The catalogue of the further papers of the Liberal politician Lewis Harcourt, 1st Viscount Harcourt, is now available online. The newly available material complements two other tranches of Lewis Harcourt papers catalogues in the Harcourt Papers and the Additional Harcourt Papers.
Lewis (‘Loulou’) Harcourt (1863-1922) was the son of the Liberal politician Sir William Harcourt. After serving as his father’s private secretary, Lewis Harcourt entered the House of Commons in 1904 as MP for Rossendale. He was appointed First Commissioner of Works in the Liberal government of Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman in 1905. He was promoted to the Cabinet in 1907. He remained in the Cabinet when Campbell-Bannerman was succeeded as Prime Minister by H.H. Asquith in April 1908. He was promoted to Colonial Secretary by Asquith in 1910.
The newly catalogued material includes Harcourt’s political journal, a major new source for the study of the Campbell-Bannerman and Asquith governments. Largely compiled from notes made by Harcourt in Cabinet, it records the opinions of his colleagues on the key issues of the period, including the outbreak and conduct of the First World War. Other newly available material includes:
- Correspondence and papers concerning the National Liberal Federation Home Counties Division.
- Harcourt’s political subject files, 1900-1920, which include material relating to the formation of Campbell-Bannerman’s government, 1905; the appointment of Asquith as Prime Minister in 1908; annotated Foreign Office telegrams on the outbreak of the First World War, women’s suffrage; and Irish Home Rule.
- Correspondence and papers relating to colonial affairs, 1909-1921.
- Harcourt’s political speeches, 1893-1920.
- Correspondence and papers concerning the founding of the London Museum, 1910-1922.