The Letters of Thomas Babington MacAulay: Volume 5, January 1849-December 1855
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He died on August 19, This collection contains materials related to the personal and political life of Irish politician and writer John Wilson Croker, who served as Secretary to the Admiralty from to The collection approximately 25, items includes correspondence and letter books, diaries, financial records, poetry, printed materials, and political, legal, and judicial manuscripts. The Correspondence series is divided into 4 subseries: a chronological sequence, an alphabetical sequence, bundled groups of letters, and letter books.
The Chronological , Alphabetical , and Bundled subseries contain personal and political letters that Croker exchanged with colleagues, including many items pertaining to his career as secretary to the Admiralty. These include material on the Napoleonic Wars, such as dispatches from the Duke of Wellington and information on the locations of British troops and ships. Additional material concerns the War of and military news about the Iberian Peninsula; the series also contains Croker's correspondence with Lord Ashburton regarding peace negotiations with the United States.
The series also includes a list of transports awaiting convoy April 24, , information on Russian ships May 10, , and 2 printed bulletins in French regarding Napoleon Bonaparte October 9, , and June 14, Later material reflects Croker's literary career, particularly his contributions to The Quarterly Review.
Croker's personal correspondence includes letters to and from family members and friends. Items post-dating Croker's death largely originated from Edward Gifford, who discussed the treatment of Croker's papers. Further letters in the collection are addressed to Croker's wife, Rosamund Carrington Pennell, and reflect Croker's family life as well as aspects of his political life in London. The collection's 45 Letter Books include Croker's private letter books and their indexes, as well as bound groups of letters organized by correspondent.
Croker kept his set of 28 "private" letter books between and ; they contain copies of letters he authored on personal and political matters. The bulk of the political correspondence relates to Croker's duties as secretary to the Admiralty and to his relationship with the Duke of Wellington. The series contains 3 indexes to these volumes. The Diaries series contains 24 diaries that Croker kept between and , the bulk of which are dated between and Several of Croker's diaries are travel accounts. Additional diaries are 19th-century manuscript copies, including "Extract from the Journal of a Tour through England in the year written by Mr.
Whaley Fellow of Kings Coll. A series of Political, Legal, and Judicial Manuscripts relates to contemporary British politics and to foreign relations, particularly with France. The series contains an essay draft written by Croker and annotated by Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington, entitled "Observations on Choumara's Book," May 16, referring to Choumara's The Battle of Toulouse , as well as Croker's notes on conversations with the Duke.
The series also contains an undated, page speech by Croker. Five bound volumes pertain to the contested will of Francis Charles Seymour-Conway, 3rd Marquis of Hertford, including a copy of his will and codicils and records from Croker's legal case against Richard Seymour Conway regarding the will's validity The Financial Records series contains miscellaneous receipts and accounts that document Croker's finances between and The series includes material such as a receipt for wine shipped to Haiding Gifford in Ceylon Sri Lanka , and 5 account books.
The Poetry series includes loose manuscript copies of poems and 2 bound volumes: Croker's translations of Greek poems and a poem by Hugh Warrender entitled "The Night. A group of Lists and Indexes relate to Parliamentary elections, birth records, and other topics. The Printed Materials series consists of pamphlets, newspapers, and clippings about a variety of topics, particularly the French Revolution and issues in contemporary Irish politics. The following map has been cataloged in the library's online catalog: Shawe, Matthew. Jean de Luz, Aspinall, Arthur C. Napoleon Bonaparte, on Board H.
John W. Croker papers
Knowles, Michael David. Thomas, William. Online edition. Oxford University Press, DOI: UMDL finding aids home. Manuscripts Division William L.
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John Murray and Ashburton letters to J. John W. Political, Legal, and Judicial Manuscripts [series]. Printed Judiciary Records from Croker v. Joint Appendix-Croker v. Croker, Bank Book for Mess.
Croker papers Creator: Croker, John Wilson, Inclusive dates: Bulk dates: Extent: 21 linear feet Abstract: This collection contains materials related to the personal and political life of Irish politician and writer John Wilson Croker, who served as secretary to the Admiralty from to Clements Library, University of Michigan S. University Ave. Access Restrictions: The collection is open for research. Alternate Format: Volumes of John W.
Preferred Citation: John W. Croker Papers, William L. Collection Scope and Content Note This collection contains materials related to the personal and political life of Irish politician and writer John Wilson Croker, who served as Secretary to the Admiralty from to The remaining 14 letter books contain letters that Croker received from individual correspondents: "Canning, Holograph Letters to Rt. Croker" 1 volume, is comprised of letters from George Canning.
Canning's letters relate to personal and political matters, including affairs of the Houses of Parliament and the Admiralty; he frequently inquired about the French Marine and about ships stationed in foreign waters. Some of the letters were composed during Canning's tenure as Ambassador to Portugal Croker" 1 volume, These letters by Sir George Cockburn pertain to domestic politics within Great Britain, as well as to issues related to the Admiralty and to other members of government, including George Canning.
Some private correspondence concerns affairs with the United States. This volume also contains "A Map intended to illustrate the threatened Invasion of England by Bonaparte," as well as a chart entitled "The No. Victory at different periods. Croker" 6 volumes, is comprised of letters by John Gibson Lockhart pertaining to the British Admiralty. This volume contains letters by William Huskisson about the British Admiralty. Croker" 1 volume, includes personal letters from Spencer Perceval.
Perceval's letters focus on a political matters related Parliament and the British government. Croker 1 volume, The Diaries series contains 24 diaries that Croker kept between and , the bulk of which are dated between and Three Subject Volumes include the following: A volume containing journal articles and reviews of the works of Thomas Babington Macaulay, including an answer to his criticisms of Croker's edition of Boswell's Life of Johnson. The passage to which the term refers is from his Minute on Indian Education , delivered in It reads,.
In ,a school named La Martiniere which was founded by Major General Claude Martin had one of its houses named after him. Amongst the Dalit people in India, Macaulay is honored for his introduction of English in schools thus facilitating the education of Dr B. Ambedkar, the author of the Constitution of India. Returning to Britain in , he became MP for Edinburgh. Macaulay's position, slightly modified, became the basis of copyright law in the English-speaking world for many decades.
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In the election of he lost his seat in Edinburgh. He attributed the loss to the anger of religious zealots over his speech in favour of expanding the annual grant to Maynooth College in Ireland, which trained young men for the Catholic priesthood; some observers also attributed his loss to his neglect of local issues. In he was elected Rector of the University of Glasgow, a position with no administrative duties, often awarded by the students to men of political or literary fame; he also received the freedom of the city. In , the voters of Edinburgh offered to re-elect him to Parliament.
He accepted on the express condition that he need not campaign and would not pledge himself to a position on any political issue. Remarkably, he was elected on those terms. However, he seldom attended the House, due to ill health; indeed his weakness after suffering a heart attack caused him to postpone for several months making his speech of thanks to the Edinburgh voters.
He resigned his seat in January, In he was raised to the peerage as Baron Macaulay , of Rothley in the County of Leicester, [ 9 ] but seldom attended the House of Lords. As a young man he composed the ballads Ivry and The Armada , which he later included as part of Lays of Ancient Rome , a series of very popular ballads about heroic episodes in Roman history which he composed in India and published in The most famous of them, Horatius , concerns the heroism of Horatius Cocles.
It contains the oft-quoted lines:. And how can man die better Than facing fearful odds, For the ashes of his fathers, And the temples of his gods? During the s he began work on his most famous work, The History of England from the Accession of James the Second , publishing the first two volumes in At first, he had planned to bring his history down to the reign of George III. After publication of his first two volumes, his hope was to complete his work with the death of Queen Anne in The third and fourth volumes, bringing the history to the Peace of Ryswick, were published in However, at his death in , he was working on the fifth volume.
This, bringing the History down to the death of William III, was prepared for publication by his sister, Lady Trevelyan, after his death. Macaulay's political writings are famous for their ringing prose and for its confident, sometimes dogmatic, emphasis on a progressive model of British history, according to which the country threw off superstition, autocracy and confusion to create a balanced constitution and a forward-looking culture combined with freedom of belief and expression.
This model of human progress has been called the Whig interpretation of history. This philosophy appears most clearly in the essays Macaulay wrote for the Edinburgh Review. But it is also reflected in the History; the most stirring passages in the work are those that describe the "Glorious Revolution" of Macaulay's approach has been criticised by later historians for its one-sidedness and its complacency. Karl Marx referred to him as a 'systematic falsifier of history'. Macaulay goes to considerable length, for example, to absolve his main hero William III of any responsibility for the Glencoe massacre.
On the other hand, this outlook, together with his obvious love of his subject matter and of English civilization, helps to place the reader within the age being described in a personal way that no cold neutrality could, and Macaulay's History is generally recognized as one of the masterpieces of historical writing and a magisterial literary triumph only comparable as such to Gibbon and Michelet. Macaulay sat on the committee to decide on subjects from British history to be painted in the new Palace of Westminster.
The need to collect reliable portraits of noted figures in British history for this project led to the foundation of the National Portrait Gallery, which was formally established on 2 December Macaulay was amongst its founder trustees and is honoured with one of only three busts above the main entrance.
During later years his health made work increasingly difficult for him. He was buried in Westminster Abbey. As he had no children, his peerage became extinct on his death. Macaulay's nephew, Sir George Trevelyan, Bt, wrote a best-selling "Life and Letters" of his famous uncle, which is still the best complete life of Macaulay. His great-nephew was the Cambridge historian G.
The Liberal historian Lord Acton read Macaulay's History of England four times and later described himself as "a raw English schoolboy, primed to the brim with Whig politics" but "not Whiggism only, but Macaulay in particular that I was so full of". However after coming under German influence Acton would later find fault in Macaulay. He was not above par in literary criticism; his Indian articles will not hold water; and his two most famous reviews, on Bacon and Ranke, show his incompetence. The essays are only pleasant reading, and a key to half the prejudices of our age. It is the History with one or two speeches that is wonderful.
He knew nothing respectably before the seventeenth century, he knew nothing of foreign history, of religion, philosophy, science, or art. His account of debates has been thrown into the shade by Ranke, his account of diplomatic affairs, by Klopp. He is, I am persuaded, grossly, basely unfair. Read him therefore to find out how it comes that the most unsympathetic of critics can think him very nearly the greatest of English writers".
It would be unjust, and it would deprive us of nearly all that is great and good in this world. Let me remind you of Macaulay. He remains to me one of the greatest of all writers and masters, although I think him utterly base, contemptible and odious for certain reasons which you know". The Dutch historian Pieter Geyl, writing in , considered Macaulay's Essays as "exclusively and intolerantly English".
Macaulay's hold their own with the best". It was an insularity that was impregnable If his outlook was insular, however, it was surely British rather than English". As a result it is a superb, living picture of Great Britain in the latter half of the seventeenth century No description of the relief of Londonderry in a major history of England existed before ; after his visit there and the narrative written round it no other account has been needed Scotland came fully into its own and from then until now it has been a commonplace that English history is incomprehensible without Scotland".
It is worth very ounce of powder and shot that is fired again it".
Potter concluded that "in the long roll of English historical writing from Clarendon to Trevelyan only Gibbon has surpassed him in security of reputation and certainty of immortality". In J. Western wrote that: "Despite its age and blemishes, Macaulay's History of England has still to be superseded by a full-scale modern history of the period".
Macaulay, Thomas Babington (DNB00)
Kenyon stated that: "As is often the case, Macaulay had it exactly right". Speck wrote in that Macaulay's History of England "still commands respect is that it was based upon a prodigious amount of research". Though he was never cited by name, there can be no doubt that Macaulay answers to the charges brought against Whig historians, particularly that they study the past with reference to the present, class people in the past as those who furthered progress and those who hindered it, and judge them accordingly".