Guide to the Papers of the Somers Family (as filmed by the AJCP)



National Library of Australia View Catalogue Record

Created: 2018

Collection Summary

Somers Family
Papers of the Somers Family (as filmed by the AJCP)
Date Range
1876 - 1937
Collection Number
31 items
Language of Materials
Australian Joint Copying Project
The Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP) online portal was created with the assistance of the Australian Public Service Modernisation Fund, 2017-2020. The National Library of Australia gratefully acknowledges the contribution of the other foundation AJCP partners, the State Library of New South Wales and The National Archives of the UK, and all other organisations which supported the work of the AJCP, the world's most extensive collaborative copying project, operating from 1948 to 1997.


Scope and Contents

The following items were filmed by the Australian Joint Copying Project: Papers 1876-1890 of Anna E. Somers Cocks referring to family in Australia; Papers 1926-1931 of Lord Somers, including letters, photographs, cashbooks, brochures and programs. They refer to appointment of governors, migration to Australia, effects of police strike and political affairs. Correspondents include Lord and Lady Somers, Dame Nellie Melba, Sir Isaac Isaacs and Sir Robert Gibson. Papers 1926-1927 of Lady Somers, including letters from her daughter and a scrapbook.

Conditions Governing Access

Available for Access.

Letters of Arthur Somers Cocks, File E, Loose Correspondence: These letters are not available for research. Enquiries should be addressed to the Royal Librarian, Windsor Castle.

Conditions Governing Use

Many of the records digitised as part of the AJCP are still in copyright. Readers wishing to publish or reproduce documents should seek permission, in the first instance, from the owner of the original material.

Preferred Citation

Acknowledgement of use of this material should refer to the location of the original material and to the Australian Joint Copying Project.

Items from this collection should include references to the location of the original material and to the AJCP nla.obj number, which serves as the online identifier for the digital copy.

Example: M Series: Journal of Capt. James Cook, 18 February 1770, British Library Add. MS 27885 (AJCP ref:

Archival History

Material selectively filmed at the private residence of Mr James Hervey-Bathurst, England, as part of the Australian Joint Copying Project, 1990 (AJCP Reels: M2504-2511). Original microfilm digitised as part of the AJCP Online Delivery Project, 2017-2020.

Existence and Location of Originals

Private residence: Mr James Hervey-Bathurst. Ledbury, Herefordshire, England.

Existence and Location of Copies

The original AJCP microfilm of the records filmed from this collection is available at the National Library of Australia [] as well as other institutions holding AJCP microfilm.

Finding-Aid Notes

This finding aid is a revised online version of the original finding aid prepared by the Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP), published by the National Library of Australia in 2018. The original AJCP finding aids were unpublished typescripts or photocopies available from libraries that held copies of the original microfilm.

Dates used in this finding aid refer to the date range of the records selected for filming rather than to the date range of the Series or Files.


Emigration and immigration; Gibson, Sir Robert; Governors and Governors General: Victoria; Isaacs, Sir Isaac; Melba, Dame Nellie; Photographs: Victoria; Somers Cocks, Anna E.; Somers Cocks, Daisy F., Baroness Somers; Somers Cocks, Sir Arthur, 6th Baron Somers; Somers Family; Strikes


Originally cited in Australian Joint Copying Project Handbook. Part 8: Miscellaneous (M) Series. Third Edition, published 1998. Entry 424, p.166.

Biographical / Historical

Members of the Somers Family included Anna Eckford Somers Cocks and Arthur Somers Cocks, 6th Baron Somers. Lord Somers was Governor of Victoria 1926-1931.

Lord Somers' papers were listed by Miss Naomi Perkins as part of the project of Dr. D. McCaughey, Governor of Victoria, to trace and list the papers of former Governors. This project was generously supported by the British Council.

Item Descriptions

Series. Anna Eckford Somers Cocks, 13 December 1876 - 14 May 1890

5 items

Archival History

Originally filmed on AJCP Reel M2504.

Subseries. Correspondence, 1889 - 14 May 1890

3 items

Filmed selectively.

Harriet Cocks (Christchurch) to Anna Somers Cocks re son Reginald's debts and family trouble, 16 October 1889 (File)
Henry Bromley Cocks (Christchurch) to Anna Somers Cocks re his son Reginald's debts, 14 May 1890 (File)
Note on R.S. Cocks' accounts with A.P. Somers Cocks, 1889 (File)

Subseries. J.P. Somers Cocks Melbourne Affairs, 13 December 1876 - 1878

2 items

Filmed selectively.

Application for a marriage licence by Frederick Benjamin Bryant to marry Jessie Olivia Elworthy in Melbourne, 13 December 1876 (File)
Letters re marriage in Australia of John Patrick Somers Cocks to Elizabeth Bateman (c.20p.), 1877 - 1878 (File)

Includes: J.P. Somers Cocks to his mother Anna Somers Cocks; Eliza Bateman (Sandridge) to J.P. Somers Cocks; Messrs. Malleson, England and Stewart (Melbourne) to Messrs. Still and Sons (London) re terms to be offerred to [Miss Bateman].

Series. Arthur Somers Cocks - 6th. Baron

16 items

Archival History

Originally filmed on AJCP Reels M2504-M2510.

Related Materials

See also - Lord Somers: something of the life and letters of Arthur, 6th Baron Somers by Alan Gregory. St Kilda, Lord Somers' Camp and Power House, 1987.

Biographical / Historical

Arthur Herbert Tennyson Somers Cocks (1887-1944) was the son of Captain H.H. Somers Cocks. He succeeded his great uncle as the 6th Baron Somers in 1899. During the First World War he was lieutenant-colonel of the First Life Guards and was attached to the Royal Tank Corps. He retired from the army in 1922.

In 1926 he was appointed Governor of Victoria, and proved to be a very popular Governor, being interested in cricket and the boy scout movement. In 1921 he married Daisy Finola Meeking. Their daughter married Major B. Hervey-Bathurst.

Subseries Boxes 5-10. Australian Papers, May 1926 - September 1931

12 items

Filmed selectively.

Subseries Box 5. Australia: Official, May 1926 - September 1931
5 items
Cash Book (125pp), May 1926 - September 1931 (File A)

Includes Bank of Australia account book, 7 July 1931-14 Sept 1931. (3p.)

Cash Book; at back monthly expenditure. (134p.), May 1926 - August 1931 (File B)
Lady Somers' lists of engagements (8p.), April 1931 - May 1931 (File C)

References to trips to Mallee, Moonee Valley races, etc.

Box file of correspondence, farewell letters expressing thanks for Somers' work in Victoria c. 200 letters, c. June 1931 (File D)

Correspondents include: H.B. Tyack Bake; A. Tholy Prinsep; A. Somerset; Toc H.; United Power House; W.R. Creswell, Geelong Grammar School; various municipalities.

Loose correspondence (c.40p.), 8 December 1930 - 12 June 1931 (File E)


J. Thomas (Dominions Office) to Somers, 24 Dec. 1930: re appointing his successor.

E.J. Harding (Dominions Office) to Somers, 28 Jan. 1931: re appointing successor.

A.F. Burrett (Melbourne) to Cpt. McDonald, 12 June 1931: re Big Brother Movement, encloses 5th Annual Report, 1929/30. (13p.)

Robert Gibson (Commonwealth Bank, Melbourne), 8 Dec. 1930: re state of the Federation, finance, the Loan Council.

This section includes letters from Lord Stamfordham (Personal Private Secretary to George V) 1930-1931 re appointment of Isaac Isaacs as Governor General.

John - (London) to Somers, 18 Dec. 1930: re lunch at Buckingham Palace and Isaacs's appointment.

Subseries Box 6. Correspondence, 1927 - 1931
6 items

These letters are generally undated. Dates have been surmised from post marks where possible.

Lady Somers (Melbourne) to her sister Viola, Lady Apsley, 1927 - 1931 (File A)

Discusses her official duties; comments on people met, trips made, etc. (54 letters).

[Some in pencil, faint].

Lord and Lady Somers (Melbourne) to his sister, Verena, Lady Clarendon, 1927-1931, 1933 (File B)

Details official duties, trips up-state, political comments, appointment of governors, etc. (c. 150 letters)

Lord Somers (Melbourne) to Lord Clarendon re Governor Generalship of South Africa, 3 January 1928 (File C)
Lord Somers (Melbourne) to Lord Clarendon re visit from Lord Salisbury; migration to Australia; effects of police strike, 10 November 1928 (File)
Lord Somers (Melbourne) to Lord Clarendon re South Africa, 4 February 1930 (File)
Lord Somers (Melbourne) to George, Lord Hyde (nephew) giving his opinion of Australians, 9 January [?] (File D)
Subseries Box 7. Memorabilia, 1918 - 1937

Comprises souvenirs, programmes, certificates re scouting, Lord Somers' camp, etc. (c. 453p.)


Brochures re 3rd Annual Lord Somers' Camp, 1931.

Lord Somers' Camp routine, 1937.

Map showing trip in the Mallee, 1927.

Order of service Armistice Day, St Paul's Melbourne, 1918.

Savage Club 175 Corroboree, programme, 6 Aug. 1927.

Souvenir of opening of Parliament House by Duke of York, 1927.

52nd. Battalion Australian Imperial Force [Booklet re battalion].

Presentation address from pupils of District Schools of Hamilton, 6 Dec. 1920.

Bolshevism in Australia by Emily Scott, for Victoria League, Melbourne (typescript) (incomplete), Aug. 1927.

Photographs of Lord Somers' Camp, Victoria Railways, cattle mustering etc.

Also includes correspondence:

Nellie Melba (Coldstream) to Lady Somers re attendance at Garden party, n.d.

I. Isaacs (High Court of Australia) to Lady Somers re accident to Lady Apsley, 31 Dec. 1931.

Daisy Isaacs (High Court of Australia) re offer of help, 18 Dec. 1930.

Committee of the Victorian Association of Braille Writers (in braille and typescript) re Lord Somers' visit on the opening of the Braille Hall, 14 May 1927.

Subseries Box 8. Photographs

Official photographs of Lord and Lady Somers at functions (arrival in Melbourne; inspecting Australian regiment; with Government House staff, etc) and personal snap shots of Australian countryside taken during visits and at camps.

Subseries Box 10. Masonic, 1886 - 1931
12 items

Comprises: Masonic material, souvenirs, programmes, menus, booklets of ritual, by-laws, constitutions, etc. (c.1600p.)

Items of interest include:

Members of the United Service Lodge, no. 330 (16/04/1928)

Rules and regulations of Supreme Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Freemasons of Victoria (1925)

Souvenir re installation of Lord Somers as Grand Master (1927)

Souvenir 'Bon Voyage' re departure of Lord Somers (1931)

Menu for banquet re installation of Lord Somers

The Ritual of the Holy Royal Arch (n.d.)

Ceremony of passing the veils (1927)

Ceremony of installation of principals and investiture of officers and addresses to principals and officers (1920)

By-laws of United Service Lodge, no. 330 (1923)

Consecration and dedication ceremonies (1925)

Constitution, laws and regulations of Supreme Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Freemasons of Victoria (1925)

Lord Carrington Lodge, no. 111, Review of Progress (1886-1928)

Subseries. Unboxed material, 1926 - 1931
1 item
Declarations of loyalty and presentation addresses, 1926 - 1927 (File)
41 items
The City of Melbourne, 23 June 1931 (Item)
The City of Malvern, 28 June 1926 (Item)
The Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works, 29 June 1926 (Item)
The City of Port Melbourne, 23 June 1931 (Item)
The City of St. Kilda, 28 June 1926 (Item)
The City of South Melbourne, 23 June 1931 (Item)
The Shire of Omeo (unbound), 4 April 1927 (Item)
The Municipal Association of Victoria, 31 May 1931 (Item)
The City of Prahran, 23 June 1931 (Item)
The Shire of Rutherglen, 12 July 1927 (Item)
The Borough of Maryborough and the Shire of Tullaroop, 9 August 1926 (Item)
The Anglican Church in the Prince of Victoria, (undated) (Item)
The Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria, 1927 (Item)
Lalbert State School, 15 September 1927 (Item)
The City of Footscray (Item)
The Shire of Maffra, 6 April 1927 (Item)
The Shire of Kyneton, 1 March 1927 (Item)
The City of Oakleigh, 2 August 1927 (Item)
The City of Warrnambool, 29 March 1927 (Item)
The Shire of Fern Tree Gully, 16 February 1929 (Item)
The City of Melbourne, 28 June 1926 (Item)
Freemasons of Victoria, (undated) (Item)
The Shire of Colac, November 1927 (Item)
The Borough of St. Arnaud, 1 April 1930 (Item)
The City of Malvern, 1931 (Item)
The Town of Sale, 5 April 1927 (Item)
The City of Preston, 14 July 1926 (Item)
The Town of Hamilton, (undated) (Item)
The Shire of Kerang, 17 November 1926 (Item)
The Town of Mildura, 27 November 1926 (Item)
The Shire of Charlton, 24 September 1928 (Item)
The Birchip Shire Council, (undated) (Item)
The Shire of Yarrawonga, 10 January 1930 (Item)
The Shire of Bairnsdale, 5 April 1927 (Item)
The Professional Fire Brigade (and an honourary membership), 14 July 1927 (Item)
The City of Essendon, 14 November 1927 (Item)
The City of Bendigo (mounted), 17 December 1926 (Item)
The Laying of the Foundation Stone, St. Bartholomew's, Burnley, 25 July 1926 (Item)
Souvenir of Citizens' Ball, Melbourne. 14 photographs, 12 August 1926 (Item)
Dookie Agricultural College, Victoria. 22 photographs, 20 August 1926 (Item)
Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria. 58 photographs (Item)

Series. Finola, Lady Somers, 9 July 1926 - 14 March 1930

3 items

Archival History

Originally filmed on AJCP Reels M2510-M2511.

Subseries. Trunk, 9 December 1926 - 1927

1 item

Filmed selectively.

Subseries. Bundle of Australian material. (c.154p.)

Filmed selectively.

Letters From England, originally part of this Series, were not filmed by the AJCP.


Letters from daughter 'Shib', Melbourne.

Souvenirs and programmes re visit of Duke and Duchess of York, 1927.

Order of Proceedings of laying of foundation stone at the William Thomson Manifold Wing, Janet Clarke Hall, Trinity College, 9 Dec. 1926.

Menu Camp Seymour, 1927.

Programme of unveiling of City of Brighton war memorial, 24 April 1927.

Correspondence, mainly messages on departure.

Scrapbook of memorabilia, draft speeches etc.

Draft farewell speech[?] by Lady Somers.

Subseries. Brown Writing Case, 9 July 1926 - 14 March 1930

3 items

Archival History

Filmed selectively.

Commonwealth Bank of Australia bank book (24p.), 9 July 1926 - 14 March 1930 (File)
Letters to Lady Somers from Lord Somers in England and Australia. No dates. (c100p.) (Some letters incomplete) (File)

Subjects include: the offer of the governorship of Victoria; visits up state; dinner with premier; social events; political news; scouting.

Letters to Lady Somers from daughter Shib (Melbourne) (27 letters), c.1926-1931 (File)