Peter Anthony Grayson Rawlinson was born in Iping, West Sussex, 26 June 1919, the son of Lieutenant-Colonel A R Rawlinson and Ailsa Rawlinson (née Grayson). He was educated at Downside School and Christ's College, Cambridge. He married Haidee Kavanagh in 1940 (marriage annulled, 1954), with whom he had three daughters, and Elaine Dominguez in 1954, with whom he had two sons and one daughter.
During the Second World War, he served in the Irish Guards, 1940-6, and was mentioned in dispatches, 1943. He was called to the Bar by the Inner Temple, 1946, and became a Queen's Counsel, 1959. He was Recorder of Salisbury, 1961-2; Recorder of Kingston upon Thames, 1975; Leader of the Western Circuit, 1975-82; and Chairman, 1975-6, and President, 1986-7, of the Senate of the Inns of Court and the Bar . He was also a Bencher, 1962, Reader, 1983, and Treasurer, 1984, of the Inner Temple. He retired from practice at the Bar in 1985.
He stood unsuccessfully for the Conservative Party in Hackney South, 1951, and was then elected Member of Parliament for Epsom [later Epsom and Ewell], 1955-78. He was Solicitor General, 1962-4; Opposition Spokesman for Law, 1964-5 and 1968-70; Opposition Spokesman for Broadcasting, 1965; Attorney General, 1970-4; and Attorney General for Northern Ireland, 1972-4.
He was knighted, 1962, and created a peer as Baron Rawlinson of Ewell, 1978. He became a Privy Councillor, 1964. He was an Honorary Fellow of Christ's College, Cambridge, from 1981.
He died on 28 June 2006.
His publications include: "War Poems and Poetry Today" (1943); "Public Duty and Personal Faith: the example of Thomas More" (1978); "A Price Too High" (1989) and "The Jesuit Factor" (1990). He also published a number of novels, 1991-2004.
Papers including correspondence, legal case papers, speeches and articles.
The papers were transferred to Churchill Archives Centre by Lady Rawlinson, via the Inner Temple, 2009.
Copies of the catalogue are available for consultation at Churchill Archives Centre, Cambridge, the National Register of Archives, London, and on the Janus website http://janus.lib.cam.ac.uk.
This collection level description was prepared by Sophie Bridges, January 2011. The papers were boxlisted by Andrew Riley, with the assistance of various volunteers working in the Archives Centre, January 2011, and catalogued by Lynsey Robertson in January 2012. Biographical information was obtained from the websites of Who's Who and Wikipedia.