John Simon papers

Scope and Content

Letters from CP Scott to John (later Lord) Simon and from Simon to his mother and father, November 1896 - December 1897.

Administrative / Biographical History

1st Viscount John Allsebrook Simon was born in Manchester on 28 February 1873. He attended Wadham College, Oxford, where he was president of the Union in 1896 and elected as a fellow of All Souls in 1897.

He briefly held a position as a leader writer for the Guardian under CP Scott in 1896.

He was called to the bar by the Inner Temple in 1899, but regarded the bar as a stepping stone into politics. In 1906 he was elected as Liberal member of Parliament for Walthamstow, a seat he held until 1918. Falling out of favour with Lloyd George he lost his seat in 1918, but was again elected to represent Spen Valley in 1922, a seat he held until 1940.

During his political career he held various positions, including Chairman of the Indian statutory commission, Foreign Secretary (1931-1935), and worked in the Home Office and the Chancellorship of the Exchequer.

In 1930 he founded and led the Liberal National Party (later National Liberals).

He married twice, first to Ethel Mary Venables (d.1902) in 1899 and later to Kathleen Harvey (d. 1955) in 1917. By his first marriage he had one son and two daughters. He died in London on 11 January 1954.


Arranged chronologically.

Conditions Governing Access

Open. Records may be viewed in our reading room by appointment only, see our website for more information.

Acquisition Information

Donated by Christie, Viscountess Simon, in January 1997.

Other Finding Aids

A full catalogue description for this collection can be found on the GNM Archive catalogue.