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Templewood Papers

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Templewood

Scope and Contents

Papers of Sir Samuel Hoare, Viscount Templewood (1880 - 1959) Samuel Hoare was the elder son of Sir Samuel Hoare and Katharin Louisa Hart. His father was MP for Norwich, and he came from an ambitious Anglo-Irish branch of an old Quaker family. Samuel Hoare was educated at Harrow and New College, Oxford. He married Lady Maud Lygon in 1909 and settled in Cadogan Gardens, London. In 1915 he inherited the country estate of Sidestrand Hall, Norfolk with the baronetcy. Samuel Hoare worked as Secretary to Alfred Lyttelton, the Conservative colonial secretary, and in January 1910 was elected MP for Chelsea, a seat he held for thirty-four years. During the First World War, Samuel Hoare, a distinguished linguist, served as an intelligence officer in Russia and as Station Chief at the British Mission in Rome, Italy from 1916-18. After the Great War, Samuel Hoare continued his political career, playing a part in the demise of the Lloyd George coalition. His loyalty to Andrew Bonar Law was rewarded by a privy councillorship and the office of Secretary of State for Air in 1922. He became a member of the cabinet in 1923 under Stanley Baldwin, where he remained apart from a few spells in opposition, until 1940. Hoare did much work in relation to India and supported moves towards self-governance. He promoted the 1935 Government of India Bill, and clashed frequently with Winston Churchill over the issue. Promotion to the Foreign Office followed, and Samuel Hoare's health suffered during a stressful period of negotiation with Mussolini leading to the infamous 'Hoare-Laval' pact, which was ultimately rejected by the British people and the government. His resignation followed. Hoare's friendship with Neville Chamberlain soon led to the post of First Lord of the Admiralty in 1836, then the Home Office in 1937. Hoare did much work in the field of judicial and prison reform, and later became associated with Chamberlain's appeasement policy, which ultimately led to his exile to the Madrid embassy 1940-1944. Hoare accepted a peerage in July 1944, becoming Viscount Templewood of Chelsea. After his retirement from politics, Hoare continued to be involved with penal reform and the movement to abolish capital punishment. He wrote several books including his memoirs and accounts of his career abroad. The collection of papers held at the University of Cambridge Manuscripts Department include both personal and political records, including correspondence, cabinet papers and scrapbooks, also his literary papers, including drafts of his publications. The collection contains papers from Samuel Hoare's government posts, including his work abroad in Russia, Italy and Spain. Hoare's interest in India is also well represented. There is much of interest to those researching the inter-war years and the British Government's approach to the rise of German power and the policy of appeasement. There are some files relating to the Royal family including correspondence, notes and articles. The personal papers document every aspect of Samuel Hoare's life, from his letters home from Harrow, his engagement and marriage to Maud, his political career and many public interests. A series of scrapbooks contains photographs and ephemera from his schooldays onwards. Hoare was President of the Lawn Tennis Association (1932-56), Chancellor of Reading University (1937-59) and Chairman of the Council of the Howard League for Penal Reform (1947-59). The Anderson Collection contains correspondence between Hoare and his wife Maud 1922-1958, containing political news and gossip as well as personal matters. It also includes letters of condolence received by Viscountess Templewood on the death of her husband and other family correspondence.


  • Creation: 1905-1962


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 Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (


100 archive box(es) (100 boxes)

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Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

Cambridge University Library
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Cambridge CB3 9DR United Kingdom