Papers of David Playfair Heatley (1867-1944)

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 237 Coll-243
  • Dates of Creation
      20th century
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      3 boxes, 8 notebooks, 2 envelopes.
  • Location
      Dk.6.5-7; Gen 811-818; Gen. 825/1

Scope and Content

The papers of D. P. Heatley include, at Dk.6.5-7, manuscripts of unpublished works on political science, these being on the subjects of :'the mind of Britain in politics'; Britain, the USA, and 'the comity of nations'; the politics of Richard Hooker; Shakespeare; Bacon; and 'the humanist view of a political classic'. There is material for a memoir too. In notebooks at Gen. 811-818 there are notes on lectures in English, constitutional history and law, political economy, and politics. At Gen. 825/1-2 there are certificates mainly for classes taken at Edinburgh University, and notes on 'the doctrine of political sovereignty in England, 1628-1653'.

Administrative / Biographical History

David Playfair Heatley was born in Northumbria in 1867. He was educated at Edinburgh's Royal High School and then studied in the Arts at Edinburgh University from 1884 until 1890, but did not graduate. Until 1892, he carried out research at the University looking at Northumbria at the time of Aidan. His subsequent career was spent in teaching History at Edinburgh University. Heatley was an Assistant from 1892, a Lecturer in Modern History and Political Science from 1900, and Reader in Political Science from 1920 until 1935. He was also Official Adviser in Arts between 1907 and 1915, and was a member of Senatus, 1924 to 1935. Heatley also represented the Civil Service Commissioners on committees for appointments for several years. His publications, often written under the pseudonym of Politicus, include Studies in British history and politics (1913), Diplomacy and the study of international relations (1919), and Viscount Grey of Fallodon (1934). David Playfair Heatley died at Rothbury, Northumberland, on 20 September 1944.

Access Information

Generally open for consultation to bona fide researchers, but please contact repository for details in advance.


The biographical history was compiled using the following material: (1) Who was who 1941-1950. A companion to Who's who .... Vol.4. London: Adam and Charles Black, 1952. (2) University of Edinburgh journal. Vol.7. 1934-1935. p.246-249. Edinburgh: Oliver and Boyd. (3) University of Edinburgh journal. Vol.13. 1944-1945. p.46. Edinburgh: Oliver and Boyd.

Compiled by Graeme D Eddie, Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections Division

Other Finding Aids

Important finding aids generally are: the alphabetical Index to Manuscripts held at Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections and Archives, consisting of typed slips in sheaf binders and to which additions were made until 1987; and the Index to Accessions Since 1987.

Related Material

The local Indexes show various references to Heatley related material (check the Indexes for more details): letters, and mention in letters; memoir at Dk.6.7; and, a portrait photograph at Phot.Ill.78.


Corporate Names