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'Colonialism: before and after'

Reference Code: GBR/0115/RCS/RCMS 392

Scope and Contents

This unpublished manuscript was probably written by Burns sometime after 6 January 1973 and was transcribed by his grandson Andrew FitzGerald between 2013 and 2016. The formatting and content of each page have been reproduced as faithfully as possible to the original manuscript, and every effort was made to retain its style of presentation. The illustrated cover, however, was not part of the original manuscript. The scope of Burn’s history is set out in the table of contents:

I. Introduction 1
II. Colonialism 18
III. The acquisition of Colonies 46
IV. Slavery and other evils 63
V. The positive achievements of Colonialism 90
VI. How the work was done 120
VII. Constitutions 151
VIII. The Aftermath of Independence 167
IX. Conclusion 194
Appendix A 201
Appendix B 202
Appendix C 202


  • Creation: 1973 - 1980

Conditions Governing Access

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Biographical / Historical

Sir Alan Cuthbert Burns (1887-1980) was the son of James Burns, Treasurer of St Christopher-Nevis and himself served in the Leeward Islands Colonial Civil Service from 1905-12 and in the Nigeria Civil Service 1912-24; from 1924-29 he was Colonial Secretary of the Bahamas and administered the Government on several occasions. He returned to Nigeria as Deputy Chief Secretary to Government from 1929-34 and was Governor of British Honduras from 1934-40; after a period as Assistant Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies he served as Governor of the Gold Coast from 1941-47. From 1947-56 he was Permanent U.K. Representative on the Trustee Council of the United Nations.


1 volume(s) (1 vol.) : paper

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Sir Alan Burns' grandson, Andrew FitzGerald, in 2016.

Related Materials

Photographs relating to Burns' service in the Gold Coast (Ghana) are stored at Y30448D and Y30448O-R. He was an active member of the Royal Commonwealth Society and archives associated with his chairmanship of its Imperial Studies Committee are held at ARCS 14/3.


This catalogue record was created by MJC.

Date information

DateText: The date is approximate..


Burns, Sir Alan Cuthbert, 1887-1980, knight, colonial governor

Includes index.
2017-01-05 09:56:54+00:00
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

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