BARCLAY, Sir Colville Adrian de Rune, 1869-1929, Diplomat

Scope and Content

This collection consists predominantly of correspondence. This includes letters to Sir Colville Barclay's parents, and letters relating to embassy life and events that occurred during Sir Colville Barclay's various postings. Some folders include photographs. There are also official reports and papers, including Foreign Office confidential circulars concerning peace negotiations, 1918; draft speeches; press releases; notes of condolence collected at the British Embassy in Paris on the death of Queen Victoria; newspaper cuttings; Swedish periodicals; French satirical magazines; and memorabilia, including photographs of official visits from Sweden, Bulgaria and Hungary; magazines and newspapers containing features on King Edward VII's visit to Paris, May 1903; photographs and ephemera relating to Barclay's career in the diplomatic service, particularly his time in Washington, USA.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Right Honourable Sir Colville Adrian de Rune Barclay, 1869-1929, was the younger son of Sir Colville Barclay, 11th Baronet. He entered the diplomatic service as an Attachin 1894 and subsequently became 3rd Secretary in 1896, 2nd Secretary in 1900 and 1st Secretary in 1907. He was Councillor of Embassy in Washington, 1913; Minister Plenipotentiary in Washington, 1918; and Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to Sweden, 1919-1924, and to Hungary, 1924-1928. His last posting was to Portugal as HM Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary from 1928. He was awarded an MVO in 1903, a CBE in 1917, a CB in 1917, KCMG in 1922. He was sworn of the Privy Council in 1928.


The collection was divided into sections by diplomatic postings. Some mistakes and discrepancies in the numbering, including the renumbering of section 1 and the transposition of sections 6 and 7, were corrected in 1998.

Access Information


Acquisition Information

A further accession (1 bundle) to the main collection (Acquisition Number: M3091) was made on 4 July 2001 (material, 1903-1924, relating to King Edward VII's visit to Paris, and to Barclay's time in Washington, USA).

Other Finding Aids

Online catalogue available, but no handlist.

Archivist's Note

Output from CAIRS using template 14 and checked by hand on January 31, 2002.

Separated Material

Cambridge University Library, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives, holds correspondence of Barclay with Lord Hardinge, 1916-1918 (Ref: Hardinge).

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright is held by the family of the donor.