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Sir John Spry collection

Reference Code: GBR/0115/RCS/RCMS 351

Scope and Contents

Papers and photographs relating to Sir John Spry's legal service in Saint Helena and the British Antarctic Territory.


  • Creation: 1989 - 1999


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 John Farley Spry (1910-1999) was educated at the Perse School, Cambridge, and Peterhouse College, University of Cambridge. He was admitted a solicitor in 1935 and joined the Colonial Legal Service. From 1936 to 1944 he was Assistant Registrar of Titles and Conveyancer in Uganda. During 1944-1948, Spry served on the land registry in Palestine. As acting Director in 1947, he initiated the microfilming of the Palestinian land registers. Spry served as Registrar-General of Tanganyika [Tanzania] (1948-1950), Kenya (1950-1952) and Tanganyika [Tanzania] again (1952-1956). He continued to serve in Tanganyika [Tanzania] as a legal draftsman and Principal Secretary, Public Service Commission, before being appointed Puisne Judge of the High Court in 1961. While in Dar es Salaam, Spry amassed a remarkable collection of sea shells (now in the Natural History Museum, London). From 1964 to 1970, he served as Justice of Appeal, Court of Appeal for Eastern Africa, and from 1970 to 1975 as Vice President of the Court of Appeal for East Africa. After serving as Legal Chairman of the Pensions Appeal Tribunals in London, in 1976 Spry was appointed Chief Justice and Chairman of the Public Service Commission, Gibraltar. He also served as Justice of Appeal (1980-1983) and President, Court of Appeal (1983-1991). Spry’s next appointments were as Chief Justice of the British Ocean Territory (1981-1987) and of Saint Helena and its Dependencies (1983-1992). From 1991 Spry served as President, British Antarctic Territory Court of Appeal, and Justice of Court of Appeal, Falkland Islands. He died on 17 May 1999.


4 file(s) : paper/photograph

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Mrs Jennifer Spring-Smyth, daughter of Sir John Spry, in 2005.


Catalogued by MJC.


Spry, Sir John Farley, b 1910, Knight Chief Justice of Gibraltar

Includes index.
2008-06-04 11:42:11+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