Monday, June 27, 2011

Featured pipe smoker: Stanley Baldwin

Stanley Baldwin, 1st Earl Baldwin of Bewdley (1867-1947)
To me, England is the country, and the country is England. And when I ask myself what I mean by England when I am abroad, England comes to me through my various senses — through the ear, through the eye and through certain imperishable scents ... The sounds of England, the tinkle of the hammer on the anvil in the country smithy, the corncrake on a dewy morning, the sound of the scythe against the whetstone, and the sight of a plough team coming over the brow of a hill, the sight that has been seen in England since England was a land ... the one eternal sight of England.
Stanley Baldwin was born in Worcestershire, England and was first cousin of Rudyard Kipling. He served as Member of Parliament, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Leader of the Opposition, and finally as Prime Minister (1935-37).

He was an advocate of partial disarmament in the years before Germany initiated the second World War, and some hold him partly responsible for England's ill-preparedness when war began. But then, it's easy to criticize those in the past from our own vantage point, and many people didn't want to recognize what was brewing in Europe during the 1930s. I know only what I have read about him online and in a few books relating to WW2, and I don't consider myself knowledgeable enough to comment any further.


  1. Remarkable. I wish more world leaders were pipe smokers.

  2. It's a popular myth that he was an advocate of partial disarmament and now he is much more realistically assessed by historians:

    It was then Neville Chamberlain who cut down on rearming, but since he died during the war many people liked to pick Baldwin as their scapegoat, even though they were insulting his rearmament programme when he was PM.