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The Papers of Harford Montgomery Hyde

Reference Code: GBR/0014/HYDE

Scope and Contents

The held at Churchill Archives Centre chiefly consist of the papers and letters Montgomery Hyde collected and generated in the course of writing three of his books: "The Quiet Canadian" (a biography of Sir William Stephenson, Director of British Security Co-ordination in the Western Hemisphere, 1940-46); "Cynthia" (a biography of the British agent Elizabeth (Pack) Brousse); and "Secret Intelligence Agent" (which included descriptions of his own wartime experiences). The collection also includes papers and letters relating to Hyde's work in Censorship and Security in Gibraltar, Bermuda and the USA during the Second World War; and in the legal division of the Allied Control Commission in Austria.


  • Creation: 1921 - 1985

Conditions Governing Access

Unless otherwise indicated in the catalogue, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using Churchill Archives Centre, Churchill College, Cambridge.

Closures are indicated in the catalogue. "Some closures" means that some documents within the file are closed (although there may be a sanitised version of the document(s) available in the file). "Closed" indicates that the entire file is closed.

Conditions Governing Use

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

Harford Montgomery Hyde was born on 14 August 1907 in Belfast, the son of James Johnstone Hyde and Isobel Greenfield (née Montgomery). He was educated at Sedbergh School; Queen's University, Belfast (where he gained a first class History degree); then at Magdalen College Oxford (where he gained a second class law degree). He was called to the bar in 1934. From 1935-9 Hyde was librarian and Private Secretary to the 7th Marquess of Londonderry. In 1939 he married Dorothy Mabel Brayshaw Crofts (divorced 1952).

During World War II, Hyde held several positions. He served as an Assistant Censor in Gibraltar (1940) and was commissioned in the intelligence corps and engaged in counter-espionage work in the United States under Sir William Stephenson, Director of British Security Co-ordination in the Western Hemisphere (whose life Hyde published as "The Quiet Canadian" in 1962). He was also Military Liaison and Security Officer, Bermuda (1940-41); Assistant Passport Control Officer, New York (1941-2); with British Army Staff, USA (1942-4); attached to the Supreme HQ Allied Expeditionary Force (1944) and then to the Allied Commission for Austria (1944-5).

Hyde was the Assistant Editor of the Law Reports (1946-7), then Legal Adviser to the British Lion Film Corporation Ltd (1947-9). From 1950-59 he was a Unionist MP for East Belfast and was the UK Delegate to the Council of Europe Consultative Assembly in Strasbourg (1952-5). From 1958-61 Hyde was an Honorary Colonel of the Intelligence Corps (Territorial Army), Northern Ireland. After losing his parliamentary seat, Hyde was Professor of History and Political Science at the University of the Punjab in Lahore (1959-61).

In 1955 Hyde married his second wife Mary Eleanor Fischer. The marriage was dissolved in 1966 and he married Rosalind Roberts Dimond. He died on August 10 1989.

Hyde wrote a great many books on a wide variety of subjects including "The Rise of Castlereagh" (1933); "The Quiet Canadian" (1962); "Cynthia" (1962) and "Secret Intelligence Agent" (1982).


15 archive box(es)

Language of Materials


Other Finding Aids

Copies of this finding aid are available for consultation at Churchill Archives Centre, Cambridge and the National Register of Archives, London.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was deposited at the Archives Centre by Montgomery Hyde himself and by his widow in 4 stages between 1972 and 1990.

Related Materials

The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland holds a collection of H Montgomery Hyde's correspondence, photographs, postcards, scrapbooks, press cuttings, typescript and manuscript notes, genealogical papers, articles etc (reference code D.3084). Churchill Archives Centre holds a reference copy of the printed catalogue to this material.


Churchill Archives Centre holds reference copies of several of H Montgomery Hyde's published books including "Cynthia: the story of the spy who changed the course of the war" (Hamish Hamilton, London, 1966, classmark 940.548641 Hyd); "Secret Intelligence Agent" (Constable, London, 1982 classmark 940.548641 Hyd) and "The Quiet Canadian: The Secret Service Story of Sir William Stephenson" (Hamish Hamilton, London, 1962 classmark 940.548671 Hyd). These are all available for consultation in the Reading Room at Churchill Archives Centre.


This collection level description and catalogue was prepared by Natalie Adams of Churchill Archives Centre in January 2005, using information from Hyde's entry in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (R. B. McDowell, ‘Hyde, Harford Montgomery (1907-1989)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 ) and the original catalogue to the collection which was prepared in 1984 and revised in 1990.


Hyde, Harford Montgomery, 1907-1989, politician, barrister and author

2004-12-22 15:07:25+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