Papers of Sir William Harcourt (1827-1904) and Lewis, 1st Viscount Harcourt (1863-1922)

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 161 MSS. Harcourt dep. 1-751
  • Dates of Creation
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      751 shelfmarks

Scope and Content

Sir William's papers cover every stage of his career. Separate sections contain his official papers as Home Secretary and as Chancellor of the Exchequer, while his letters to members of his family and his general correspondence throw light on his activities and thinking in all spheres. Lord Harcourt's journals as his father's private secretary, 1880-7 and 1892-5, illuminate Sir William's periods in office. Separate sections contain his official papers as First Commissioner of Works and Secretary of State for the Colonies. The collection also includes Harcourt family correspondence and papers relating ot the biography of Sir William.

Administrative / Biographical History

Sir William George Granville Venables Vernon Harcourt (1827-1904) entered Parliament as Liberal member for Oxford in 1868 and from that date devoted himself to politics. He was Home Secretary 1880-5, and Chancellor of the Exchequer, 1886 and 1892-5. Lewis, 1st Viscourt Harcount (1863-1922) was Sir William's son. He was First Commissioner of Works, 1905-10 and 1915-16, and Secretary of State for the Colonies, 1910-15. Details for both are given in the Dictionary of National Biography.

Conditions Governing Access

Entry to read in the Library is permitted only on presentation of a valid reader's card (for admissions procedures see

Acquisition Information

The collection was deposited in the Library in 1972.


Collection level description created by Emily Tarrant, Department of Special Collections and Western Manuscripts.

Other Finding Aids

A full catalogue is available in the Library.

Related Material

See also Harcourt Additional Papers and Harcourt Estate Papers.