HERBERT HENRY ASQUITH AUTOGRAPH Letter Signed
British Liberal Prime Minister (1908-1916). The longest serving Prime Minister of the the 20th Century, until Margaret Thatcher.
ALS. 3pp. Printed letterhead of 1 Paper Buildings, Temple, London E.C. struck through and with handwritten address 20 Cavendish Square. 9th December, 1903. To [Sir Frank] Brown.
"Many thanks for your letter and kind invitation. Mr Mendl has doubtless already told you that the meeting of Parliament having been fixed for Feb 2nd, I am obliged to postpone my visit to Stockton to a later date. I am afraid in any case I should have been unable to come in time for the school function."
8vo. Approx 7 x 4.5 inches. Fine.
Asquith was the Prime Minister who led Britain into WW1. At the date of this letter, he was deputy to Henry Campbell Bannerman in opposition to the Conservative government of Arthur Balfour. In 1903/04 he was actively engaged in campaigning for what was expected to be a forthcoming election. Asquith eventually went to Stockton on January 6th 1904 for the purpose of supporting the candidature of Mr. S.F. Mendl, where he spoke on labour questions and the Trades Disputes Bill. It was on this occasion that he made his speech saying that it "passes the wit of man" to devise a scheme whereby a strike could be legally conducted. Sir Frank Brown was High Sheriff of Durham and a Justice of the Peace. It seems that he was hoping that Asquith would pay a visit to his old school, Stockton Grammar School, whilst on the visit.