Skip to main content

Cambridge University Libraries are providing a blend of online and controlled in-person services. Please see our website for more details.

Ward, Sir Adolphus William, 1837-1924 (Knight, historian)

 Person

Dates

  • Existence: 1837 - 1924

Biography

Adolphus Ward, historian (1837-1924) was the second son of John Ward, a diplomat. He entered Peterhouse as a pensioner in 1855. He took a First Class in the Classical Tripos in 1859, and was elected a fellow of his college three years later. In 1866 he was appointed professor of history and English at Owens College, Manchester, and remained there for the next three decades, becoming principal of the college in 1889, and creating a history school that came to rival those of Oxford and Cambridge. His research interests during this period were primarily in the history of English literature and drama, although he also published a study of the Counter-Reformation (1889) and became an expert in the history of Britain's relations with Hanover. In October 1896 Ward was approached by Lord Acton, whose scheme for a multi-volume 'universal modern history' had just been accepted by the Syndics of Cambridge University Press, as a man who had much greater familiarity with the historians of the northern English universities than had Acton himself, and could therefore suggest those who might be potential contributors. Ward was enthusiastic about the scheme, and during the next few years acted as Acton's principal lieutenant, taking over much of the day-to-day management and detailed editorial work after his retirement from Manchester in 1897, and subsequent resettlement in Kensington. Acton's letters to him during their collaboration form the largest component of the present collection. By 1900 he felt that his health was suffering, and that the importance of his work was insufficiently recognised by the Syndics. He therefore withdrew from his editorial functions, and restricted himself to the preparation of his own chapters of the History. In the autumn of 1900 Ward was elected Master of Peterhouse, and returned to Cambridge at what could be seen in hindsight to have been an opportune moment, for the following spring Acton suffered a stroke, and in due course resigned the editorship of the History. The Syndics asked Ward to take over as general editor, assisted by Stanley Leathes and George Prothero. At this point, none of the volumes had yet been published, and Acton had left the project in some chaos, and well behind schedule. By a mixture of determination, diplomacy, industry and scholarship (and with the loyal co-operation of his co-editors), Ward brought the History to completion over the following decade, celebrating the publication of the final volume with a dinner for contributors in June 1911. Although he was now over seventy, Ward's enthusiasm for large-scale collaborative histories was undiminished. While still engaged on the Modern History he began to edit the Cambridge History of English Literature (published 1907-16), and from 1916 (jointly with G.P. Gooch) the Cambridge History of British Foreign Policy 1783-1919 (published 1922-23). A few letters in this collection relate to these projects. Ward died at Cambridge on 19 June 1924, aged 86.

Found in 9 Collections and/or Records:

 Fonds

Correspondence of Professor Henry Jackson concerning the Acton Library

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.7720
Scope and Contents In 1890 Lord Acton, whose financial affairs were in a state of some embarrassment, decided to sell his vast historical library at auction, and the first part of what was to have been a many-volumed catalogue was issued by Messrs Puttick & Simpson, containing 2,400 lots to be sold on eight days in July. Before this sale took place, Andrew Carnegie had (at the suggestion of Acton's friend and political mentor Gladstone) purchased the entire library, and allowed Acton to retain possession...
Dates: 1902-1903
Conditions Governing Access: Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
 Series

Correspondence to Francis J.H. Jenkinson from Vice-Chancellors, 26 Apr. 1888-6 Nov. 1908

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.8781/313-324
Dates: 26 Apr. 1888-6 Nov. 1908
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
 Fonds

Henry Spenser Wilkinson: Letter to Sir Adolphus Ward, 1919

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.4251/1489
Scope and Contents From the Fonds:

Artificial collection of single item or small collection accessions. Mainly correspondence but includes other papers.

Dates: 1919
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
 Fonds

John, 1st Baron Acton: Letters to him concerning the Cambridge Modern History

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.6443
Scope and Contents

A collection of letters to Lord Acton, nearly all relating to the Cambridge Modern History. The principal correspondent is his co-editor W.A.J. Archbold; the remainder are for the most part potential or actual contributors to the History, replying to Acton's invitations to take part or writing about their contributions. Appended are a further letter of A.W. Ward, 1914, and one of Herbert Butterfield, 1964, relating to the collection, and a few miscellaneous papers. 291 items.

Dates: 1896-1899
Conditions Governing Access: Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
 File

Letter from Sir A.W. Ward to J. Peile, 8 Nov. 1901

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.5944/20/32
Scope and Contents From the Fonds:

Artificial collection of single item or small collection accessions. Includes correspondence, verses, notes and miscellaneous papers.

Dates: 8 Nov. 1901
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
 File

Letters on the recall of an overdue book borrowed by T.G.M. Hine, 28 Oct. 1903-21 Dec. 1903

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.8781/224-237
Dates: 28 Oct. 1903-21 Dec. 1903
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
 Fonds

Sir Adolphus William Ward: Correspondence

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.8406
Scope and Contents

Correspondence, mainly concerning the Cambridge Modern History series of volumes. Letters are addressed to Ward unless otherwise stated.

Dates: 1896-1911
Conditions Governing Access: Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
 Fonds

Sir Adolphus William Ward: Correspondence to A.T. Bartholomew, 1909-1915

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.4251/59-62
Scope and Contents From the Fonds:

Artificial collection of single item or small collection accessions. Mainly correspondence but includes other papers.

Dates: 1909-1915
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
 Fonds

Sir Adolphus William Ward: Correspondence to Charles Sayle, A.T. Bartholomew and Francis Jenkinson, 1901-1922

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.4251/1442-1455
Scope and Contents From the Fonds:

Artificial collection of single item or small collection accessions. Mainly correspondence but includes other papers.

Dates: 1901-1922
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).

Additional filters:

Type
Archival Object 6
Collection 3
 
Subject
History 1
 

The UK Archival Thesaurus has been integrated with our catalogue, thanks to Kings College London and the AIM25 project for their support with this.