Finding Number (Click this to view full catalogue structure)AELAdd
TitleLetters Additional of Anthony Eden
Extent51 items
DescriptionArtificial collection of letters and other papers of and relating to (Robert) Anthony Eden (1897-1977), 1st Earl of Avon, statesman and to the Eden family
ArrangementThis collection is catalogued at item or file level and the individual documents are numbered in a single numerical sequence which reflects the order in which they were acquired. The items in this collection are mounted in fascicules
Access ConditionsAccess to all registered researchers
Finding AidsA catalogue of this collection is available on the online archive catalogue. Click on the Finding Number to display the summary contents list of the catalogue and to view the full catalogue. A paper copy is also available in the Cadbury Research Library: Special Collections Department.
Access StatusOpen
Administrative History(Robert) Anthony Eden was born at Windlestone Hall near Bishop Auckland, Co. Durham, one of five children of Sir William Eden and Sybil Frances (daughter of Sir William Grey). He was educated at Eton and then joined the King's Royal Rifle Corps in 1915. He was awarded the MC in 1917 and in 1918 became the youngest brigadier-major in the British Army. After the war he went up to Christ Church, Oxford, graduating with first class honours in oriental languages in 1922.

He stood as Conservative candidate in the general election of November 1922 for the seat of Spennymoor, Co Durham where he was unsuccessful. However, in 1923, he was adopted for the safe constituency of Warwick & Leamington which he won at the next election and he served this constituency up until his retirement in1957. His lifelong political connection with foreign affairs began in 1926 as parliamentary private secretary to Sir Austen Chamberlain and in 1935, he became the youngest Foreign Secretary since the 18th century. His political career seemed at risk when he resigned from the government in February 1938 because of his disagreement with Neville Chamberlain's appeasement policy. However, he was recalled to office on the outbreak of war, briefly as Dominions Secretary and then as Foreign Secretary, under Winston Churchill, until the Conservative defeat in 1945. He served for the third time as Foreign Secretary between 1951 and 1955 and cultivated Britain's vital relations with the United States and western Europe. In April 1955, on Churchill's retirement, Eden succeeded as Prime Minister but within less than two years, he had retired due to ill-health and his career was overshadowed by the Suez crisis.

Eden became Lord Avon in 1961. He held a number of honorary degrees and other offices including Chancellor of the University of Birmingham, 1945-73 and President of the Royal Shakespeare Company, 1958-66.

He was married twice and had two sons by his first wife, Simon (killed in Burma in 1945) and Nicholas (died in 1985).
AcquisitionMost items in this collection have been acquired by purchase as a means of complementing and supporting the large personal archive of Anthony Eden (known as the Avon Papers). The collection also includes a number of gifts and deposits and photocopies of originals held elsewhere. For information about the provenance of specific items, please contact the University Archivist for further details.
OriginalsSome of the items in this collection are photocopies. If the whereabouts of the original are available, these details are given in the relevant record
Related MaterialThe Special Collections Department holds several related collections:

Avon Papers (Personal and political papers of Anthony Eden and Eden family papers) [AP] (catalogue is not yet available on the Online Archive Catalogue);

Private office papers of Anthony Eden as Foreign Secretary, 1938-1945 and 1951-1955 (which were transferred here in 1978 by the Public Record Office, deposited under s.4 (1) of the Public Records Act 1958 [FO 954 and FO 800] (catalogue is not yet available on the Online Archive Catalogue);

Copies of papers of Sir Pierson Dixon which relate to his position as private secretary and close friend and adviser to Anthony Eden [MS20]

Papers of Sir Evelyn Shuckburgh, Principal Private Secretary to Anthony Eden from 1951-1954 and under-secretary in charge of Middle East affairs at the Foreign Office from 1954-1956 [MS191]
Publication NoteThe officially commissioned biography by Robert Rhodes James was published in 1986 under the title 'Anthony Eden'.


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