John Henry Whitley Archive
Collection documents the varied career and personal life of John Henry Whitley. Whitley's occupations included Halifax mill owner, champion of universal education, revered local politician, Speaker of the House of Commons, Chairman of the Royal Commission on Labour in India and Chairman of the BBC.

The archive includes letters from Winston Churchill and King George V and the autographs of Gandhi, Benito Mussolini and cricketer Wilfred Rhodes.

The collection is split into 8 sections: reference sources relating to J. H. Whitley; scrapbooks compiled by the Whitley family; personal papers, correspondence and photographs relating to Whitley's career and family life; press cuttings referring to J.H. Whitley; a series of cartoons from Punch magazine commenting on Whitley's career; a section concentrating on the history of Whitley councils; material relating to Whitley's relationship with his school, Clifton College and information relating to the General Strike of May 1926.
  • JHW/1

    Reference Sources Series

    16 May 1931 - 7 Oct 2011
    The section is split into three series; General, Whitley Councils and Archive Collection.

    The General Series includes materials published on the topic of the Whitley family or where the Whitley family have been mentioned in detail. Items include obituaries, biographies and academic papers. Also included is material written on the subject of 2 key figures associated with the Whitley family: Sir Ralph Verney and Sir Ralph Hugh Carey.

    The Whitley Council Series contains two books written on the subject of Whitley Councils and Whitleyism.

    The Archive Collection series includes introductory notes to the archive written by John Paton Whitley, J. H. Whitley's grandson. His notes include an outline of contents, who's who and notes on the compilation of The J. H. Whitley Archive.
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  • JHW/2

    Scrapbooks Series

    A collection of 8 volumes of scrapbooks containing newspaper clippings, letters and photographs. The books cover J.H. Whitley's contribution to the education and politics of the town of Halifax; his appointments in the Houses of Parliament, the BBC and with the Chairman of the Royal Commission on Labour in India as well as records of condolence and reminisces after his death in 1935.

    Notable entries in these scrapbooks include 2 letters from Winston Churchill.
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  • JHW/3

    Personal Papers Series

    A group of personal papers and mementos collected by J. H. Whitley throughout his career. Items include honorary awards presented from universities as well as official parliamentary debates where Whitley's role as Speaker of the House of Commons is a central topic.

    The Personal Papers section also includes a visitors' book containing signatures from notable individuals as Mahatma Gandhi and Wilfred Rhodes as well as the Rockefeller family.
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  • JHW/4

    Correspondence Series

    1907 - 1994
    A collection of letters sent to or from the family of J.H. Whitley (1866-1935), MP for Halifax and Speaker of the House of Commons. Correspondence is split into three categories: letters concerning J.H. Whitley's official appointments; private correspondence between members of the Whitley family and correspondence sent after J.H. Whitley's death, concerning his career as Speaker.

    The Whitley family's correspondence includes communication with notable individuals such as H. H. Asquith, Stanley Baldwin, J. M. Barrie, G. Bernard Shaw, Andrew Bonar Law, Violet Bonham-Carter, Austen Chamberlain, Neville Chamberlain, Winston Churchill, Anthony Eden, Earl Haig, Ramsay MacDonald and King George V.
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  • JHW/5

    Photographs Series

    A collection of images related to the family of John Henry Whitley. (1866-1935), MP for Halifax and Speaker of the House of Commons. Collection is split into five categories. Categories include: photographs of J.H. Whitley; photographs of J.H. Whitley's family and photographs of Prime Ministers and other public figures. Two categories relate to photographs of gifts presented to J.H. Whitley.

    The Whitley family's pictures include images of H. H. Asquith, Lady Margot Asquith, Stanley Baldwin, Randall Davidson, Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Cave, Alan Cobham, Sir Edward Grey, David Lloyd George, Ramsay MacDonald, Earl of Oxford, J. H. Whitley, Canon J. M. Wilson and Philip Snowden.
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  • JHW/6

    Press Cuttings Series

    Section contains press-cuttings which regard the career and personal life of J. H. Whitley and his family.

    The press cuttings concerning J. H. Whitley (JHW/6/1) highlight Whitley's career achievements from before his Speakership, then at the election of his Speakership, followed by his retirement from the Speakership and his post-Speakership career. The section containing obituaries and tributes to Whitley emphasise his political achievements.

    The press cuttings concerning J. H. Whitley's Family (JHW/6/2) reflects significant moments in Whitley's personal life, such as the death of his step-mother, the marriage of his eldest daughter and the death of his first wife.

    This section gives a useful overview of Whitley's impact through the reaction of the media to many aspects of his life.
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  • JHW/7

    Whitley Councils Collection Series

    The items in the section provide insight in to the history of Whitley Councils, with newspaper articles, lectures, magazine articles and letters all emphasising the impact and success of Whitleyism.

    A National Joint Industrial Council or a Joint Industrial Council can also be known as a Whitley Council. This is because J. H. Whitley proposed a system of consultations in the work place, to improve relations between workers and employers. This model has gone on to influence industrial relations beyond the UK.
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  • JHW/8

    Punch Cartoons Series

    Section includes Punch cartoons concerning J. H. Whitley's election as Speaker ('The Penalty of Greatness'), his re-election during four different Prime Minister's period of office ('The Arms of The Chair'), his ability to referee Parliament ('A Fellow Feeling'), his retirement from the Speakership ('The Referee's Farewell') and his work as BBC Chairman ('B. B. Secrecy').

    Each cartoon has various documents relating to it.

    'The Penalty of Greatness', a cartoon commenting on J. H. Whitley's reluctance to become Speaker, has the corresponding article from Punch magazine.

    'The Arms of The Chair', a cartoon commenting on J. H. Whitley's re-election as speaker under four Prime Ministers, includes related notes written by Oliver Whitley explaining the meaning behind the cartoon.

    'A Fellow Feeling', commenting on J. H. Whitley's control of rough play in Parliament, also includes related notes written by Oliver Whitley explaining the meaning behind the cartoon.

    'The Referee's Farewell', commenting on J. H. Whitley's retirement from the Speakership, again includes notes written by Oliver Whitley, as well as notes written by the House of Commons Library, various photographs relating to the cartoon and an assortment of extracts from Punch magazine.

    'B. B. Secrecy', commenting on J. H. Whitley's clash with Lloyd George, Chamberlain and Churchill over their exclusion from 'The Debate Continues', includes corresponding press cuttings, a letter and a memo, a programme list for 'The Debate Continues' and an extract from the BBC Yearbook 1934.
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  • JHW/9

    General Strike Series

    05 May 1926 - 17 May 1926
    This section includes copies of various newspapers and their opinion on the General Strike. The British Worker was the newspaper Trade Union Congress (TUC). The British Gazette was a short lived Government newspaper produced only during the General Strike. Thus the copies of these newspapers within this section highlight the contrasting opinions of the TUC and the Government.

    The copies of the Daily Mail and the Daily Express within this section, as well as the 6 editions of the Daily Graphic, provide opinions from newspapers that didn't solely focus on the General Strike.

    The General Strike lasted for nine days, from 4 May to 13 May 1926. The Strike was called for by the Trade Union Congress (TUC) in an attempt to force the government to stop wage reductions and poor working conditions. The Strike was most prominent in transport and heavy industry. Ultimately the TUC surrendered and the Strike had little impact on industrial relations.
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  • JHW/10

    Clifton College Series

    1928 - 1935
    Section holds items that relate to Clifton College. J. H. Whitley attended the college when Canon James Wilson was the Headmaster. Whitley remained dedicated to the college throughout his life and eventually became the President of the college until his death in 1935.

    Section includes a seating plan for a Clifton dinner that took place in the Speaker's House when J. H. Whitley was Speaker of the House of Commons. There are also two photographs from the Daily Sketch of the opening of a new science school by the Prince of Wales. Also included are obituaries for Canon James Wilson, Clifton and a copy of the college's magazine, The Cliftonian, which includes an obituary for J. H. Whitley.
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