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George Geoffrey Dawson (25 October 1874 – 7 November 1944) was editor of The Times
The Times
from 1912 to 1919 and again from 1923 until 1941. His original last name was Robinson, but he changed it in 1917. He married Hon. Margaret Cecilia Lawley, daughter of Arthur Lawley, 6th Baron Wenlock in 1919.

Contents

1 Early life 2 Career in journalism 3 References 4 External links 5 Sources

Early life[edit] Dawson was born 25 October 1874, in Skipton-in-Craven, Yorkshire, the eldest child of George Robinson, a banker, and his wife Mary (née Perfect). He attended Eton College
Eton College
and Magdalen College, Oxford. His academic career was distinguished; he took a First in Classical Moderations in 1895 and a First in Literae Humaniores ('Greats') in 1897.[1] In 1898 he was elected a fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, a position he held for the rest of his life.[2] He chose a career in civil service, entering in 1898 by open examination. After a year at the Post Office, he was transferred to the Colonial Office
Colonial Office
and in 1901 he was selected as assistant private secretary to Colonial Secretary Joseph Chamberlain. Later the same year Dawson obtained a similar position with Lord Milner, high commissioner in South Africa.[3] As Milner's assistant, Dawson participated in the establishment of British administration in South Africa in the aftermath of the Boer War. While there, he became a member of "Milner's kindergarten",[4] a circle of young administrators and civil servants whose membership included Leo Amery, Bob Brand, Philip Kerr, Richard Feetham, John Buchan and Lionel Curtis. United by a common aspiration for Imperial Federation, all later became prominent in the "round table of Empire Loyalists".[5] Career in journalism[edit] Milner wanted to ensure the support of the local newspapers after his return to England. He persuaded the owners of the Johannesburg Star
Johannesburg Star
to appoint Dawson as the paper's editor. Dawson later parlayed this post into a position as the Johannesburg
Johannesburg
correspondent of The Times; and then attracted the attention of Lord Northcliffe, owner of The Times, who appointed him editor of the paper in 1912.[citation needed] Dawson was unhappy, however, with the way that Northcliffe used the paper as an instrument to further his own personal political agenda and broke with him, stepping down as editor in February 1919. Dawson returned to the post in 1923 after Lord Northcliffe's death, when the paper's ownership had passed to John Jacob Astor V. Bob Brand had become the Astors' brother-in-law, and it is thought that he introduced Dawson to the Astors' circle at Cliveden, the so-called Cliveden set presided over by Nancy Astor.[citation needed] In his second stint as editor, Dawson began to use the paper in the same manner as Lord Northcliffe had once done, to promote his own agenda. He also became a leader of a group of journalists that sought to influence national policy by private correspondence with leading statesmen. Dawson was close to both Stanley Baldwin
Stanley Baldwin
and Neville Chamberlain. He was a prominent proponent and supporter of appeasement policies, after Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
came to power in Germany. He was a member of the Anglo-German Fellowship.[6] Candid news despatches from Berlin by Norman Ebbut that warned of warmongering were rewritten in London to support the appeasement policy.[7][8] In March 1939, however, 'The Timers reversed course and called for war preparations.[9] Dawson was a lifelong friend and dining companion of Edward Wood, later Lord Halifax, who was Foreign Secretary in the period 1938–1940. He promoted the policies of the Baldwin/Chamberlain governments of the period 1936–1940. Dawson retired in September 1941 and died 7 November 1944 in London. He was succeeded as editor by Robert Barrington-Ward. References[edit]

^ Oxford University Calendar 1905, Oxford : Clarendon Press, 1902, pp. 119, 175. ^ Dictionary of National Biography 1941-1950, Oxford : Oxford University Press, 1959, p.204. ^ Dictionary of National Biography 1941-1950, Oxford : Oxford University Press, 1959, p.204. ^ A.M. Gollin, Proconsul in Politics : A Study of Lord Milner in Opposition and in Power, London : Macmillan, 1964, pp. 41-2. ISBN 0218512929 ISBN 9780218512922. ^ Driver, C. J./ Sampson, Anthony (Foreword By). Patrick Duncan: South African and Pan-Africanist, p. 20, ISBN 978-085255773-0. ^ Stevenson, William. A Man Called Intrepid. Globe Pequot (2000), p. 232. ISBN 978-1-58574-154-0. ^ Gordon Martel, ed. The Times
The Times
and Appeasement: The Journals of A L Kennedy, 1932-1939 (2000). ^ Frank McDonough, "The Times, Norman Ebbut and the Nazis, 1927-37." Journal of Contemporary History 27#3 (1992): 407-424. ^ The Office of the Times. The History of The Times: The 150th Anniversary and Beyond 1912-1948 (2 vol. 1952), 2:960-63.

External links[edit]

"Archival material relating to Geoffrey Dawson". UK National Archives.  Catalogue of the papers of Geoffrey Dawson at the Bodleian Library, Oxford

Sources[edit]

Fleming, N. C. "The Press, Empire and Historical Time: The Times
The Times
and Indian self-government, c. 1911–47." Media History 16.2 (2010): 183-198. McDonough, Frank. "The Times, Norman Ebbut and the Nazis, 1927-37." Journal of Contemporary History 27#3 (1992): 407-424. Martel, Gordon, ed. The Times
The Times
and Appeasement: The Journals of A L Kennedy, 1932-1939 (2000). The Office of the Times. The History of The Times: The 150th Anniversary and Beyond 1912-1948 (2 vol. 1952), passim. Riggs, Bruce Timothy. "Geoffrey Dawson, editor of "The Times" (London), and his contribution to the appeasement movement" (PhD dissertation, U of North Texas, 1993) online, bibliography pp 229-33. Wrench, John Evelyn (1955). Geoffrey Dawson and our times. Hutchinson. 

Media offices

Preceded by George Earle Buckle Editor of The Times 1912–1919 Succeeded by Henry Wickham Steed

Preceded by Henry Wickham Steed Editor of The Times 1923–1941 Succeeded by Robert Barrington-Ward

v t e

Editors of The Times
The Times
and the Sunday Times

The Times

1785: John Walter 1803: John Walter, 2nd 1812: John Stoddart 1817: Thomas Barnes 1841: John Delane 1877: Thomas Chenery 1884: George Earle Buckle 1912: Geoffrey Dawson 1919: Wickham Steed 1923: Geoffrey Dawson 1941: Robert Barrington-Ward 1948: William Francis Casey 1952: William Haley 1967: William Rees-Mogg 1981: Harold Evans 1982: Charles Douglas-Home 1985: Charles Wilson 1990: Simon Jenkins 1992: Peter Stothard 2002: Robert Thomson 2007: James Harding 2013: John Witherow

Sunday Times

1821: Henry White 1822: Daniel Whittle Harvey 1824: Clarkson 1828: Thomas Gaspey 1835: Unknown 1850: E. T. Smith 1858: E. W. Scale 1867: Edmund Scale 1874: Joseph Hatton 1881: Neville Bruce 1887: Phil Robinson 1890: Arthur William à Beckett 1893: Rachel Beer 1901: Leonard Rees 1932: William W. Hadley 1950: Harry Hodson 1961: Denis Hamilton 1967: Harold Evans 1981: Frank Giles 1983: Andrew Neil 1995: John Witherow 2013: Martin Ivens

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 89631865 LCCN: no2016059950 ISNI: 0000 0000 7979 5811 SUDOC: 200660152 BNF: cb162095288 (data) SN

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