Robert Crewe-Milnes, 1st Marquess of Crewe: Papers

Scope and Content

Letters and political papers, the majority of which have been divided into five broad groupings.

General correspondence

Letters and telegrams, c. 1886-1945, 61 boxes.

Personal papers

Lord Crewe's writings, letters of congratulation, letters of regret, press cuttings, personal family correspondence and miscellanous correspondence, 4 boxes.


Speeches with related notes and correspondence, c. 1908-1939, 3 boxes.

Miscellaneous papers

Papers concerning conferences, committees, commissions, meetings, clubs, relief funds, memorials and other subjects, 21 boxes. The subject matter includes home affairs, the empire, Ireland, India, war operations and defence. There are papers relating in particular to Peers' Dinners (1910-1914), the Volunteer Training Corps, the Economic Conference of the Allies (June 1916), the Imperial College of Science and Technology (1909-1916), the royal visit to Cheshire (1912-1913), the Mesopotamia Commission (1916), and the Committee of Imperial Defence.

India Office papers

Material concerning administrative matters, especially public services, 1910-1915, 21 boxes. There are papers relating in particular to the Delhi Durbar, the visit to India of the Hon. Edwin Samuel Montagu, the development of New Delhi, the bomb outrage at Delhi, Indian finance and currency, Indians in South Africa, and World War I.

The remaining boxes consist of printed papers, such as confidential prints, parliamentary bills and debates. There are also 3 large volumes of press cuttings, covering 1892-1898.

Administrative / Biographical History

Robert Offley Ashburton Crewe-Milnes (1858-1945), statesman, was born in London on 12 January 1858, the only son of Richard Monckton Milnes, later 1st Baron Houghton, and Annabella Hungerford, daughter of the 2nd Baron Crewe. He attended Harrow and Trinity College, Cambridge (B.A., 1880), and became a baron on the death of his father in 1885. Crewe was viceroy of Ireland, 1892-1895, lord president of the council, 1905-1908 and 1915-1916, and lord privy seal, 1908-1911 and 1912-1915. He became leader of the House of Lords in 1908, and was colonial secretary, 1908-1910, during which period the union of South Africa was completed. He served as secretary of state for India, 1910-1915, and was made Marquess of Crewe in 1911. He became president of the Board of Education in 1916, and was ambassador in Paris, 1922-1928. In 1931 he became secretary of state for war. Crewe was leader of the independent liberals in the House of Lords, 1936-1944. He died at West Horsley Place, Leatherhead, on 20 June 1945.

Access Information

With very few exceptions, still covered by Cabinet Office restrictions, the Crewe Papers are open for consultation by holders of a Reader's Ticket valid for the Manuscripts Reading Room.

Acquisition Information

Deposited in the Library following Crewe's death.


Description compiled by Robert Steiner, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives. The biographical history was compiled with reference to the entry on Crewe in L.G. Wickham Legg and E.T. Williams, eds, Dictionary of national biography, 1941-1950 (Oxford University Press, 1959), pp. 183-186.

Other Finding Aids

An outline catalogue and detailed card index are available in the Manuscripts Reading Room.