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The Papers of Lord Silkin of Dulwich

Reference Code: GBR/0014/SILK

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of political and legal papers. The earlier papers mostly relate to Silkin's time at Attorney General including correspondence files, press cuttings and printed papers. The later papers consist of Bills, correspondence and proceedings from the House of Lords as well as constituency correspondence and papers relating to Silkin's other interests.


  • Creation: 1968 - 1987

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is CLOSED until it has been 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

Samuel Silkin was born 6 March 1918, the second son of the 1st Baron Silkin. He was educated at Dulwich College and at Trinity Hall, Cambridge. In 1941 he married Elaine Stamp (she died in 1984) and they had two sons and two daughters. In 1985 he married Sheila Swanston. Silkin died 17 August 1988.

Silkin was called to the Bar, Middle Temple, in 1941. He became a QC in 1963. He was a member of the Royal Commission on the Penal System for England and Wales, 1965-66. He was first Labour MP for Camberwell, Dulwich, 1964-74, and then for Southwark, Dulwich, 1974-83. Silkin's appointments included Chairman of the Parliamentary Labour Party’s Group on Common Market and European Affairs, 1966-70; Chairman of the Select Committee on Parliamentary Privilege, 1967; Leader of the UK Delegation to the Assembly of Council of Europe, 1968-70; Chairman of the Council of Europe Legal Committee, 1966-70; Opposition front-bench spokesman on Law Officer matters, 1970-74 and 1985; and Attorney General, 1974-79. Silkin was a founder member of the Society of Labour Lawyers and was Chairman, 1964-71. He was a Governor of the Royal Bethlem and Maudsley Hospitals, 1970-74; Chairman of the British Institute of Human Rights, 1972-74; and President of the Alcohol Education Centre, 1973–


27 archive box(es)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

These papers were deposited by Silkin's daughter at Churchill Archives Centre in October 1988.


This collection (fonds) level description was prepared by Louise King at Churchill Archives Centre. Information was obtained from Baron Silkin's entry in "Who Was Who" (A&C Black).


Silkin, Samuel Charles, 1918-1988, Baron Silkin of Dulwich, Labour Politician

2003-07-28 09:18:34+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