An interview with Professor Ramsden

Posted by Helen Friday, November 20, 2009 ,

The secondary blog of the Conservative History Journal is finally in existence. The aim is to post very long pieces on that with shorter links on this, the primary blog. There may well be future technological developments on the site but warnings will be posted.

The first piece on the other blog is a long interview Mark Coalter, a frequent contributor to the Journal, had with Professor John Ramsden in the summer of 2007. The interview has not been published until now. It is now up in its entirety. But just to whet everybody's appetite, here is an excerpt about Professor Ramsden and Lord Willoughby de Broke:

MC: You could always look at Lord Willoughby de Broke

JR: I was responsible for getting Lord Willoughby de Broke’s papers deposited. I was the first person to read them and I went to see the then Lord Willoughby. I said to him, that these are valuable papers which should be deposited somewhere for safety. He asked where, and I took a deep breath and thought where would he like me to say? With one eye on 1911, I suggested the House of Lords’ Records Office as an appropriate place, which he thought a good idea. We then had a discussion about 1911. Bearing in mind that this would have been about 1970 when the conversation was taking place, he engaged me in a long discussion about whether the Parliament Act of 1911 had not, in fact, been a rather bad thing; it would have been much better (he argued) if the House of Lords had retained its power. The Willoughby de Brokes were die-hards unto the very end.

MC: And yet willing to countenance Asquith’s new Peers?

JR: There was a letter in that collection addressed to, I don’t think it was Carson, rather Craig, in Belfast around the time of the so-called Mutiny at the Curragh, in which Willoughby de Broke writes to the Ulster leaders saying that I am at your disposal, I can ride and shoot well and I have many tenants who will come with me. Just like 1642, whereas this was 1911 and he was proposing to raise Warwickshire for the Union! It’s wonderful. I guess Craig’s reply, while it doesn’t quite say calm down, old boy, that’s what it means. Obviously, what the Ulstermen needed was Lord Willoughby riding to the rescue. Instead, they pointed out they could look after themselves in Belfast, as indeed they could.
There is a great deal of absolutely fascinating stuff in the interview. I strongly urge everyone to read it.

PS Tory Historian will be back very soon.


Powered by Blogger.




Blog Archive