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PROTHERO, Sir George Walter (1858-1922)

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 1551 PROTHERO
Held at: Royal Historical Society
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Full title: PROTHERO, Sir George Walter (1858-1922)
Date(s): 1886-1922
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 44 bundles
Name of creator(s): Prothero | Sir | George Walter | 1858-1922 | Knight | Historian


Administrative/Biographical history:

George Walter Prothero was born in Wiltshire, 14 October 1848, the eldest son of Rev. Canon George Prothero, Whippingham, Isle of Wight, and Emma nee Money-Kyrle, of Homme House, Herefordshire. He was educated at Eton, King's College Cambridge and the University of Bonn. He was Bell Scholar, 1869 and obtained 1st class in the Classical Tripos, 1872.

He was Assistant Master at Eton, and university lecturer in history and tutor at King's College, Cambridge 1876-1894. In 1894 he was appointed to the newly created chair of modern history at Edinburgh University, but in 1899 moved to London to take up the editorship of the Quarterly Review. He was President of the Royal Historical Society 1901-1905.

Other appointments included; Lecturer under University Extension Scheme at Nottingham, Leicester; Rede Lecturer (Cambridge), 1903; Lowell Lecturer (Boston), and Schouler Lecturer (Johns Hopkins), 1910; Chichele Lecturer (Oxford), 1920; Governor of Holloway College, 1916; Member of Royal Commission for Ecclesiastical Discipline, 1904-1906; Director of the Historical Section, Foreign Office, 1918-1919; Member of the British Peace Delegation, 1919; Pres., Royal Historical Society; Corresponding Member of Massachusetts Historical Society; Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (Boston); Member of Société d'Histoire Modern (Paris); Hon. LLD Edinburgh and Harvard; Officer of the Crown of Belgium, 1919.

He married 1882, Mary Frances, daughter of late Dr Samuel Butcher, Bishop of Meath. Awarded KBE 1920; MA, LittD (Cambridge); FBA 1903. Prothero died in 1922.

Life and Times of Simon de Montfort, 1877; edited [Histoire du] siécle de Louis XIV, Francois Marie Arouet de Voltaire, Pt. 1, Voltaire, 1694-1778 (Cambridge University Press 1879) and Histoire du siecle de Louis XIV. par Voltaire Pt II Voltaire. 1694-1778, edited by Gustave Masson, and G. W. Prothero, (Cambridge University Press 1879); Le Directoire considérations sur la révolution française, troisiéme et quatriéme parties with a critical notice of the author ... and notes ... by Gustave Masson and G W Prothero, Anne Louise Germaine Necker Staél-Holstein (Mme. de Staél), (Cambridge University Press 1881); translation of vol. I of Ranke's Weltgeschichte, 1883; A memoir of Henry Bradshaw, Fellow of King's College, Cambridge, and University Librarian, (London, Kegan Paul, Trench, 1888); Select Statutes and other constitutional documents illustrative of the reigns of Elizabeth and James I (Oxford, Clarendon Press 1898); editor of Sir J. R. Seeley's Growth of British Policy, 1895; British History Reader, 2 vols 1898;
co-editor of the Cambridge Modern History, 1901-1912; editor of the Cambridge Historical Series; School History of Great Britain and Ireland (to 1910), 1912; Commemorative addresses on Sir Alfred Comyn Lyall by G W Prothero and on Edward Henry Pember by W.J. Courthope, (London, Oxford University Press. 1912); Catalogue of war publications compiled by G W Prothero with the assistance of Alex J Philip, (London, John Murray, 1916); German policy before the war (John Murray, 1917); A lasting Peace (London, Hodder and Stoughton 1917); editor of the series of Peace Handbooks issued by the Foreign Office, 1920; contributor to Encyclopædia Britannica and the Dictionary of National Biography.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of George Prothero comprising:

personal correspondence 1886-1922 (15 bundles);

subject files, 1866-1921, arranged chronologically - including papers relating to his early academic career and publications, his memoir of Henry Bradshaw, the RL Nettleship memorial 1892-4, Lord Acton, and the Quarterly Review, 1866-1899 (16 bundles); papers relating to the British Academy, the death of Bishop Creighton, and Prothero's Presidency of the Royal Historical Society, 1900-1901 (8 bundles); correspondence and papers relating to bibliography and the teaching of modern history, 1902-1904 (5 bundles); Creighton and Harvard Lectures, `Colonial administration', 1905-1910 (12 bundles); Monypenny's Life of Disraeli, AJ Butler, Sir H Lyall, 1911-1912, (8 bundles); Quarterly Review, British Academy, Lady Ritchie Fund, pamphlet on the War (and related correspondence), etc; papers 1914-1920 (7 bundles); letter from CH Firth about foreign archives and a related paper, a collection of autograph letters, 1921 (4 bundles);

correspondence relating to the World War One 1914-1922 with British, European and American correspondents (6 bundles);

papers relating to historical studies c1871-1914, including undergraduate and other notebooks, papers on 16th and 17th century historical documents (Statutes, Court of High Commission, etc), notes for his Creighton Lectures on Napoleon III, manuscripts on contemporary international relations (5 bundles);

papers relating to the Bibliography of Modern British History including correspondence, notes on British and foreign libraries and archives, and other working papers 1904-1914 (5 bundles and a drawer of index cards (V/5));

and printed papers including newspaper cuttings, scrapbook, articles (for the Quarterly Review, etc) and papers relating to societies and associations (6 bundles).

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Correspondence about World War One 1914-1922, arranged by Prothero himself.

Conditions governing access:

By appointment only. Contact the Executive Secretary, Royal Historical Society, University College London, Gower St, London, WC1E 6BT. Tel 020 7387 7532

Conditions governing reproduction:

Subject to usual copyright restrictions and condition of the original.

Finding aids:

Detailed list compiled in 1966-7 (quoted in HMC report).

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Bequeathed the Society by Sir George Prothero.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Lecture notes and papers (Ref: Dk 5 42-62), correspondence with Charles Sarolea 1911-1913 (Ref: Sar coll 30), and correspondence with AB Keith, 1917-1919 (Ref: Gen 145) held by Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections;
miscellaneous correspondence, 1894-1912 (Ref: MSS 10113-10581 Passim), held by the National Library of Scotland, Manuscripts Division;
journals and notebooks, 1872-1922 (Ref: Misc 77) and miscellaneous correspondence and papers mainly relating to his biography of Henry Bradshaw c1855-89 (Ref: Bradshaw Papers passim), letters to Oscar Browning, c1876-1913 (Ref: OB)held by Cambridge University: King's College Archive Centre;
letters to Lord Acton, 1896-1901 (Ref: Add MSS 6443, 7731, 8119) held by Cambridge University Library, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives;
correspondence with H Dawson, 1915-1919 (Ref: WHD), held by Birmingham University Information Services, Special Collections Department;
correspondence with Sir Charles Dilke 1905-1909 (Ref: Add MS 43921) held by the British Library, Manuscript Collections;
letters to Sir Edmund Gosse, 1899-1913, (Ref: Library Publications no 3) held by the Leeds University Library, Special Collections;
letters to Karl Pearson 1879-1916 (Ref: PEARSON) held by London University: University College London (UCL) Manuscripts Room;
letters to Peveril Turnbull, 1901-1902 (Ref: D1453) held by the Derbyshire Record Office;
letters to GE Morrison 1914-1920 (Ref: ML MSS 312) held by the State Library of New South Wales, Mitchell Library, Australia.

National Register of Archives: Click here to view NRA record

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Sources: Historical Manuscripts Commission's On-Line National Register of Archives; Summary report on the correspondence and papers of Sir George Walter Prothero (1848-1922), historian, the property of the ROYAL HISTORICAL SOCIETY, (reference: GB-1551-Prothero), R Olney and M Pendleton, December 2000, Historical Manuscripts Commission; and Who's Who 1897-1996, CD-ROM (A & C Black).
Compiled by Alison Field, as part of the London Signpost Survey project.

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal Place and Corporate Names 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
September 2003

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