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The Bonar Law Memorial College, Ashridge, Hertfordshire, 1930-1948


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  • 1930-1948

Language of Materials

  • English

Full range of shelfmarks:

PUB 187/1-5

Biographical / Historical

The Bonar Law Memorial College, known as Ashridge College, was established by Trust Deed in 1929. The Conservative MP Urban Hanlon Broughton provided the sums necessary for JCC Davidson, Chairman of the Conservative Party, to buy Ashridge House for the purpose of converting the building into 'a College or Institution for the study of political and social science and political history with special reference to the development of the British Constitution and the growth and expansion of the British Empire and other subjects and as a Memorial to the Right Honourable Bonar Law, PC, MP., sometime Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.' Broughton, who was in line to be elevated to the peerage, died on 30/01/1929 before the trust was formalised, but his eldest son Urban Huttleston Rogers Broughton became the first Baron Fairhaven and was appointed under the Trust as one of the four 'Founder Governors'. Completion of the purchase of Ashridge House for this purpose from Thomas Place was made on 28/08/1928 for £26,000.

Throughout its existence the College was dogged by financial difficulties, which were only partly alleviated by the re-location of the House of Citizenship (for girls aged 18-24) from London to Ashridge in 1949. Eventually the Governors concluded the necessity of applying for an Act of Parliament to change the terms of the Trust Deed in order that the College should become a charity in order to be able to accept covenanted subscriptions, and that the political appointments made under the Trust Deed had resulted in an unjustified belief that Ashridge was a Conservative Party College, which had prejudiced enrolments from students with trade union backgrounds and potential funding. This Bill, the Ashridge (Bonar Law Memorial) Trust Act, received the Royal Assent on 4th July, 1954.

Related Materials

[The minutes and papers of the Bonar Law Memorial College, Ashridge, c1928-1954 have recently been deposited with the Conservative Party Archive and are in the process of being catalogued. Please ask for details.]

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom