Sous-fonds 01D - Hamar Greenwood, 1st Viscount Greenwood

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Title proper

Hamar Greenwood, 1st Viscount Greenwood

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  • Multiple media

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Reference code

CA ON00329 F 02-01D

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

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  • 1893-1997, predominant 1932-1949 (Creation)
    Greenwood, Thomas Hubbard
  • 1893-1997 (Collection)
    Archives at Whitby Public Library

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Physical description

6cm of textual records. -23 black and white photographs. -1 painting: oil on wood.

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Name of creator


Biographical history

Hamar Greenwood was born Thomas Hubbard Greenwood in Whitby, ON on 7 February 1870. He was the eldest son of John and Charlotte Greenwood. He obtained a BA in political science from the University of Toronto in 1895, after which he immigrated to England to embark on an impressive political career that would earn him the title of 1st Viscount Greenwood.

Greenwood began as a lawyer at Gray's Inn and quickly rose through the ranks of the British parliamentary system. He eventually became the Private Secretary to Winston Churchill and under Prime Minister David Lloyd George, Greenwood was appointed to the post of Chief Secretary for Ireland (1920-1922), the principal minister responsible for Irish affairs. In this role, he was responsible for the creation of aggressive regiments, nicknamed the “Black and Tans” and the “Auxiliaries”, in response to the uprisings related to the Irish War of Independence (1919-1921). Greenwood’s actions were guided by the view that the Irish people were being terrorized by the Irish Republican Army, and to maintain order and preserve British rule in Ireland, a “policy of force” must prevail. The escalating violence between the IRA and the British forces, culminating with the infamous Bloody Sunday event in 1920, had devastating effects on Ireland and Greenwood’s career; he was forced to resign as Chief Secretary of Ireland in 1922 with the fall of the Lloyd George government and the creation of the Irish Free State in 1921. From 1933-1938, he served as Honorary Treasurer of the Conservative Party.

Greenwood’s military career began in Canada where, as a student, he served as an officer in the Canadian militia (34th Battalion of Militia/Ontario Regiment) for approximately 8 years. While in England (ca. 1902), he helped build a regiment of overseas British nationals known as King Edward’s Horse and during the early stages of the First World War, he commanded the South Wales Borderers (10th Battalion) in France and was a recruiter for the War Department (ca. 1914).

In 1929, Greenwood entered the British peerage system and was given the title of 1st Baron Greenwood of Llanbister. In 1937, he was granted the greater title of Viscount, which he retained until his death. In 1913, he authored the book, 'Canada as an Imperial Factor', in an effort to introduce Canada to England. It was, by all accounts, an enthusiastic portrayal of his native country.

Greenwood married Margery Spencer in London, England on 23 May 1911. They had four children: Angela Margo Hamar, David Henry Hamar, Deborah Hamar, and Eric George Hamar. Greenwood died on 10 September 1948 at London, England and is buried at Codicote, Hertfordshire, England.

Custodial history

Scope and content

Sous-fonds consists of newspaper articles (original and transcribed), photographs, one oil painting created by Mrs. Margery Greenwood, several political cartoons, and other reference materials related to 1st Viscount Greenwood. Various photographs of the Viscount are also included. Finally, there is material and correspondence relating to the planning and celebration of various functions held in Greenwood's honour in Whitby, ON.

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Some files contain sensitive personal information. Requests for viewing this material must be made in writing to the Whitby Archives.

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Created February 2012; added: July 2013

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