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Weatherstone Collection

Reference Code: GBR/0115/RCS/RCMS 365

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of reproductions and originals of nineteenth-century prints, postcards, early and modern photographs, and watercolours which feature in two books on the tea industry written by John Weatherstone. Weatherstone’s works are distinguished for the wealth of their illustrations, which vividly bring to life the planter’s working and living conditions.


  • Creation: 1830 - 2008

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

John Weatherstone (1927-2018) was born in Malaya, where his father was manager of the Pontian rubber estate. Like his father and grandfather, Weatherstone became a planter. In 1950, he travelled from England to Ceylon [Sri Lanka] to work on a tea estate located between Kandy and Matale, and then transferred to a rubber estate in the Southern Province. Weatherstone left planting and Ceylon in 1957, settling in Shanklin Old Village in the Isle of Wight, where he established a fine art gallery. He retired in 1987. Weatherstone’s experience of planting inspired a life-long interest. This is reflected in the publication of two books which examine its history: ‘The pioneers 1825-1900: the early British tea and coffee planters and their way of life’ (1986) and ‘Tea-a journey in time: pioneering and trials in the jungle’ (2008). Together these studies document the challenges confronting the early planters in establishing the tea industry in the North East of India and later in Ceylon [Sri Lanka] following the decline of coffee cultivation.


.03 cubic metre(s) (1 archives box.) : art work/paper/photograph

Language of Materials


Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Good condition unless specified otherwise.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by John Weatherstone in 2009.


This archival description was created by MJC.


Weatherstone, John, 1927-2018.

2015-01-08 15:50:55+00:00
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

Cambridge University Library
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Cambridge CB3 9DR United Kingdom