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Papers of Sir William Lindsay Murphy


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  1. Letters, diaries and other papers relating to Ceylon, 1911-1942
  2. Photographs and press cuttings relating to Ceylon, c1910-1961
  3. Letters and photographs relating to Bermuda, 1941-1947
  4. Press cuttings relating to Bermuda, 1942-1945
  5. Diaries kept in the Bahamas, 1945-1948
  6. Correspondence relating to the Bahamas, 1945-1949
  7. Appointments as Governor, awards of decorations, and photographs of the Bahamas, 1935-1959
  8. Photographs relating to the Bahamas, 1941-1949
  9. Printed materials and press cuttings relating to the Bahamas, 1945-1983
  10. Album and scrapbook relating to the Bahamas, 1945-1949
  11. Diaries, correspondence and speeches relating to the Bahamas, and to the journey to Southern Rhodesia, 1945-1949
  12. Correspondence and printed material relating to Southern Rhodesia, and to pensions, 1942-1968
  13. Diaries written in Rhodesia, 1951-1957
  14. Correspondence relating to Rhodesia/Zimbabwe, 1949-1983
  15. Invitation cards; papers concerning the Capricorn Africa Society, 1951-1958
  16. Papers relating to the United Rhodesia Party, the Advisory commission under Lord Monckton for the review of the Constitution of the Federation of Rhodesia, and to Church affairs, 1958-1972
  17. Correspondence, memoranda, etc. on education in Rhodesia, 1957-1979
  18. Reports, lists and accounts relating to Kiltullagh School, Rhodesia, 1971-1976
  19. Correspondence relating to Kiltullagh School, 1964-1983
  20. Reports and correspondence on children being supported at various schools in Rhodesia, 1970-1977
  21. Printed material relating to the new hospital in Jerusalem, and to special services in Rhodesia/Zimbabwe, 1952-1981
  22. Printed material relating to Rhodesia/Zimbabwe, 1951-1983
  23. Press cuttings relating to Rhodesia/Zimbabwe, 1949-1983
  24. Correspondence and printed material relating to Lady Murphy's move back to England, to holidays in England, and to Ireland, 1922-1983
  25. Photographs of copper mines in Rhodesia, c1950s
  26. Editions of Rhodesian/Zimbabwean newspapers, 1964-1980


  • 1911-1983


32 boxes

Language of Materials

  • English

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MSS. Brit. Emp. s. 482].
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Full range of shelfmarks:

MSS. Brit. Emp. s. 482, t. 6

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 3407, 3408

Biographical / Historical

Sir William Lindsay Murphy (1887-1965), colonial administrator, entered the Ceylon Civil Service in 1910, rising to the rank of Principal Assistant Colonial Secretary, 1928 and Chairman, Municipal Council and Mayor of Colombo, 1932-1937. He was posted to Bermuda as Colonial Secretary, 1942-1945 and became Governor and Commander-in-Chief of the Bahamas, 1945-1949. He retired briefly in 1949, then served as Acting Governor of Southern Rhodesia, 1954 and Acting Governor of Southern Rhodesia and Acting Governor-General and Commander-in-Chief, Rhodesia and Nyasaland, 1957. Awarded the KCMG and a Knight of the Order of St. John, he was Director of Rhodesian Selection Trust Ltd., Mufulira Copper Mines Ltd. and other companies in the same group from 1953. In 1922 he married Betty Mary Ormsby, with whom he had three sons and two daughters.

Other Finding Aids

Listed as no. 604 in Manuscript Collections in Rhodes House Library Oxford, Accessions 1978-1994 (Oxford, Bodleian Library, 1996). A handlist is also available in the library reading room.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The papers were donated to the library by Lady Murphy in July 1984 through the Oxford Colonial Archives Project.
Papers of Sir William Lindsay Murphy
Paul Davidson
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom