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The Papers of Lord Rodgers of Quarry Bank

Reference Code: GBR/0014/RDRS

Scope and Contents

Papers relating to the Campaign for Democratic Socialism, circa 1960-64.


  • Creation: 1960 - 1964


Conditions Governing Access

Closed until catalogued

Biographical / Historical

William ("Bill") Rodgers was born in Liverpool in October 1928. He was educated at Quarry Bank High School and Magdalen College, Oxford. On leaving Oxford in 1951, he was appointed as Assistant Secretary to the Fabian Society and was its General Secretary, from 1953-60. He was a Labour member of the St. Marylebone Borough Council from 1958-62 and, in 1960, he also became the executive chairman of the Campaign for Democratic Socialism. Rodgers unsuccessfully contested a by-election at Bristol West in 1957, before being elected to Parliament at the Stockton-on-Tees by-election of 1962. He served as MP for Stockton-on-Tees from 1962-83. He was Minister of State at Defence from 1974-76 and served as Secretary of State for Transport, 1976-79. In 1981, Rodgers left the Labour Party to found the Social Democratic Party (SDP). He lost his Parliamentary seat in the subsequent General Election in 1983. He was Vice-President of the SDP from 1982-87. He was awarded a life peerage in 1992 and was leader of the Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords from 1998-2001. From 1987-94 he was Director General of the Royal Institute of British Architects and from 1995-2001 he acted as Chairman of the Advertising Standards Authority. His autobiography, entitled Fourth Among Equals, was published in 2000.


26 archive box(es)

Language of Materials


Other Finding Aids

A copy of this finding aid and box lists to part of the collection are available for consultation at Churchill Archives Centre, Cambridge and the National Register of Archives, London.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Deposited at Churchill Archives Centre by Lord Rodgers between 2013 and 2015.


This collection level description was prepared by Andrew Riley in 2017. Biographical information was obtained from the website of "Who's Who".


Rodgers, William Thomas, b 1928, Baron Rodgers of Quarry Bank, politician

2017-11-07 07:24:17+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