Documents relating to gypsies and other travellers in Spain, collected by Sir Angus Fraser

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 206 Brotherton Collection MS Rom/Fraser 1
  • Dates of Creation
  • Name of Creator
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      5 boxes (143 items and 1 folder). Includes printed material, and some parchment notebooks. Many items have annotations, in pencil, ink and ballpoint, in a variety of hands

Scope and Content

Comprises documents of Spanish origin, in seven sections: A) Spanish (mainly Castilian) decrees etc. of general application, affecting gypsies; B) Material on sanctuary; C) Material on dance; D) Material on conscription for armed forces, the galleys and other forced labour; E) Material on individual cases; F) Material on other matters; G) Photocopies, notes, etc. relating to items in sections A-F.

Administrative / Biographical History

Angus McKay Fraser, born at Maxwelltown in Dumfries on 10 March 1928, was the son of a prison officer. He was educated at Falkirk High School and Glasgow University, where he read Modern Languages. After spending his National Service in the Royal Artillery in France, he became a paratrooper in the Territorial Army and by 1966 had risen to the rank of major. His career in the Civil Service began in 1953 at Customs and Excise, and in the 1960s and 1970s he was involved in the negotiations for British entry into the EEC. In 1981 he was appointed First Civil Service Commissioner, and then served as Chairman of Customs and Excise from 1983 to 1987. From 1988, until his retirement in 1992, he was Efficiency Adviser to the Prime Minister. He received a CBE in 1981 and a knighthood in 1985. While still at school he had developed an interest in the books of George Borrow and he became the leading British authority on Borrow and the history of the gypsies. He published numerous articles in academic journals and edited several collections of Borrow's letters. In 1992, his major work The Gypsies was published. At his death in June 2001, he was president of the George Borrow Society, which he had been instrumental in founding in 1991.


Sections A to F follow the original subject divisions and chronological arrangement made by Sir Angus Fraser

Access Information

Access is unrestricted

Acquisition Information

The gift of the executors of the estate of Sir Angus Fraser, 10 December 2001


In Spanish

Other Finding Aids

Contents (along with those of MS Rom/Fraser 2) described in Handlist 130

Custodial History

Most of the collection was purchased by Sir Angus Fraser from Antonio Castro of Seville, a bookseller

Personal Names

Geographical Names