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Discrete CollectionsPolitics, economics and social science collections
TitleLansbury; George (1859-1940); politician
Ref NoLANSBURY
LevelCollection
Date1877-1940
Extent30 volumes and 4 files
Admin Biographical HistoryGeorge Lansbury, 1859-1940, left school at the age of fourteen and worked as a clerk, a wholesale grocer, and in a coffee bar before starting his own business as a contractor for the Great Eastern Railway. In 1884 he emigrated to Australia with his wife and children, but did not find the experience satisfactory, returning home in 1885 to enter his father-in-law's timber merchant business.
Lansbury was involved in politics from an early age, first as an active Radical and then as a Socialist. He became a borough councillor in Poplar in 1903 and Labour MP of Bow and Bromley in 1910. In 1912, he resigned to fight the seat as an Independent and a supporter of suffrage for women. He was re-elected in 1922 and held the position of leader of the Labour Party from 1931 to 1935.
Lansbury was greatly interested in the causes and prevention of poverty and unemployment. He was a member of the Central Unemployed Body for London and also a member of the Royal Commission on Poor Law and Relief of Distress, where he signed the minority report. In 1929 he became the first Commissioner of Works and also established the first Poor Law Labour Colony and the first Labour Colony for the Unemployed (apart from the Poor Law and under public control) at Hollesley Bay. He was also a founder of the 'Daily Herald' and its editor from 1919 to 1923.
Custodial HistoryVolumes 1-26 consist of the personal and political correspondence and papers used by Lansbury's son-in-law, Raymond Postgate, in researching 'The Life of George Lansbury', published in 1951. These papers were presented to the British Library of Political and Economic Science by Professor Postgate in 1950.
Volumes 27-30 were added to the collection some time later.
Volume 31 consists of three files of personal correspondence which were added to the collection in 1994 and one file of reports found in 1999.
DescriptionLansbury's personal and political correspondence; correspondence with Lansbury's biographer and son-in-law, Raymond Postgate, and others after his death; correspondence and papers on subjects of interest to Lansbury, including schools, the Labour Party, unemployment, agriculture, India, the 1931 Cabinet Crisis, and the Metropolitan Police; personal and official photographs, and caricatures from the press; press reviews of Lansbury's published works; printed matter, including articles, pamphlets, speeches and leaflets by or concerning Lansbury, election addresses, and personal ephemera.
Related MaterialColl Misc 0542
Access ConditionsResearchers may apply to the archivist to use the originalsOriginal withdrawn; microfilm must be used (Archives MF 360-369)
Copyright TypeCopyright is held by the Library
Former Reference NumberColl LL
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