HEADLAM-MORLEY, Sir James Wycliffe

Kt 1929; CBE 1920.

Personal Details
Born 24 December 1863; 2nd son of late Rev. Canon Headlam, of Whorlton Hall, Barnard Castle; married 1893, Else, youngest daughter of late Dr A. Sonntag of Lüneburg; one son one daughter; received royal licence to assume name and arms of Morley, 1918.

Eton; King's College, Cambridge; Univ. of Berlin.

Fellow of King's Coll., Camb., 1890-1896; Lecturer for Cambridge Univ. Extension; Professor of Greek and Ancient History at Queen's College, London, 1894-1900; hon. assistant commissioner to Royal Commission on Secondary Education; Staff Inspector of Secondary Schools for the Board of Education, 1902-1920; Member of the Prime Minister's Committee on Modern Languages, 1917-1918; worked in Propaganda Department, 1914-1917; Assistant Director of Political Intelligence Bureau in Department of Information, 1917-1918; Assistant Director of Political Intelligence Department of the Foreign Office, 1918-1920; Member of Political Section of the British Delegation to the Peace Conference at Paris, 1919; Historical Adviser to the Foreign Office, 1920.

On Election by Lot at Athens; Life of Bismarck; Studies in Diplomatic History, 1930; on Classical Studies in Germany (Special Reports issued by the Board of Education); articles on Austria-Hungary, Germany, etc., in 10th ed. Encyclopædia Britannica; The History of Twelve Days; The German Chancellor and the Outbreak of War; The Issue; and numerous other pamphlets; British Documents on the Origins of the War: Vol. xi., The Outbreak of War (editor), etc.

Athenæum, Oxford and Cambridge.

Died 6 September 1929.

Additional Notes
Headlam-Morley, Sir James Wycliffe 1863-1929, political historian, was born at Whorlton, near Barnard Castle, Durham, 24 December 1863. He was the second son of the Rev. Arthur William Headlam, successively vicar of Whorlton, vicar of St. Oswald's, Durham, and rector of Gainford, honorary canon of Durham Cathedral, by his wife, Agnes Sarah, daughter of James Favell, of Normanton, Yorkshire. He was nephew of Thomas Emerson Headlam, judge advocate-general [q.v.], and cousin of Walter George Headlam, scholar and poet [q.v.]. His elder brother, Arthur Cayley Headlam, became bishop of Gloucester in 1923. In 1918 James Headlam assumed by royal licence the additional surname (and arms) of Morley, on inheriting the property of the last member of the West Riding family from which he was descended through the wife of his paternal grandfather.

Headlam was educated at Eton, where he was a King's scholar, and at King's College, Cambridge. He was placed in the first class of both parts of the classical tripos (1885 and 1887), and elected a fellow of his college in 1890, a position which he held until 1896. The dissertation on which he obtained his fellowship was 'Election by Lot at Athens', which had gained the Prince Consort prize at Cambridge in 1890 and was published in 1891 (reissued in 1933).

Headlam had meanwhile visited Germany, first staying in families in order to learn German, and then studying at the university of Berlin under Treitschke and Hans Delbrück. During this period he first met (about Christmas 1887) the lady whom he married in 1893, Elisabeth (Else), youngest child of August Sonntag, doctor of medicine, of Lüneburg, then resident at Dresden. They had a son and a daughter.

Both before and after gaining his fellowship, Headlam was engaged in writing, teaching, and lecturing, gradually turning from classical to historical studies. From 1894 to 1900 he was professor of Greek and ancient history at Queen's College, London. He served as an honorary assistant commissioner on the royal commission on secondary education which sat from March 1894 to August 1895 under the presidency of (Viscount) Bryce [q.v.]. The commission had as result the Board of Education Act of 1899 and the Education Act of 1902. From 1902 until the European War Headlam was a staff inspector of secondary schools for the Board of Education.

Before the European War Headlam had become known as an expert on German history. He had published in 1899 Bismarck and the German Empire in the 'Heroes of the Nations' series, and collaborated in 1914 with W. Alison Phillips and A. W. Holland in A Short History of Germany and her Colonies. A few days after the outbreak of the War in August 1914, the
prime minister, Mr. Asquith, sent for Charles F. G. Masterman [q.v.] and instructed him to get together the nucleus of a propaganda organization, as it was already clear that the enemy was going to make full use of this weapon. As a result, the propaganda department at Wellington House came into existence. The secretary of Masterman's committee, Sir Claud Schuster, at once sent for Headlam and asked for his help; and on the first day he entered the new office Headlam began to write his book The History of Twelve Days (1915), which may be considered as the foundation of his future work and reputation. This is a close and detailed study, based on the diplomatic correspondence, of the political situation in Europe at the outbreak of the War, and remained by far the most valuable contribution to the history of that short and agitated period until the fuller publication of the records which became possible after the War was over.

For the next three years Headlam remained as the adviser on all historical matters to Wellington House, publishing several controversial books and pamphlets on subjects connected with the origins of the War.

He served as assistant director, under Lord Edward Gleichen, of the political intelligence bureau in the Department of Information 1917-1918, and when British governmental propaganda was transferred to a separate ministry under Lord Beaverbrook in the latter year, Headlam went to the Foreign Office, becoming assistant director of a newly formed political intelligence department of the Office, where his services were found of the highest value.

In 1919 Headlam-Morley (as he had now become) went to the Peace Conference at Paris as a member of the political section of the British delegation, where he served on several of the more important committees, dealing with Belgian and Danish problems, Danzig, the Saar Valley, Alsace-Lorraine, 'Minorities', and the Eastern frontiers of Germany.

On his return to England in 1920, Headlam-Morley was appointed historical adviser to the Foreign Office (a post which was specially created for him and which did not survive his retirement in 1928) and settled down to write a history of the peace settlement for official use. This was mostly - but not entirely - completed at the time of his death. He also composed many other memoranda on various historical subjects on which he was consulted, and a selection of these was published in 1930 under the title Studies in Diplomatic History.

When, in 1924, Mr. Ramsay MacDonald (whose decision was confirmed by his successor at the Foreign Office, Sir Austen Chamberlain) entrusted to Dr. G. P. Gooch and Mr. H. W. V. Temperley the publication of the complete series of British documents dealing with the origins of the War, from 1898 to 1914, the editors found that Headlam-Morley had already made a very complete collection of documents for the period immediately preceding the outbreak of war, with a view to publishing a third edition of the History of Twelve Days. They accordingly arranged with him to issue first what was chronologically the last (vol. xi) of the volumes of British Documents on the Origins of the War, and this appeared in 1926 with the title The Outbreak of War: Foreign Office Documents, June 28th-August 4th, 1914.

This was Headlam-Morley's last published work of importance. He retired from the public service in December 1928, received a knighthood in June 1929, and died in a nursing home at Wimbledon 6 September of the same year. He had not yet received the accolade, but his widow was allowed by royal licence to assume the style of a knight's widow.

Headlam-Morley was tall, clean-shaven, with a keen and pale intellectual face. There is a portrait of him - a photogravure by Sir Emery Walker from a photograph - at the Royal Institute of International Affairs, St. James's Square, London.

Personal knowledge.

S. Gaselee.

Published  1937


Headlam, John Lt RAF, 60 Sqdn killed in action 30.5.1918 at Boffles. Buried St. Hilaire Cemetery Extension, Frévent, France, Grave ref. No. F.10.

J_E_W_Headlam.jpg (13931 bytes)HEADLAM, Maj.-Gen. Sir John Emerson Wharton

KBE, 1919; CB 1913; DSO 1900.

Personal Details
Born 16 April 1864; eldest son of late Morley Headlam of Gilmonby Hall, Yorkshire, and Whorlton Grange, Durham; married 1890, Mary, eldest daughter of late Percival Wilkinson of Mount Oswald, Durham; two daughters.

Entered army, 1883; Captain, 1892; Major, 1900; Lt-Col, 1902; Col, 1905; Maj.-Gen., 1915; Instructor, School of Gunnery, 1892-1897; Headquarters, 1903-1906; Headquarters, India, 1908-1913; Headquarters Staff, South Africa, 1900-1902 (despatches twice, brevet Lt-Col, Queen's medal four clasps, King's medal two clasps, DSO); European War, 1914-1918, (wounded, despatches four times, promoted Major-General for distinguished service in the field; Order of St Anne of Russia, 1st class with swords; Commander of the Legion of Honour; American Distinguished Service Medal); retired pay, 1921; Col-Comdt RA, 1928-1934; JP, DL, Shropshire; DL Co. Durham.

History of the RA from the Indian Mutiny to the Great War, Vol. I, 1931, (with Sir Charles Callwell), Vol. II, 1937, Vol. III, 1940.

Shropshire County, Shrewsbury.

Died 14 October 1946