King, Cecil H. (1901-1987)

A large section of the Cecil H. King collection deals extensively with King’s family history and genealogy. The bulk of these papers pertains to King’s father, Sir. Lucas White King, and his mother, Geraldine Harmsworth. There is also much material on other members of the King and Harmsworth families. The material dates back primarily to the 19th century, and includes pedigrees, clippings, photographs, genealogical notes, correspondence, legal documents, manuscripts, notebooks, birth and marriage certificates, diaries, and other material. Notable items include Lucas White King’s diaries and notebooks, as well as the journals he kept on his extensive travels throughout England, Europe, and Asia; the numerous letters between Lucas White King and Geraldine Harmsworth, including several letters describing his service as a British government administrator on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border; a battle flag of the Afghan Waziri tribe, captured by L. W. King after a failed raid on his camp; clippings, photos and reports regarding the rebellion around Wano in Afghanistan, on the issue of the border demarcation (1894-1895); and letters, photos, and various documents regarding L. W. King’s service in India, including several photograph albums (1886-1904); and the extensive correspondence of Geraldine Harmsworth, as well as her extensive diaries, account books, household notebooks, and manuscripts. Also of interest are several letters from Lord and Lady Northcliffe to Geraldine Harmsworth (1892-1916), including many regarding Lord Northcliffe’s work as head of the British Mission to the United States (1917) and later his journey around the world (1921-1922).

The material regarding Cecil H. King primarily dates back to 1921. The collection is a mixture of personal and professional papers, and includes correspondence, photographs, manuscripts, printed material, diaries, audio recordings, and other material. Most of the material is arranged chronologically.

King’s correspondence includes several letters from personal friends and acquaintances of his, such as Charles D’Orleans, Francis Needham, and others. Notable correspondents include King’s colleagues Hugh Cudlipp and Harry Guy Bartholomew, as well as Rosamund Lehmann, Rebecca West, Patrick Blackett, Jacquetta Hawkes, Marie Stopes, Hannen Swaffer, Jack Buchanan, Lady Cecilia Sempill, Lady Jackson (Barbara Ward), John Hay Whitney, Hugh Trevor-Roper, Hubert H. Humphrey, Hamish Hamilton, William Tudor Davies, Katharine Graham, Melvin Lasky, Rupert Murdoch, Malcolm Muggeridge, the Earl of Longford (Francis A. Pakenham), Spike (Terence Alan) Milligan, and various others, including several British reporters, editors, and publishers. British politicians represented include Winston Churchill, Lord Beaverbrook (William Aitken), Otto Lund, Reginald Maudling, D’Arcy Patrick Reilly, Baron Byers (Charles Frank Byers), Lord Radcliffe (Cyril John Radcliffe), Baron Demming (Alfred Thompson Denning), Harold Wilson, Baron Adeane (Michael Edward Adeane), Oswald and Diana Mosley, Edward Heath, Donal O’Sullivan, and numerous other political figures. Most of the letters are concerned with the press, British politics, and world affairs; several also reflect King’s interest in the subjects of extra-sensory perception and graphology. As a whole, King’s correspondence dates from 1921 to ca. 1977.

Photographs in the collection mainly depict King alone, with his family, or traveling. Other photos include images regarding the Daily Mirror or King with various notable figures, including Winston Churchill, Lord Beaverbrook, Harold Macmillan, Yuri Gagarin, Aga Khan, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Bill Moyers. Some photo albums are present in the collection.

Manuscripts by King in the collection include the book-length works Strictly Personal: Some Memoirs of Cecil H. King (Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1969); With Malice Toward None: A War Diary, edited by William Armstrong (Sidgwick and Jackson, 1970, Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1971); Without Fear or Favour (essays, Sidgwick and Jackson, 1971); The Cecil King Diary: 1965-1970, with and unpublished afterword (Jonathan Cope, 1972); On Ireland (Jonathan Cope, 1973);The Cecil King Diary, 1970-1974, (Jonathan Cope, 1975); and King’s draft of an unpublished book on religion. Also included are King’s preface to Worm in the Wheat, by Mary French (Mary Wenmouth) (John Baker, 1969) and his contribution to Wicked, Wicked Libels (Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1972). Shorter manuscripts by King include numerous speeches, addresses, articles, book reviews, editorials, broadcast scripts, and interviews. In addition, the collection includes an uncorrected proof of Ruth Dudley Edwards’s book Newspapermen: Hugh Cudlipp, Cecil Harmsworth King, and the Glory days of Fleet Street (Secker and Warburg, 2003).

Printed material in the collection primarily consists of various clippings regarding King, theDaily Mirror, and the Sunday Pictorial . Present are numerous items written by King, published in the Daily Mirror, The Times (London) and Sunday Times (London), Daily Telegraph, Irish Times, Hibernia, The Spectator, Books and Bookmen, and various other periodicals.

King’s diaries are extensive. For the published versions, see the manuscript section above. The collection includes King’s war diaries (1940-1949) as well as King’s later diaries (1965-1974) as well as his unpublished Dublin diary (1975-1978).

Audio recordings in the collection include reel-to-reel tapes of “An Evening with Cecil King,” recorded for the BBC in 1970 and never broadcast; an interview of Llew Gardner (1972); a recording by the BBC regarding The Cecil King Diary: 1965-1970 (1972); and three tapes titled “An Evening with Cecil King” (1973). Other audio recordings include a phonograph record of “Sunday Mirror,” a song by E. T. Mensah and his Tempo Band of Ghana, sent to King as a Christmas memento by the staff of the Ghana Daily Graphic and Sunday Mirror ; and a cassette recording of Ruth R. King (wife of Cecil King) giving a talk at the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center (1993).

Notable Figures
1. King, Cecil Harmsworth
Associated Subjects
1. Journalism Subject Guide