Papers of George Robert Graham Conway

Scope and Content

48 volumes containing G.R.G. Conway's collection of papers (transcriptions and research notes) relating to Mexico's early colonial history, in particular to Englishmen and others in the Mexican Inquisition, 1520 - 1786. 25 volumes carry the general title, Englishmen and the Mexican Inquisition. They contain transcripts and translations of documents relating to named individuals; but also some more general topics such as the voyage of Captain John Hawkins to Mexico, 1568; Thomas Cavendish's raid on Guatulco, 1587; the renovation and replacement of the old sanbenitos; and Englishmen in Mexico in the 17th and 18th centuries. Other volumes relate to Thomas Blake, Mexico, 1535 - 1585 (5 vols); the family and descendents of Juan Suarez Davilla and Diego Suarez Pachecho, 1529 - 1578 (1 vol); the Zoldivar family in Zacatecas, 1613 (1 vol); Martin Lopez, conquistador, 1528 - 1574 (6 vols); Noche Triste documents, 1520 (2 vols); Rodrigo de Vivero, n.d. (1 vol); lawsuit between Fernando Cortez and Diego Hernandez, 1529 - 1532 (1 vol); Franscisco Cervantes de Salazar, 1575 - 1587 (1 vol); Don Tristan de Luna y Arellano and his son, Don Carlos, etc., 1559 - 1611 (4 vols); suit brought by Marques del Valle against Juan Ortiz de Matienzo and Diego Delgadillo, n.d. (1 vol); and diary of the expedition to Tiburon Island, 1750 (1 vol);

Administrative / Biographical History

George Robertson Graham Conway was born in Southampton, England, in 1873, and educated at Tauntons School and Hartley University College, Southampton. He served as an articulated pupil under J.H. Weston, civil engineer, Southampton, and in 1895 became assistant to the distinguished hydraulic engineer, James Mansergh, F.R.S., London. In 1898 he was appointed resident engineer for the City of Aberdeen, in which role he designed and constructed the Girdleness Outfall Scheme, and was engineer of the re-building of Union Bridge and other public works in the city. He moved to Mexico in 1907, where he was appointed chief engineer and official representative of the Monterrey Railway, Light and Power Company, and the Monterrey Water and Drainage Company of Monterrey, Mexico; for whom he designed and oversaw construction of the first extensive water and drainage, electric light and power, and tramway systems for the city. In 1910 he was appointed chief engineer and assistant general manager of the British Columbia Electric Railway Company, Vancouver, Canada, but returned to Mexico in 1916, as managing director (from 1927, president) of the Mexican Light and Power Company Ltd. and the Mexico Tramways Company, Mexico, D.F.. He resigned from the Mexico Tramways Company in 1942, and died in Mexico City on 20 May 1951.

Conway published several professional papers in engineering periodicals, but his real research interest lay in Mexican history, and for over 25 years much of his spare time was spent in locating and publishing material relating to the country's early colonial history. By 1920 he had built up an extensive personal library and spent over 20,000 dollars having Inquisition records in the Mexican Archives and elsewhere transcribed and translated. Between 1926 and 1944 he made significant contributions of printed and manuscript material to the Library of Congress, including early copies of the Talamantes and Pichardo papers, and copies of other private manuscripts to fill gaps in other named collections there. For details of this research and of gifts and bequests made to the Library of Congress and other institutions see Schafer Williams, The G.R.G. Conway Collection in the Library of Congress: A Checklist, Hispanic American Historical Review, 35(3) (Aug 1955). See also, Ronald Hilton's Who's Who in Latin America, 3rd edn (Stanford University Press, 1946).


None observed - listing in process.

Access Information

Open, subject to signature accepting conditions of use at reader registration sheet

Acquisition Information

Deposited in the University in 1952, by G.R.G. Conway's widow, Anne E. Conway.

Other Finding Aids

Very brief collection level description available on Aberdeen University Library Catalogue, accessible online

Alternative Form Available

Duplicates of some items are deposited in the Library of Congress. Details of these are given in A.P. Thornton, The G.R.G. Conway MS. Collection in the Library of the University of Aberdeen, Hispanic American Historical Review, 36 (3) (Aug 1956).

Conway also bequeathed papers to Cambridge University Library. It is not known if these include copies of the records deposited in Aberdeen.

Conditions Governing Use

Subject to the condition of the original, copies may be supplied for private research use only on receipt of a signed undertaking to comply with current copyright legislation.

Permission to make any published use of material from the collection must be sought in advance from the Head of Special Libraries and Archives (e-mail: and, where appropriate, from the copyright owner. Where possible, assistance will be given in identifying copyright owners, but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user of the material.

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with normal procedures


No accruals expected

Related Material

No related material identified in this repository


It is believed that this material was used by Conway in several of his published works. For further details see Ronald Hilton's Who's Who in Latin America, 3rd edn (Stanford University Press, 1946).

Additional Information

Not known - it is presumed that the original records transcribed and referred to in this collection are deposited in the Mexican National Archives.

Geographical Names