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BRYANT, Sir Arthur Wynne Morgan (1899-1985)

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0099 KCLMA Bryant
Held at: Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives, King's College London
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Full title: BRYANT, Sir Arthur Wynne Morgan (1899-1985)
Date(s): 1877-1985
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 7.95 cubic metres (795 boxes)
Name of creator(s): Bryant | Sir | Arthur Wynne Morgan | 1899-1985 | Knight | historical writer
Bryant | Sir | Francis Morgan | 1859-1938 | Knight | chief clerk to Prince of Wales | Registrar of the Royal Victorian Order
May Bryant | fl 1898 | wife of Sir Francis Morgan Bryant
Philip Bryant | d 1960 | master and chaplain of Harrow School
Detailed catalogue: Click here to view repository detailed catalogue


Administrative/Biographical history:

Born, 1899; son of (Sir) Francis Morgan Bryant, chief clerk to the Prince of Wales and later holder of various offices in the royal secretariat and Registrar of the Royal Victorian Order, and his wife May; educated at Pelham House, Sandgate, Kent, and Harrow School; joined the Royal Flying Corps, 1917; served as a Pilot Officer on the Western Front, 1917-1918; Queen's College, Oxford, 1919-1920; taught at a London County Council school; called to the Bar, Inner Temple, 1923; Principal, Cambridge School of Arts, Crafts and Technology, 1923-1925; Lecturer in History, Oxford University Delegacy for Extra-Mural Studies, 1925-1936; Educational Adviser (later Governor), Bonar Law College, Ashridge, Hertfordshire, from 1929; Watson Chair in American History, University of London, 1935; writer of 'Our Note Book', Illustrated London News, 1936-1985; Chairman, St John and Red Cross Library Department, 1945-1974; President, English Association, 1946; Chairman, Council of Ashridge, 1946-1949; awarded CBE, 1949; Chairman, Society of Authors, 1949-1953; awarded The Sunday Times Prize for Literature for The age of elegance, 1812-1822 (Collins, London, 1950); Chesney Gold medal, Royal United Services Institution; knighted, 1954; appointed Companion of Honour, 1967; Fellow of the Royal Historical Society; President, Common Market Safeguards Campaign; Hon Freedom and Livery, Leathersellers' Company; died, 1985. Publications: Ruper Buxton, a memoir. To which are attached some poems written in his boyhood (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1926); The spirit of Conservatism (Methuen, London, 1929); Syllabus of a course of twelve lectures on biography (John Johnson, Oxford, 1930); King Charles II (Longmans, London, 1931); Macaulay (Peter Davies, London, 1932); Samuel Pepys. The man in the making (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1933); The national character (Longmans, London, 1934); The England of Charles II (Longmans, London, 1934); editor of The man and the hour. Studies of six great men of our time (Philip Allan, London, 1934); Samuel Pepys. The years of peril (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1935); editor of The letters, speeches and declarations of King Charles II (Cassell, London, 1935); George V (Peter Davies, London, 1936); The American ideal (Longmans, London, 1936); Postman's horn. An anthology of the letters of latter seventeenth century England (Longmans, London, 1936); Stanley Baldwin. A tribute (Hamish Hamilton, London, 1937); Humanity in politics (Hutchinson, London, 1938); Samuel Pepys. The saviour of the Navy (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1938); editor of In search of peace. Speeches, 1937-1938 by Rt Hon (Arthur) Neville Chamberlain (Hutchinson, London, 1939); Unfinished victory (Macmillan, London, 1940); English saga, 1840-1940 (Collins, London, 1940); The years of endurance, 1793-1802 (Collins, London, 1942); The summer of Dunkirk (reprinted from The Daily Sketch, [London], 1943); Years of victory, 1802-1812 (Collins, London, 1944); The art of writing history (Oxford University Press, London, 1946); Historian's holiday (Dropmore Press, London, 1946); Trafalgar Day, 21st October, 1948. Alamein Day, 23rd October, 1948 [1948]; The Battle of Britain (The Daily Sketch, Manchester [c1949]); The age of elegance, 1812-1822 (Collins, London, 1950); Literature and the historian (Cambridge University Press, London, 1952); The story of England (Collins, London, 1953); The turn of the tide, 1939-1943. A study based on the diaries and autobiographical notes of Field Marshal the Viscount Alanbrooke (Collins, London, 1957); Triumph in the West, 1943-1946. Based on the diaries and autobiographical notes of Field Marshal the Viscount Alanbrooke (Collins, London, 1959); Liquid history. To commemorate fifty years of the Port of London Authority, 1909-1959 (privately published, London, 1960); Jimmy, the dog in my life (Lutterworth Press, London, 1960); A choice for destiny. Commonwealth and Common Market (Collins, London, 1962); The age of chivalry (Collins, London, 1963); The fire and the rose (Collins, London, 1965); Only yesterday. Aspects of English history, 1840-1940 (Collins, London, 1965); The Medieval foundation (Collins, London, 1966); Protestant island (Collins, London, 1967); The lion and the unicorn. A historian's testament (Collins, London, 1969); Nelson (Collins, London, 1970); The great Duke, or, the invincible General (Collins, London, 1971); Jackets of green: a study of the history, philosophy and character of the Rifle Brigade (Collins, London, 1972); A thousand years of British monarchy (Collins, London, 1975); Pepys and the revolution (Collins, London, 1979); The Elizabethan deliverance (Collins, London, 1980): Spirit of England (Collins, London, 1982); Set in a silver sea: the island peoples from earliest times to the fifteenth century (Collins, London, 1984). Published posthumously: Freedom's own island: the British oceanic expansion, with a chapter by John Kenyon (Collins, London, 1986); The search for justice (Collins, London, 1990).


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers, 1877-1985, of Sir Arthur Wynne Morgan Bryant and his family. Family papers include correspondence, private and official, and diaries of his parents, (Sir) Francis Morgan and Lady Bryant, 1877-1938, and other papers, 1899-1979, including Bryant's correspondence with his parents and brother Philip. Bryant's own papers include his extensive correspondence, 1919-1985, with over 170 correspondents, among them politicians including the Rt Hon Leo Amery, Stanley Baldwin, 1st Earl Baldwin of Bewdley, Sir John Buchan, R A Butler, Baron Butler of Saffron Walden, Frederick James Marquis, 1st Earl of Woolton, and Margaret Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven; literary figures including Sir John Betjeman; other public figures including William Maxwell Aitken, 1st Baron Beaverbrook of Beaverbrook, New Brunswick and Cherkley, Surrey, and John Charles Walsham Reith, 1st Baron Reith; historians including Asa Briggs, Baron Briggs of Lewes, Godfrey Elton, 1st Baron Elton of Headington, Sir Lewis Bernstein Namier, Sir John Neale, A L Rowse, G M Trevelyan and Hugh Redwald Trevor-Roper, Baron Dacre of Glanton. The correspondence reflects the diversity of Bryant's interests and touches upon the development of Conservative thought and British right wing politics in the mid twentieth century, attitudes towards the Spanish Civil War in Britain, the appeasement movement of the 1930s, and, in the 1960s, the merits of Britain's entry to the Common Market and her role in the postwar world. Other papers relate to literary, political and teaching matters, including Bonar Law College, Ashridge, 1929-1946; Bryant's literary output, including fan mail, 1931-1984; diaries, notebooks, account books and letters to the press, 1916-1982; notes; proofs, pamphlets, reviews and articles by Bryant, 1929-1984; book manuscripts, 1929-1984; reviews of Bryant's works, mid 1920s-1970s; pageants, invitations and honours, 1924-1984; clubs, societies and committees, 1939-1984; film scripts, certificates, and miscellanea, 1930-1954; other papers relating to personal business and financial affairs, 1920-1985.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

The papers, which retain the arrangement as received by King's College London Archives, are arranged in sections according to chronology and subject matter.

Conditions governing access:

Mainly open, subject to signature of reader's undertaking form, but a limited number of files in the collection are closed and several others require detailed cataloguing to facilitate access. Users are advised to contact the Centre in advance of a visit to ensure the availability of material which is of interest to them.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copies, subject to the condition of the original, may be supplied for research use only. Requests to publish original material should be submitted to the Trustees of the Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives, attention of the Director of Archive Services.

Finding aids:

Collection level description available in reading room at Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives and online at A more detailed typescript catalogue, compiled by Dr Brigid Allen in 1987 when the papers were valued and before they were acquired by the Centre, is available in the reading room. Not all papers described in the list, however, are held in the Centre.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Acquired by the Centre in 1990. Second accession presented to the Centre via Messrs William Charles Crocker, Solicitors, London, in 1991.

Allied Materials

Related material:

King's College London, Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives, holds material relating to Sir Arthur Bryant in the papers of FM Alan Francis Brooke, 1st Viscount Alanbrooke of Brookeborough; Brigadier Eric Mockler-Ferryman; Captain Sir Basil Henry Liddell Hart; General Hastings Lionel Ismay, 1st Baron Ismay of Wormington; General Sir Richard O'Connor. Detailed catalogues are available online for all except Mockler-Ferryman, for which a summary description is available, at Buckinghamshire Record Office holds papers of Bryant relating to Crafton Farm, 1964-1972 (Ref: D 207). Imperial War Museum, Department of Documents, holds Bryant's correspondence with military figures, 1933-1970. The House of Lords Record Office, London, holds Bryant's correspondence with Viscount Davidson, 1936-1943 (Ref: Davidson papers), and with Lord Beaverbrook, 1962-1964 (Ref: BBK C/76). Cambridge University Library, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives, holds Bryant's correspondence with Sir Samuel Hoare (Ref: Templewood papers). Oxford University, Bodleian Library, Department of Western Manuscripts, holds Bryant's correspondence with Lord Woolton, 1955-1963 (Ref: MSS Woolton).

National Register of Archives: Click here to view NRA record

Publication note:

Pamela Street, Arthur Bryant: portrait of a historian (1979); David Fraser, Alanbrooke (1982).

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Compiled by Iain Mutch; revised by Rachel Kemsley as part of the RSLP AIM25 project. Sources: Dictionary of National Biography; Who's Who; British Library OPAC; National Register of Archives.

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 1999, Mar 2001

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