Edward and Kathleen Young, Lord and Lady Kennet: Papers

Scope and Content

The collection is divided into three groups of papers relating to personal and political affairs. Part I contains papers covering the life of Lord Kennet, including his service in the Royal Navy and his political career. There is much correspondence, including letters from his father, Sir George Young, 1882-1930, and mother Alice, 1888-c. 1914; a long series of letters from E.M. Forster; and letters from many prominent inter-war politicians, including Stanley Baldwin and Lloyd George, as well as Lord Kennet's friend, Neville Chamberlain. The papers also include diaries and a wide range of miscellaneous subject matter, including an autobiography, a biography, photographs, newscuttings, cabinet papers, speeches, material relating to ornithology and poetry, and broadcasts and printed articles on a variety of subjects.

Part II comprises the papers of Kathleen Young, Lady Kennet. They include bound volumes of letters from Max Beerbohm, c. 1907-1908, Fridtjof Nansen, 1911-1929, and George Bernard Shaw, 1908-1940, and a series of diaries, illustrated with drawings and photographs, c. 1907-1946.

Part III contains supplementary papers that became available after the first two parts had been completed. Section A includes bound volumes of correspondence between Edward Hilton and Kathleen Young, 1919-1946, and letters from H.H. Asquith and various other correspondents to Kathleen Young. Section B contains papers examined at Leinster Corner, comprising mainly letters by authors stuck into copies of their printed work, as well as a Register of Sculpture and photographs of Sculpture by Kathleen Young.

Administrative / Biographical History

Edward Hilton Young, 1st Baron Kennet of the Dene (1879-1960), was born in London on 20 March 1879. He attended Eton, before studying at University College, London, and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he took the natural sciences tripos, and was president of the Union Society and editor of the Cambridge review. He was called to the bar in 1904, and practised in the King's Bench Division and on the Oxford Circuit. As a result of illness he gave up his legal career to pursue politics and journalism, becoming assistant editor of the Economist, then financial editor of the Morning post, 1910-1914. Hilton Young served in the navy during the First World War, and in 1918 lost his right arm in the attack on the Mole at Zeebrugge. He was M.P. for Norwich, 1915-1923 and 1924-1929, and financial secretary to the Treasury, 1921-1922. He was the British representative at the Hague Conference on International Finance in 1922, and went on financial missions for the British Government to India (1920), Poland (1924), and Iraq (1925 and 1930). In 1926 he left the Liberals to join the Conservative Party, and he was secretary for overseas trade in the National Government and minister of health, 1931-1935. He was created a peer in 1935. Lord Kennet died at Lockeridge, Wiltshire, on 11 July 1960.

Kathleen Young (ne Bruce) was born at Carlton-in-Lindrick, Nottinghamshire, on 27 March 1878. She studied art in Paris under Rodin, before becoming a well-known sculptor. In 1903-1904 she went to Macedonia to carry out relief work, and in 1908 she married Captain Robert Falcon Scott. After his death in 1912 she was granted the rank and precedence of the wife of a K.C.B. in recognition of her husband's services. She was responsible for designing the Scott Memorials in Waterloo Place and Portsmouth, and in Christchurch, New Zealand. She married Edward Hilton Young in 1922. Lady Kennet died in London on 25 July 1947.


Towards the end of his life Lord Kennet went through his papers. The arrangment he established has been retained as far as possible. Correspondence is listed alphabetically under writers' names, except that which is classed under subject matter.

Access Information

The collection may only be consulted with the written permission of the current Lord Kennet, and by holders of a Reader's Ticket valid for the Manuscripts Reading Room.

Acquisition Information

Deposited 1972 and 1975.


Description compiled by Robert Steiner, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives.

Other Finding Aids

A handlist to the collection is available in the Manuscripts Reading Room.