Butterfield, Sir Herbert, 1900-1979 (Knight and historian)
- Existence: 1900 - 1979
Herbert Butterfield was born in Oxenhope, near Keighley in Yorkshire, in 1900. In 1919 he entered Peterhouse, Cambridge, as a scholar in history, and in 1923 was elected a fellow of that college. In 1944 he took up the university chair of modern history, and in 1963 was appointed Regius Professor of modern history. He had been elected Master of Peterhouse in 1955, and served as Vice-Chancellor of the University from 1959 to 1961. He was editor of the Cambridge historical journal from 1938 to 1952, and was President of the Historical Association from 1955 to 1958. He retired from the mastership and his chair in 1968, the year he was knighted. Butterfield published widely throughout his working life. His most influential books were The Whig interpretation of history (1931), The Englishman and his history (1944), Christianity and history (1949), The origins of modern science (1949) and Man on his past (1955). He maintained an interest in orthodox diplomatic and political history of the eighteenth century alongside investigations into historiography and the nature of Christianity. Typical of his concern for historiographical questions was his long interest in the work of Lord Acton. He produced a number of publications on this subject, but his support for propositions to initiate a comprehensive publication of Acton's correspondence and working papers proved fruitless. In his later years, Butterfield was involved in the British Committee on the Theory of International Politics, which met under his aegis in Peterhouse. Sir Herbert Butterfield died in July 1979.
Found in 27 Collections and/or Records:
Correspondence from Cambridge historians and political scientists. The correspondents are Sir Ernest Barker, Sir Denis W. Brogan, Sir Herbert Butterfield, Denis Mack Smith, and George M. Trevelyan.
Correspondents include R. J. F. Barton (589-598), E. A. Beck (606-622), A. G. Bond (636-647), C. G. Evans (731-742), Sir B. D. Fisher (750-764), Lord Hankey (794-803), Sir E. R. Ludlow-Hewitt (872-910), T. B. Marson (923-933), Sir J. M. Salmond (980-998), J. R. W. Smyth-Pigott (1022-1032), R. Trenchard (1062-1078), Viscount Weir (1101-1119) and R. Wright (1123-1133).
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.
With a corrected typescript of an address by Butterfield delivered in Great St Mary's Church on 31 January 1965, afterwards published with the title 'In Memoriam Winston Churchill', and a note regarding the printing of the address.
Books which Norman Miller should read before coming to Peterhouse to read history
Comprises single items or small collections, chiefly correspondence, donated to or purchased by Cambridge University Library. Together with a number of items and fragments found in Cambridge University Library books and bindings.
The letters are mostly from senior members of the University of Cambridge. With related items.
Notes of interviews with Sir J. Balfour, Sir I. Berlin, Sir R. Birley, Sir H. Butterfield, M. C. N. Gillie, J. W. Grigg, Lord and Lady Hartwell, T. E. B. Howarth, C. P. Mayhew, J. E. Powell and others, 1976-1978
Correspondents include Sir H. Butterfield (21-30), Lord Hartwell (107-117), T. E. B. Howarth (119-136) and Lord Rothschild (189-197).
Christmas wishes; administrative work; Butterfield's family and activities at Christmas; perturbation at the policies of the Western powers.
Aerogramme. Best wishes for 1961; Datta's publications; administrative duties as Vice-Chancellor; forthcoming visit to Hong Kong; Christmas in Canterbury.
Aerogramme. Datta's publications and intended work on historiography of India; Butterfield's work on historiography for the Gifford Lectures; events in India; Sarvepalli Gopal; importance of the teaching function.
Aerogramme. Datta's present to Butterfield's wife; Sarvepalli Gopal; Higher Education in Britain now a matter of political controversy; busy with administration; the cause of history flourishing; work on the Gifford Lectures.
Butterfield's position concerning the High Commissioner's request.
Aerogramme. Toynbee and his system; a critical period in diplomacy; the failure of the Summit Conference; Datta's publications.
Aerogramme. Travel arrangements; Datta's invitation to Butterfield to visit Delhi.
Aerogramme. Christmas in Dublin; Gifford Lectures; flexibility of the historical process; Butterfield's current historical interests; death of Datta's sister.
The papers described in this catalogue date chiefly from the end of the Second World War to the 1970s; from the beginning of this period Butterfield was assisted in his University and college duties by a secretary. The collection documents almost all aspects of his academic life and writings, and provides a record of the wider development of historical studies over the course of his career.
Aerogramme. Enjoying retirement; Sawston; the age of his house; occupied with work on the history of historiography and on Charles James Fox.
Working desperately on a job against time; apologies and excuses for having neglected a request from Datta concerning the Conference of the Institute of Historical Studies in Kurukshetra.
Remembers an evening spent with Datta and his wife; his sudden recovery after a long period of poor health; writing on the history of history; occasional trouble in Cambridge University in recent years from undergraduate revolutionaries.
Aerogramme. Continues to recover from the stroke; approves of Datta's interest in historiography; Soviet Russia; Sarvepalli Gopal.
Aerogramme. Recovering from poor health, but still easily tired; almost ten years since he saw Datta in Delhi.
New Year wishes; improving health; plans to spend Christmas in Canterbury; the weather during 1972; studying the history of historiography.
The UK Archival Thesaurus has been integrated with our catalogue, thanks to Kings College London and the AIM25 project for their support with this.