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Newbold Papers

Date range: c.1913-1943

Medium: Archive

Papers of John Turner Walton Newbold (1888–1943), socialist and historian.

Newbold became politically active while a student at the University of Manchester. He stood unsuccessfully as Independent Labour Party and Bolshevik candidate for Motherwell and Wishaw in the 1918 general election. In 1921 he joined the new Communist Party of Great Britain, and was briefly Britain’s first Communist MP, representing Motherwell (1922–23). However, disillusioned with revolutionary politics, he resigned from the Communist Party in 1924, and gradually drifted to the political right. In 1928 he joined the Social Democratic Federation, and during the 1931 crisis he supported the National Government, finally abandoning socialism altogether.

Newbold’s papers comprise notes on historical, political and economic subjects, including the history of capitalism, international finance, banking and trade,the electricity and chemical industries, armaments and the two World Wars.

There are also autobiographical materials relating to Newbold’s political life, the Labour Party, the Communist Party and Russia, and copies of articles written by him.

Further information:

  • Catalogue available via Special Collections Reading Rooms.
  • Robert Duncan, 'The Papers of John Turner Walton Newbold, 1888-1943: an introductory guide', Bulletin of the John Rylands University Library of Manchester, vol. 76, no. 2 (1994), pp. 195-203.


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