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The Papers of Ernest Marples

Reference Code: GBR/0014/MPLS

Scope and Contents

Comprising correspondence, official and personal papers, pocket and desk diaries, press cuttings, photographs, audio tapes and dictaphone tapes.


  • Creation: 1940 - 1991


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for consultation by researchers using Churchill Archives Centre, Churchill College, Cambridge. Material in this collection is open to researchers unless otherwise marked in the catalogue.

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

Ernest Marples was born in Levenshulme in Lancashire, 9 December 1907, the son of Alfred Ernest Marples and Mary Marples. He was educated at Victoria Park Council School and Stretford Grammar School. He married Ruth Dobson in 1956.

He worked partly as a chartered accountant, 1928-41. During the Second World War, he served with the Royal Artillery, 1941-4. In 1945, he was elected as Conservative Member of Parliament for Wallasey, the constituency he represented until 1974. He held various junior ministerial posts in the Ministry of Housing and Local Government, 1951-4, and the Ministry of Pensions and National Insurance, 1954-5, before becoming Postmaster-General, 1957-9, and Minister of Transport, 1959-64. He was Shadow Minister of Technology, 1964-6. He stood down as an MP and was created a life peer in 1974. Early in 1975, he fled to Monaco, because of various legal actions and tax claims he faced, and he lived for the remainder of his life in France.

He died in Monaco, 6 July 1978.

His publications include: "The Road to Prosperity", 1947.


35 archive box(es)

11 reel(s)

1 outsize 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

The papers were given to Churchill Archives Centre by Susan Pynegar, 2016 and 2019.


This collection level description was created by Sophie Bridges, December 2016. Biographical information was obtained from the websites of Who's Who and Wikipedia. This catalogue was prepared by Tom Davies in October 2019.

Additions were made to the catalogue by Madelin Evans in Oct 2022, following work to catalogue 8 boxes of photographs by an Archives Centre volunteer. The photographs were catalogued and added to the archive as MPLS 3/1/9-3/1/11, 3/2/11, 3/3/2, 3/4/7-3/4/16, 3/5/9-3/5/12, 3/6/1-3/6/11 and 3/7/1-3/7/3. Some of the photographs were also added to existing files 3/2/10, 3/5/3-3/5/4, and 3/5/8. Two letters, found amongst the photographs, were added to MPLS 2/4.


Marples, Alfred Ernest, Baron Marples, 1907-1978, politician

2016-12-13 16:30:15+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