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Papers of Clement Richard Attlee, 1st Earl Attlee


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The bulk of the collection cover the years 1945-1951 and consists of notes for the Prime Minister's speeches and broadcasts. The papers illustrate the way in which the machinery of government functions. Many of the replies to incoming letters were answered by the Private Secretaries to the Prime Minister, and most of the correspondence is annotated by them. The collection also contains printed papers and newspaper cuttings , miscellaneous and personal papers and the papers of Violet, Countess Attlee.


  • Creation: 1924-1957


16.06 Linear metres (146 physical shelfmarks)

Language of Materials

  • English

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark, e.g. MS. Atlee dep. 1, fols. 1-2].

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

Full range of shelfmarks:

MS. Attlee dep. 1-146

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 9437


Papers of Clement Richard Attlee 1st Earl Attlee (1883-1967), Prime Minister of the 1945-1951 Labour Governments.

Biographical / Historical

Clement Richard Attlee, 1st Earl Attlee (1883-1967) was educated at Haileybury and University College, Oxford. He was called to the Bar in 1905. Two years later, in 1907, he was appointed manager of Haileybury House Boys' Club in Stepney and in 1913 he became a lecturer in social administration at the London School of Economics. During the war he served with distinction in the army. Attlee had joined the Independent Labour Party in 1908, and in 1919 he became Mayor of Stepney. He was M.P. for Limehouse from 1922 to 1950, and for West Walthamstow from 1950 to 1955. Attlee held various minor posts in the early Labour governments. From 1931 until 1935 he was Deputy Leader of the Labour Party in the House of Commons. He was Chairman of the Opposition, 1935-40. During the wartime government led by Churchill, Attlee was successively Lord Privy Seal, 1940-1942, Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs, 1942-1943, Lord President of the Council, 1943-1945, and Deputy Prime Minister, 1942-1945. Attlee was Prime Minister of the 1945-51 Labour Governments, and Minister of Defence, 1945-1946.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Deposited in the Library by University College, Oxford, in 1978.

Related Materials

For a catalogue of letters from Clement Attlee to his brother Tom see (MSS. Eng. c. 4792-4794).

A collection of Attlee's letters to Patricia Beck, given to the Library in 1983 by Miss Beck, is described separately as MS. Eng. lett. c. 571.

Catalogue of papers of Clement Richard Attlee, 1st Earl Attlee, 1924-1957
by Elizabeth Turner
Language of description
Script of description
The production of the catalogue was financed by University College. Conversion to EAD supported by the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation.

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom