Guide to the Papers of Thomas Denham


MS 769

National Library of Australia View Catalogue Record

Collection Summary

Baron Thomas Denham
Papers of Thomas Denham
Date Range
Collection Number
MS 769
0.02 metres (various)
Language of Materials
National Library of Australia


Scope and Contents

The collection consists mainly of correspondence, quite a large part of this being letters of regret sent to Denman on his resignation as Governor-General. However, correspondents include Lord Dudley, who preceded Denman as Governor-General, Joseph Cook, Andrew Fisher, G F Pearce, E D Millen, Winston Churchill and Lord Stamfordham, Secretary to King George V. Several letters, notably those from Australian politicians and that from Winston Churchill, concern matters of Australian Defence, especially naval defence. Other letters refer to the question of the retention of Sydney Government House for use by the Governor-General. The collection also contains some documents such as appointments.

Conditions Governing Access

Please refer to the collection's catalogue record for the access conditions (

Conditions Governing Use

Copying and publishing of unpublished manuscript material is subject to copyright restrictions. For such material, written permission to publish must be obtained from the copyright holder(s). Copying of unpublished material for research purposes is permissible 50 years after the death of the creator of the material.

Preferred Citation

Items from this collection should be cited as '[Title or description of manuscript item], Papers of Thomas Denham, National Library of Australia, MS 769, [series and/or file number]'.

Biographical Note

Lord Denman was born on 16th November 1874. He was appointed Governor-General of Australia in 1911, holding the office of Deputy Speaker of the House of Lords at the time. He arrived on 26th June, and his term of office extended from 31st July 1911 to 18th May 1914. The Federal Capital was inaugurated during his term of office. He died in England on 24th June 1954.

Item Descriptions

Series [unnumbered]. Correspondence, 1909-1913

Dudley, 2nd Earl, Governor-General of Australia. Decode of cablegram transmitted to Secretary of State for Colonies, L Harcourt. 15th April, 1909. Typescript, 3pp (Item 1-3)

Dudley, 2nd Earl. Autograph letter to Lord Denman. Government House, Melbourne, 5th March 1911. 9pp (Item 4-9)

Denman, Thomas. Pencil draft reply to Dudley's letter of 5th March. Balcombe Place, East Sussex. 4pp (Item 10)

Harcourt, L. Letter to Lord Denman. Downing St., 31st March 1911. Typescript, 1p (Item 11-23)

Enclosures: Commission appointing the Rt Hon Lord Denman, Governor-General and Commander-in-Chief of the Commonwealth of Australia. 22nd March 1911. Signed George R V, L Harcourt. 2pp (Item 11-23)

Enclosures: Blue printed copy of above. 2pp (Item 11-23)

Enclosures: Schedule of documents enclosed. 1p (Item 11-23)

Enclosures: Letters Patent in regard to the absence of the Governor-General from the Commonwealth. Blue printed copy. 29th March 1911. 3pp (Item 11-23)

Enclosures: Instructions to the Governor-General and Commander-in-Chief of the Commonwealth of Australia. 29th October 1900. 5pp (Item 11-23)

Enclosures: Additional Instructions to the Governor-General of Commonwealth of Australia. 11th August 1902. 3pp (Item 11-23)

Enclosures: Dormant Commission appointing the Rt Hon Lord Chelmsford, or Sir Gerald Strickland to administer the Government of the Commonwealth of Australia. 2nd December 1909. 4pp (Item 11-23)

Lucas, C P. Under Secretary of State, Colonial Office. Letter to Lord Denman. Downing St., 10th April 1911. 2pp (Item 24-29)

Enclosures: Colonial Office Memorandum. Communication of States' Despatches to Federal Ministers. 30th March 1911. Printed, 1p (Item 24-29)

Enclosures: Colonial Office. Dominions No 4. Memorandum on the subject of the reservation of Bills of the Commonwealth Parliament. 29th June 1908. Printed 6pp (Item 24-29)

Enclosures: Dudley, 2nd Earl. Autograph letter to Lord Denman. State Government House, Melbourne, 18th July 1911. Marked 'Confidential'. 9pp Concerns Strickland (Item 24-29)

Stamfordham, Lord. Private Secretary to King George V. Autograph letter to Lord Denman. Balmoral Castle, 26th September 1911. 4pp. Writing for His Majesty (Item 36-37)

Stamfordham, Lord. Letter to Lord Denman. King Emperor's Camp, India, 28th December 1911. Marked 'Private'. Typescript, 3pp. Concerns naval questions. Mentions Australian fleet unit (Item 38-41)

Yass. Address of welcome from citizens of Yass to Rt Hon Thomas, Baron Denman. Illuminated on parchment. Signed by A Shaw, Mayor, Mayor, 11th March 1913. 1p. folio (Item 44)

Pearce, Sir George. Full report of the speech by the Minister of Defence for the Commonwealth of Australia. (Senator Peace), at a dinner given to the Captain and officers of HMAS Melbourne. Federal Parliament House. Wednesday March 26, 1913. Manuscript, 10pp (Item 45-54)

Edgeworth David, T. W. Autograph letter to Lord Denman. University of Sydney, 2nd July 1913. 2pp. Concerns naming of 'Queen Mary Land' discovered by Frank Wild of Dr Mawson's Australasian Antarctic Expedition (Item 55-56)

Harcourt, L. Letter to Lord Denman. Colonial Office, Downing St., 20th August 1913. Marked 'Private and personal'. Typescript, 4pp (Item 57-58)

Australasian Antarctic Expedition 1911: Messages sent and received during the year 1913, between Mawson, Commanding the Expedition, and Lord Denman. Type, with manuscript note and signature of Mawson. 2pp. Mainly concern the naming of King George V and Queen Mary Lands (Item 59-60)

Series [unnumbered]. Letters expressing regret at Denman's resignation, 1914

MacKinnon, L C. Autograph letter to Lord Denman. Corry, Heyington Place, Toorak, 26th January 1914. 3pp (Item 61-62)

Payne, May E. Autograph letter to Lord Denman. Maritimo, Melbourne, 26th January 1914 (Item 63-64)

Clarke, Henry Lowther. Archbishop of Melbourne. Autograph letter to Lord Denman. Bishopscourt, Melbourne E., 27th January 1914. Signed 'H L Melbourne '. 2pp (Item 65)

Cornish, Alfred. Secretary of the Australian Club. Autograph letter to the Private Secretary, Government House. Australian Club, 27th January 1914. 2pp (Item 66-67)

Creswick, W R. Autograph letter to Lord Denman, Toorak, 27th January 1912 (sic. actually 1914). 3pp (Item 68-69)

Stead, Henry. Letter to Lord Denman. The Review of Reviews, T and G Buildings, Melbourne, 27th January 1914. Typescript, 1p (Item 70)

Strickland, G. Autograph letter to Lord Denman, State Government House, Sydney, 28th January 1914. 1p (Item 71)

MacGregor, William. Autograph letter to Lord Denman. Government House, Brisbane, 29th January 1914. 2pp (Item 72)

Millen, E. D. Autograph letter to Lord Denman. Department of Defence, 29th January 1914. 3pp (Item 73-74)

Pearce, G. F. Autograph letter to Lord Denman. Commonwealth of Australia, The Senate, Melbourne, 29th January 1913 (sic, actually 1914). Marked 'Personal' (Item 75-76)

Ellison-Macartney, William. Autograph letter to Lord Denman. Government House, Hobart, 30th January 1914. 3pp (Item 77-78)

Mayton, A. Autograph letter to Lord Richard Neville. Town Hall, Sydney, 31st January 1914. 4pp (Item 79)

Wright, John Charles. Archbishop of Sydney. Bishopscourt, Sydney, 2nd February 1914. Signed 'John Charles Sydney'. 3pp (Item 80)

Series [unnumbered]. General Correspondence, 1914

Stamfordham, Lord. Letter to Lord Denman. Letter to Lord Denman. Buckingham Palace, 4th March 1914. Typescript, 2pp. Writing for King George V (Item 81-83)

Pearce, Sir George F. Letter to Lord Denman. Commonwealth of Australia, The Senate, Melbourne, 4th May 1914. Marked 'Private'. 8pp. Pearce's confidential views on defence questions (Item 84-91)

Cook, Joseph. Prime Minister, 8th May 1914. 2pp. Thanking for photos given him by Lord and Lady Denman (Item 92)

Millen, E. D. 5TH June 1914. Tyepscript, 3pp. Discussing the Pacific Naval Policy (Item 93-95)

Fisher, Andrew. Autograph letter to Lord Denman. Parliament of the Commonwealth, House of Representatives, Melbourne, 29th June 1914. Marked 'Private and Confidential'. 2pp. Thanking for Denman's 'references to Australian affairs since his return' to England (Item 96-98)

Series [unnumbered]. File, 'Resignation', Denman

Cablegrams between Lord Denman and L Harcourt, Secretary of State for Colonies, concerning Denman's resignation as Governor-General of Australia. Includes some drafts by Denman. 11th November 1913-28th January 1914 19pp (Item 100-118)

Cablegram Denman to Myers of Sydney Morning Herald, 28th January, 1914. Concerns Denman's resignation. 2pp (Item 119-120)

Harcourt, L. Official letter expressing His Majesty's appreciation of Denman's service as Governor-General. 18th June, 1914. Typescript 1p (Item 121)

Series [unnumbered]. File 'Announcement of Appointment of New Governor-General, Rt Hon Ronald Munro Ferguson, MP'

Warrant for the investiture of Sir Stephen Henry Parkes, Knight, as a Knight Commander of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and St George. 9th January, 1914. Signed George R V. Also signed by L Harcourt and Argyll (Chancellor), 3pp (Item 123-125)

Cablegram concerning the appointment of Denman's successor, Ronald Munro Ferguson (later Lord Novar). Mainly between Denman and Harcourt, one Joseph Cook, Prime Minister, to Denman. 30th January, 8th February (Item 126-132)

Cook, Joseph. Letter to Lord Denman. Prime Minister, Sydney, 20th March 1914. Typescript, 1p. Inviting Denman to accept appointment as Honorary Brigadier General of military forces of the Commonwealth of Australia (Item 133)

Denman, Thomas. Copy of letter sent to Cook in reply to above. 26th March, 1914. Marked 'Confidential. 1p (Item 134)

Cablegram Denman to Harcourt, stamped 6th May 1914, asking if he may accept position offered above (Item 135)

Cablegram Denman to Harcourt, received 9th May 1914. Answer to above: not considered advisable for Denman to accept (Item 136)

Affairs report from the Australian Military Secretary to Lewis Harcourt, Secretary of State for Colonies. Typescript copy, 15th May 1914. 2pp (Item 137-138)

Newspaper cuttings concerning the Departure of Lord and Lady Denman. 15th May 1914. 4pp (Item 139-142)