Papers of John Allsebrook Simon, 1st Viscount Simon

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 161 MSS. Simon 1-284; Simon adds. 1-6; MSS. Eng. c. 6645-50, d. 3240-56, e. 3279
  • Dates of Creation
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      314 shelfmarks

Scope and Content

Lord Simon's papers consist of:

  • Personal papers
  • Correspondence and papers relating to political and legal affairs
  • Speeches, lectures and broadcasts
  • Printed papers
  • Newspaper cuttings and photographs

One of the largest series of correspondence in the collection relates to foreign affairs. While Foreign Secretary Lord Simon had to counter allegations concerning the shares that he had held in Imperial Chemical Industries, and Vickers. Copies of the letters relating to the subject were made at the time of Lord Simon's libel suit against the Reverend J. Whitaker Bond in 1935 and they have been kept with the originals. There is also correspondence relating to Lord Simon's legal activities, his Chairmanship of the Indian Statutory Commission from 1927 to 1930, and carbon copies of the text of his examination of Rudolph Hess in 1940 after Hess had flown from Germany to England. The history of the Liberal National Party is well-documented in the correspondence of Lord Simon, his political secretary, Sir Rowland Evans, and in the volumes of newspaper cuttings.

Administrative / Biographical History

John Allsebrook Simon, 1st Viscount Simon of Stackpole Elidor (1873-1954), held most of the major offices of state during his political career. He was called to the Bar in 1899. He entered the House of Commons as the member for Walthamstow in Essex and held the seat until 1918. From 1922 to 1940 he represented the Spen Valley division of Yorkshire. Simon was successively Solicitor-General, 1910-13; Attorney-General, 1913-15; Chancellor of the Exchequer, 1937-40, and Lord Chancellor, 1940-5. He led the Liberal National Party from its formation in 1931 until his elevation to the House of Lords in 1940. Further details are given in the Dictionary of National Biography.

Access Information

Entry to read in the Library is permitted only on presentation of a valid reader's card (for admissions procedures see

Acquisition Information

The papers were given to the Library, 1979-99.


Collection level description created by Emily Tarrant, Department of Special Collections and Western Manuscripts.

Other Finding Aids

A full catalogue is available in the Library.