Archive / Papers / Swithinbank Papers: Box 1


Bernard Winthrop Swithinbank, I.C.S. Appointed to Service (Burma Commission) 1909; Commissioner, Pegu Division 1933-42; Adviser to the Secretary of State for Burma 1942.

Papers given by Mr Charles Swithinbank (son).

File 1:

  1. 94 letters dated August 1916-April 1917 and exchanged between Mr Swithinbank and Miss Dorothea Molesworth. The couple married in April 1917. Copy of telegram evidently sent on Miss Molesworth’s acceptance of Mr Swithinbank’s proposal of marriage.
  2. 25 letters from Mr Swithinbank to Mrs Swithinbank. August 1917-October 1921.
  3. 8 letters from Mr Swithinbank to Mrs Swithinbank. September 1928-June 1951.

File 2:

  1. File of 48 letters and two telegrams from Dora (Ma Than E) to Mr Swithinbank written between March 1943 and March 1953. Also one letter of 26 July 1965 written by Ma Than E to Mrs Swithinbank.
    [Ma Than E, who had been born in 1909, was a Burmese friend of Mr Swithinbank’s and held posts in the United States in the 1940s. In 1949 she was working for the United Nations in the Educational Section of the Special Services Division of the Department of Public Information. Later she worked in the Radio Division of the United Nations.]
  2. Envelope containing 3 photographs of Ma Than E.

File 3:

  1. Miscellaneous personal correspondence relating to Mr Swithinbank’s time in Burma. Includes letters from colleagues who had retired from Burma; petitions relating to crimes which would have been dealt with by Mr Swithinbank in his official capacity; and other memorabilia. Letter of 4 January 1932 from Sir Charles Innes, Governor of Burma, thanking Mr Swithinbank after a visit to his District, Pakokku. ‘I must congratulate you on the state of your district. You have it in most excellent order and I have no doubt that it was largely due to you personally that Pakokku has been so peaceful during these last disturbed months.’
  2. Two copies of a diary of ‘Jungle Travel in Burma: 4th to 15th March 1926′ by Eric Molesworth. Initially the party on this jungle expedition was made up of the author, Mrs Swithinbank, a nurse named Rosa, and the Swithinbanks’ daughter Jane, aged 18 months.
    They travelled by train from Pegu to Penwegon from where they continued west in two ancient Fords. On 5 March they reached a jungle bungalow at Daing Taya where they remained for two days to wait for Mr Swithinbank to join them. The party then travelled on with four elephants and two ponies. There are descriptions of the jungle vegetation, orchids, the wildlife and of the pleasures of camping and swimming in jungle pools. The final stages of the journey were marred by the murder by one of the mahouts of his wife after a quarrel. On March 15 they arrived at Penzalok from where they returned to Pegu by train. Typescript, 18ff.
  3. Text of a paper read at a meeting of the National Council of Women in Burma on 20 March. The paper was on Burmese inscriptions particularly those set up by the ladies of Pagan. The first page of the paper is missing and the writer is unidentified. Typescript, 9ff.
  4. Report of the Bribery and Corruption Enquiry Committee, 1940. Rangoon: Suptd., Govt. Printing and Stationery, Burma, 1940. [Mr Swithinbank was Chairman of the Committee.]
  5. Photocopies of passages from books, articles and letters relating to Mr Swithinbank. 9 items.