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Collection Level Description: Papers of the Cardew family

Reference: GB 0162 MSS. Brit. Emp. s. 550
Title: Papers of the Cardew family
Dates of Creation: 1842-1916
Extent: 2 folders

Language of Material: eng



Administrative/Biographical History

Frederic Cardew (1808-1853) was born in Curry Mallet, Cornwall and was employed in the Bengal Civil Service, including a period as Civil and Sessions Judge at Malda (c1840s). He was married to Caroline Louisa Anstruther, with whom he had six children.

His son, Sir Frederic Cardew (1839-1921) was commissioned as an ensign in the 50th Bengal Native Infantry, 1858 and promoted to lieutenant a year later. He was involved in operations on the North-West Frontier, 1864, was made a captain in the Prince of Wales Volunteers (S. Lancs), 1867, a Staff College graduate, 1871 and Deputy Assistant Quartermaster General, Aldershot, 1873-1878. He served in the Zulu War, 1879 and as Quartermaster General to the Natal Field Force, 1881. He was promoted Major in the same year, made Assistant Military Secretary, China, 1882-1883 and further promoted Lieut.-Colonel, 1883. Also in 1883 he was made Assistant Adjutant General to the forces in South Africa. He retired from the Army in 1890, served as Resident Commissioner, Zululand, 1890-1894 and Governor, Sierra Leone, 1894-1900. In 1865 he married Clara Newton, with whom he had three sons. Clara died in 1881, and in 1887 he married Katherine Jones.

His second son, Cyril Duncan Cardew (1867-1934) became Second Class Inspector in the Perak Sikhs (the local police force), Perak Thaipeng, Malaya, 1888. After leaving the police, he took the post of Financial Assistant to the District Magistrate, and was promoted to Demarcation Officer in the Land Office, (Kinbee?) District, 1896. After three weeks, he was transferred to Taiping to act as Assistant Treasurer, and, between c1896 and 1898 took a substantive appointment as District Magistrate, Krian and, in 1898, District Treasurer, Batu Gajun.

Sir Frederic's third son, Claud Ambrose Cardew (1870-1959) gained a cadetship in the newly-formed British South Africa Company in 1889 and was involved with the opening up of Southern and Northern Rhodesia, and Nyasaland, 1889-1898. This included a period, from 1895, as judicial officer. According to his correspondence, he was still working in Nyasaland in an administrative capacity in 1916 and remained there till the end of his life.

Scope and Content

Family correspondence, 1842-1916, including many written to Sir Frederic Cardew's first son, the Revd. Frederic Anstruther Cardew (1866-1942) by his brothers Cyril and Claude, with transcripts and brief biographical details of the writers.

Administrative Information

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The papers were donated to the library by Dr. Peter Cardew on 22nd October 1998

Access Conditions

Bodleian reader's ticket required.

Reproduction Restrictions

No reproduction or publication of personal papers without permission. Contact the library in the first instance.

Further Information

Finding Aids

The library holds a card index of all manuscript collections in its reading room.

Access Points

Cardew | family | 1842-1916 | colonial soldiers, officers and administrators

Hong Kong | Description and travel

South Africa | History | 1836-1909 | Personal narratives

Malawi | History | Personal narratives

Great Britain | Colonies | Malaysia | Administration | Personal narratives


Transformation from XML to HTML by Lawrence Mielniczuk
13 February 2012