Lancelot Patrick Wilkinson was born on 1st June 1907, second son of Lance G Wilkinson, Headmaster of Seafield House Preparatory School, Boughty Ferry, Angus. After attending a preparatory school near Windsor Great Park, Patrick entered Charterhouse in 1920 with a scholarship. His skills in Latin and Greek grew and after failing to get into Oxford he was offered a scholarship to King's College, Cambridge. As an undergraduate he won many prizes and secured a First in both parts of the Tripos. After graduation he set about completing his fellowship disseration on Horace, a subject proposed by John Sheppard, who would later become King's College Provost. Wilkinson was elected fellow of King's on 12th March 1932 and was appointed University Assistant Lecturer in 1935.
During the Second World War Wilkinson worked at the Government Communication Headquarters at Bletchley Park within the Italian Naval Section, where he was a code-breaker. It was during this time that he completed his first book 'Horace and his lyrical poetry', based on his fellowship dissertation. He also met and married Sydney Eason whilst working at Bletchley.
In 1945 Patrick and Sydney returned to Cambridge and after the death of Ronald Balfour, Patrick was appointed Assistant Tutor, to become Tutor the following year. Though Tutor at King's from 1946 to 1956 he continued his University work, serving on the Council of the Senate, undertaking the role of Deputy Orator (1950-51) and then Orator (from 1957) and becoming University correspondent of 'The Times'. In 1961 he was elected Vice-Provost of King's College, taking on the role of Provost during Noel Annan's year of absence in 1964-65. It was during his time as Vice-Provost that he became responsible for publishing obituaries of Kingsmen in the Annual Report, a job he continued after his tenure as Vice-Provost in the capacity of Obituarist. In his time he completed over 800 obituaries. He produced, with Harold Bulmer, two volumes of the King's Register (1919-1958 and 1945-1970) and in retirement wrote two highly regarded volumes on the College: 'A Century of King's' and 'Kingsmen of a Century', published in 1982. He died on 23rd April 1985.
For further biographical information about Lancelot Patrick Wilkinson, the reader is directed to his College obituary written by Donald Parry and to Wilkinson's own notes in LPW/12/1/2.
The collection consists of papers produced by L P Wilkinson from his undergraduate days right through to his death in 1985, including undergraduate essays, radio broadcasts, notes and drafts for his unpublished 'Six Characters' and his successful 'A Century of King's' and 'Kingsmen of a Century' as well as details of his obituary and funeral.
'The Book of Hugh and Nancy' by Eric Milner-White and Eleanor S. Duckett was found within the papers; now stored in Reading Room b9 It is believed that the Classical Faculty Library holds a collection of L P Wilkinson's papers (see LPW/3/24).
A hard-copy version of the catalogue is available in the Archive Centre reading room.
Within the papers a note was found indicating that there was a run of College Annual Reports within the collection. These were not among the papers when they were catalogued in 2006 and were likely removed when first accessioned as they would have been duplicates of material held elsewhere in the Archive Centre.