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Correspondence and papers of Sir Philip Smyly

Reference Code: GBR/0115/RCS/RCMS 137

Scope and Contents

Letters from Smyly to his mother from Sierra Leone; correspondence and papers relating to Smyly's time in the Gold Coast.


  • Creation: 1895 - 1996


Conditions Governing Access

Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (

Biographical / Historical

Sir Philip Crampton Smyly (1866-1953) was born on 28 March 1866, the son of Dr (later Sir) Philip Crampton Smyly (1838-1904) and Selinda Maria, sixth daughter of the 3rd Baron Plunket. Dr Smyly was a distinguished surgeon whose many posts included the Presidency of the Royal College of Surgeons, 1878-1879. He was Surgeon to Queen Victoria and King Edward VII in Ireland, and also to the Viceroys of Ireland, 1869-1892. His son Philip attended Trinity College Dublin, and was called to the bar in 1888. He was appointed Crown Advocate in Sierra Leone in 1895, and sailed out to Africa on SS 'Angola'. He became Attorney-General in 1896, and was made Acting Chief Justice following the death of Bruce Hindle, although he was not appointed permanently to the post until 1901. He received a knighthood in 1905, and became Chief Justice of the Gold Coast in 1911. Smyly left the Colony on leave on 21 August 1929, and retired at its conclusion on 31 October. He had two sons and one daughter through his marriage to Aileen Grace Smyly (d. 1935). He died on 29 May 1953.


.01 cubic metre(s) (1 archive box) : paper

Language of Materials


Former / Other Reference

MSS 446

Other Finding Aids

The letters are described individually in MSS Addenda, vol. I.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Presented by Miss Grace Smyly, daughter of Sir Philip Crampton Smyly, through her cousin Lady Trend, 12 August 1996.

Related Materials

The R.C.S. Photograph Collection includes photographs from Smyly's time in Sierra Leone and the Gold Coast, Y30446L, Y30446M and Y30448L.


This collection level description was created by RAS using information from the original typescript catalogue.


Smyly, Sir, Philip Crampton, 1866-1953, Knight and colonial administrator

Includes index.
2003-10-22 10:28:09+00:00
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

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