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British Library of Political and Economic Science

GREY, Antony, b 1927, gay activist


Reference code(s): GB 0097 HCA/Grey Papers

Held at: British Library of Political and Economic Science

Title: GREY, Antony, b 1927, gay activist

Date(s): 1958-1992

Level of description: sub-fonds

Extent: 21 boxes

Name of creator(s): Grey | Antony | b 1928 | gay activist | real name Anthony Edgar Gartside Wright


Administrative/Biographical history:

Antony Grey is the pseudonym of Anthony Edgar Gartside Wright. After taking a degree in history at Magdalene College, Cambridge (1945-1948), he worked as a journalist on The Yorkshire Post, Leeds, before moving to London in 1949 where he was employed in the Secretary's Department of the British Iron and Steel Federation and (from 1961) as a public relations executive with the London Press Exchange. One of the earliest voluntary helpers since 1958 of the newly-formed Homosexual Law Reform Society, he joined the Society's executive committee (using the name 'Antony Grey') as Honorary Treasurer in 1960 and became Secretary of the HLRS and also of its sister counselling and research charity, the Albany Trust, at the end of 1962, at first on a part-time basis and full-time from 1964. Grey campaigned tirelessly for the law reforms advocated by the Government-appointed Wolfenden Committee's report (1957), writing many articles, making numerous speeches to interested groups, lobbying MPs, and organising action to promote the passage of the (Arran/Abse) Sexual Offences Bill through Parliament until it became law in 1967. He resigned in 1970, but again became Secretary of the Sexual Law Reform Society - successor to the HLRS - and Director of the Albany Trust from 1971 to 1977, continuing to press for further liberalisation of the law and social attitudes. He was invited to become Chairman of the National Federation of Homophile Organisations (NFHO), 1971-72. Following his retirement from the Albany Trust in 1977, he was involved in counselling and training work and was for some years a member of the executive committee of the British Association for Counselling. In 1998 Antony Grey was awarded the Pink Paper Lifetime Achievement Award. He has published Quest for Justice: Towards Homosexual Emancipation (1992), Speaking of Sex (1993), and Speaking Out (1997)(Collected articles). Histories of the HLRS/SLRS and of the Albany Trust/Albany Society may be found in the description for the Albany Trust papers.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of Antony Grey, 1958-1992, comprising the following: Material relating to the Homosexual Law Reform Society (and its later incarnation, the Sexual Law Reform Society), 1958-1984, including minutes, correspondence and papers of the Executive Committee; draft sexual offences bills, 1958-1966; correspondence with members of parliament and papers relating to parliamentary debates on sexual law reforms, 1963-1965; general correspondence, 1963-1982, with respondents including the Home Office, the Campaign for Homosexual Equality, and the HLRS Honorary Committee; reports and memoranda, 1958-1980, on the Wolfenden Report, the Sexual Offences Act (1967), and the homosexual age of consent; material relating to conferences and seminars, 1974-1984.
Material relating to the Albany Trust, 1958-1990, notably copies of the original 1958 Albany Trust deed; minutes of the Trustees, and the Development Committee, Management Committee and the Counselling Service, 1966-1983; internal and general correspondence, 1963-1981, mainly relating to the officers of the Trust, grant applications, the National Federation of Homophile Organisations, Gay News, the Speijer Report and the National Viewers and Listeners Association; questionnaire and analysis of the Social Needs Survey, 1970-1972; financial material, 1964-1979; copies and drafts of Albany Trust publications on gay issues, 1966-1970. Material relating to the Albany Society, 1968-1992, including the memorandum and articles of association, 1968; minutes of the Annual General meeting, 1969-1991; members' correspondence, 1978-1991; correspondence and papers relating to financial matters, 1979-1992, including annual accounts, grants and fundraising; briefings and memoranda on various, 1980-1990, including counselling, AIDS, and social services. Working papers and other material, [1960]-1991, on subjects including homosexual law reform (including in Scotland and Northern Ireland), rape, prostitution and street offences, treatment for sex offenders, venereal disease, sex education, censorship, homosexuality and religion, homophobia, homophile organisations, AIDS, and the Albany Trust and HLRS archives. This section also includes notes, drafts and texts for speeches and articles on the above subjects. Papers relating to other gay campaigns, 1987-1991, including an OLGA conference on legislation for lesbian and gay rights, and opposition to Clause 28 and the Criminal Justice Act (1991).


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement:

Arranged in sections as outlined in the Scope and Content. Because of the close links between the HLRS and the Albany Trust, and the strong personal identification of Antony Grey with both these organisations, the division of the papers into appropriate sections has not always been straightforward, and there may be some overlap.

Conditions governing access:

Open, though some confidential files remain closed. Apply to Archivist for details.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright retained by the donor.

Physical characteristics:

Finding aids:

Full handlist and on-line catalogue available.


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information:


Archival history:

These papers were deposited by Grey in 1994. They are strongly linked to the Albany Trust and HLRS papers, but were held back by Grey due to their importance.

Immediate source of acquisition:


Existence and location of originals:

Existence and location of copies:

Related material:

The Hall-Carpenter Archives in the British Library of Political and Economic Science also contain the papers of the Albany Trust and the HLRS (Ref: HCA/Albany Trust), as well as material relating to Antony Grey in the papers of the National Council for Civil Liberties and the Hall-Carpenter ephemera collection.

Publication note:



Archivist's note: Sources: British Library of Political and Economic Science Archives catalogue. Compiled by Sarah Aitchison as part of the RSLP AIM25 project.

Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions: Oct 2000

Bisexuality | Sexuality
HIV/AIDS counselling | Counselling | Social work
Homosexual law reform | Law reform | Law
Homosexuality | Sexuality
Legal systems | Law
Lesbian, gay and bisexual campaigning groups | Groups
Lesbianism | Sexuality
Sexuality counselling | Counselling | Social work

Personal names
Grey | Antony | b 1927 | gay activist | real name Anthony Edgar Gartside Wright x Wright | Anthony Edgar Gartside

Corporate names
Albany Society | sexual research and counselling organisation
Albany Trust
Campaign for Homosexual Equality
Committee on Homosexual Offences and Prostitution (Wolfenden Committee) x Wolfenden Committee
Homosexual Law Reform Society x Sexual Law Reform Committee
National Federation of Homophile Organisations
National Viewers and Listeners Association