COURTNEY, Leonard Henry, 1832-1918, 1st Baron Courtney of Penwit, and COURTNEY, Catherine,1847-1929, Baroness Courtney

Scope and Content

This collection was bound in forty two volumes:
Vol 1. Leonard Courtney's correspondence with Mill and Cairnes, 1862-1872.
Vol II. Leonard Courtney's correspondence with family and personal friends, 1857-1879.
Vol III. Engagement and marriage, 1881-1883.
Vols IV-VI. Correspondence, mainly political, 1880-1898.
Vols VI-VIII. Boer War, 1899-1902.
Vols IX-X. Correspondence, 1903-1913.
Vols XI-XII. European War, 1914-1918.
Vol XIII. Letters of condolence addressed to Lady Courtney on the death of her husband, 1918.
Vol XIV. Letters, memoranda and other material concerning a Life of Lord Courtney, arranged in part chronologically and in part alphabetically, 1918-1919.
Vol XV. Miscellaneous and undated letters of Leonard and Kate Courtney, arranged in part alphabetically and in part chronologically, 1864-1928.
Vol XVI. Miscellaneous papers of Leonard and Kate Courtney, arranged chronologically, 1864-1927.
Vols XVII-XVIII. Printed speeches, pamphlets, periodical articles etc. by Leonard Courtney, 1880-1913.
Vol XIX. Letterbook containing copies by Kate Courtney of letters written by Leonard Courtney between 1885 and 1910.
Vol XX. Notebook containing list of leaders and other articles, written for The Times by Leonard Courtney and payment therefore, 1864-1880.
Vols XXI-XXXVIII. Diaries of Kate Courtney, 1875-1919.
Vols XXXIX-XL. Autobiography and diaries of Rosalind Dobbs, 1914-1929.
Vol XLI. Travel diary of Catherine Courtney, Holland and Germany, and the USA and Canada, 1867 - 1869.
Vol XLII. Further letter book of Leonard Courtney, 1899-1905. There are in addition two letters from Edwin Chadwick to Courtney, 14 April 1888.

Administrative / Biographical History

Leonard Henry Courtney, 1832 - 1918, was born in Penzance and educated at St John's College, Cambridge. He was called to the Bar in 1858 and became a Bencher in 1889. He left law to became Professor of Political Economy at University College, London in 1872, a post that he held until 1875. He also entered politics, becoming the Liberal Party MP for Liskeard from 1875 to 1885, and then MP for the Bodmin Division of Cornwall until 1900. He was made Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department 1880 - 1881, and for the Colonial Office 1881 - 1882. In 1884 he resigned the office of Financial Secretary to the Treasury. His last post was as Chairman of Committees and Deputy Speaker, which he held 1886 - 1892. Leonard Courtney was also a contributor to The Times and The Nineteenth Century . He married Catherine (nee Potter, sister of Beatrice Webb) in 1883.


The collection is arranged by subject, bound in forty two volumes.

Access Information


Acquisition Information

The letters from Edwin Chadwick were received on 20 Oct 1955 (Accession No: M 558); the travel diary of Catherine Courtney (Courtney 41) and letter book (Courtney 42) were received from the Library on 21 Oct 1974 (Accession Nos: M1177 & M1178).

Other Finding Aids

Printed handlist and online catalogue available. There is an alphabetical list of correspondents for volumes 1-40 at the back of the printed handlist.

Archivist's Note

Output from CAIRS using template 14 and checked by hand on February 1, 2002

Separated Material

Further papers of Lord Courtney are held at the Electoral Reform Society of Great Britain and Ireland; 1863-1919: Oxford University: Bodleian Library, Special Collections and Western Manuscripts; National Archives of Scotland; Birmingham University Information Services, Special Collections Department; British Library, Manuscript Collections; Oxford University: Pembroke College Library; Manchester University: John Rylands Library; News International Record Office; Duke University: William R Perkins Library. See the National Register of Archives for further details.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright is held by the family.

Corporate Names