Bernard Weatherill Papers

Scope and Content

The most detailed area of this collection is for the period of his speakership (1983-1992), but there are a few records of his earlier parliamentary career and a small group of personal papers of which the most interesting historically are the letters he wrote home while on military service. This collections is useful for biographical source material and informative regarding parliamentary practices and procedures in the 1980s and 1990s and focuses on the contemporary role of the Speaker, within and outside the House of Commons.

Administrative / Biographical History

Bruce Bernard Weatherill, known to his family and friends as Jack, was born in 1920. After service in the Second World War as a Captain in the 19th King George V's Own Lancers in India, he returned to his native Guildford and became active in the local Conservative Association. In 1964 he was elected Member of Parliament for Croydon North East, which he represented until 1992. He entered the Conservative Whip's office in 1967, becoming Deputy Chief Whip in 1973. In 1979 he was appointed Chairman of Ways and Means and consequently Deputy Speaker and succeeded George Thomas as Speaker of the House of Commons in 1983. He was elevated to the peerage following his retirement from the House of Commons in 1992 and became Convenor of the Cross-Bench Peers in 1995. He died in 2007.


This collection is arranged in thematic sections:

  • WEA/PP: Parliamentary papers
  • WEA/PC: Constituency papers
  • WEA/C : Personal papers
  • WEA/B : Business papers

Access Information

Contact to make an appointment for viewing. You will need to give a list of files you would like to see. Please be aware that we need at least half a day's notice of a visit.

Acquisition Information

Deposited by Lord Weatherill in the 1990s with additions prior to his death in 2007.


Lord Weatherill also deposited more documents with the Templeman Library relating mainly to House of Lords reform. No work has yet been done on these papers

Other Finding Aids

Item level catalogue available on the Special Collections website.

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

Documents contained within files

Archivist's Note

Work on Lord Weatherill's Papers was made possible by the award of a NFF grant as a result of the Follett initiative. The cataloguing was done by Mrs. C. Hodgson using MODES+ for Archives, and the resulting data transferred to the WWW with the help of Mr. K. Marshall, and Mrs. S. Crabtree.

Conditions Governing Use

Photocopies permitted in accordance with copyright law and at the discretion of the Specialist Collections and Academic Archives team where contents are of a sensitive nature.

Appraisal Information



No further accruals expected