The collection comprises of correspondence by Asquith to both Ernest and Emily Shackleton regarding two of the Antarctic Expeditions led by Ernest (British Antarctic Expedition, 1907-1909 and the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, 1914-1916).
Herbert Asquith collection
- This material is held at
- ReferenceGB 15 Herbert Asquith
- Dates of Creation-1916
- Name of Creator
- Language of MaterialEnglish.
- Physical DescriptionCorrespondence (Circa 10 leaves)
- Direct Link
Scope and Content
Administrative / Biographical History
Herbert Henry Asquith was born in Morley in 1852. He was educated at the City of London School and Balliol College, Oxford, and became a barrister in 1876. In 1886, he was elected Liberal Member of Parliament for East Fife and in 1892, was appointed Home Secretary, becoming one of the leading figures of his party within three years. After the Liberal government lost power in 1895, Asquith resumed his legal career, returning to government in 1906 as Chancellor of the Exchequer. Between 1908 and 1916, Asquith served as Prime Minister and was responsible for a series of reforms including the Old Age Pensions Act of 1908 and the Parliament Act of 1911, limiting the powers of the House of Lords. After the outbreak of the First World War, Asquith formed a coalition government but resigned in December 1916 after his ability as a war leader was questioned by cabinet members and the media.
Losing his seat in East Fife in 1918, he served as Member of Parliament for Paisley between 1920 and 1924, remaining leader of the Liberal Party until 1926. In 1925, he accepted a peerage as Earl of Oxford and Asquith, and was created a Knight of the Garter shortly afterwards. He died in 1928 at Sutton Courtney, Berkshire.
The correspondence is arranged alphabetically by recipient.
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Descriptions compiled by N. Boneham, Assistant Archivist with assistance from R. Stancombe and reference to Robert Keith Headland Antarctic Chronology, unpublished corrected revision of Chronological list of Antarctic expeditions and related historical events, (1 December 2001) Cambridge University Press (1989) ISBN 0521309034 and Dictionary of National Biography, 1922-1930, Oxford University Press, London (1937) and BBC History and Spartacus
Other Finding Aids
Clive Holland Manuscripts in the Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge, England - a catalogue, Garland Publishing New York and London (1982) ISBN 0824093941.
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