The University of Sheffield
The University Library

Mundella Papers

Ref: MS 6 - 9, MS 22

Title: Mundella Papers

Scope:
The correspondence and other papers of Anthony John Mundella, Liberal M.P. for Sheffield, including other related correspondence, 1861 to 1932


Dates: 1861-1932 (also Leader Family correspondence 1848-1890)
Level: Fonds
Extent: 23 boxes
Name of creator: Anthony John Mundella

Administrative / biographical history:

The content of the papers is mainly political, and consists largely of the correspondence of Mundella, a prominent Liberal M.P. of the later 19th century who attained Cabinet rank. Also included in the collection are letters, not involving Mundella, of the family of Robert Leader, acquired by Mundellas daughter Maria Theresa who intended to write a biography of her father, and transcriptions by Maria Theresa of correspondence between Mundella and Robert Leader, John Daniel Leader and another Sheffield Liberal M.P., Henry Joseph Wilson (see also Wilson Papers). The collection does not include any of the business archives of Hine and Mundella.

Anthony John Mundella (1825-1897) was born in Leicester of an Italian father and an English mother. After education at a National School he entered the hosiery trade, ultimately becoming a partner in the firm of Hine and Mundella of Nottingham. He became active in the political life of Nottingham, and after giving a series of public lectures in Sheffield was invited to contest the seat in the General Election of 1868.

Mundella was Liberal M.P. for Sheffield from 1868 to 1885, and for the Brightside division of the Borough from November 1885 to his death in 1897. He served in successive governments under Gladstone: as Vice-President of the Committee of Council on Education from April 1880 until June 1885; as President of the Board of Trade, with a seat in the Cabinet, from January until July 1886; and from August 1892 until his resignation in May 1894. His principal political interests were in the promotion of arbitration in labour disputes, and the provision of education, in particular technical education. He died on 21 July 1897.

The standard biography is by W.H.G. Armytage: A.J. Mundella 1825-1897: the Liberal background to the Labour Movement (London, 1951)., while an unpublished Sheffield University thesis: The career of A.J. Mundella, with special reference to his Sheffield connections, by Margaret Higginbotham, was presented in 1941. Both of these works are based in part on the Mundella Papers