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Additional papers of Sir Cecil Clementi


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The papers comprise official and personal papers of Sir Cecil Clementi (65 boxes) with papers of his wife, Lady Penelope Clementi (22 boxes), and other family members (18 boxes). There is also a small amount of family history research material which was probably collected between 2008 and 2013 (2 boxes).

These papers compliment those donated to the Library by Alwin Ovenell between 1987 and 1997 (catalogued in 1997 under the shelfmark MSS. Ind. Ocn. s. 352).


  • Creation: 1871-2013


17.0 Linear metres (107 physical shelfmarks)

Language of Materials

  • English
  • Chinese
  • French
  • German
  • Greek, Modern (1453-)
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Latin
  • Pushto; Pashto
  • Turkish

Mainly in English but also includes Chinese, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Pashto and Turkish.

Conditions Governing Access

Some material is closed.

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. Oxford, Bodleian Libraries MSS. Brit. Emp. s. 600 / 1, fols. 1-2].

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

Full range of shelfmarks:

MSS. Brit. Emp. s. 600 /1-107

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 9456


Official and personal papers of Sir Cecil Clementi (1875-1947), colonial governor, with papers of his wife, Lady Penelope Clementi (1889–1970) and other family members.

Biographical / Historical

Sir Cecil Clementi (1875-1947), colonial governor, was born in India, the son of Colonel Montagu Clementi (1839-1919) and Isabel Collard (1850-1930). He began his career as a cadet in the Hong Kong Civil Service and remained in Hong Kong for the next twelve years (with the exception of two secondments in 1902 and 1903).

There followed appointments as Colonial Secretary of British Guiana, 1913-1922 (administered the government 1916-1917, 1919 and 1921); Colonial Seceretary of Ceylon, 1922-1925 (administered the government 1922-1923 and 1925); Governor of Hong Kong, 1925-1930, and Governor of the Straits Settlements and High Commissioner for Malaya, 1930-1934. He retired in 1934.

Clementi was awarded a GCMG (1931) and was a Knight of Grace of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem (1926). His publications include Summary of Geographical Observations taken during a Journey from Kashgar to Kowloon (1907-1908) (Hong Kong: 1911), Pervigilium Veneris: The Vigil of Venus (Oxford: 1911), The Chinese in British Guiana (British Guiana: 1915) and A Constitutional History of British Guiana (London: 1937).

In 1912 he married Marie Penelope Rose Eyres (1889-1970), the daughter of Admiral C.J. Eyres (1862-1949) and Rose Townsend (1863-1940). They had four children, Dione, Cecily, Cresswell and Alwin.

Note: Biographical history written with reference to Clementi's entries in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography and Who's Who.


Official and general correspondence is arranged chronologically and family correspondence is arranged alphabetically. Single letters only unless otherwise stated.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Bequeathed to the Bodleian Library by Alwin Ovenell (née Clementi) and received in 2013.

Catalogue of the additional papers of Sir Cecil Clementi
Finding aid prepared by Marion Lowman
Language of description
Script of description
Catalogued with the support of a legacy generously bequeathed by the late Alwin Ovenell, daughter of Sir Cecil Clementi

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom