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Title: Philip Kerr and the Irish Question
Author: Sayers, Melanie
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2011
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This thesis explores the connection between Philip Kerr (1882-1940) and the Irish Question in the early twentieth century. To date there has been no substantial survey of his Irish policy. Through consultation o f new sources the study explores the evolution of Kerr's thought on Ireland in light of his family, his faith, and his political background. Kerr's work on Ireland is particularly interesting as an imperialist, keen federalist, an admirer of the United States and not least as a Catholic who converted to Christian Science. The core of this piece explores Kerr's role in Irish affairs as Prime Minister David Lloyd George's secretary between 1916 and 1921, and the potentially influential role that he held at Downing Street. Although his biographers and historians have alluded to his involvement in the drafting o f the 1920 Government of Ireland Bill, none have considered in detail the extent o f the work that Kerr carried out in relation to Ireland between 1919 and 1921. The study addresses this by exploring Kerr's position as an individual who was not a statesman, but an influential figure close to the centre o f power, who was closely involved with the various forces working to shape an Irish settlement. The thesis adds to the existing biographical literature on Kerr by anchoring him within the Anglo-Irish story. The fact that the Bill he drafted remained as the basis for the Government o f Northern Ireland until 1972, and was not repealed until 1998, points to Kerr's modem relevance, and to the importance of recognising the work that he carried out behind the scenes during one o f the most crucial periods in Anglo-Irish history.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available