Papers of Sir Patrick Muir Renison

Scope and Content

The collection mainly consists of speeches and broadcasts made by Renison while serving in the West Indies and in Kenya. Topics covered in the speeches include Kenya's constitutional advancement, the Conference at Lancaster House in 1960, and the constitutional talks held in Nairobi in 1961. Also included in the collection is a small amount of correspondence about the future of the Overseas Civil Service and papers concerning recruitment.

Administrative / Biographical History

Sir Patrick Muir Renison, CMG (1950) KCMG (1955), was born on the 24 March 1911 in Rock Ferry, Cheshire, England. He was educated at Uppingham School, and Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. In 1932 he was selected for the Colonial Administrative Service but was seconded for work in the Colonial Office where he remained for three years before going overseas. In 1936 he married Eleanor Hope Gibb and in the same year was appointed to the Ceylon Civil Service. He remained in Ceylon until 1944, holding a variety of Civil Service posts in many parts of the country as well as in the Secretariat.

When the Colonial Office began to make plans for post-war recruitment to the Colonial Service Renison was asked to assist in this work. In 1945 he visited many parts of the Commonwealth and was then sent to establish a recruiting office in India. He returned to England in 1947 and was appointed an Assistant Secretary in the Colonial Office.

In February 1948 Renison took up his first appointment in the West Indies as Colonial Secretary of Trinidad and Tobago. On several occasions he also acted as Governor; he represented the Colony at the Governors' Conference in Barbados in 1949 and also at the opening of the University College in Jamaica in 1950. Rension was appointed as Governor of British Honduras in 1952, and Governor of British Guiana in 1955 (at a time when the country was being controlled by Emergency Regulations after the suspension of the Constitution). In September 1955 he succeeded Sir Evelyn Barling as Governor of Kenya. Sir Patrick Renison died on the 10 November 1965.

Access Information

Bodleian reader's ticket required.


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

Other Finding Aids

The library holds a card index of all manuscript collections in its reading room and a handlist is also available for this collection.

Listed as no. 114 in Manuscript Collections (excluding Africana) in Rhodes House Library, Oxford, Supplement, compiled by Louis B. Frewer (Oxford, Bodleian Library, 1971).

Conditions Governing Use

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

Custodial History

Deposited with the Oxford Colonial Records Project.