permission on behalf of readers). Written permission to publish material subject to the Institute's copyright must be obtained from the Director. Details of conditions and fees may be had from the Archivist.


Further accessions possible.