Papers of Sir Robert Armitage

Scope and Content

Letters from the Gold Coast and Nyasaland, 1948-1955; Nyasaland memoirs, with related papers, 1956-1983; correspondence, press cuttings, desk diaries, etc. relating to Kenya, [1928-1963].

Administrative / Biographical History

Sir Robert Perceval Armitage (1906-1990) graduated from New College, Oxford in 1928. On moving to Kenya, he was made District Officer in 1929, Secretary to the Member for Agriculture and Natural Resources in 1945, and Administrative Secretary, 1947. In the Gold Coast, he was made Under Secretary, then Financial Secretary in 1948, and Minister for Finance, 1951-1953. He was Governor and Commander-in-Chief, Cyprus, 1954-1955 and Governor of Nyasaland, 1956-1961. After his retirement, he served as a trustee of the Beit Trust, 1963-1988. Awarded the MBE in 1944, then KCMG in 1954, he was created a knight of the Order of St. John in the same year. In 1930 he married Gwladys Lyona Meyler, with whom he had two sons.

Access Information

Bodleian reader's ticket required.


Collection level description created by Paul Davidson, Bodleian Library of Commonwealth and African Studies at Rhodes House.

Other Finding Aids

Listed as no. 123 in Manuscript Collections of Africanain Rhodes House Library Oxford, compiled by Louis B. Frewer (Oxford, Bodleian Library, 1968). A handlist is also available in the library reading room.

Conditions Governing Use

No reproduction or publication of personal papers without permission. Contact the library in the first instance.


Letters to parents, 1951, 1954-1955 and to Maurice Haworth, 1945-1955 (2nd November 1988); typescript of his unpublished book, Mission Impossible: Central Africa 1956-61 (Spring 1990); papers, 1924-1990 as Governor and Commander-in-Chief, Cyprus and Governor of Nyasaland (30th May 2002).