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Papers of William Basil Worsfold


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The collection is concerned almost entirely with Worsfold's association with Milner until the latter's death in 1925. Included is correspondence whilst Worsfold was editor of the Johannesburg Star, including letters from Milner; drafts and other papers connected with a biography of Milner; notes and extracts taken from Milner's diaries and correspondence; and articles about the Doullens Conference (held on the 26 March 1918) in which Milner took part.

The collection also contains articles by Worsfold on Imperial questions which appeared in the Nineteenth Century.


  • Creation: 1902-1933


5 boxes

Language of Materials

  • English

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MSS. Brit. Emp. s. 402].

Please see our help page for further guidance on citing archives and manuscripts.

Full range of shelfmarks:

MSS. Brit. Emp. s. 402

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 5031

Biographical / Historical

William Basil Worsfold was born on the 5 December 1858 in Yorkshire, England. He was educated at St. Peter's, York; Wakefield School; University College, Oxford, and was called to the Bar in 1887. From 1891-1900 he lectured on Economics and Literature for the Oxford Extension Delegates and London Joint Board, and during these years published seven books of which three were concerned with the history of Africa.

In 1904 he was appointed editor of the Johannesburg Star, a post which brought him into close contact with Lord Milner, High Commissioner for South Africa. When Milner retired in 1905, Worsfold too returned to England and in 1909 bought a house in Kent not far from Sturry Court where Milner was living.

Worsfold died on the 26 September 1939.

Other Finding Aids

The library holds a card index of all manuscript collections in its reading room and a handlist is also available for this collection.

Listed as no. 408 and 436 in Manuscript Collections (Africana and non-Africana) in Rhodes House Library, Oxford, Supplementary accessions to the end of 1977 and Cumulative Index, compiled by Wendy S. Byrne (Oxford, Bodleian Library, 1978).

Papers of William Basil Worsfold
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom