The Primrose League, 1883-1906

The Primrose League, 1883-1906

The Primrose League, 1883-1906

The Primrose League, 1883-1906

Excerpt

The Russian political scientist, M. Ostrogorski, includes a discussion of some length of the Primrose League in his well known work Democracy and the Organization of Political Parties, which appeared in English in 1902. The present study is apparently the first attempt to describe the heyday of the Primrose League from the perspective of a later generation.

At the offices of the Primrose League in Victoria Street in London, through the courtesy of the secretary, the manuscript account of the formation of the league and the fourteen manuscript volumes of the Grand Council of the Primrose League covering the period from 1883 to 1906 were available for this study. Together with the files of the Primrose Record, the Primrose League Gazette and the Morning Post, these manuscript minutes, with several manuscript rolls of habitations, form the backbone of any research on the subject. Interviews with the present Dame President of Eldridge Habitation at Thornton Heath, Croyden, and with the Ruling Councillor of the Grantham Habitation at Croyden not only provided notes from local minute books but were a source of interesting reminiscences of earlier League activities and personalities.

The manuscript and the printed minutes, and the programs of the Annual Conferences of the National Union of Conservative and Constitutional Associations were consulted at the library of the National Unionist Association, as well as several rare political pamphlets of the eighties and nineties. At the Liberal Publication Department were to be found the copies of the National Liberal Federation's publication. The journal and reports of the Imperial Federation League were available at the British Museum. Various pamphlets and reports issued by the Navy League were to be found in the office of that society in London. Through the courtesy of the management of Madame . . .

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