London Metropolitan Archives - Item Details


Date of Creation:


Reference Code:


Scope and Content:
  • Letters to John Burns, 1901-1926, including letters from the London County Council Works Department, letters relating to the collecting of prints and drawings, and letters relating to Burns' library and book collection. Also two letters collected by Burns, comprising a letter from Lord Sidmouth to the Bishop of Raphoe, Co. Donegal, Ireland, 1820 and a letter from Henry Burney to "Smith", 18--.
Extent: 0.01 linear metres
Classification: COLLECTIONS
Site Location: London Metropolitan Archives
Level of Description:

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Administrative History:
  • John Elliott Burns was born in Lambeth, London in 1858, into a poor family. He was apprenticed to an engineer but attended night schools and read radical literature, becoming involved in the Social Democratic Federation. In 1889 he won a seat on the London County Council, for Battersea. He soon became a dominant figure in the Council, due to his hard work and powerful personality. In 1892 he was elected MP for Battersea, standing as an independent candidate. In 1905 he was offered the presidency of the Local Government Board, the first working man to achieve rank in the cabinet. Burns resigned from the Government in 1914 in protest at the First World War and retired from public life. He died in 1943.
Creator: Burns | John Elliott | 1858–1943 | labour leader and politician
Copyright: City of London
Source of Acquisition:
  • The John Burns private collection of documents was acquired by Lord Southwood, who gave them to the Greater London History Library in 1943. The collection consisted mainly of books, maps and prints. Any archival items found during cataloguing were transferred to the Record Office.
  • ACC/2337
Access Restrictions: These records are available for public inspection, although records containing personal information are subject to access restrictions under the UK Data Protection Act, 2018
Physical Condition: Fit
Arrangement: Letters arranged chronologically.