Papers of F. de V. Joyce; records of Kilima Kiu Estate/Joyce Ltd.

Scope and Content

  • Correspondence, printed memoranda, notes, press cuttings concerning political developments in Kenya, 1921-1950s
  • Correspondence, memoranda and notes concerning European settlement, land control, etc., Kenya, 1932-1946
  • Memoranda, correspondence, notes, reports, etc. relating to agriculture and livestock, industry, soil conservation, land use, etc., Kenya, 1931-1963
  • Miscellaneous papers relating to Kenya, 1949-1960
  • Correspondence, memorandum, notes and report concerning veterinary development in East Africa, 1945-1957
  • Reports on land use and tsetse control, East Africa, 1952-1953
  • Memoranda and notes on various subjects, Machakos District, Kenya, c1924-1961
  • Maps of Machakos, 1930-1953
  • Correspondence, memoranda, maps, notes relating to settlement and reconditioning of land, Machakos, Kenya, 1938-1958
  • Notes on the bee-culture of the Akamba tribe, Kenya, 1943 (printed, publication unknown)
  • English-Kikamba vocabulary, with related correspondence, 1943, 1955
  • Correspondence, notes, etc. relating to geography, wildlife, agriculture, etc. of Ethiopia, 1941-1943
  • Report on agricultural possibilities, Somalia, 1949
  • Maps, correspondence, notes, surveys, accounts, etc. relating to Kilima Kiu estate and Joyce Ltd., c1911-1982, including references to forestry, trespass, water, cattle, employees, squatters and farm school
  • Other miscellaneous papers

Administrative / Biographical History

Frank Joyce (1888-1959) arrived in Kenya in 1911 and settled at Kilima Kiu,Machakos District, entering into a partnership with Archie Lambert (who diedsoon afterwards) and F. O'B. Wilson to farm ostriches. In 1919 hemarried Mary Early ne Davison; at the same time he was given a soldiersettler farm, but sold it in order to purchase a farm adjacent to the estate.Gradually the estate was given over to dairy farming. In 1934 Wilson andJoyce divided the farm; Joyce added to his share by buying anotherex-soldier farm and began supplementing his dairy herd with beef cattle. From1938 to 1939 and 1944 to 1948 he sat on the Legislative Council as ActingMember for Ukamba. During this period his concerns were largely agriculturaldevelopment and land use, and in 1945 he was one of five members of Legcoto be appointed to the African Land Utilisation and Settlement Board (laterthe African Land Development Board (ALDEC). He died on safari in 1959. Afterhis death, a combination of drought, weak local administration and theapproach of independence led to a number of problems including trespass andloss of control of the resident labourers. In 1962 part of the land was soldto the Central Land Board as a settlement area for squatters. Joyce's daughterAnne became farm manager in 1941 and continued to run the farm successfully,attracting educational visits from a range of students and official groups.

Access Information

Bodleian reader's ticket required. Employment record of Gioachino Vettori, Italian prisoner of war, while at Kilima Kiu, 1946-1968 is closed to access until 1st January 2017.


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

Other Finding Aids

A handlist is 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.

Custodial History

The papers were sorted and listed in Kenya by Dr. Anne Thurston in 1984 withthe intention that they would be filmed for the Kenya National Archives, theoriginals remaining with Joyce's daughter, Anne at Kilima Kiu.Dr. Thurston's list has formed a substantial basis for the library's ownhandlist.

Related Material

Additional papers relating to Joyce Ltd., 1938-1986 (ref. MSS. Afr. s. 2157)

Geographical Names