Arthur Bigge collection

Scope and Content

The collection comprises of correspondence by Bigge on Polar matters in his role as private Secretary to King George V.

Administrative / Biographical History

Arthur John Bigge was born on 18 June 1849 at Linden Hall, Northumberland. He was educated at the Royal Military Academy, and in 1869, was commissioned into the Royal Artillery, from which he retired as lieutenant colonel in 1898. Between 1878 and 1879, he served in the Zulu War, and the following year was appointed groom-in-waiting and assistant private secretary to Queen Victoria. In 1881, he was appointed equerry-in-ordinary, and in 1895, was knighted upon succeeding as private secretary to Queen Victoria, a post he held until her death in 1901, when he was appointed private secretary to the Prince of Wales. On the accession of King George V in 1910, Bigge remained private secretary to the king and the following year, was created first Baron Stamfordham. He died on 31 March 1931 at St. James's Palace, London.


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 Dictionary of National Biography, 1931-1940, Oxford University Press London (1950)

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