LEE, Arthur Hamilton, Viscount Lee of Fareham (1868-1947)

Scope and Content

Papers of Lord Lee of Fareham, [1878-1954], notably papers relating to Lee's book Letters that Remain , including proofs for letters intended for the book, including from Lloyd-George, 1917, 1920; photographs of individuals for the book;
invitations to events and programmes, [1920s-1930s]; papers relating to speeches, [1915-1930s], comprising notes and texts, including speeches as Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, [1919-1921]; for exhibition opening at Christie's, 1932; press cuttings and Parliamentary reports relating to speeches, printed copies of speeches, [1909-1936], including 'The Need for National Service', 1915, 'The War and After', 1918, 'Lessons of the War', 1936;
original and copy letters, [1894-1946] including from Neville and Mrs Chamberlain, Stanley Baldwin, Ramsay MacDonald, [1920s-1930s]; Winston and Clementine Churchill, 1945; Michael Balcon, Kenneth Clark, Osbert Sitwell, [1939-1946], Nancy Astor, A J Balfour, Joseph Duveen, relating to the National Gallery and Courtauld Institute, David and Frances Lloyd-George, Field-Marshall Lord Haig, Rudyard Kipling, Ramsay MacDonald; Graham Sutherland, relating to a painting, 1940;
papers relating to Lee's military career, including reference from Lieutenant Colonel Gerald Kitson, 1897; letter concerning Lee, 1898; letter of introduction to Commanding Officers, 1899; letters of authority as Colonel, 1914; army pass, 1914; requisition for petrol and tyres, 1914; permit, 1915; agenda for artillery conference, 1916;
letters relating to Lee's appointment as Chairman of the Radium Commission, 1929, and copy Charter of Incorporation for the Commission; Declaration of Trust between Lord and Lady Lee and the Massey Foundation, 1940;
personal papers, [1878-1945], including passport, 1889; birth certificate, [1868], anecdotes, jokes, press cuttings, printed books and articles, journal, 1889; correspondence and leases of White Lodge, Richmond Park, 1928-1932; letter from Lloyd-George informing Lee of his viscountcy, 1922; letters of condolence to various people and obituaries, [1940s]; correspondence regarding Lee's will, 1945; obituary of Lord Lee, [1947];
papers relating to Chequers, 1917-1953, including abstract of Chequers Estate Act, 1917; articles, guide, 1921, press cuttings, 1920s; correspondence relating to Chequers, including the library, Chequers Trust, silver dessert service presented by Lee, 1938; cartoons by Sir Mark Sykes [of Chequers], [1917];
correspondence concerning pictures and silver, including sale, purchase, restoration work, and some photographs, [1922-1940], including with the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1927-1928, British Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum, private dealers;
correspondence with Theodore Roosevelt, 1897-1918, and Edith Roosevelt, 1912-1945, including an album of selected letters, 1898-1906, including one labelled by Lee 'possibly Roosevelt's first letter as President', 1901; correspondence with Ethel Derby, [daughter of Roosevelt], [1917-1951];
photographs, [1890-1946], including of the Roosevelt family, the Lees, film stars taken during the Lees' visit to Hollywood, [1930s];
correspondence regarding the establishment of the Conway Hall, London, 1930-1931; correspondence with Thomas Sherrer Ross Boase; papers of Professor W G Constable; papers relating to the Lee Bequest; Harding Collection; Home House Trust; Wilkinson Bequest; MacColl, Panofsky, Ostrer and Samuel Courtauld correspondence; Pilgrim Trust grant for Corpus of English Medieval Paintings; Scientific Department; Summer course; Lee gift to Hart House; draft scheme for the establishment of art history teaching in UK; insurance papers; press cuttings, 1930-1934; speeches relating to the opening of the Courtauld gallery.

Administrative / Biographical History

Born, Bridport, 1868; educated at Cheltenham College, Royal Military Academy, Woolwich; joined the Royal Artillery 1888; served in China, earning high commendation from the War Office, 1889-1890; Professor of Strategy and Tactics, Royal Military College, Kingston, Canada, 1893-1898; organised Military Survey of the Canadian Frontier, 1894-1896; appointed British military attach with the US Army during the Spanish-American war, 1898; honorary member of Roosevelt's Rough Riders, and became a close friend of Theodore Roosevelt; military attach in Washington, USA, 1899; returned to England and retired from the army, 1900; Conservative MP for Fareham, Hampshire, 1900-1918; joined the Board of Admiralty as a civil lord, 1903-1905; introduced and promoted the White Slave Traffic Act through Parliament, 1912; rejoined the army as a colonel on the staff, 1914; detailed for special service with the Expeditionary Forces and mentioned in despatches twice; Parliamentary Military Secretary, Ministry of Munitions, 1915-1916; knighted, 1916 (KCB); Personal Military Secretary to the Secretary of State for War (Lloyd George), 1916; Director-General of Food Production, 1917-1918, in recognition of his work made Baron Lee of Fareham; Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, 1919-1921; First Lord of the Admiralty, 1921-1922; British Delegate to the Washington Conference on reduction and limitation of arms, 1921-1922; Viscount, 1922; presided over three Royal Commissions, the Civil Service in India, 1923-1924, London Cross-River Traffic, 1926, and Police Powers and Procedure, 1928; Chairman of the Radium Commission and Trustee of the National Radium Fund 1929-1933; President of Cheltenham College, 1917-1940; Trustee of the Wallace Collection, 1924; Trustee of the National Gallery, 1926-1933, 1941-1947 (chairman 1931 and 1932); member of the Royal Fine Art Commission, 1926 and Deputy Chairman, 1940; member, Executive Committee of National Art Collections Fund; Chairman, Management Committee of the Courtauld Institute of Art, 1932-1937; Chairman, Warburg Library and Institute, 1933-1945; restored and furnished the Chequers Estate, which he gave to the Nation, 1921; bequeathed his art collection to the Courtauld Institute of Art; died, Gloucestershire, 1947.
Publications: The English Heritage Series joint editor (Longmans & Co, London, 1929-)


The papers are unlisted.

Access Information

Initial applications should be made to the Deputy Librarian, Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R ORN. At least one week's notice is generally required for access to archival material.

Other Finding Aids

A draft list is available at the Courtauld Institute of Art

Archivist's Note

Sources: Who's Who 1897-1996 (A & C Black, 1996); Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press, 1995); Courtauld Institute of Art catalogue; British Library On-Line Public Access Catalogue 97; National Register of Archives. Compiler: Julie Tancell.

Conditions Governing Use

Material may be photocopied subject to the approval of the Librarian or Archivist, and provided it does not breach the provisions of the Copyright Act, 1988.

Custodial History

After Lord Lee's death, his papers were given to the Beaverbrook Library. In 1973, Lee's executors transferred some of the boxes, containing papers referring to the early history of the Institute, to the Courtauld Institute (these are probably the five boxes held in the Registry). At some later date, on the closure of the Beaverbrook Library, the remainder of the Lee boxes were transferred to the Courtauld Institute, and stored in the Book Library.

Related Material

Correspondence with Lord Kenneth Clark, and papers concerning his legacy, 1933-1969, held at the Tate Gallery Archive (ref: 8812); reports to Field Marshal Horatio Herbert Kitchener, relating to the army, medical arrangements, c.1914-1916, held at the Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine (ref: Accessions to repositories 1964 RAMC); correspondence with Andrew Bonar Law, 1910-1921, held at the House of Lords Record Office: the Parliamentary Archives (ref: Bonar Law papers; correspondence with David Lloyd George, 1915-1941, held at the House of Lords Record Office: the Parliamentary Archives (ref: Lloyd George papers); correspondence with Frederick Stanley Oliver, 1907-1926, held at the National Library of Scotland, Manuscripts Division (ref: Acc 7676 7726 7750 7824 7841-43 7930 8346); correspondence with John St Loe Strachey, 1903-1921, held at the House of Lords Record Office: the Parliamentary Archives (ref: Strachey papers).


Letters that Remain (Friendly or otherwise) From the Post Bag of Arthur and Ruth Lee (1891-1941) Edited by Viscount Lee of Fareham (Privately Printed, 1941); A Catalogue of the Pictures, etc at 18 Kensington Palace Gardens, London, 1923, collected by Viscount and Viscountess Lee of Fareham and described by Tancred Borenius (University Press, Oxford, [1923]); Works of Art in Silver and Other Metals belonging to Viscount and Viscountess Lee of Fareham. Described and catalogued by William W Watts [With plates] (privately printed, London, 1936; Catalogue of the Lee Collection (Revised) ([London], 1962) [Courtauld Institute of Art]; A good innings. The private papers of Viscount Lee of Fareham edited by Alan Clark (London, J Murray, [1974]).

Personal Names