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Archive of Sir Edwin Arrowsmith


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Correspondence, reports, memoranda and other papers relating to service in the Bechuanaland Protectorate (now Botswana), Turks and Caicos Islands, Dominica, Basutoland (now Lesotho) and the Falkland Islands.

The Collection consists of 7 boxes, mainly correspondence, of which Box 1 contains material relating to Bechuanaland, Box 2 has papers on the Turks and Caicos Islands and Dominica, Box 3 has papers on Basutoland, and Boxes 4-7 contain Falkland Islands material.


  • Creation: 1932-65, 1980


0.7 Linear metres (7 physical shelfmarks)

Language of Materials

  • English

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MSS. Brit. Emp. s. 511/1/1, fols. 1-2].

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Full range of shelfmarks:

MSS. Brit. Emp. s. 511/1-7

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 487


Archive of Sir Edwin Arrowsmith (1909-92) relating to his work for the Colonial Administrative Service. With a small amount of his papers as Director of the Overseas Development Resettlement Bureau.

Biographical / Historical

Edwin Porter Arrowsmith was born in 1909, and educated first at Cheltenham College and then Trinity College, Oxford, where he read history. He began his service as a Colonial Administrative Officer in Bechuanaland in 1932, where he was posted as Assistant District Commissioner, and remained there until 1938, when his wife's ill health obliged him to resign from the Service. However two years later he rejoined and was sent to the West Indies to serve as Commissioner for the Turks and Caicos Islands, where he stayed until 1946, when he was promoted to the post of Administrator in Dominica.

In 1952, Arrowsmith was returned to the High Commission Territories, to serve as Resident Commissioner in Basutoland, but after a turbulent period in that territory's history he was recalled to London in 1956, to a post in the Commonwealth Relations Office. In the following year, he was appointed Governor of the Falkland Islands, and served in that capacity for seven years, finally retiring from the Colonial Service in 1964.

Arrowsmith's links with work overseas did not cease on his retirement, however, for he became Director of the Overseas Development Resettlement Bureau in 1965, and continued to hold that position until 1979. He was awarded the CMG in 1950, and the KCMG in 1959. He married Clondagh Connor in 1936, and they had two daughters. Sir Edwin died in 1992.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Sir Edwin Porter Arrowsmith, February 1986.

Archive of Sir Edwin Arrowsmith
Finding aid prepared by P.W. Tolmie and Marion Lowman
2011, EAD version 2018
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom