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Archive of John Allsebrook Simon, 1st Viscount Simon, mainly


  • How to

One of the largest series of correspondence in the collection is that relating to foreign affairs. While Foreign Secretary Lord Simon had to counter allegations concerning the shares that he had held in Imperial Chemical Industries, and Vickers. Copies of the letters relating to the subject were made at the time of Lord Simon's libel suit against the Reverend J. Whitaker Bond in 1935 and they have been kept with the originals. Section B also includes correspondence relating to Lord Simon's legal activities, his Chairmanship of the Indian Statutory Commission from 1927 to 1930, and carbon copies of the text of his examination of Rudolph Hess in 1940 after Hess had flown from Germany to England. The history of the Liberal National Party is well-documented in the correspondence of Lord Simon, his political secretary, Sir Rowland Evans, and in the volumes of newspaper cuttings. The series of newspaper cuttings covering a wide range of topics is in Section E.

Lord Simon's close links with his old school, Fettes College in Edinburgh, and Oxford University are reflected in the collection. Simon was an undergraduate at Wadham College and later a Fellow of All Souls College. In 1933 he considered standing as Chancellor of the University. The Ethel Simon Studentship was founded by Lord Simon in memory of his first wife, a former Vice Principal of St. Hugh's College. She died in 1902.


  • Creation: 1894-1953


31.24 Linear metres (284 physical shelfmarks)

Language of Materials

  • English

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MS. Simon 1, fols. 1-2].

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

Full range of shelfmarks:

MSS. Simon 1-284

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 15528


Papers of John Allsebrook Simon, 1st Viscount Simon (1873-1954), statesman and Lord Chancellor.

Biographical / Historical

During his political career John Allsebrook Simon, 1st Viscount Simon of Stackpole Elidor (1873-1964), held most of the major offices of state. John Simon was called to the Bar in 1899. He entered the House of Commons as the member for Walthamstow in Essex and held the seat until 1918. From 1922 to 1940 he represented the Spen Valley division of Yorkshire. Simon was successively Solicitor-General, 1910-13; Attorney-General, 1913-15; Home Secretary, 1915-16, 1935-7; Foreign Secretary, 1931-5; Chancellor of the Exchequer, 1937-40, and Lord Chancellor, 1940-5. He led the Liberal National Party from its formation in 1931 until his elevation to the House of Lords in 1940.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The papers were given to the Library in 1979 by Lord Simon's son, the 2nd Viscount Simon.

Catalogue of the archive of John Allsebrook Simon, 1st Viscount Simon, mainly 1894-1953
Helen Langley
Language of description
Script of description
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