Treasures from Worcestershire’s Past: ~24~ The King’s Book

  • 9th May 2014

This week’s Treasure has been chosen by Claire Haslam, Archivist. The item is a highly illustrated volume produced to celebrate the Silver Jubilee of King George V and forms part of the Stanley Baldwin collection, which is currently being catalogued. Here Claire tells us more about her Treasure:

For my treasure I have chosen the colourful King’s Book on Empire, red bound in a white case.

This book was created in celebration of King George V’s Silver Jubilee (1910-1935). It is a collection of delightful artistic images and a piece of text representing countries of the Dominion. The book was published by Raphael Tuck and Sons Ltd. ‘with the gracious consent of the King, the profits accruing to the publishers from the sale of this Book will be devoted to some philanthropic work in the United Kingdom and Overseas approved by His Majesty’.

The book forms part of the Stanley Baldwin private collection which I am currently cataloguing. Stanley Baldwin was, at the time, in office as Lord President of the Council within The National Government and the book forms part of his collection of personal memorabilia. He was soon to return to office as Prime Minister for a third time and much of this collection contains ceremonial records over a period covering the Jubilee, the death of George V and the Coronation of George VI.

My treasure particularly stands out in the collection for its sheer beauty. It is signed by King George and Queen Mary and there is an individual photograph of both the King and Queen at the front of the book.

Even the frontispiece is wonderfully decorated. It is an extract from a speech given by The King to The Empire broadcast Dec 25th 1934 where he speaks proudly as “the head of this great and wide-spread family”.

The book then has a sonnet written for The King by John Masefield before moving on to an image of each nation complete with a short description and brief history of its connection to the United Kingdom.

I have selected 3 of images as part of this blog to represent what is contained within. I was particularly struck by the colour and detail of these images and the way they were designed to represent each Nation’s strength and contribution to the Empire in a most gentle and celebratory manner. 

Whilst being absolutely of its time, I feel that this book represents something heartfelt from a King to his people in celebration his “long and sometimes anxious” reign.

This volume forms part of the Baldwin collection, which is currently in the process of being catalogued. For more information on viewing any part of this collection please email us for further advice at

One response to “Treasures from Worcestershire’s Past: ~24~ The King’s Book”

  1. How beautiful! And so interesting it is part of the Stanley Baldwin collection. Mr Baldwin was a great friend of the ninth Earl of Coventry and visited Croome Court. The King and Queen (as Duke and Duchess of York) stayed at Croome when they visited Worcester in 1894.

    Interesting to learn that today is the 150th anniversary of the birth of Vesta Tilley. It is thought Miss Tilley was a regular visitor at Croome. Many thanks.