Catalogue of additional papers of Ava Anderson, Viscountess Waverley and miscellaneous papers of John Anderson, 1st Viscount Waverley, 1907-74

Bodleian Library, University of Oxford

Matthew Neely


Department of Special Collections
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Table of Contents

A    Appointments calendar and visitors' book, 1907-74
B    Correspondence, 1913-74
    B.1  Correspondence of Viscountess Waverley, 1915-74
        B.1.1  Special correspondence, 1949-71
        B.1.2  General Correspondence, 1915-74
    B.2  Family correspondence, 1922, 1941-58
    B.3  Correspondence and papers of John Anderson, 1st Viscount Waverley, 1913-57
C    Correspondence and papers, 1958-63, concerning Sir John Wheeler-Bennett's biography, John Anderson, Viscount Waverley, (1962)
D    Printed Ephemera, 1925-74
E    Photographs, c.1900-74

Additional papers of Ava Anderson, Viscountess Waverley and miscellaneous papers of John Anderson, 1st Viscount Waverley, 1907-74

Correspondence and papers of Ava Anderson, Viscountess Waverley (1896-1974) and miscellaneous correspondence and papers of her husband, John Anderson, 1st Viscount Waverley (1882-1958), civil servant, statesman.

Shelfmarks: MSS. Eng. c. 7207-19, d. 3629-35, e. 3459-61, MSS. Photogr. c. 187-9

Extent: 27 shelfmarks

Biographical History

Ava Anderson, Viscountess Waverley (1896-1974) was the only daughter among four children of John Edward Courtenay Bodley (1853-1925) and his first wife Evelyn Frances Bodley. Her childhood years were spent dividing her time between France and England in the company of her father's wide circle of friends drawn from political, literary and academic spheres.

In 1925 she married Ralph Follet Wigram (1890-1936), First Secretary at the British Embassy in Paris. In 1927 Wigram was diagnosed with infantile paralysis, a condition that left him reliant on walking sticks and often in considerable pain. In 1929 Ava gave birth to her only child, Charley. Born severely disabled, he required constant care until his death in 1951. In 1933 the Wigrams returned to London following Ralph's appointment as a Counsellor in the Foreign Office. In December 1936 Wigram suddenly died of a haemorrhage.

Ava now devoted her time to caring for her son and continuing to enhance her reputation as one of London's premier hostesses. It was through her ability to draw the most sought after guests to her home that she first met Sir John Anderson, the newly elected independent MP for the Scottish Universities and former governor of Bengal, in 1938. In October 1941 she married Anderson (now Lord President of the Council in the Churchill coalition government). Throughout the war Anderson continued to rise through the cabinet ranks culminating in his service as Chancellor of the Exchequer, 1943-5. Anderson left office upon the defeat of the Churchill government in the 1945 General Election but remained an MP until the abolition of the university seats in 1950.

In 1946 Anderson accepted the chairmanship of the Port of London Authority, a role in which he was greatly aided by Ava. The couples' river cruises, almost exclusively organised by Ava, soon became a highlight of the London social scene attracting prominent guests from all over the world and greatly enhancing the reputation of the Port of London. In 1952 Anderson was created 1st Viscount Waverley of Westdean. He died in 1958.

Ava was not only renowned as hostess but also as a correspondent of the highest discretion, a service greatly valued by Harold Macmillan during his Premiership. Ava was a passionate follower of opera and ballet, serving as a Trustee of the Royal Ballet Benevolent Fund and as a Member of Council of the Friends of Covent Garden. She was also a keen bloodhound breeder.

Scope and Content

The papers comprise of A. Appointments calendar and visitors' book, 1907-74, B. Correspondence, 1913-74 (comprising of special and general correspondence of Viscountess Waverley, 1915-74, Family correspondence of Viscount and Viscountess Waverley, 1922, 1941-58 and correspondence and papers of Viscount Waverley, 1913-58), C. Correspondence and papers concerning Sir John Wheeler-Bennett's biography, John Anderson, Viscount Waverley, 1958-63, D. Printed Ephemera, 1925-74 and E. Photographs, c.1900-74.

Custodial History

The papers were in the possession of T. Benton.


Given by T. Benton, 2001.

Preferred Form of Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Library [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MS. Eng. e. 3459, fols. 1-2].

Related Material

The Library also holds other papers of Viscountess Waverley comprising of letters, 1947-74, from Maurice Harold Macmillan, 1st Earl of Stockton, (MSS. Eng c. 4778-80) with letters from Lady Dorothy Macmillan, Sir Alexander Douglas-Home, Sir David Eccles, Sir Hubert Gladwyn Jebb and Oliver Lyttleton, 1st Viscount Chandos (MS. Eng. c.4780, fols. 95-115); A collection of mainly loose manuscript diary notes, with some typescript copies, mainly relating to Viscountess Waverley's meetings with her future husband Sir John Anderson and the years of their marriage, 1940-58, with (fols. 86-96) Viscountess Waverley's account of conversations with the incoming Foreign Secretary, Ernest Bevin, concerning his wish to appoint Sir John to the Washington Embassy (MS. Eng. c. 6661), Correspondence and papers, Oct. 1953-28 May 1965 (MS. Eng. c. 6662), Letters to Viscountess Waverley from various correspondents, June 1965-1967, n.d. (MS. Eng. c. 6663), Miscellaneous papers including (fols. 1-29) financial papers, 1938-65, (fols. 30-92) printed material (mainly memorabilia), 1957-75, n.d. and (fols. 93-9) newspaper cuttings, 1960-75 (MS. Eng c. 6664); Photographs of Maurice Harold Macmillan, 1st Earl of Stockton (MS. Photogr. c.19, fols. 28-34) and Photographs of family members and Viscount Waverley (MS. Photogr. c.78, fols. 40-51).

Family names (NCA Rules)

Anderson | family

Personal names (NCA Rules)

Anderson | Ava | 1896-1974 | nee Bodley | wife of Viscount Waverley
Anderson | John | 1882-1958 | 1st Viscount Waverley | civil servant, statesman

A   Appointments calendar and visitors' book, 1907-74

Shelfmarks: MSS. Eng. e. 3459-60

Appointments calendar, 1926
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. e. 3459
Extent: 54 leaves

Visitors' book, 1907-74
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. e. 3460
Extent: 100 leaves
Acquisition: Bought, Peter B. Sutton, 2001

B   Correspondence, 1913-74

B.1   Correspondence of Viscountess Waverley, 1915-74

B.1.1   Special correspondence, 1949-71

Shelfmarks: MSS. Eng. c. 7207, d. 3629-30

Letters from Sir Isaiah Berlin, 1951-71
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. d. 3629
Extent: 56 leaves
Acquisition: Bought, T. Benton, 2001

Clarke - Eccles, 1949-71
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. c. 7207
Extent: 116 leaves

Scope and Content:


  • (fols. 1-24) Sir Ashley Clarke, 1949-65
  • (fols. 25-76) Virginia, Lady Clarke, 1950-60
  • (fols. 77-116) David Eccles, 1st Viscount Eccles, 1957-71

Letters from Gladwyn Jebb, 1st Baron Gladwyn, and Cynthia Jebb, Lady Gladwyn, 1957-71
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. d. 3630
Extent: 73 leaves

B.1.2   General Correspondence, 1915-74

Shelfmarks: MSS. Eng. c. 7208-13, d. 3631

Shelfmark: MS. Eng. c. 7208
Extent: 183 leaves

Scope and Content:


  • (fols. 23-38) lecture on British foreign policy, c.1933, with minor annotations by Ralph Wigram

Shelfmark: MS. Eng. c. 7209
Extent: 225 leaves

Shelfmark: MS. Eng. c. 7210
Extent: 243 leaves

Shelfmark: MS. Eng. c. 7211
Extent: 173 leaves

Shelfmark: MS. Eng. c. 7212
Extent: 232 leaves

Shelfmark: MS. Eng. c. 7213
Extent: 208 leaves

n.d. [1915-74]
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. d. 3631
Extent: 137 leaves

Scope and Content:


  • (fols. 1-22) n.d. [1941-51]
  • (fols. 23-42) n.d. [1952-9]
  • (fols. 43-46) n.d. [1960s]
  • (fols. 47-137) n.d. [1915-74], including (fol. 113) a letter from Ralph Wigram

B.2   Family correspondence, 1922, 1941-58

Shelfmarks: MSS. Eng. d. 3632-4

Correspondence between Sir John Anderson and Ava, Lady Anderson, 1941-6
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. d. 3632
Extent: 136 leaves

Correspondence between Viscount and Viscountess Waverley, 1947-52
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. d. 3633
Extent: 96 leaves

Correspondence between Viscount and Viscountess Waverley and correspondence with the Anderson family, 1922, 1941-58
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. d. 3634
Extent: 155 leaves

Scope and Content:


  • (fols. 1-108) correspondence between Viscount and Viscountess Waverley, 1953-6
  • (fols. 109-42) correspondence with his father D.A.P. Anderson, 1941-6
  • (fols. 143-8) letters to his sister Catherine Anderson, 1943-4, 1957
  • (fols. 149-55) letters from his son Alistair Anderson, 2nd Viscount Waverley, 1922, 1956-8

B.3   Correspondence and papers of John Anderson, 1st Viscount Waverley, 1913-57

Shelfmarks: MSS. Eng. c. 7214-15, e. 3461

Correspondence, 1913-57
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. c. 7214
Extent: 293 leaves

Miscellaneous correspondence and papers, c.1937-58
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. c. 7215
Extent: 474 leaves

Scope and Content:


  • (fols. 1-289) correspondence and papers concerning Vickers-Armstrong Ltd., 1937-8
  • (fols. 290-323) Port of London Authority guest lists, 1952-7
  • (fols. 324-38) foreign trip itineraries, 1947-55
  • (fols. 339-426) miscellaneous papers, 1938-57
  • (fols. 427-470) contents of wallet, [1930s-57]

Shelfmark: MSS. Eng. e. 3461
Extent: 21 leaves

C   Correspondence and papers, 1958-63, concerning Sir John Wheeler-Bennett's biography, John Anderson, Viscount Waverley, (1962)

Shelfmarks: MSS. Eng. c. 7216-18

Correspondence with the Anderson family and research correspondence, 1958-62
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. c. 7216
Extent: 363 leaves

Scope and Content:


  • (fols. 1-30) correspondence with Ava Anderson, Viscountess Waverley, 1959-62
  • (fols. 31-74) correspondence with Alistair Anderson, 2nd Viscount Waverley, 1958-61
  • (fols. 75-85) correspondence with Mary Anderson, 1959-61
  • (fols. 86-363) research correspondence, 1958-9

Research correspondence, 1960-3
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. c. 7217
Extent: 275 leaves

Miscellaneous research notes, [1959-62]
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. c. 7218
Extent: 151 leaves

D   Printed Ephemera, 1925-74

Shelfmarks: MSS. Eng. c. 7219, d. 3635

Press cuttings; dinner menus and table settings; Port of London Authority and miscellaneous, 1925-70
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. c. 7219
Extent: 223 leaves

Scope and Content:


  • (fols. 1-25) press cuttings
  • (fols. 26-81) dinner menus and table settings
  • (fols. 82-141) Port of London Authority
  • (fols. 142-222) miscellaneous

Invitations and greetings cards, c.1946-74
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. d. 3635
Extent: 131 leaves

Scope and Content:


  • (fols. 1-31) invitations
  • (fols. 32-131) greetings cards

E   Photographs, c.1900-74

Shelfmarks: MSS. Photogr. c. 187-9

Photographs, c.1900-46
Shelfmark: MS. Photogr. c. 187
Extent: 60 leaves

Photographs, c.1947-74
Shelfmark: MS. Photogr. c. 188
Extent: 134 leaves

Scope and Content:


  • (fols. 124-34) photographs extracted from elsewhere in the collection.

Photographs relating to the Port of London Authority, c.1946-57
Shelfmark: MS. Photogr. c. 189
Extent: 66 leaves

Transformation from XML to HTML by Lawrence Mielniczuk
03 June 2011