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The Papers of Sir Percy James Grigg

Reference Code: GBR/0014/PJGG

Scope and Contents

The collection includes personal documents and honours (PJGG 1); general correspondence (PJGG 2 and 12); material relating to India including finance papers (PJGG 3), political papers (federation and defence) (PJGG 4), miscellaneous reports (PJGG 5), War Office papers about India (PJGG 8); Lady Grigg's correspondence (PJGG 6 and 7); War Office correspondence (PJGG 9); Committee papers (PJGG 10); literary material (PJGG 13-15).

Perhaps the most interesting papers are those concerned with India (sections 2-8), which include those acquired during Sir James's appointment as Finance Member of the Viceroy's Council (1934-1939) and questions about India that arose when he was Permanent Under-Secretary of State for War (1939-1942). An interesting background for the earlier period is provided by Lady Grigg's letters to Dr Thomas Jones (section 7).

Unhappily, little survives from Sir James's time as Secretary of State for War (1942-1945) except some general correspondence. A notable exception is his lively correspondence with Field-Marshal Bernard Montgomery (sections PJGG 9/8, PJGG 9/9), with whom he was on the best of terms.

During Grigg's term as Finance Member of the Viceroy's Council, the Viceroy was known constitutionally as Viceroy, Governor-General, and Crown Representative. The designation that appears on the document has been retained.


  • Creation: 1901 - 1964


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.

Conditions Governing Use

Researchers wishing to publish excerpts from the papers must obtain prior permission from the copyright holder and should seek advice from Archives Centre staff.

Biographical / Historical




16 Dec 1890 Born at Exmouth, son of F.A.Grigg, a carpenter

Jan 1903 Scholarship to Bournemouth School

Dec 1908 Scholarship to St John's College

1912 BA - Mathematical Tripos

Aug 1913 First in Civil Service examination

Oct 1913 Entered the Treasury, Fourth Division

1915-1918 Royal Garrison Artillery

30 July 1919 Married Gertrude Charlotte Hough

1921 Principal Private Secretary to Chancellor of the Exchequer (to 1930)

1930 Chairman, Board of Customs and Excise

1930 Chairman, Board of Inland Revenue

1 Jan 1932 KCB

31 Jan 1934 Finance Member, Government of India

5 Feb 1936 KCSI

Oct 1939 Permanent Under-Secretary of State for War

22 Feb 1942 Secretary of State for War (to 26 July 1945)

23 Feb 1942 PC

1942 MP for East Cardiff (to July 1945)

1943 Hon. Fellow of St John's College

1946 Hon. LL.D (Bristol)

1946 Executive Director, International Bank for Reconstruction and development (to 1947)

1947 Director, Imperial Tobacco Company

1948 Director, Prudential Assurance Company

1949 Director, National Provincial Bank

1950 Director, Distillers Company

21 Jan 1954 Hon. Bencher, Middle Temple

1961 Chairman, Bass, Mitchells and Butlers

5 May 1964 Died

Publications: P.J.Grigg, Prejudice and Judgment (1948)


24 archive box(es)

Language of Materials



Before his death, in 1964, Sir James had looked through the papers, presumably destroying ephemera. After his death the papers were examined by the Ministry of Defence, but official items were not removed. In January 1971 some papers relating to Sir James's post-war interests were added.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

In 1970, after the death of Lady Grigg, the beneficiaries under Sir James Grigg's will agreed to deposit his papers at Churchill College. They reached the College in June 1971.


The Grigg 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 2002-2006.

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