Sir Edward Grey (Viscount Grey of Fallodon), 1862-1933

Sir Edward Grey, third Baronet and first Viscount Grey of Fallodon, was the longest serving Foreign Secretary of the twentieth century, guiding Britain’s foreign policy in 1905-16. In the 1920s, he was a prominent voice on foreign affairs, and a strong supporter of Asquithian Liberalism. Grey’s importance to British politics as Foreign Secretary lay in […]

Extract from Gladstone’s 3rd Midlothian speech on foreign policy

Following his electoral defeat in 1874, Gladstone resigned the Liberal leadership and, in his sixties, hoped to spend the rest of his life in retirement. The Balkan Massacres of 1876 drew him back to politics in protest at what he saw as Disraeli’s (Lord Beaconsfield’s) cynical reaction and his own party’s supine response.

Journal articles


The Liberal Party and the First World War

A one-day conference organised by the Journal of Liberal History and Kings College, London.

In this year, 100 years since the coming of war in August 1914, the conflict is remembered chiefly for its impact on the millions of ordinary men, women and children who were to suffer and die and over the following four years. Lives were altered forever and society transformed. But the war had political consequences too: empires fell, new nations emerged and British political parties and the party system underwent profound change, a transformation which plunged the Liberal Party into civil war and caused it to plummet from a natural party of government to electoral insignificance within a few short years. This conference will examine some of the key issues and personalities of the period.


09.30 Registration

09.50 Introduction: Lord Wallace of Saltaire, President of the Liberal Democrat History Group

10.00 The Liberal Party and the First World War an overview: Professor Pat Thane, Kings College

10.30 Sir Edward Grey and the road to war: Professor Thomas Otte, University of East Anglia

11.15 Coffee break

11.45 Gilbert Murray v. E.D. Morel: Liberalism’s debilitating Great War divide: Professor Martin Ceadel, New College, Oxford

12.30 Lunch break

13.15 The papers of Asquith and Harcourt: Mike Webb, Bodleian Library

14.00 Asquith as War Premier and Liberal Leader: Dr Roland Quinault, Institute of Historical Research

14.45 Coffee break

15.15 Comparing Lloyd George and Winston Churchill as war leaders: Professor Richard Toye, University of Exeter

16.00 Panel discussion on the impact of the war on the Liberal Party:
Michael Steed, Professor Vernon Bogdanor, Roland Quinault, Pat Thane

17.00 Close of conference