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The Papers of Lord Carrington

Reference Code: GBR/0014/CRTN

Scope and Contents

Papers including political papers, speeches, visit files, appointment diaries, press cuttings, photographs, photograph albums and scrapbooks.


  • Creation: 1952 - 2011

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is closed until catalogued.

Conditions Governing Use

Once the collection has been opened, researchers wishing to publish excerpts from the papers must obtain prior permission from the copyright holders and should seek advice from Archives Centre staff.

Biographical / Historical

Peter Alexander Rupert Carington was born, 6 June 1919, the son of Rupert Carington, 5th Baron Carrington, and the Honourable Sibyl Marion Colville. He was educated at Sandroyd School; Eton College; and the Royal Military College, Sandhurst. He married Iona McClean in 1942 (died 2009), with whom he has one son and two daughters.

He succeeded his father in 1938 and took his seat as a member of the House of Lords in 1940. During the Second World War he served in the Grenadier Guards.

After the war, he became involved in politics and held the posts of Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture and Food, 1951-4, and Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Defence, 1954-6. He was appointed High Commissioner to Australia, 1956-9. On his return, he served as First Lord of the Admiralty, 1959-63, and Minister without Portfolio and Leader of the House of Lords, 1963-4. He was Leader of the Opposition in the House of Lords, 1964-70. He then became Defence Secretary, 1970-4, and Secretary of State for Energy, 1974, and also held the post of Chairman of the Conservative Party, 1972-4. He was again Leader of the Opposition in the House of Lords, 1974-9. He was Foreign Secretary, 1979-82.

He was Secretary-General of NATO, 1984-8. In 1999, he was created a life peer, as Baron Carington of Upton, and continued to serve as a member of the House of Lords.

He was awarded the Military Cross, 1945, and created PC, 1959, CH, 1983, KG, 1985, and GCMG, 1988. He is an honorary fellow of St Antony's College, Oxford, from 1982.

He died on 9 July 2018.

His publications include: "Reflect on Things Past" (1988).


318 archive box(es)

Language of Materials


Other Finding Aids

Copies of this collection level description are available at Churchill Archives Centre, Cambridge and the National Register of Archives, London.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The papers were transferred to Churchill Archives Centre by Lord Carrington's biographer, Christopher Lee, 2005 and 2012, and by the Carington family, 2014, 2017 and 2019. The collection was accepted in lieu of inheritance tax by HM Government in 2019 and allocated to the Archives Centre. A subsequent accession (Acc 2225) was donated by the Carington family, 2022.


This collection level description was prepared by Sophie Bridges, January 2006 and July 2014. Biographical information was obtained from "Who's Who" (2004) and the Wikipedia website.


Carington, Peter Alexander Rupert, 1919-2018, 6th Baron Carrington, politician

2006-01-19 10:06:04+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