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Lewis Namier Papers

Date range: c.1920–62.

Papers of Sir Lewis Bernstein Namier (1888–1960), prominent historian and Professor of History at Manchester University, 1931–53. 

Namier was born in Russian Poland to non-practising Jewish parents, and moved to England in his late teens, entering Balliol College, Oxford, in 1908.

He took British nationality in 1913. After spending several years in the business and diplomatic worlds, he settled down to a full-time academic career in the mid-1920s, with a particular interest in British parliamentary history. Two major works, The Structure of Politics at the Accession of George III (1929) and England in the Age of the American Revolution (1930), established him in the front rank of British historians.

After retiring from Manchester in 1953, Namier worked on the History of Parliament series, with particular responsibility for the period 1754–90.

The archive contains notes and drafts of The Structure of Politics, but it chiefly consists of post-war material relating to the History of Parliament series (Namier was responsible for the period 1754–90) and his biography of Charles Townshend.

There is also some correspondence, and there are items connected with Lady Julia Namier’s biography of her husband, including appreciations and obituaries.

Namier also features in the Manchester Guardian archive.

Finding aids

  • Unpublished handlist.
  • Box list available online via ELGAR.

Location

The John Rylands Library

Using the reading rooms in the John Rylands Library

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