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The Papers of Cynthia, Lady Gladwyn

Reference Code: GBR/0014/CGLA

Scope and Contents

Includes correspondence with family and friends and CG's diaries, both particularly covering her time with Gladwyn Jebb as a political hostess in New York [United States] and Paris [France], and also some speeches and articles and material relating to CG's book "The Paris Embassy".


  • Creation: 1912 - 1991


Biographical / Historical

Cynthia Jebb was born on 20 November 1898, the youngest of the four children of Sir Saxton Noble, and his wife, Celia. In 1912 she went to Northlands, a small girls' school at Englefield Green, Surrey, where she was mainly taught in literature and music, and at the end of the war, in which her elder brother Marc was killed, she came out into society. On 22 January 1929 she married the young diplomat [Hubert] Gladwyn Jebb, having a son, Miles [later 2nd Lord Gladwyn], and two daughters, Vanessa and Stella.

In 1932 Cynthia accompanied her husband to Rome, where he had been posted as a secretary in the British embassy. In 1935 they returned to London, where over the next fifteen years Jebb's diplomatic career kept him in the Foreign Office, before a key posting to New York as the British representative on the Security Council of the United Nations. Cynthia's talents as a hostess were invaluable, both in New York, and even more so in Jebb's next (and final) posting as British Ambassador to France (1954-60), where she ran the Embassy, managing the arrangements for several highly successful royal and prime ministerial visits to Paris at a key time in British relations with France.

Jebb retired from the diplomatic service in 1960, becoming 1st Lord Gladwyn, and as Lady Gladwyn, Cynthia continued to pursue an active social life, particularly in the world of music, also publishing a book on the Paris Embassy in 1976. She had kept a diary throughout much of the post-war era, giving her frank and vivid opinions of many of the social and political figures of the day, and these diaries, edited by her son, were published in 1996. Cynthia Gladwyn died on 21 September 1990.


15.5 archive box(es)

Language of Materials


Other Finding Aids

A copy of this finding aid is available for consultation at Churchill Archives Centre, Cambridge and the National Register of Archives, London.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Received from Lord Gladwyn in 2012, and from Lady Thomas in 2015.

Related Materials

See also the papers of Lord Gladwyn, GBR 0014 GLAD.


This catalogue was prepared by Katharine Thomson of Churchill Archives Centre in March-April 2014 and summer 2015. Biographical information was obtained from Cynthia Gladwyn's published diaries, and from the Dictionary of National Biography.


Jebb, Cynthia, 1898-1990, wife of 1st Baron Gladwyn, political hostess and diarist

2014-03-04 11:36:55.093000+00:00
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