- 1912-1986 (Creation)
Level of description
Extent and medium
0.925 cubic metres (44 boxes)
Name of creator
Albert James Sylvester (1889-1989) served as Principal Private Secretary to David Lloyd George from 1923 until his death in March 1945. A native of Staffordshire, Sylvester served as private secretary to the Secretary to the Committee of Imperial Defence, 1914-1921, to the Secretary of the War Cabinet and the Cabinet, 1916-1921, to the Secretary of the Imperial War Cabinet, 1917, to the British Secretary of the Peace Conference, 1919, and to three successive Prime Ministers, 1921-3: D. Lloyd George, Andrew Bonar Law and Stanley Baldwin. He ran Lloyd George's private office in London. After Lloyd George's death, A. J. Sylvester earned his living as a member of Lord Beaverbrook's staff from 1945 until 1948, and spent a further year as unpaid assistant to Liberal Party leader, E. Clement Davies. In 1947, he published The Real Lloyd George, based on his diaries. In 1949, he retired from political life, and moved to a farm at Corsham, Wiltshire, England. His ambition to publish a full-scale autobiography, upon which he was actively engaged in extreme old age, never came to fruition. His papers provide an insight into the life of Lloyd George after his fall from power in 1922.
Immediate source of acquisition or transfer
Purchased from A. J. Sylvester's daughter, Maureen Sylvester Evans, in 1990.
Content and structure area
Scope and content
Papers of A. J. Sylvester, 1909-1986, including shorthand diaries and notebooks, 1912-1953; subject files, 1914-1948, including files relating to the First World War, 1914-1920, the Paris Peace Conference, 1918-1920, Germany and the Second World War, 1936-1944; material relating to the Liberal Party, politics and elections, 1918-1945; Lloyd George family letters and papers, 1912-1985; general correspondence, 1912-1983; and papers relating to A. J. Sylvester's publications, 1945-1986.
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling
All records have been retained.
Accruals are not expected.
System of arrangement
Arranged into the following: diaries; subject files; correspondence; publications; personalia; and miscellaneous.
Conditions of access and use area
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.
Language of material
Script of material
Language and script notes
Physical characteristics and technical requirements
A hard copy of the catalogue is available at the National Library of Wales. The catalogue can be accessed online.
Allied materials area
Existence and location of originals
Existence and location of copies
Related units of description
Colin Cross (ed.), Life with Lloyd George: the Diary of A. J. Sylvester, 1931-45 (London, 1975), published lengthy extracts from the diaries.
Title supplied from contents of fonds.
Virtua system control number
Place access points
Genre access points
Description control area
Rules and/or conventions used
Description follows ANW guidelines based on ISAD(G) 2nd ed.;AACR2; and LCSH
Level of detail
Dates of creation revision deletion
Compiled by Annette Strauch for the ANW project. The following source was used in the compilation of this description: NLW, Schedule of A. J. Sylvester Papers;