• Title
    Nancy Astor Collection
  • Reference
    MS 1416
  • Production date
  • Creator
  • Creator History
    Nancy Astor (n ;e Langhorne) was born in Danville, Virginia on 19 May 1879. She died on 2 May 1964. Her first marriage to American Robert Shaw in 1896 was not successful and they divorced in 1903. In 1906 she married Waldorf Astor and they settled at Cliveden, Bucks. When her husband succeeded his father as Viscount Astor in 1919 Nancy took his place as the Conservative MP for Plymouth (Sutton Division), becoming the first woman to sit in the House of Commons. She campaigned in particular for women's causes and for temperance and was known for her sharp wit.
  • Scope and Content
    The collection consists of two main groups of Nancy Astor's papers. Political correspondence 1919-1945 contains letters in and out, as well as parliamentary papers, prospective legislation and other publications. Subjects covered include elections and local affairs in Plymouth; children's education and welfare and the creation of nursery schools; Christian Science; health; pensions; protection and support of the family; temperance; tours to Canada and the United States; unemployment; women's suffrage and work during the two world wars. General/Personal correspondence 1900-1964 contains letters from family, friends and eminent people in the UK, Europe, Canada and the United States. Sundry papers include unclassified files relating to Plymouth, non-parliamentary and parliamentary speeches, articles and messages, invitations and royal visits, political diaries and other diaries. There is also a large collection of bound newspaper cuttings: American 1919-1940; British 1908-1964.
  • Extent
    374 boxes, 91 volumes of press cuttings
  • Language
  • Level of description
  • Content person
  • Content Subject
  • System of arrangment
    The collection is arranged in the order in which it was received. The political correspondence consists of a series of chronological blocks of files, each series arranged in a separate alphabetical sequence by subject and date. The general/personal correspondence is also divided into blocks by type, then chronologically, and then alphabetically by correspondent.
  • Existence and location of copies
    Selected material available on microfilm from Adam Matthew Publications, 8 Oxford Street, Marlborough Wilts SN18 1AP, UK. Tel: (01672) 511 921, fax: (01672) 511 663, email:
  • Related objects
    MS 1066, MS 2421