Montgomery Hyde Papers

Personal, literary and political papers of the barrister, historian and Unionist politician, Harford Montgomery Hyde (1907-1989), comprising correspondence, photographs, postcards, scrapbooks, press cuttings, typescript and manuscript notes, genealogical papers, articles, etc., 1795-1991.

Reflecting all aspects of Hyde’s multi-faceted career and interests, the collection is divided into three main sections roughly concerning autobiographical information and papers of the Hyde Family; material relating to the Londonderry Family for whom he was employed as Private Secretary to the 7th Marquess from 1935-39 and was subsequently author of many historical works on the family; and papers accumulated during his varied and colourful career as author, barrister, historian, intelligence officer for MI6 during the Second World War and Ulster Unionist MP for North Belfast, 1950-59.

Of particular note are a significant run of correspondence between Lord Stewart, later 3rd Marquess of Londonderry, and his half brother, Lord Castlereagh, the 2nd Marquess, 1809-1822, and the reminiscences and memoirs of the formidable Theresa, Lady Londonderry, wife of the 6th Marquess of Londonderry; papers pertaining to Hyde’s career as an Intelligence Officer for MI6, in particular research materials for his autobiographical account of his activities entitled “Secret Intelligence Agent” and “The Quiet Canadian: The Secret Service Story of Sir William Stevenson”; some correspondence relating to his political career, pamphlets and reports relating to Northern Ireland in the 1950s and 1960s and his involvement in the campaign to abolish the death sentence at this time; a series of working papers, correspondence, reviews, draft manuscripts etc covering the wide scope of Hyde’s literary endeavours and interests (he published over 60 books during his life mostly of a biographical nature); and papers relating to Hyde’s role as an expert witness in court cases over the publication of pornographic works.


Of interest to researchers into any aspect of Montgomery Hyde's life, historical biography and the Londonderry Family.

Physical characteristics

c. 6,000 documents occupying 20 PRONI boxes

Description or Catalogue

See PRONI reference D/3084 for catalogue of the papers which is available for consultation in PRONI's Public Search Room.

See also: for a more detailed introduction to the collection.


Accrual Policy
Accrual Periodicity

The greater part of the archive was acquired as an indefinite loan. It should be noted, however, that material which was deposited in 1995 was acquired as a gift.

Added by PRONI | Last updated on: 10 April 2018