Jack Lawson Papers

Scope and Content

The papers include miscellaneous correspondence, political, official, and personal, including a file of constituency correspondence for 1926-7, appointments diaries, journals, accounts and recollections by Lawson of politicians, politics, andtravels abroad on official missions, fragments of an autobiography continuing A man's life, drafts of publications, speeches, broadcasts, sermon notes, cuttings and photographs. Little of significance seems to have survived, however, from his periods of ministerial office.

Administrative / Biographical History

Jack Lawson was born in Whitehaven, but moved to Co. Durham at an early age. He began work in the pits (Boldon Colliery) at the age of 12. After a short period at Ruskin College, Oxford, in his twenties, he returned to the pits and cameincreasingly to prominence as a miners' leader. In 1919 he was elected to Parliament. He was Labour M.P. for Chester-le-Street 1919-1949, was in the first Labour government, 1924, as Financial Secretary to the War Office, again held juniorministerial office from 1929-1931 as Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Labour, and was Secretary of State for War August 1945-October 1946, and Lord-lieutenant of Co. Durham 1949-1958.

He published several books, including A man's life (London, 1932), an autobiography of his early life, and numerous articles, partly supporting himself during his parliamentary career and afterwards by his journalism. He was created Baron Lawson in1950.

Access Information

Open for consultation. Access to a few items will be limited under the terms of the UK Data Protection Act 1998.

Acquisition Information

Presented by: Lord Lawson's daughter, the Hon. Mrs Irene Lawson, in two instalments (1992 and 1994), and grand-daughter, Mrs Ruth Ross (2017, 2020).

Other Finding Aids

Separated Material

Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives, King's College, London: Bryant Papers D/4, letters from Jack Lawson, early 1940s.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to make any published use of material from the collection must be sought in advance from the Sub-Librarian, Special Collections (e-mail PG.Library@durham.ac.uk) and, where appropriate, from the copyright owner. The Library will assistwhere possible with identifying copyright owners, but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user of the material.

Geographical Names