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Archive of Robert Henry Brand, Baron Brand


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The archive is comprised mainly of correspondence and papers regarding Brand's various professional activities.


  • Creation: 1892-1974


23.28 Linear metres (236 physical shelfmarks)

Language of Materials

  • English

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries, [followed by shelfmark, e.g. MS. Brand 1]

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

Full range of shelfmarks:

MS. Brand 1-212; MS. Brand Photogr.1-2

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 12084


Papers of Robert Henry Brand, Baron Brand (1878-1963), merchant banker and public servant, 1896-1974

Biographical / Historical

Robert Henry Brand was a merchant banker and public servant. He was born on 30 October 1878 in London. He was educated at Marlborough School and New College, Oxford where he took a first in modern history in 1898. He was subsequently elected Fellow of All Souls and remained so intermittently until his death.

In December 1902 Brand joined Milner’s staff (‘Milner’s Kindergarten’) in Johannesburg and became assistant secretary, acting secretary and, in 1904, permanent secretary to the inter-colonial council of the Transvaal and the Orange River Colony. In 1908-1909 Brand worked as secretary of the Transvaal delegates at the South African National Convention and became personal assistant to J.C. Smuts with whom he worked on a draft constitution for the new union. He acted as South Africa’s financial representative at the Genoa conference in 1922.

Brand came to London in 1909 to assist with the passage of the South Africa Act through Parliament and he would then have returned to South Africa had illness not prevented him at the time. As a result however his professional life took a different turn. Brand was persuaded to join Lazard Brother’s merchant bank by R.M. Kindersley. Soon after joining the bank Brand became a managing director and held this position until 1944 when he became a director and remained as such until his death in 1963.

Brand had a weak heart and so did not serve in the armed forces during World War I but did he did serve in government, as the liaison officer with the Ministry of Munitions in London for the newly established imperial munitions board in Ottawa. He remained in this post until the war ended. In 1917-1918 Brand served as deputy chairman of the British war mission in Washington, after which he went to Paris to act as financial adviser to Lord Cecil (chairman of the supreme economic council) during the peace conference.

Brand served on the Macmillan committee on finance from 1929-1931 and worked closely with J.M. Keynes. He served as head of the British food mission in Washington in 1941-1944, chairman of the British supply council in North America in 1942 and British Treasury representative in 1944-1966. From 1925-1959 Brand was a director of the Times Publishing Company Ltd., a member of the General Advisory Council of the BBC from 1951 to 1956, president of the Royal Economic Society from 1952 to 1953, and a director of Lloyds Bank Ltd.

Brand was appointed CMG in 1910 and honorary DCL at Oxford in 1937. In 1946 he became Baron Brand of Eydon. In 1917 Brand had married Phyllis Langhorne, sister of Nancy Astor and became close friends with the ‘Cliveden Set’. They had two daughters and a son. Brand died in Sussex in August 1963.

Full details are given in the Dictionary of National Biography.


The original arranagement of the archive, in numbered boxes as maintained by Brand and his secretary, has been retained while the description of the material has been arranged in series according to type and subject matter. The content description is based upon the index to the archive compiled by Brand's secretary. Some material was unnumbered and not included in the index: this has been numbered in a continuation of the sequence, with new descriptions being added.

Other Finding Aids

The original index to the archive is MS. Brand 209

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The archive was originally deposited by the Hon. Virginia, Lady Ford (daughter of Brand) in 1978. The deposit was converted to a gift on Lady Ford's death in 1996.

Catalogue of the Archive of Robert Henry Brand (1878-1963), Baron Brand
Finding aid prepared by Emma Atkinson
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom