Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Raleigh 300: Who was involved in the tercentenary celebrations in 1918?

Continued from http://raleigh400.blogspot.co.uk/2018/02/raleigh-300-how-did-they-mark.html

Here are some of the people who felt that Sir Walter Raleigh was worth remembering and his life worth celebrating in 1918. 

It was the 300th anniversary of his execution, and Britain was still engaged in a world war. But that didn’t stop the nation’s Great and Good. They still believed, as they put it, in ‘one of the great heroes of the modern world’. 

HM King George V

The Raleigh Tercentenary Commemoration was seen as an initiative of national importance. No less a person than the King was its Patron.

A Tercentenary Committee to organise the event included: 

Arthur Balfour, KG, OM, PC, FRS, FBA, DL (1848-1930), 1st Earl of Balfour.  Politician. Foreign Secretary from 1916 to 1919, noted for  issuing the Balfour Declaration in November 1917.  He had served as Prime Minister from 1902 to 1905.

(Honorary President, speaker at the Mansion House, London, on Tuesday 29 October 1918)

George Forrest Browne (1833-1930). Bishop of Bristol 1897-1914.


James Bryce, OM, GCVO, PC, FRS, FBA (1838-1922), 1st Viscount Bryce.  Academic, jurist, historian and politician. British ambassador to the United States from 1907 until 1913. Speaker at the Mansion House, London, on Tuesday 29 October 1918.
(Honorary Chairman) 

Sir Charles Harding Firth, FBA (1857-1936). British historian. Delivered a paper on Raleigh’s History of the World before the British Academy at Burlington House on 30 October 1918).  Image © Royal Historical Society

Sir Israel Gollancz,  FBA (1863-1930). Scholar of early English literature and of Shakespeare. Professor of English Language and Literature at King's College, London, from 1903 to 1930.  Gave an address on ‘Shakespeare and the New World, on Friday 1 November 1918).
(Honorary Secretary)   

Rufus Isaacs,  GCB, GCSI, GCIE, GCVO, PC, KC (1860-1935), 1st Marquess of Reading. Barrister, jurist and politician.  Ambassador to the United States from 1918 until 1919, while continuing at the same time as Lord Chief Justice.   
(Honorary President)

Walter Hines Page, (1855-1918)  
 Journalist, publisher and diplomat. US ambassador to the United Kingdom during WW1.  Illness that year had led to his retirement as ambassador.  Photo credit: Library of Congress
(Honorary President)

Photo credit: Illustrated War News   
Sir Charles Wakefield, GCVO, CBE (1859-1941), 1st Viscount Wakefield. British businessman and philanthropist who founded the Castrol lubricants company. He was Lord Mayor of London, 1915-16. His support created the enduring Raleigh Lecture on History at the British Academy.  
(Honorary Treasurer)

Apart from the Tercentenary Committee, others involved in the Raleigh 300 commemoration included:

Reverend Ernest William Barnes, FRS (1874-1953). Mathematician and scientist, Master of the Temple Church, London, 1915-19. Bishop of Birmingham 1924-53.  (Preacher at the morning service in the Temple Church on Sunday 27 October 1918).

Reverend William Hartley Carnegie (1859-1936). Canon of Westminster and Rector of St Margaret’s, Westminster from 1913 until 1936.   (Preacher at the special afternoon service at St Margaret’s on Sunday 27 October 1918).

Sir Lionel Henry Cust KCVO FSA (1859-1929) British art historian and museum director. Director of the National Portrait Gallery from 1895 to 1909; co-edited The Burlington Magazine from 1909 to 1919. (Delivered a paper in November 1918 on ‘Raleigh’s portraits’).
Image credit NPG

**Hugh Fortescue, KCB, 4th Earl Fortescue (1854-1932). Landowner and politician, Lord Lieutenant of Devon 1903-28.  Speaker at Exeter Cathedral, on Tuesday 29 October 1918.

*Sir Edmund Gosse CB (1849-1928) Poet, author and critic.  Knighted in 1925. 

*General Sir Ian Standish Monteith Hamilton, GCB, GCMG, DSO, TD (1853-1947) Lieutenant of the Tower of London. Notable for commanding the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force during the WW1 Gallipoli Campaign.  

Sir Sidney Lee, FBA (1859-1926). Biographer, writer and critic. Delivered a paper on 10 December 1918 on ‘Raleigh’s discovery of Guiana’, at the Royal Colonial Institute, London.

Sir Harry Lushington Stephen (1860-1945). Judge.  (Delivered a paper on 27 November 1918 before the Royal Historical Society on ‘Raleigh’s Trial’). [no photo available]

*Major John Baker White DSO (1868-1944). American lawyer, military officer, and politician in the U.S. state of West Virginia.  Judge-Advocate, American troops in Great Britain and Ireland. 

*Speaker at the Mansion House, London, on Tuesday 29 October 1918.

Having listed them all, I was awed by the thought of so many distinguished figures working together to celebrate the life of a great British hero. 

I was ready to express my surprise at the relative silence with which Sir Walter’s 400th anniversary is being greeted today. 

But of course some people I know would say that the list simply reeks of privilege.  


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