Items donated by Professor T.E. Jessop

Scope and Content

Two items donated by Professor Jessop - a letter from Austen Chamberlain and a scroll containing a rubbing of the Mu Ai T'ang tablet, in handwriting of Chu Hsi.

Administrative / Biographical History

Austen Chamberlain was born in Birmingham in October 1863 the son of Joseph Chamberlain the industrialist and leading figure in Liberal politics. Educated at Rugby School and then Trinity College Cambridge he took an early interest in politics and even studied in France and Germany to broaden his awareness of other political systems. In 1888 he was elected MP in his father's former consistency of East Worcestershire. He held a number of posts including Lord of the Admiralty, Financial Secretary to the Treasury and Postmaster General before becoming Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1903.

Chamberlain successfully campaigned for a coalition government during the First World War joining as Secretary of State for India, continuing as Chancellor after the war though he was passed-over on a number of occasions as Conservative party leader but did serve as Foreign Secretary between 1924-1929 including the delicate negotiations of the Locarno Pact in 1925. From the backbenches he was vocal on foreign policy and between 1934-1937 alongside Winston Churchill called for the re-armament of British forces. He died in March 1937 aged 73, just a matter of weeks before his half-brother Neville Chamberlain became Prime Minister.

Zhu Xi (1130-1200) was the major philosopher during the development of Neo-Confucianist thought in the Sung dynasty (960-1279). He devised a more sophisticated metaphysical aspect to the thought of Confucius as a result of the popularity of Buddhist and Taoist ideas. He wrote extensive commentaries on the classical texts and rearranged the canon into the Four Books. The result was a syncretic canon that remained at the heart of all formal Chinese education until the twentieth century and which became the basis for all state examinations. [Information and translation provided by Dr Brian Moloughney, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand]

Conditions Governing Access

Access will be granted to any accredited reader

Custodial History

Donated by Professor T.E. Jessop, 8 Nov 1935 and 19 Jan 1950