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The Papers of Patrick George Buchan-Hepburn, 1st Baron Hailes of Prestonkirk

Reference Code: GBR/0014/HAIS

Scope and Contents

The bulk of the collection consists of the papers of Lord Hailes as Governor-General and Commander-in-Chief of the Federation of the West Indies, 1958-1962, showing, in fascinating detail, the working out of this experiment in federation. There are numerous papers relating to Lord Hailes's long tenure of office as Assistant, Deputy Chief, and finally Chief, Whip and these include many letters from his fellow Conservatives showing the high esteem in which they held him.

Amongst the more personal correspondence are letters from Sir Winston Churchill whom Hailes served for a time as private secretary before he entered Parliament and then, later, with whom Hailes had a close relationship as Chief Whip during Churchill's last period as Prime Minister.

Lord Hailes's work as a Member of Parliament is reflected in constituency correspondence and papers concerned with East Toxteth (Liverpool) and Beckenham whose MP. he was from 1931 to 1950 and from 1950 to 1957 respectively.

Amongst the miscellaneous items at the end of the collection are some interesting papers and letters relating to the situation in Germany in the years leading up to the Second World War including Brendan Bracken's account of his discussion with Von Ribbentrop on international affairs in July 1939.


  • Creation: 1928 - 1973


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for consultation by researchers using Churchill Archives Centre, Churchill College, Cambridge. Individual closures of files are indicated in the catalogue.

Biographical / Historical

2 Apr 1901: Born, 3rd son of Sir Archibald Buchan-Hepburn 4th Bart. of Smeaton-Hepburn, East Lothian. Educated at Harrow and Trinity College, Cambridge.

1926-1927: Honorary Attaché, Constantinople.

1929: Conservative candidate for Wolverhampton East (unsuccessful).

1930-1931: Member of London County Council (North Kensington).

1931-1939: Parliamentary Private Secretary to Rt. Hon. Oliver Stanley at, respectively, Home Office, Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Labour, Board of Education and Board of Trade.

1931-1950: Conservative M.P. for East Toxteth (Liverpool).

1939: Assistant Government Whip. Junior Lord of the Treasury.

1940-1943: Served in Royal Artillery in 11th (City of London Yeomanry) Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment and on the Staff (Brigade Major).

1944: Junior Lord of the Treasury.

1945: Conservative Deputy Chief Whip. Married Diana, daughter of Brigadier-General Hon. Charles Lambton and widow of Major W. Hedworth Williamson.

1948-1951: Opposition Chief Whip.

1951-1955: Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury and Government Chief Whip.

1955-1957: Minister of Works.

1957: G.B.E.

1958-1962: Governor-General and Commander-in-Chief of the Federation of the West Indies.

1962: C.H.

1963: Chairman of the Historic Buildings Council for England.

1974: Died.


53 archive box(es)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Patrick George Buchan-Hepburn, 1st Baron Hailes of Prestonkirk in East Lothian expressed a wish, only a few months before his death in 1974, that his papers should come to Churchill College Archives Centre. His widow, Lady Hailes, kindly gave the papers to the College in December 1978.

Processing Information

The Hailes catalogue was converted from typescript to electronic form as part of the A2A project co-ordinated by the National Archives. The catalogue was updated by Natalie Adams of Churchill Archives Centre 18 October 2005.


Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Churchill Archives Centre Repository

Churchill Archives Centre
Churchill College
Cambridge Cambridgeshire CB3 0DS United Kingdom
+44 (0)1223 336087