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The Papers of Sir Kenneth Stowe

Reference Code: GBR/0014/STOW

Scope and Contents

Accession 787 (77 boxes) includes carbon copies of Stow's out-letters, 1981-86 (boxes 1-36); his Ministry of Social Security files, ca. 1963-68 (boxes 37-55); copies of lectures, speeches and addresses given by Stowe, ca. 1981-86 (boxes 56-59); "personal files", ca. 1951-87, including Stowe's papers relating to the resignation of Harold Wilson MP as Prime Minister, box 75 (boxes 60-77)

Accession 1291 (27 boxes) consists primarily of papers relating to Stow's career after his retirement from the British Civil Service. The papers include material collected by Stowe relating to the government of the UK, as well as aspects of his consultancy and advisory work for foreign governments and bodies. There is material relating to Stow's work for various charities and copies of lectures and speeches given by him. There are also further papers relating to the resignation of Harold Wilson.


  • Creation: 1951-08 - 2001-08


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is closed pending cataloguing and its official review

Conditions Governing Use

Researchers wishing to publish excerpts from the papers must obtain prior permission from the copyright holder(s) and should seek advice from Archives Centre staff.

Biographical / Historical

Stowe was born in 1927. He was educated at Exeter College, Oxford. He served as Assistant Principal, National Assistance Board, from 1951, and as its Principal from 1956; he was seconded to the United Nations Secretariat, New York, 1958; was Assistant Secretary, 1964; Assistant Under-Secretary, Department of Health and Social Security [DHSS], 1970-3; Under-Secretary and Deputy Secretary, Cabinet Office, 1973-9; Principal Private Secretary to the Prime Minister [successively Harold Wilson MP and Margaret Thatcher MP], 1975-79; Permanent Under-Secretary to the Northern Ireland Office, 1979-81; and Permanent Under-Secretary to the DHSS, 1981-7. He was Chairman, Institute of Cancer Research, 1987-97.

He was knighted in 1986. Sir Kenneth died on 29 August 2015.


104 archive box(es) : paper

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. A typescript box list to the papers is available at Churchill Archives Centre.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was deposited at Churchill Archives Centre in November 1988 and June 2004 by Sir Kenneth Stowe


This collection (fonds) level description and catalogue was prepared by Andrew Riley of Churchill Archives Centre in July 2003 using information from the papers and from Stow's entry in "Who's Who"


Stowe, Sir Kenneth Ronald, 1927-2015, Knight, civil servant

2003-08-01 12:09:33+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