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National Library of Wales
Elwyn-Jones, Lord, papers

Reference code(s): GB 0210 ELWYNES

Held at: National Library of Wales

Title: Lord Elwyn-Jones Papers

Short Title: Elwyn-Jones, Lord, papers

Creation date(s): 1921-1989

Level of description: Fonds

Extent: 1.617 cubic metres (123 boxes)

Name of creator(s): Frederick Elwyn-Jones


Administrative/Biographical history: Frederick Elwyn Jones (1909-1989) was born in Llanelli, Carmarthenshire; in 1927 he went to the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, and in the following year to Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, to read history. He was President of the Cambridge Union in 1931. He was called to the Bar at Gray's Inn in 1935, and began to practice on the Welsh circuit in 1936. During his time in London he became involved in Labour politics and was introduced to many Fabians, including the Webbs, the Mitchisons and the Coles. In 1934 he visited Vienna, Austria, to assist the beleaguered Austrian Socialists and trade unionists who were being harassed. In 1936, as a representative of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers he visited Germany, Greece, Romania and Hungary. His publications during the 1930s, Hitler's Drive to the East, The Battle for Peace and The Attack from Within were based upon these travels. In 1937 he married the artist and writer Pearl Binder. In the Second World War, he was appointed Staff Captain in the Department of Legal Services, and was involved in cases in North Africa, Sicily, and Italy. Whilst in the army he was adopted as the prospective Labour Party candidate for the Plaistow division of West Ham and was elected in the 1945 General Election. In August 1945, the Attorney General asked him to appear for the prosecution in the Nuremberg War Trials, and he was delegated to prepare the prosecution case against Admiral Raeder. During the period of Conservative rule from 1951 to 1964, he built up his legal practice, being particularly interested in trades union and negligence cases. He also attended trials abroad on behalf of various organizations, such as the International Commission of Jurists. During the years 1950-1974, he represented West Ham South, London. Following the Labour victory in the 1964 General Election, he was appointed Attorney General and, in this capacity, was involved with the discussions over Rhodesia. H e prosecuted the Moors Murder case, and opened inquiries into the Aberfan and Torrey Canyon disasters. He was also responsible for establishing the Law Commission under Sir Leslie Scarman. In 1974, following Labour's general election victory, Harold Wilson appointed him Lord Chancellor, a post he retained until 1979. He adopted the title Lord Elwyn-Jones of Llanelli and Newham. When Labour lost the 1979 General Election he became a Lord of Appeal. In 1983, his memoirs, entitled In My Time were published. Lord Elwyn- Jones died on 4 December 1989, at the age of 80. His brother, Dr Walter Idris Jones (1900-1977), was a distinguished scientist and sportsman. He captained the Welsh international rugby team in 1925. In 1933 he became the research manager of Powell Dyffryn Limited and was appointed director-general of research at the National Coal Board in 1946. In 1962 he became director-general of research and development (Coal Processing and Combustion) at the National Coal Board. He died unmarried in 1977.


Scope and content/abstract: Papers of Lord Elwyn-Jones, 1921-1989, including correspondence, 1958-1989; material for speeches, 1953-1987; papers relating to the Nuremberg War Trials, 1944-1989; family and personal papers, 1921-1990; papers relating to foreign affairs and foreign visits, 1933-1938; legalc cases, [c. 1940]-1989; subject files, 1927-1989; memoirs, 1975-1984; printed and circular material, 1957-1989; Walter Idris Jones papers, 1930-1979; and office diaries, 1977-1979.


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement: The main donation is arranged into eleven classes: general correspondence (the correspondence retains its original order); speeches, lectures and conferences; Nuremberg War Trials; foreign affairs; legal cases; constituency affairs; family and personal; subject files; organizations; memoirs; printed and circular material; and Dr Walter Idris Jones papers. The 1998 donation is arranged intio letters and desk diaries.

Conditions governing access: Readers consulting modern papers in the National Library of Wales are required to sign the 'Modern papers - data protection' form.

Conditions governing reproduction: Usual copyright regulations apply.

Finding aids: A hard copy of the catalogue is available at the National Library of Wales. The catalogue can be accessed online.

Detailed catalogue


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information: All records have been retained

Accruals: Accruals are not expected

Archival history: The correspondence had been filed in chronological and alphabetical order.

Immediate source of acquisition: Bequeathed by Lord Elwyn-Jones, 1990.



Note: Title supplied from contents of fonds.

Archivist's note: Compiled by Annette Strauch and Martin Locock for the ANW project. The following source was used in the compilation of this description: NLW, Lord Elwyn-Jones Papers.

Rules or conventions: This description follows ANW guidelines based on ISAD(G) second edition, AACR2 and LCSH

Date(s) of descriptions: March 2003

Elwyn-Jones, Frederick Elwyn-Jones, | Baron, | 1909- | Archives
International relations
Jones, Walter Idris, | 1900-1971 | Archives
Lawyers | Wales | Archives
Nuremberg War Crime Trials, Nuremberg, Germany, 1946-1949

Personal names
Elwyn-Jones , Frederick Elwyn-Jones , 1909- , Baron
Jones , Walter Idris , 1900-1971

Corporate names


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