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Papers of Arnold Paice

Reference Code: GBR/0115/RCS/RCMS 178

Scope and Contents

The collection includes letters from Arnold Paice to his mother, father and sister Muriel Paice, and the description of a journey from Durban to Nairobi. It also preserves his correspondence with the Royal Commonwealth Society regarding their donation.

Paice’s time in Kenya coincided with almost the entire era of white settlement, and his papers form one of the richest documents of an ordinary settler's experience. His letters to his mother, written over an extended period of time, were often highly detailed accounts describing the running of his 3,000 acre farm and the other work he undertook to supplement his income. Paice was closely involved in Nanyuki affairs. From the mid-1920s, he served as Justice of the Peace and Attesting Officer for labour tenancy contracts, and these responsibilities often involved contact with African peoples. Paice’s letters also provide an important portrait of wider colonial society.


  • Creation: 1901 - 1963


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

Arnold Paice was born at Egham, Surrey, on 3 August 1879, and entered the tea trade after leaving school. From early 1900 to 1901 he served with the Berkshire Yeomanry in the South African War (the Boer War). After the war he returned to South Africa and worked on farms until 1907, when he moved to Kenya. After three years in the Naivasha District he trekked over the Aberdares in 1910 and became one of the first farmer-settlers in the Nanyuki District, where he died on 31 August 1963.


18 file(s) : paper

17 volume(s)

Language of Materials


Former / Other Reference

MSS 46

Other Finding Aids

Donald H. Simpson, ed., 'The manuscript catalogue of the library of the Royal Commonwealth Society' (London, 1975), p. 107.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Presented by Arnold Paice at the suggestion of Mrs. Elspeth Huxley and with the cooperation of Mr. A.T. Matson, in 1963.

Existence and Location of Copies

Available on microfilm: Reels 8 and 9.


The material has been microfilmed, and is listed in: 'Africa through western eyes, parts 1 & 2: original manuscripts from the Royal Commonwealth Society Library at Cambridge University Library - a listing and guide to the microfilm collection' (2000), Adam Matthew Publications Ltd.


This collection level description was created by MJC.


Paice, Arnold, 1879-1963, tea trader and farmer in Africa

Includes index.
2007-02-06 15:00:45+00:00
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

Cambridge University Library
West Road
Cambridge CB3 9DR United Kingdom