James Bryce, Viscount Bryce, British politician, historian and diplomat, was born in Belfast, on May 10, 1838; he was educated at the University of Glasgow and Trinity College, Oxford. He was called to the Bar in 1867, and first elected to Parliament as a Liberal in 1880, where he remained until 1907. Throughout his life, Bryce travelled and wrote extensively, and was active in the intellectual and literary communities of England, America and Europe. On July 23, 1889, Bryce married Elizabeth Marion Ashton when he was fifty-one years old and she was twenty years younger; they had no children. In 1907, he was appointed British Ambassador to the United States, a post he held until 1913. Upon his return to England, Bryce was created Viscount Bryce and joined the House of Lords; he also served at the International Court at The Hague, worked in support of the League of Nations, and continued to write and travel. He was on holiday in Sidmouth, Devon, when he unexpectedly died of heart failure on Jan. 22, 1922.
Scope and Content
The collection consists of three miscellaneous manuscripts by Bryce; the majority of the correspondence are letters written by Bryce to various addressees in the political, social, and literary worlds of England and America in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The letters deal with personal, political and business/publishing matters and the addressees include: Richard Everard Webster (Viscount Alverstone), Sabine Baring-Gould, Anne Cobden-Sanderson, William Gibbs McAdoo, George Foster Peabody, William H. Rideing, Harold Felix Baker Wheeler, and Lucien Wolf. This series also includes two Colonial-era documents signed by Thomas Pownall, Governor of Massachusetts (1757-1760), and one folder of ephemera containing a printed engraving and a printed photograph of Bryce.