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Papers of Sir Cecil Clementi


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The Hong Kong papers, shelfmarked MSS. Ind. Ocn. s. 352 / 1-25 and 53 / 2-5 (26 boxes, 4 files), mainly relate to Clementi's period as Governor of that colony between 1925 and 1930.

He became Governor of the Straits Settlements and High Commissioner for the Malay States in 1930 and remained there until retiring on grounds of ill health in 1934. MSS. Ind. Ocn. s. 352 / 26-43 (18 boxes) contain papers relating to this period and some later material relating to events in Malaya.

During his lifetime Clementi wrote several books and articles; correspondence and texts relating to these are to be found in MSS. Ind. Ocn. s. 352 / 44-52 and 53 /1 (9 boxes, 1 file). The final box, MSS. Ind. Ocn. s. 352 / 54, contains photographs and miscellaneous items.


  • Creation: 1873-1963


8.3 Linear metres (55 boxes)

Language of Materials

  • English

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MSS. Ind. Ocn. s. 352 / 1 / 1, fols. 1-2].

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Full range of shelfmarks:

MSS. Ind. Ocn. s. 352/1-54

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 1248


Papers of Sir Cecil Clementi (1875-1947), colonial governor, mainly relating to his work in Hong Kong and Malaya.

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 Cobbold 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.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Alwin Isabel Ovenell (nee Clementi), 1987-1997.

Catalogue of the papers of Sir Cecil Clementi
MSS. Ind. Ocn. s. 352
Finding aid prepared by Amanda Hill
1997; edited, converted to EAD and published online 2015
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom