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A Secretary of State for India Despatch Box, 1894
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A Secretary of State for India Despatch Box, 1894

Measurements: 46cm (18in) x 27cm (11in) x 16cm (6in)



Red leather over wood, the hinged lid fitted with a recessed handle between the embossed crowned VR cyphers of Queen Victoria. The leading edge further embossed with the words ‘The Right Honourable Sir Henry Fowler G.C.S.I.’. The back fitted with a leather handle to ensure the box is locked before being carried. The black leather lined interior applied with the label of John Pound & Co. The lock stamped ‘Chubb’s Patent, 129 Queen Victoria Street, London’.

Sir Henry Fowler, 1st Viscount Wolverhampton (1830-1911) held cabinet office as Secretary of State for India  in Lord Roseberry’s Liberal Government. He returned to the Cabinet as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster under Campbell-Bannerman and Asquith in 1905 and again as Lord President of the Council in 1908. Though generally supportive of progressive policies, his private secretary admitted he did not have ‘the patience to suffer Radical and Labour members gladly.’ A member of the Wesleyan Methodist Church, he was the first solicitor and the first Methodist to enter the Cabinet or to be raised to the peerage.