Kipling-Lewin Letters

Scope and Content

Letters, some with enclosures, focussing on matters literary and military, from:

Rudyard Kipling to Harry Lewin; 51 letters; 1920-1935

Rudyard Kipling to Lord Roberts; 1 letter; [1897]

Rudyard Kipling to Lady Roberts?; 6 letters; 1911-1935

Rudyard Kipling to Lady Edwina [Roberts]; 1 letter; 1923

Mrs Caroline Kipling to Lady Edwina [Roberts]; 1 letter; 1925

Committee on Imperial Defence to Harry Lewin; 3 letters; 1924

Administrative / Biographical History

The collection comprises letters from Rudyard Kipling to Field Marshal Earl Roberts and his wife, and (in the great majority) their son-in-law Harry Lewin.

Field Marshall Frederick Sleigh Roberts, 1st Earl Roberts (1832-1914) served mainly in India, 1852-93, and was successively commander-in-chief in India (1885-93), Ireland (1895-99), South Africa (1899-1900) and Britain (1900-04). In India, Kipling was greatly impressed by his rapport with ordinary soldiers, and his high opinion of Roberts led him to coin the term Bobs to describe the calibre of commander he felt was needed throughout the British Army. On his death, Kipling wrote an elegy Roberts, 1914.

Henry ('Harry') Frederick Elliot Lewin (1872-1946) began his army career in 1894, was gazetted captain in 1900, and rose to the rank of brigadier-general in 1917. He served with the Egyptian army between 1901 and 1911, and was awarded the Lgion d'Honneur during the First World War. His final posting, in 1925-29, was commanding the Royal Artillery, Northern Command. He married Earl Roberts's second daughter in 1913; she succeeded to her father's title after her elder sister's death.

Access Information

Items in the collection may be consulted for the purpose of private study and personal research, within the controlled environment and restrictions of The Keep's Reading Rooms.

Acquisition Information

Donated in 1984 by Lieutenant-General Sir Euan Miller, KCB, KBE, DSO, MC

Other Finding Aids

An online catalogue is available on The Keep's website.

Conditions Governing Use

COPIES FOR PRIVATE STUDY: Subject to copyright, conditions imposed by owners and protecting the documents, digital copies can be made.

PUBLICATION: A reader wishing to publish material in the collection should contact the Head of Special Collections, in writing. The reader is responsible for obtaining permission to publish from the copyright owner.

Custodial History

Lieutenant-General Sir Euan Alfred Bews Miller, KCB, KBE, DSO, MC (1897-1985) was related to both Lord Roberts and Harry Lewin, and was brought up by the Roberts family from the age of six. After the death of Harry Lewin, whose only son, Freddie, had died in action in 1940, Miller became residuary legatee of the Roberts estate. Among the bequests was the correspondence which comprises the collection.

Related Material

This collection supplements the main collection of the papers of Rudyard Kipling, his parents, his wife and his daughter, which accumulated at Wimpole Hall, near Cambridge and which are deposited at the University of Sussex as SxMs 38, Kipling Papers - Wimpole Archive. The record for that collection includes a list of all the supplementary collections.