ⓘ Cliveden set. The Cliveden Set were a 1930s, upper class group of prominent people, politically influential in pre-World War II Britain, who were in the circle ..


ⓘ Cliveden set

The Cliveden Set were a 1930s, upper class group of prominent people, politically influential in pre-World War II Britain, who were in the circle of Nancy Astor, Viscountess Astor, the first female MP who took her seat. The name comes from Cliveden stately home in Buckinghamshire, which was then Astors country residence.

The "Cliveden Set" tag was coined by Claud Cockburn in his journalism for the Communist newspaper The Week. It has long been widely accepted that this aristocratic Germanophile social network was in favour of friendly relations with Nazi Germany and helped create the policy of appeasement. John L. Spivak, writing in 1939, devotes a chapter to the Set. Norman Roses 2000 account of the group proposes that, when gathered at Cliveden, it functioned more like a think-tank than a cabal. According to Carroll Quigley, the Cliveden Set had been strongly anti-German before and during World War I. After the end of the war, the discovery of the Nazis Black Book showed that the groups members were all to be arrested as soon as Britain was invaded; Lady Astor remarked, "It is the complete answer to the terrible lie that the so-called Cliveden Set was pro-Fascist."

The actual beliefs and influence of the Cliveden Set are matters of some dispute, and in the late 20th century some historians of the period came to consider the Cliveden Set allegations to be exaggerated. For instance, Christopher Sykes, in a sympathetic 1972 biography of Nancy Astor, argues that the entire story about the Cliveden Set was an ideologically motivated fabrication by Claud Cockburn that came to be generally accepted by a public looking for scapegoats for British pre-war appeasement of Adolf Hitler. There are also academic arguments that while Cockburns account may have not have been entirely accurate, his main allegations cannot be easily dismissed.


1. Prominent members

  • Nancy Astor, Viscountess Astor, politician and socialite
  • Robert Brand
  • Geoffrey Dawson, editor of the London Times newspaper
  • Edward Wood Lord Halifax, politician
  • William Montagu, 9th Duke of Manchester, politician
  • Philip Kerr Lord Lothian, author and politician

2. Fictional portrayals

In season six episodes four and five of the 1960s sitcom Hogans Heroes, the two-parter episode "Lady Chitterlys Lover" involves a plot to negotiate Britains surrender from a fictitious member of the Cliveden set, Sir Charles Chitterly.

  • home of Nancy Astor, wife of the 2nd Viscount Astor, Cliveden was the meeting place of the Cliveden Set of the 1920s and 30s - a group of political intellectuals
  • Cockburn and his newssheet The Week for attacks on the Cliveden Set The Astor family donated Cliveden Estate in Buckinghamshire to the National Trust in
  • personal agency of Lord Malcolm Douglas - Hamilton, a member of the British Cliveden Set which supported appeasement of Adolf Hitler prior to World War II. Other
  • Molotov Ribbentrop Pact. In a 1937 article in The Week, Cockburn coined the term Cliveden set to describe what he alleged to be an upper - class pro - German group that
  • Country Set guide price 2.25m Chateau de Bagnols, France Continental Set guide price 12.5m Cliveden Buckinghamshire Classic Set leasehold
  • followed by Bavin s Gulls on Cliveden Deep with landscaped hanging beech woods on the escarpment above which hosts Cliveden a grandiose mansion run by
  • house of Chief Justice Chew, called Cliveden The American troops launched a determined assault against Cliveden however, the outnumbered defenders repulsed
  • Sholan Alliance. Privy Council Cabal Courtier Royal court Cabal Ministry Cliveden set Eminence grise Power behind the throne The School of Night Makhzen Gunther
  • sometimes called the Cliveden snail as in 2004 a very small colony was found to have been living on the estate at Cliveden House, a large stately
  • with words by Scottish - born poet James Thomson, is first performed at Cliveden the English country home of Frederick, Prince of Wales. Scotland portal