Papers of Lady Antonella Lothian

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The archive consists of correspondence and papers relating to 'Copenhagen' a play by Michael Frayn concerning the Danish physicists and Nobel prize winners Niels Bohr and his son Aaye; biographical material relating to Valentina Tereshkova and Margaret Gowring, including photocopies.

Administrative / Biographical History

Antonella Marchioness of Lothian (1923-72004) was born Antonella Reuss Newland in Rome in 1922; later she was known as 'Tony Lothian'. Tony was the daughter of Major-General Sir Foster Reuss Newland (1862–1943) KCMG, CB and Donna Nennella Salazar (also known as Agnes Carr; Tony's mother divorced Newland in 1928 and married William Carr). During the Second World War Tony worked as a nursing auxiliary before marrying Peter Francis Walter Kerr (1922-2004) KCVO, 12th Marquess of Lothian in Apr 1943. They had two sons and four daughters. The couple spent most of their married life at Monteviot House and its surrounding 18,000-acre estate near Jedburgh in the Scottish Borders. They also owned Melbourne Hall in Derbyshire. They later retired to Ferniehirst Castle, near Jedburgh. Tony became a journalist, working as a current affairs correspondent for the Scottish Daily Express from 1963-1975. She also became a freelance presenter and deviser of television and radio programmes. She became a Fellow of the Institute of Journalists, and won the Templeton Award in 1992. She founded the Woman of the Year Lunch at the Savoy Hotel in 1955 with Lady Georgina Coleridge (see obituary Guardian 10 Apr 2003) and Odette Hallowes GC (née Churchill) and was its president until 1969. The annual lunch was an early attempt at networking, honouring many women selected for 'excellence in a chosen career'. The profits went to the Greater London Fund for the Blind. Tony identified herself as a Christian feminist. Tony also worked with the Royal College of Nursing as Vice President between 1960-1980 , and the Royal College of Gynaecologists. She was also a patron of the National Council of Women in the United Kingdom. She lost an eye in 1970 as a result of cancer, sporting a black eye patch thereafter. In 1993 she published the biography of her friend Valentina Tereshkova, a Russian astronaut, called 'Valentina, First Woman in space. Conversations with A Lothian'. Her husband died in Oct 2004, succeeded by their elder son, Conservative politician Michael Ancram. She received the OBE in 1997, for services to women and blind people, and became a Dame of St Gregory in 2002. Tony died on 6 Jan 2007, aged 84.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is available for research. Readers are advised to contact The Women's Library in advance of their first visit.

Acquisition Information

Deposited as a gift in the Fawcett Library by Lady Lothian in 1999.

Other Finding Aids

Fonds Description (1 folder only)

Related Material

The Women's Library also holds the papers of Woman of the Year Lunch and Assembly (5WYL). Leeds University Special Collections holds the Papers of Edward Charles Gurney Boyle, Baron Boyle Of Handsworth, (1923-1981), which includes correspondence from Lady Kerr MS 660 nos. 37772, 37774.

The Kerr family, Marquesses of Lothian have many surviving papers relating to their estates can be found at a number of record offices including: the National Archives of Scotland, Midlothian Council Archives, Edinburgh Central Library, Edinburgh University Library Special Collections, National Library of Scotland Manuscript Collections, British Library Manuscript Collections, Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies, Birmingham University Information Services Special Collections Department, Norfolk Record Office, Northamptonshire Record Office, as well as Blickling Hall and papers still retained by the family.