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The Papers of Sir John Hoskyns

Reference Code: GBR/0014/HOSK

Scope and Contents

Briefing notes produced by Hoskyns and his team, mainly for Margaret Thatcher MP


  • Creation: 1974 - 1982


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is mostly open for consultation by researchers using Churchill Archives Centre, Churchill College, Cambridge.

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

Hoskyns was born in August 1927, the son of Lt-Colonel Chandos Benedict Arden Hoskyns and Joyce Austin Hoskyns. He was educated at Winchester College before serving as a regular solider in the Rifle Brigade (1945-57). He started his business career at IBM United Kingdom Ltd (1957-64), before founding John Hoskyns & Co. Ltd, which was later part of Hoskyns Group Ltd (where he was Chairman and Managing Director, 1964-75). He acted as a part-time Policy Adviser to Margaret Thatcher MP (then Leader of the Opposition Conservative Party) from 1975-77, and was then a full-time adviser to Mrs Thatcher and the Shadow Cabinet, 1977-79. His best known contribution of this period was the production of the "Stepping Stones" report of November 1977. He was subsequently appointed by Mrs Thatcher to be Head of her Prime Minister’s Policy Unit, where he served between May 1979 and April 1982. He was subsequently Director-General of the Institute of Directors, 1984-89, and served on the boards of a number of public companies. Hoskyns was knighted in 1982. He published a memoir, "Just in time, inside the Thatcher revolution" in 2000. He died in October 2014.


29 archive box(es)

Language of Materials


Other Finding Aids

A copy of this finding aid is available in the reading room at Churchill Archives Centre and at the National Register of Archives in London.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The papers were presented to Churchill College by Hoskyns in December 2004.

Related Materials

Churchill Archives Centre holds the extensive personal and political papers of Baroness (Margaret) Thatcher. A copy of the “Stepping Stones” report is available in her papers, see THCR 2/6/1/248. For other relevant papers on “strategy”, see THCR 2/6/1/246-249.


This collection (fonds) level description and summary catalogue was compiled by Andrew Riley of Churchill Archives Centre in July 2005, and updated in June 2007.


Hoskyns, Sir John Austin Hungerford Leigh, 1927-2014, Knight, political adviser to Margaret Thatcher, businessman

2005-07-18 08:52:10+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