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Crewe Papers

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Crewe

Scope and Contents

The papers of Robert Offley Ashburton Crewe-Milnes (1858-1945), 1st Marquess of Crewe, politician. Son of Richard Monckton-Milnes, 1st Baron Houghton, he was educated at Harrow and Trinity College, Cambridge. He married Sybil Marcia Graham in 1880. The death of his father made him Baron Houghton and he entered the House of Lords and held the Liberal Whip. On the return of the Liberals to power in 1892, Houghton was appointed as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. In 1894 his uncle, the third Baron Crewe died and he succeeded to the Crewe estates and the title. On 20 April 1899 Crewe married the eighteen-year-old Lady Margaret Etrenne Hannah (Peggy) Primrose, daughter of the fifth earl of Rosebery. Crewe was a pivotal figure in the Liberal governments from 1905-16, holding the offices of Lord Privy Seal 1908 and 1912-1915, Secretary of State for India 1910-1915. Crewe was the principal political aide and confidant to Asquith during the eight years of his premiership and a virtually automatic appointee to the many ad hoc committees set up to handle specific crises before and during the First World War. After the war he was very much the elder statesman. The collection consists of over 150 archive boxes of letters and political papers, which have been roughly divided into a number of sections, including General Correspondence, Personal Papers, Speeches, Miscellaneous Papers, and India Office papers. A few items are restricted, and there are further printed political papers as yet uncatalogued.


  • Creation: 1880-1940


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 (


150 archive box(es) (150 boxes)

Language of Materials


Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

Cambridge University Library
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Cambridge CB3 9DR United Kingdom