Nassau William Senior Papers

Scope and Content


  • Copies of journals kept by Nassau William Senior recording his visits to France, Germany, Austria, Italy, Ireland, Greece, Algeria and Egypt between 1850 and 1862.
  • Correspondence, 1830-1863: Letters to Nassau William Senior from Richard Whately (Drummond Professor of Political Economy in the University of Oxford 1829-1831, and Archbishop of Dublin, 1831-1863), Lord Melbourne, Lord John Russell and others. Also contains letters from Nassau Senior to Archbishop Whatley, the Marquis of Landsdowne, Compte de Tocqueville and others. Among topics discussed or referred to are the property tax, the abolition of transportation, the state of the Irish poor and Irish affairs generally, the evils of the labour rate system, the national education system, the Corn Law question, the amendment of the Poor Law and the American Civil War.
  • Extracts from her grandfathers's letters, by Mrs J. St. Loe Strachey (Nassau Senior's granddaughter)
  • Extracts by Mrs Strachey from the diaries of Mrs Mary Charlotte Senior, wife of Nassau William Senior.

Administrative / Biographical History

Nassau William Senior (1790-1864), economist, was born at Compton Beauchamp, Berkshire, educated at Eton and Magdalen College, Oxford from where he graduated in 1812. In 1819 he was called to the Bar and became one of the leading Classical economists of the period. He was a major contributor to economic theory and a proponent of laissez-faire. In 1825 he became the first Drummond professor of political economy at Oxford, holding the post till 1830 and again between 1847 and 1862. He was most influential in nineteenth century political affairs and an active participant in Whig politics; he was one of the commissioners responsible for the Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834.

He is also known for journals he kept of visits to Europe and Africa, containing details of conversations with various people, including those of note in political and literary circles, whom he met on his travels. Many of these were published posthumously.


Material is arranged according to type and incorporated into the General Collection of Bangor Manuscripts .

Access Information

Open to all users

Acquisition Information

Mrs J. St. Loe Strachey of Plas Brondanw, Llanfrothen, Merioneth, granddaughter of Nassau Senior, presented copies of the journals and other items to the Library, University of Wales, Bangor.


Description compiled by Anne Lenaghan, February 2002.

Other Finding Aids

Item level word-processed list is available at the Archives Department of the University of Wales, Bangor. Reference numbers: General Collection of Bangor Manuscripts: 24631-24660, 26649

Conditions Governing Use

Usual copyright conditions apply. Reprographics are made at the discretion of the Archivist.