The Cliveden Set

The Cliveden Set

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Nancy Astor and her husband, Waldorf Astor held regular weekend parties at their home Cliveden, a large estate in Buckinghamshire on the River Thames. Those who attended included Philip Henry Kerr (11th Marquess of Lothian), Edward Wood (1st Earl of Halifax), Geoffrey Dawson, Samuel Hoare, Lionel Curtis, Nevile Henderson, Robert Brand and Edward Algernon Fitzroy. Most members of the group were supporters of a close relationship with Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany. The group included several influential people. Astor owned The Observer, Dawson was editor of The Times, Hoare was Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Lord Halifax was a minister of the government who would later become foreign secretary and Fitzroy was Speaker of the Commons.

Norman Rose, the author of The Cliveden Set (2000): "Lothian, Dawson, Brand, Curtis and the Astors - formed a close-knit band, on intimate terms with each other for most of their adult life. Here indeed was a consortium of like-minded people, actively engaged in public life, close to the inner circles of power, intimate with Cabinet ministers, and who met periodically at Cliveden or at 4 St James Square (or occasionally at other venues). Nor can there be any doubt that, broadly speaking, they supported - with one notable exception - the government's attempts to reach an agreement with Hitler's Germany, or that their opinions, propagated with vigour, were condemned by many as embarrassingly pro-German."

On 17th June, 1936, Claud Cockburn, produced an article called "The Best People's Front" in his anti-fascist newsletter, The Week. He argued that a group that he called the Astor network, were having a strong influence over the foreign policies of the British government. He pointed out that members of this group controlled The Times and The Observer and had attained an "extraordinary position of concentrated power" and had become "one of the most important supports of German influence".

Claud Cockburn later admitted in his autobiography, I Claud (1967) that most of his information came from Vladimir Poliakoff, the diplomatic correspondent of The Times. As his editor, Geoffrey Dawson, was a member of the Cliveden Set, and would obviously not allow it to be published in his own newspaper, he gave it to Cockburn instead. Cockburn also revealed that Poliakoff received much of his information from "anti-Nazi factions in the British and French Foreign Offices... and were thus first-rate, and the stories that came from them had that particular zip and zing which you get from official sources only when a savage intra-mural departmental fight is going on." He also admitted that Winston Churchill and his supporters were also providing him with "inside information".

During the weekend of 23rd October 1937, the Astors had thirty people to lunch. This included Geoffrey Dawson (editor of The Times), Nevile Henderson (the recently appointed Ambassador to Berlin), Edward Algernon Fitzroy (Speaker of the Commons), Sir Alexander Cadogan (soon to replace the anti-appeasement Robert Vansittart as Permanent Under-Secretary at the Foreign Office), Lord Lothian and Lionel Curtis. They were happy that Neville Chamberlain, a strong supporter of appeasement was now Prime Minister and that this would soon mean promotion for people such as Lothian and Lord Halifax.

According to Norman Rose, Lord Lothian gave a talk on future relations with Adolf Hitler. "He wished to define what Britain would not fight for. Certainly not for the League of Nations, a broken vessel; nor to honour the obligations of others. As he had explained to the Nazi leaders, 'Britain had no primary interests in eastern Europe,' areas that fell within 'Germany's sphere'. To be dragged into a conflict not of Britain's making and not in defence of its vital interests would bedevil relations with the Dominions, fatal for the unity of the Empire. For the Clivedenites, this was always the bottom line... In effect, Lothian was prepared to turn central and eastern Europe over to Germany." Nancy Astor supported Lothian: "In twenty years I've never known Philip to be wrong on foreign politics." Geoffrey Dawson also agreed with Lothian and this was reflected in an editorial in The Times that he wrote a few days later. Lionel Curtis was the only member of this group that had doubts about Lothian's plans.

In November, 1937, Neville Chamberlain sent Lord Halifax in secret to meet Adolf Hitler, Joseph Goebbels and Hermann Goering in Germany. In his diary, Lord Halifax records how he told Hitler: "Although there was much in the Nazi system that profoundly offended British opinion, I was not blind to what he (Hitler) had done for Germany, and to the achievement from his point of view of keeping Communism out of his country." This was a reference to the fact that Hitler had banned the Communist Party (KPD) and the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in Germany and placed its leaders in Concentration Camps. Halifax had told Hitler: "On all these matters (Danzig, Austria, Czechoslovakia) ..." the British government "were not necessarily concerned to stand for the status quo as today... If reasonable settlements could be reached with... those primarily concerned we certainly had no desire to block."

The story was leaked to the journalist Vladimir Poliakoff. On 13th November 1937 the Evening Standard reported the likely deal between the two countries: "Hitler is ready, if he receives the slightest encouragement, to offer to Great Britain a ten-year truce in the colonial issue... In return... Hitler would expect the British Government to leave him a free hand in Central Europe". On 17th November, Claude Cockburn reported in The Week, that the deal had been first moulded "into usable diplomatic shape" at Cliveden that for years has "exercised so powerful an influence on the course of British policy." He later added that Lord Halifax was "the representative of Cliveden and Printing House Square rather than of more official quarters."

The term Cliveden Set was first used by the Reynolds News on 28th November, 1937, in an article that argued that the group were highly sympathetic to fascism. David Low, had a cartoon published in the Evening Standard, showing James Garvin, Nancy Astor, Philip Henry Kerr and Geoffrey Dawson, holding high the slogan "Any Sort of Peace at Any Sort of Price". This cartoon inspired the Communist Party of Great Britain to produce a pantomime entitled Babes in the Wood - the Panto with a Political Point at the at the Unity Theatre.

On a visit to the United States Anthony Eden was amazed when he discovered the impact on public opinion of articles on the Cliveden Set in The Week was having in the country. A horrified Eden reported to Stanly Baldwin that "Nancy Astor and her Cliveden Set has done much damage, and 90 per cent of the US is firmly persuaded that you (Baldwin) and I are the only Tories who are not fascists in disguise."

In the spring of 1937, Sir Vernon Kell, the head of MI6 wrote a note to a diplomat at the American Embassy about Claud Cockburn: "Cockburn is a man whose intelligence and wide variety of contacts make him a formidable factor on the side of Communism." Kell complained that The Week was full of gross inaccuracies and was written from a left-wing point of view, but admitted that on occasions "he is quite well informed and by intelligent anticipation gets quite close to the truth". Kell was also concerned about some accurate reports that appeared in The Week about King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson.

The Reynolds News claimed that the new Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain was "in protective custody at Cliveden". The Manchester Guardian, The Daily Chronicle and The Tribune reported the story in a similar fashion. When Anthony Eden resigned as Foreign Secretary on 25th February, 1938, and replaced by Lord Halifax, left-wing newspapers argued that the "appeasement coup" had been organised by the Cliveden Set.

The story spread to the United States. Louise Waterman Wise, the President of the American Jewish Congress wrote to Nancy Astor complaining about the activities of the Cliveden Set: "If Jews in America are against Nazi Germany, it is because they conceive it to be their duty as Americans to battle for civilization and humanity and therefore to stand against the crimes of Hitlerism... to render their country the service of making it aware of that monstrous iniquity - imperiling all that men hold dear in the political and spiritual world - of Nazism or Hitlerism." Felix Frankfurter wrote to her arguing that "anti-Semitism is an essential aspect of Nazism" and to persist in this vein would lead people to "infer a sympathy on your part with Hitler's anti-Semitism."

Lady Astor became convinced that she was becoming a victim of "Jewish Communistic propaganda". In the House of Commons on 28th February 1938, Harold Nicolson heard Alan Graham, the Conservative Party MP for Wirral, say to Astor: "I do not think you behaved very well." She turned upon him and said, "Only a Jew like you would dare to be rude to me." This incident was reported in the newspapers and The Daily Chronicle commented that Astor's "emotions about the Jews" had overcome "her sense of fitness". Friends recalled an incident at a dinner party when she introduced Chaim Weizmann as "the only decent Jew I have ever met."

Adolf Hitler wanted to march into Czechoslovakia but his generals warned him that with its strong army and good mountain defences Czechoslovakia would be a difficult country to overcome. They also added that if Britain, France or the Soviet Union joined in on the side of Czechoslovakia, Germany would probably be badly defeated. One group of senior generals even made plans to overthrow Hitler if he ignored their advice and declared war on Czechoslovakia. In March 1938 Hugh Christie told the British government that Hitler would be ousted by the military if Britain joined forces with Czechoslovakia against Germany. Christie warned that the "crucial question is How soon will the next step against Czechoslovakia be tried? ... The probability is that the delay will not exceed two or three months at most, unless France and England provide the deterrent, for which cooler heads in Germany are praying."

Neville Chamberlain met with Adolf Hitler in Berchtesgaden on 15th September. Hitler threatened to invade Czechoslovakia unless Britain supported Germany's plans to takeover the Sudetenland . After discussing the issue with the Edouard Daladier (France) and Eduard Benes (Czechoslovakia), Chamberlain informed Hitler that his proposals were unacceptable. Hitler was in a difficult situation but he also knew that Britain and France were unwilling to go to war. He also thought it unlikely that these two countries would be keen to join up with the Soviet Union, whose communist system the western democracies hated more that Hitler's fascist dictatorship.

Benito Mussolini suggested to Hitler that one way of solving this issue was to hold a four-power conference of Germany, Britain, France and Italy. This would exclude both Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union, and therefore increasing the possibility of reaching an agreement and undermine the solidarity that was developing against Germany.

The meeting took place in Munich on 29th September, 1938. Desperate to avoid war, and anxious to avoid an alliance with Joseph Stalin and the Soviet Union, Neville Chamberlain and Edouard Daladier agreed that Germany could have the Sudetenland. In return, Hitler promised not to make any further territorial demands in Europe. The meeting ended with Hitler, Chamberlain, Daladier and Mussolini signing the Munich Agreement which transferred the Sudetenland to Germany.

Members of the Cliveden Set were delighted with the Munich Agreement. According to Lord Lothian, "Chamberlain had pulled off a masterly coup". He told Waldorf Astor: "Nobody else could have done the trick and I've no doubt prayer helped the result. He'll be the darling of the Western world - a most unexpected position - for a while." Lothian predicted "some nasty moments as the Germans march into the Sudenten territory and the worthless Czechs and Social Democrats flee before them." Lothian was now convinced that Hitler would not now go to war: "My own impression is that Europe, including the Nazis, have now turned their back on world war, if only because a general war means letting Russia loose in Europe, and trust a final settlement, including disarmament, may be possible if Neville's lead is followed up."

Martin Pugh, the biographer of Nancy Astor, has argued: "Nancy's reputation suffered irretrievable damage. Cockburn targeted the Astors as an example of very wealthy people who used their connections and their newspapers to subvert the policy of the government. He linked them to appeasement on the basis that they were keen to use Hitler as a bulwark against Bolshevism. Like many people at that time Waldorf and Nancy were appeasers in the sense that they believed that Germany had been treated harshly by the treaty of Versailles; she also had connections with influential people such as Philip Kerr who was active as an emissary to Hitler."

On 5th October, 1938, Claud Cockburn reported in The Week, that Charles A. Lindbergh had told a meeting of the Cliveden Set that the "German air force could take on and defeat, single handed, the British, French, Soviet and Czechoslovak air fleets" and that he "knew all about the Russian air force because, when in Moscow recently, he had been offered the post of head of the Soviet civil aviation administration". Prvada reprinted the article and denounced Lindbergh as a liar.

Lothian, Dawson, Brand, Curtis and the Astors - formed a close-knit band, on intimate terms with each other for most of their adult life. Nor can there be any doubt that, broadly speaking, they supported - with one notable exception - the government's attempts to reach an agreement with Hitler's Germany, or that their opinions, propagated with vigour, were condemned by many as embarrassingly pro-German.

Oddly - or perhaps not so oddly, because I have always liked Americans, and the sort of man that likes Americans is liable to like Russians - a prominent light in my part of the gloom was my old friend Mr Vladimir Poliakoff, formerly diplomatic correspondent of The Times. (It was he who had first, perhaps inadvertently, provided the information which ultimately led to the discovery - or invention, as some said - by The Week, of the famous - or notorious, as some said - 'Cliveden Set')...

He had a house in a square in South Kensington and there I used to drink Russian tea or vodka with him, or walk round and round the gardens while he exercised his two small Afghan hounds and talked to me derisively, in his harsh Slavonic accents, of the international situation. Even when he later brought a libel action against me our walks and talks continued amicably.

Being a supporter of what was called "the Vansittart line" the notion that by a friendly policy towards Mussolini it might be possible to split the Axis and isolate Hitler - he was fervent in denunciation of those powerful personalities in England who, on the contrary, saw in Hitler a bulwark and potential crusader against Bolshevism and thought friendship with the Nazis both possible and desirable. The vigour of his campaigns and intrigues against such elements was naturally heightened by his knowledge that some of them lost no opportunity to convince everyone that he himself was a hired agent of Mussolini.

His sources of information from anti-Nazi factions in the British and French Foreign Offices were thus first-rate, and the stories that came from them had that particular zip and zing which you get from official sources only when a savage intra-mural departmental fight is going on.

I rushed about between London, Paris and Brussels, supplementing and checking such stories from other sources. Vigorous anti-Nazis in the City, too, and on the so-called Churchillian wing of the Conservative Party were also very ready with "inside information".

At length I thought I had enough and more than enough to write in The Week a longish "think piece" about the nature and aims of those in high places who were working, sincerely perhaps, but as it seemed to me disastrously, for the 'appeasement' of Adolf Hitler. There were, of course, several references to gatherings at the Astors' Thames-side house at Cliveden. When I published the story, absolutely nothing happened. It made about as loud a bang as a crumpet falling on a carpet. A few weeks later, I ran the whole thing again, in slightly different words, and with similar result.

And then about a month later I did it a third time. There were only trivial additions to the facts already published but the tone was a little sharper. But it happened that this time it occurred to me to head the whole story "The Cliveden Set" and to use this phrase several times in the text. The thing went off like a rocket.

I think it was Reynolds News, three days later, which first picked up the phrase from The Week, but within a couple of weeks it had been printed in dozens of newspapers, and within six had been used in almost every leading newspaper of the Western world. Up and down the British Isles, across and across the United States, anti-Nazi orators shouted it from hundreds of platforms. No anti-Fascist rally in Madison Square Garden or Trafalgar Square was complete without a denunciation of the Cliveden Set.

In those days, if you saw cameramen patrolling St James's Square at lunchtime or dusk, you could be nearly sure they were there to get a picture of the Cliveden Set going in or out of the Astors' London house. Geoffrey Dawson, then editor of The Times, and a prominent member of the "Set", comments petulantly on this nuisance in his diary. If you talked to American special correspondents, what they wanted to know all about was the Cliveden Set. Senators made speeches about it, and in those London cabarets where libel didn't matter, songsters made songs about it. People who wanted to explain everything by something, and were ashamed to say "sunspots", said "Cliveden Set".

And throughout it all the members of the Cliveden Set, furiously, wearily or derisively, maintained that they were not members because there simply was not any Cliveden Set to be a member of. It was a myth.

And the fact was that, however it started, it presently became a myth. Within a year or so, the Cliveden Set had ceased to represent, in anybody's mind, a particular group of individuals. It had become the symbol of a tendency, of a set of ideas, of a certain condition in, as it were, the State of Denmark. It had acquired a powerful and alarming significance for people who could hardly have named three of those who frequented Cliveden. The phrase went marching on because it first had dramatized, and now summarized, a whole vague body of suspicions and fears.

Occasionally, moderate-minded intermediaries who felt the story was stirring up dangerous thoughts urged me to tone it down in some way curb the monster I had set loose. I had to reply that in the first place I thought the picture essentially a true one, doing more good than harm. In the second place, even supposing that, contrary to my own convictions, I were to get the B.B.C. to permit me to announce personally to the listening millions that the story had no foundation, that I had invented it, no one would pay the slightest attention. People would come to the conclusion that I had been nobbled by the Cliveden Set.

I was certainly taken aback by the wild improbabilities which some correspondents were writing about the Cliveden Set. It looked as though quite a lot of people were getting involved, were being branded as subtly scheming political intriguers, who would not have known a plot if you handed it to them on a skewer, and quite possibly had gone to Cliveden simply for a good dinner. But then, I reflected, if one is as ignorant of political goings-on as some of them claim to be, is it very wise, even for a very good dinner, to go at all?

My father Claud Cockburn once said that the report that God was on the side of the big battalions was propaganda put about by big-battalion commanders to demoralise their opponents. He saw the rich and powerful as highly vulnerable to journalistic guerrilla warfare of a type largely invented by himself. In 1933, he founded The Week, a radical anti-fascist newsletter, on a capital of £40 after resigning from his job as the New York correspondent of The Times. Its aggressive style and hard-hitting content was very similar to that of Private Eye.

He observed from the start that MI5 was keeping a close eye on his activities. He rightly assumed that they opened his mail and listened to his telephone calls. I remembered him telling me this years later when I was researching a memoir of my childhood. I wrote to the director of MI5 asking for my father's file. It was placed in the National Archives in Kew in 2004. It turned out to be 26 volumes long....

Claud's prediction is in keeping with a mischievous habit he had of telling people who were trying to pump him, or whom he simply found boring, that war or revolution were likely within days. On one occasion an outraged woman wrote to some contact at MI5 saying she had sat next to Claud at dinner and he had predicted imminent revolution, starting in the Brigade of Guards.

Adolf Hitler's Early Life (Answer Commentary)

Adolf Hitler and the First World War (Answer Commentary)

Adolf Hitler and the German Workers' Party (Answer Commentary)

Sturmabteilung (SA) (Answer Commentary)

Adolf Hitler and the Beer Hall Putsch (Answer Commentary)

Adolf Hitler the Orator (Answer Commentary)

An Assessment of the Nazi-Soviet Pact (Answer Commentary)

British Newspapers and Adolf Hitler (Answer Commentary)

Lord Rothermere, Daily Mail and Adolf Hitler (Answer Commentary)

Adolf Hitler v John Heartfield (Answer Commentary)

The Hitler Youth (Answer Commentary)

German League of Girls (Answer Commentary)

Night of the Long Knives (Answer Commentary)

The Political Development of Sophie Scholl (Answer Commentary)

The White Rose Anti-Nazi Group (Answer Commentary)

Kristallnacht (Answer Commentary)

Heinrich Himmler and the SS (Answer Commentary)

Trade Unions in Nazi Germany (Answer Commentary)

Hitler's Volkswagen (The People's Car) (Answer Commentary)

Women in Nazi Germany (Answer Commentary)

The Assassination of Reinhard Heydrich (Answer Commentary)

The Last Days of Adolf Hitler (Answer Commentary)

The Cliveden Set - History

Posted on 05/13/2004 1:48:35 PM PDT by Helms

Joseph Kennedy and the Jews

Mr. Renehan's most recent book is The Kennedys at War, 1937-1945, published in April 2002 by Doubleday.

Arriving at London in early 1938, newly-appointed U.S. Ambassador Joseph P. Kennedy took up quickly with another transplanted American. Viscountess Nancy Witcher Langhorne Astor assured Kennedy early in their friendship that he should not be put off by her pronounced and proud anti-Catholicism.

"I'm glad you are smart enough not to take my [views] personally," she wrote. Astor pointed out that she had a number of Roman Catholic friends - G.K. Chesterton among them - with whom she shared, if nothing else, a profound hatred for the Jewish race Joe Kennedy, in turn, had always detested Jews generally, although he claimed several as friends individually. Indeed, Kennedy seems to have tolerated the occasional Jew in the same way Astor tolerated the occasional Catholic.

As fiercely anti-Communist as they were anti-Semitic, Kennedy and Astor looked upon Adolf Hitler as a welcome solution to both of these "world problems" (Nancy's phrase). No member of the so-called "Cliveden Set" (the informal cabal of appeasers who met frequently at Nancy Astor's palatial home) seemed much concerned with the dilemma faced by Jews under the Reich. Astor wrote Kennedy that Hitler would have to do more than just "give a rough time" to "the killers of Christ" before she'd be in favor of launching "Armageddon to save them. The wheel of history swings round as the Lord would have it. Who are we to stand in the way of the future?" Kennedy replied that he expected the "Jew media" in the United States to become a problem, that "Jewish pundits in New York and Los Angeles" were already making noises contrived to "set a match to the fuse of the world."

During May of 1938, Kennedy engaged in extensive discussions with the new German Ambassador to the Court of St. James's, Herbert von Dirksen. In the midst of these conversations (held without approval from the U.S. State Department), Kennedy advised von Dirksen that President Roosevelt was the victim of "Jewish influence" and was poorly informed as to the philosophy, ambitions and ideals of Hitler's regime. (The Nazi ambassador subsequently told his bosses that Kennedy was "Germany's best friend" in London.)

Columnists back in the states condemned Kennedy's fraternizing. Kennedy later claimed that 75% of the attacks made on him during his Ambassadorship emanated from "a number of Jewish publishers and writers. . Some of them in their zeal did not hesitate to resort to slander and falsehood to achieve their aims." He told his eldest son, Joe Jr., that he disliked having to put up with "Jewish columnists" who criticized him with no good reason.

Like his father, Joe Jr. admired Adolf Hitler. Young Joe had come away impressed by Nazi rhetoric after traveling in Germany as a student in 1934. Writing at the time, Joe applauded Hitler's insight in realizing the German people's "need of a common enemy, someone of whom to make the goat. Someone, by whose riddance the Germans would feel they had cast out the cause of their predicament. It was excellent psychology, and it was too bad that it had to be done to the Jews. The dislike of the Jews, however, was well-founded. They were at the heads of all big business, in law etc. It is all to their credit for them to get so far, but their methods had been quite unscrupulous . the lawyers and prominent judges were Jews, and if you had a case against a Jew, you were nearly always sure to lose it. . As far as the brutality is concerned, it must have been necessary to use some . ."

Brutality was in the eye of the beholder. Writing to Charles Lindbergh shortly after Kristallnacht in November of 1938, Joe Kennedy Sr. seemed more concerned about the political ramifications stemming from high-profile, riotous anti-Semitism than he was about the actual violence done to the Jews. ". Isn't there some way," he asked, "to persuade [the Nazis] it is on a situation like this that the whole program of saving western civilization might hinge? It is more and more difficult for those seeking peaceful solutions to advocate any plan when the papers are filled with such horror." Clearly, Kennedy's chief concern about Kristallnacht was that it might serve to harden anti-fascist sentiment at home in the United States.

Like his friend Charles Coughlin (an anti-Semitic broadcaster and Roman Catholic priest), Kennedy always remained convinced of what he believed to be the Jews' corrupt, malignant, and profound influence in American culture and politics. "The Democratic [party] policy of the United States is a Jewish production," Kennedy told a British reporter near the end of 1939, adding confidently that Roosevelt would "fall" in 1940.

But it wasn't Roosevelt who fell. Kennedy resigned his ambassadorship just weeks after FDR's overwhelming triumph at the polls. He then retreated to his home in Florida: a bitter, resentful man nurturing religious and racial bigotries that put him out-of-step with his country, and out-of-touch with history.

"put him out-of-step with his country, and out-of-touch with history."

The Cliveden Set were a British 1930s group of prominent individuals in favour of the appeasement of and Nazi Germany. The name comes from Cliveden, the stately home in Buckinghamshire, which was then home to Nancy, Lady Astor.

Celebrity mistress and a deadly duel

However, Cliveden House is at the centre of many more scandals and controversies besides the Profumo Affair.

The house was built in 1666 by George Villiers, 2nd Duke of Buckingham and one of England's wealthiest men.

But this was no family home - George had one woman in mind when drawing out the plans - and it was not his long-suffering wife.

A married celebrity mistress, the stunning Anna Maria Talbot, had captured the Duke's heart - and he gave her Cliveden House as a gift in 1667.

But things got complicated when her husband, the Earl of Shrewsbury, challenged the duke to a duel at Barn Elms near Putney Bridge.

Dressed as a boy so as not to give herself away, Anna Maria held the Duke's horse as her lover shot her husband.

He may have won the duel, but the Duke fell from royal favour - and Anna Maria was ordered by the ever-meddling House of Lords to abandon her relationship with him.

Nevertheless, she kept up the affair and gave birth to the Duke's illegitimate son.

Cliveden set

The Cliveden Set were a 1930s, upper class group of prominent individuals politically influential in pre-World War II Britain, who were in the circle of Nancy Astor, Viscountess Astor. The name comes from Cliveden, the stately home in Buckinghamshire, which was then Astor's 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 ic 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. Ώ] Norman Rose's 2000 account of the group proposes that, when gathered at Cliveden, it functioned more like a think-tank than a cabal. Ironically, according to Carroll Quigley, the Cliveden Set had been strongly anti-German before and during World War I.

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 Cockburn's account may have not have been entirely accurate, his main allegations cannot be easily dismissed. ΐ] Α]

Inside Cliveden House, the Hotel Where Meghan Markle Will Spend the Night Before Her Wedding

The five-star estate&mdashonce owned by British royalty&mdashhas a juicy, sordid history.

This Friday night, less than 24 hours before she marries Prince Harry, Meghan Markle and her mother will arrive at Cliveden House in the Berkshire countryside, an immaculate 350-year-old estate with all the trappings you&rsquod expect from a five-star Relais & Châteaux hotel. The grounds are perfectly manicured the rooms furnished with rare antiques and original works of art. But don&rsquot be fooled by the crisp, freshly-pressed linens&mdashCliveden House is rife with dirty laundry.

You&rsquod certainly never know it just by looking around. Over 376 acres surround the Italianate mansion with perched views of the River Thames. Inside the property&rsquos restaurant (which is helmed by Michelin-starred chef André Garrett) you'll notice couples toasting an anniversary over roasted squab and Paris-Brest. Arrive on the right day, and you'll spot lingering petals from a ceremony that finished the day before (it's so sought after as a wedding venue that it can take years to book.) The hotel, it seems, is tailor-made for romance&mdasha tradition deeply rooted in scandal that dates back centuries.

Cliveden House was first conceived by the 2nd Duke of Buckingham, who had commissioned the property as a monument to his mistress Anna Maria, Countess of Shrewsbury, in the late 17th century. They were both married at the time, but the Duke fell passionately for Anna Maria. He imagined Cliveden House as his private eden, away from his wife, where they could love with abandon, hunt its sprawling countryside, and entertain guests.

The only problem? Buckingham&rsquos lack of discretion. When word of the affair got out, Anna Maria&rsquos husband, Lord Shrewsberry, challenged Buckingham to a duel. Shrewsberry lost. Pierced through the breast, he ultimately died months later.

Buckingham may have won the spoils, but he eventually fell from the king's good graces, and was required by law to separate from the Countess before he even set Cliveden's first brick.

Despite having lost his muse, Buckingham chose to continue construction on the house anyway. It was still unfinished when he died amongst strangers in 1687. Following Buckingham's death, the property remained empty for a nearly a decade before being purchased by another British aristocrat.

Cliveden was never in short supply of tragic tales. Eventually, it became the country residence of Fredrick, Prince of Wales (King George II&rsquos son and presumed heir.) Fredrick would never be king catching a fever in 1751, he died weeks later, leaving the throne to King George III, his brother. The fallen prince&rsquos early death was subject to royal rumor: Some accounts suggested he died from an unhealed wound after being struck with a cricket ball years earlier at Cliveden.

Over half a century later in 1795, as if cursed, the main house burned almost entirely to the ground. And then, 50 years after being rebuilt, it burned down a second time. From the flames, the estate flickered for centuries, rebuilt once again over the course of a decade. Cliveden maintained steady but simple notoriety&mdashQueen Victoria would travel by boat from Windsor Castle and take tea at there often William Gladstone, who served as Britain&rsquos Prime Minister with four separate terms, was a beloved guest before and after his political rise.

But Cliveden truly flourished in 1893 at the hands of William Waldorf Astor, America's richest man at the time. Upon buying the property, William restored a sense of magnificence to the estate, adding prim gardens and mazes, speckling the estate with sculptures and fountains. He bought the 18th century dining room of the late Madame de Pompadour&mdasha mistress to Louis XV&mdashfrom her Parisian chateau, and installed the gilded panels and chairs back at Cliveden. Taking the registry to the next level, Cliveden was later William&rsquos wedding gift to his son and daughter-in-law, Waldorf and Nancy, who modernized the mansion and, throughout the First and Second World Wars, established hospitals on the estate.

It later became a lavish scene for parties and socialites, and high-class gossip. If Bill Astor, who inherited Cliveden from his mother, Nancy, hadn't installed an outdoor swimming pool in 1961 (she deemed it beneath them) Cliveden's place in history would be quite different.

While entertaining a dinner party one evening, Bill Astor led his guests to show off a statue he'd installed near the pool. When they arrived, they were shocked to find a woman swimming nude. Christine Keeler&mdasha 19-year-old Soho showgirl who allegedly dabbled in prostitution&mdashhad been staying in a cottage on the property with a friend, and the two snuck into the estate's pool for a skinny-dip.

One of Astor's companions, John Profumo, the married British Secretary of War, stole an all-too-gripping glimpse of Keeler. In an episode that he later denied in court, Profumo went on to have an affair with her. And he didn&rsquot stop there. Profumo had several other flings, including one with a rumored Russian spy, who eventually went public with details of the affair.

News of the incident became so widespread that it stained the entire establishment. Already precarious and doubted, it flexed distrust of the Conservative government and its prime minister, Harold Macmillan, who stepped down not long afterward. Coupled with coinciding scandals, it left a tarnished leadership, and contributed to the Labour&rsquos takeover just over one year later.

Shame fell upon the Astors, who were swept into the flurry of headlines now known as the "Profumo Affair." Without being involved, they were still implicated in the rapture. Bill was questioned by the police for his role, accused of adultery, and even investigated for running a brothel.

&ldquoThe reaction of his friends only worsened his plight: at Royal Ascot in June 1963, he was reduced to a social pariah, shunned and ostracized by the same people who, just two years previously, had rhapsodized over his lavish hospitality,&rdquo writes author Natalie Livingstone in The Mistresses of Cliveden, a Sunday Times bestseller that chronicled the property's sordid history. (It&rsquos a subject she happens to know a lot about: her husband, billionaire Ian Livingstone, currently holds Cliveden&rsquos lease.)

Having donated the property nearly two decades earlier to the National Trust (a century-old charity that preserves and opens up historic places to the public) on the condition that the Astor family could reside as long as they wished, they left just years after the scandal.

Since the 1980s, Cliveden House has operated as a luxury hotel. A multimillion dollar renovation three years ago rendered the estate glamorous anew, but its history is far from forgotten. Its 38 rooms, in fact, are reminders of its marquee guest list, each named and styled after one of Cliveden's star visitors. (The hotel has hosted every British monarch since George I, in addition to Winston Churchill, President Roosevelt, and Charlie Chaplin.)

The three-bedroom Spring Cottage, where Christine Keeler stayed, is now, ironically, one of the hotel&rsquos most sought-after rooms. A renovation to the spa was completed last year, and the infamous heated pool has opened once again, affording guests the opportunity to dip their toes (quite literally) into Cliveden&rsquos steamy history.

Who Are The New World Order – A Brief History

If ever you mention the term ‘New World Order’ (NWO) people tend to look at you like you’ve taken leave of your senses. This is understandable because the suggestion that a hidden cartel of so called elite globalists (described more accurately as the parasite class) control the world’s economy and its political agenda is beyond imagination for most. Thankfully, for those who care to retain an open mind, there’s no need to employ imagination because the historical evidence which establishes the fact is unequivocal.

The author H.G.Wells popularised the phrase in his book of the same name published in 1940. Wells viewed a single world government as a solution to war. In his opinion that government should be socialist. He also believed it should be based upon a global system of human rights protections.

Over the years various individuals and political institutions have used the term to encapsulate the idea of a single, unifying system of global governance. For example in the European Commission document ‘The European Union in the New World Order,‘ the transcript of a speech former EU Commission President José Manuel Barroso gave to Yale University, he speaks about the New World Order as a beneficial and benign system of global governance.

Similarly most politicians and globalist figures, who have spoken about the New World Order, refer to it in a positive light.

“Further world progress is now possible only through the search for a consensus of all mankind, in movement toward a new world order.”
[Mikhail Gorbachev 1988]

“The world can therefore seize this opportunity to fulfil the long-held promise of a new world order ”
[President George H.W Bush 1991]

The New World Order cannot happen without U.S. participation, as we are the single most significant component. Yes, there will be a New World Order, and it will force the United States to change its perception
[Henry Kissinger 1994]

“[The] new world order that is in the making must focus on the creation of a world of democracy, peace and prosperity for all”
[Nelson Mandella 1994]

When global leaders have delivered their big New World Order speeches, most of these aspirational monologues have come in response to tumultuous global events. Wars, political upheaval, financial crisis and international trade disputes etc.

On the face of it they appear to be expressing the ideals advocated within the U.N Charter. Ostensibly a single system of international governance which compels every nation on earth to treat not only its own citizens but every other nation’s citizenry with respect, dignity and compassion. Which sounds like a very sensible idea. So why do some people keep banging on about the evil of the New World Order?

Firstly, the idea that any government can deliver peace and prosperity to its own citizens, let alone internationally, is an unsubstantiated hypothesis. Governments have consistently failed to deliver equality of opportunity to their people. The disparity between rich and poor is as large as it’s ever been and inequality of opportunity persists.

According to research by Credit Suisse, the combined wealth of the top 1% is greater than the total wealth of the rest of us put together. There are eight people who have more money than the bottom economic half of the world’s population. Over the next few years 500 people will pass on a combined $2.1 trillion inheritance to their heirs. This is more money than the entire economy of India, a country of 1.3 billion people.

The economist Thomas Pickety demonstrated, in the last 30 years, income growth, in real terms, for the lower half of the planet’s population has been zero while the top 1% have seen their real term incomes increase by 300%. To imagine that governments deliver peace and prosperity is without any substantiating evidence. All conflict, all injustice, social inequality, exploitation and even crime exists under the rule of government. To believe that government can or even would solve any of these problems is a blind faith.

Some nations enjoy better living standards than others but this is either a result of economic and technological development and/or one nations exploitation of another nations resources. These international disparities invariably emerge following some process of forced or coerced acquisition exercised by dominant governments at the expense of poorer governments. Either via war, colonisation, neocolonialism or simple corruption.

The average person in more affluent countries can afford some luxuries because underpaid or slave workers, somewhere else in the world, have provided the necessary raw materials or manufactured products for next to nothing. However, in times of austerity, governments never hesitate to squeeze the workers pay and conditions in their own nations, before moving on to asset strip essential services, in order to protect bank profits. They can do this because they have all the power and the population has none. So called democracy notwithstanding.

For those who propose a New World Order, such as Richard Haass president of the influential globalist think tanks the Council on Foreign Relations, it is the dream of a one world government led by a tightly bound clique of immensely powerful ‘policy influencers.’ Those who criticise this frequently referenced idea, universally castigated as ‘loony conspiracy theorists,’ it is simply global tyranny under an unelected, self appointed elite (parasites,) whose only real vision is that they are the rightful rulers of the Earth.

The Origins of the Modern New World Order

In 1902 the British business man and empire builder Cecil Rhodes died having amassed a staggering personal fortune by working people to death in the gold and diamond mines of South Africa. He founded De Beers Consolidated Mining in 1888 with the financial backing of the wealthiest bankers in the world, N.M. Rothschild & Sons. Upon his death he bequeathed his own immense fortune to create a number of projects, including both public foundations and a secret society.

Rhodes created seven wills in total. His 7th is the most well know as it established the Rhodes scholarship, which supports international postgraduate studies at Oxford University. Rhodes scholars have gone on to become some of the most powerful and influential people in the world of politics, science, medicine, business, the arts, academia, the law and the military.

However, the bulk of Rhodes’ fortune was set aside to create a single, one world government, based upon the British model of empire. It would be ruled from its centre by an Anglo-American elite who would exercise their control by covertly collaborating with, and manipulating, the world’s political, economic, scientific and cultural leaders.

In order to exert their covert power, the group Rhodes created had to be a secret organisation. As such, it wasn’t given any formal identification. Nor was it some sort of quasi-mystical, funny handshake brigade, though many of its members were also in other secret societies which were, but rather a group by voluntary association, shared interest and a united common purpose. Membership was offered based upon power and influence. Those who joined, agreed to take action in pursuit of the society’s aims. It wasn’t just a talking shop. They meant business.

The constituent groups came to be known by many names. ‘Milner’s Kindergarten,’ ‘The Round Table Group,’ ‘the Rhodes Crowd,’ ‘the Times Crowd,’ ‘The Chatham House Crowd,’ ‘All Souls Group’ and ‘the Cliveden set’ have all been names given to various organisations within this secret society over the years. It worked on the basis of ‘rings within rings.’ At the centre was a small group, ‘the Society of the Elect,’ who influenced the development and activities of its larger, working groups.

This compartmentalisation meant some society members were fully aware of the centre of power while others less so. However, all members agreed to the key objective. To establish a single global government, which some people today refer to as the ‘New World Order.’

Rhodes was a white supremacist and nationalist extremist. He was a man of his time and while this is rightly considered repugnant today it should be noted that his views were shared by the majority. He believed the English ‘Anglo-Saxon’ culture was superior to all others and the best thing that could ever happen to a nation was English colonial rule.

Consequently, he saw imperialism as a moral virtue. Therefore, any action that promoted Anglo-U.S. imperialist expansion, no matter what harm it inflicted upon the people, was seen by Rhodes and his fellow society members as righteous. In 1877 he wrote “Confession of Faith” in which he laid out his vision:

“I contend that we are the finest race in the world and that the more of the world we inhabit the better it is for the human race. Just fancy those parts that are at present inhabited by the most despicable specimens of human beings ……

…….Why should we not form a secret society with but one object the furtherance of the British Empire and the bringing of the whole uncivilised world under British rule for the recovery of the United States for the making the Anglo-Saxon race but one Empire….

….To forward such a scheme what a splendid help a secret society would be a society not openly acknowledged but who would work in secret for such an object…….
……Let us form the same kind of society a Church for the extension of the British Empire. A society which should have members in every part of the British Empire working with one object and one idea we should have its members placed at our universities and our schools and should watch the English youth passing through their hands just one perhaps in every thousand would have the mind and feelings for such an object….

……….For fear that death might cut me off before the time for attempting its development I leave all my worldly goods in trust to S. G. Shippard and the Secretary for the Colonies at the time of my death to try to form such a Society with such an object.”

Rhodes set about creating his elite group of royalty, colonialists, soldiers, bureaucrats, industrialists, spies, bankers, historians, scientists, artists, authors, politicians and others, to attempt to rule the world. In 1891 Rhodes, W.T.Stead (influential editor and journalist), Lord Nathan Rothschild (banker, politician & Rhodes’ trustee) and Reginald Baliol Brett (Lord Esher, a close friend and advisor to Queen Victoria and later King Edward VII and King George V) met to se4t their plan for global dominance in motion.

They immediately started their recruitment drive. They formed the ‘Society of the Elect’ by inviting Lord Alfred Milner (colonial administrator and powerful policy advisor) to join them. The next group they formed, who would remain closest to the seat of power, were ‘the Association of Helpers.’

In 1902, two months after Rhodes death, the NWO formed the transatlantic ‘Pilgrims Society.’ Rhodes aim had always been to unite the English-speaking world.

The British establishment mourned the loss of their American colony, but were also aware the British empire couldn’t be maintained indefinitely purely by military force. The Pilgrims Society was established to create the ‘special relationship’ between the U.S. and UK.

Today the first duty of any U.S. Ambassador to the UK is to meet with the British ‘Pilgrims Society.’ Conversely, the first duty of the UK Ambassador to the U.S. is to understand the wishes of the U.S. Pilgrims Society members.

The New World Moves Forward

When the Pilgrims Society was established a series of meetings took place in London in 1902 and New York in 1903. These were attended by the wealthiest individuals in U.S. and Britain and, therefore, the world.

Central banking was controlled from London, predominantly by Baron Alfred Rothschild, giving the British the monetary advantage. The Pilgrims Society set up the Rhodes Scholarship and Rhodes Trust in the U.S. In later years notable members have included Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, Prince Charles, John D. and David Rockefeller, Winston Churchill, Henry Kissinger, Margaret Thatcher, Walter Cronkite and Allen and John Foster Dulles, to name but a few.

In southern Africa Lord Alfred Milner (‘Society of the Elect’ & Pilgrims Society member) brought together a number of talented and ruthless young lawyers and administrators into a collective which came to be known as ‘Milner’s Kindergarten.’ They worked to establish the Union of South Africa, predecessor to the current Republic of South Africa and instigator of the apartheid regime. They controlled much of the worlds diamond and gold markets.

In 1909, the Kindergarten was instrumental in the formation of the Round Table Movement. They established ‘Round Tables’ in Canada, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere across the British Empire.

The influence and power of the individuals who form the NWO is well illustrated by Kindergarten and leading Round Table member Lionel Curtis. In the face of rising German power in Europe and the increasing economic dominance of the U.S, he was chief amongst those who recognised the British military empire couldn’t survive. In 1911 Lionel Curtis decided the British Empire should be transformed into an economic power called the British Commonwealth of Nations and that India should be given self-governance. India was granted independence in 1947 and the British Commonwealth of Nations established in 1948, exactly as Lionel Curtis and his Round Table Group had decreed more than 35 years earlier.

The difficulty many people have in grasping the way the NWO wield power often stems from their focus upon the long game. Their strategy isn’t built upon quick profits or immediate successes. Like any well made plan they know things will go awry. But each move is a step along the path to the ultimate objective of a New World Order. It doesn’t just span years but rather decades, across generations or even centuries. Inexorably moving towards the global economic and political dictatorship they are determined to create. Something they are currently very close to achieving thanks to their creation of the climate emergency.

In 1910 Scottish borne U.S. industrialist Andrew Carnegie established the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (CEIP.) Its trustees were all industrialists and financiers. Many were linked to the J.P.Morgan controlled American International Corporation (AIC,) which became the corporate giant American International Group (AIG) in 1919.

The board including Elihu Root (AIC and Carnegie lawyer), Cleveland H. Dodge (industrialist, arms manufacturer and financial backer of President Wilson), George W. Perkins (Morgan partner banker), G. J. Balch (AIC and Amsinck), R. F. Herrick (AIC), H. W. Pritchett (AIC.) Carnegie himself was the chairman of the U.S. Pilgrim Society and the CEIP was formed with a specific purpose:

“……dedicated to advancing cooperation between nations and promoting active international engagement by the United States.”

The CEIP strongly influences U.S. foreign policy today, with close links to the U.S. State Department and more than a century long involvement with the U.S. political establishment. It is seen by most people (who know about it) as a force for peace through promoting international cooperation. This is an example of the duplicity of the NWO, and illustrates its standard modus operandi. By presenting the outward appearance of benevolent ‘foundations’ numerous groups like the CEIP work behind closed doors to achieve the societies geopolitical aims.

Foundations were made ‘tax exempt’ in the U.S. as ‘charitable’ organisations by the Revenue Act of 1917. This enabled the wealthiest people on Earth to fund their various social engineering projects without the need to pay any income tax. Income tax is only for the little people.

From the outset the CEIP identified how useful war could be both as a profit making exercise and also as a catalyst for social change. Norman Dodd served as chief investigator in 1953 for the U.S. Congress Special Committee on Tax Exempt Foundations. He was given access to CEIP records and what he discovered was very different from commonly held public perception. Dodd testified to the Reece Committee:

“The trustees of the Foundation [CEIP] brought up a single question. If it is desirable to alter the life of an entire people, is there any means more efficient than war…. They discussed this question… for a year and came up with an answer: There are no known means more efficient than war, assuming the objective is altering the life of an entire people. That leads them to a question: How do we involve the United States in a war.”

The CEIP was not formed in 1910 as a vehicle for peace. Quite the opposite. It is crucial to understand, for the NWO, war is merely a means to an end. It provides economic stimulus but also delivers huge social change. The use of war, conflict and armed insurrection are one of its primary methods to work towards the goal of one world government under the control of the corporate elite.

Once you know this, even mainstream interpretations of history render this glaringly obvious. Every significant conflict ends in a negotiated peace conference and every negotiation establishes further centralisation of power within larger regional bodies or intergovernmental organisations, consistently eroding sovereignty and consolidating power. War is a racket, and false flags, such as the sinking of the Lusitania which drew the U.S into WWI, are often favoured by the NWO to provide the necessary casus beli.

Following the end of WWI The NWO representatives, who formed the core of the U.S. and British delegations to Versailles, convened to create the system of international ‘think tanks’ that would enable them to rule from the shadows to this day. Under the direction of Lionel Curtis, the group of industrialists, financiers and political manipulators met to create the British Institute of International Affairs which received royal ascent to become the Royal Institute of International Affairs (RIIA) in 1920. Many ‘Pilgrims Society’ members were present at the initial Paris meeting, and the American branch was formed as the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) in 1921, chaired by Elihu Root and funded by J.D.Rockefeller.

The New World Order Veil of Secrecy

Yet, despite the continuing power of these organisations, which still shapes foreign policy and international relations today, it was the creation of the RIIA’s ‘Chatham House Rule‘ in 1927, that enabled secret, undemocratic global governance to hide in plain sight. Historians have claimed the Chatham House Rule was designed to promote open dialogue among the most powerful people on the planet. We need only look at the current definition (following a couple of more recent revisions) to understand how misleading this interpretation is.

“When a meeting, or part thereof, is held under the Chatham House Rule, participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s), nor that of any other participant, may be revealed.”

This enabled the creation of the ‘Deep State Milieu.’ A global network of power brokers who can hide in the open thanks, in no small measure, to the Chatham House Rule. Only a very few journalists and researchers attempt to break down this wall of silence. Doing so will almost certainly result in them being labelled as ‘conspiracy theorists,’ a free fall career trajectory or worse.

The groups who hide behind the Chatham House Rule include the Council on Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commission, the RIIA, the Bilderberg Group, Le Cercle and others. Many older elite societies have incorporated it into their discussion ‘rules,’ such as the Knights of Malta, Skull and Bones, the Pilgrims Society, Round Table groups and more. Similarly, international corporations and financial institutions use it, as do government steering committees, policy advisory boards and especially boards of directors. That this has been sold to the public as an aid to ‘open and transparent’ decision-making is hilarious.

While the rule itself isn’t enforceable by law, any organisation, including government, can cite it as a matter of policy. Anyone who breaches it will face disciplinary action. When the people at the meeting, enforcing the policy, are able to buy governments that ‘discipline’ is not something easily ignored. No matter who you are.

Effectively it means the most powerful, wealthiest people on Earth can meet to discuss whatever plans they may have without any public scrutiny. In order to maintain this hidden agenda the MSM have to be entirely complicit, never asking difficult questions and always respecting the Chatham House rule. This they do without exception, usually because the people who own the MSM are also members of the various Deep State organisations that form the New World Order.

New World Order Wars

Based upon the CEIP recognition that war is the most effective vehicle for mass social change, the NWO used their global corporations, the political parties they funded, the leading politicians they corrupted and their international banking cartels to create the economic, political and social conditions that led to WWI. Intentionally pushing the planet towards catastrophe in order to bring about their desired outcome.

In addition they funded the Russian revolution to ensure they retained access to future Soviet markets and secure their investment no matter who won the war. However, following the Treaty of Versailles they recognised that further work needed to be done. Therefore they continued their project to create a one world dictatorship by starting WWII.

Essentially the NWO loaned Germany the money to pay the reparations following WWI, ensuring Germany owed them, not sovereign nations, their debt. Thus placing the German economy entirely in their control. They then created industrial and manufacturing cartels within Germany, with the money administered by the banks they owned making themselves the primary beneficiaries of their own loans and further consolidating control of the German economy. Next, they used their subsidiary industrial cartels to rebuild the German military and finance the rise of the Nazis.

Once the fascists were in power, they funded their war effort against the Allied Nations who they were also financing during WWII. They ran both sides of the war from their secure headquarters in neutral Switzerland and, when WWII ended, they used the vast profits they had made from the deaths of more than 60 million people to finance another attempt at establishing a one world government in the shape of the United Nations.

I recognise this is probably not the history you are familiar with. However, once again, the evidence which proves this to be the case is overwhelming. All of which you can read about here.

Just as WWI led to the creation of the failed league of Nations so WWII led to the establishment of the United Nations. It established a framework for world government but has yet to formally supersede the sovereignty of the member nations.

The next logical step for the NWO, on its road to the global capitalist / collectivist hegemony, was to create power blocks which genuinely destroyed national sovereignty. The economic control of the failed USSR project was a reasonable attempt but war in Europe provided the NWO the perfect opportunity to take a big step forward.

For the first time they were able to create an intergovernmental organisation, centrally administered by an unelected cabal, controlled by its own central bank, which managed many of the world’s richest economies. Today we call that project the European Union (EU) and the Deep State Milieu were at the heart of its creation.



HERITAGE HIGHLIGHTS: Superb parterre gardens and riverside walks

One of the great country houses of Buckinghamshire, and indeed, of all England. Cliveden stands on a high cliff above the River Thames, and the gardens provide wonderful views down the river.

The House

In 1666 George Villiers, 2nd Duke of Buckingham, purchased the Cliveden estate from the Manfield family. He was attracted to the site by the views, which reminded him of Mediterranean scenes he had encountered while accompanying Charles II in exile.

In 1670 he called upon architect William Winde to design a new house on a terrace with views down the river. Except that there wasn't a terrace. Yet.

But the Duke was not one to be bothered by such details as landscape. He had the hilltop site levelled to create a terrace large enough to accommodate his new house and parterre gardens. The house was intended, not as a grand stately home, but as a hunting lodge, a place to escape from court life, entertain friends, and bring mistresses.

One of those mistresses was the Countess of Shrewsbury. In 1668 Buckingham and the Earl of Shrewsbury fought a duel over the Duke's affair with the Countess. The Earl was wounded and later died from his injuries. Buckingham proudly had the garden terrace beside his new house laid with stones in the shape of a sword and the date of the duel. Any visitor to Cliveden would be forcibly reminded of the Duke's prowess.

In 1696 the Earl of Orkney purchased Cliveden. His wife was Elizabeth Villiers, cousin of the Duke. Then in 1737 Frederick, Prince of Wales, leased the estate from the 4th Earl of Inchiquin and his wife Anne, Countess of Orkney. As part of the lease, the Earl and Countess moved to Taplow Court, which was then part of the Cliveden estate. But just 14 years later the Prince died and the Earl and Countess moved back to Cliveden.

The house was badly damaged by a disastrous fire in 1795, which left only the wings standing. Nothing was done to repair the house and it was left to moulder for 30 years. In 1824 Sir George Warrender called in architect William Burn to rebuild the main block of the mansion.

Warrender entertained many of the leading political figures of the day at his new house, among them Prime Minister George Canning. Canning often sat under an oak tree looking out over the Thames, and this tree became known, not unnaturally, as Cannings Oak.

Warrender brought in Comte Alfred d'Orsay to design the parterre garden that is one of Cliveden's most appealing features, then in 1849, the Duke of Sutherland purchased the house for his wife, paying 30,000 pounds, an enormous sum at the time.

Luckily they were away from home when another fire broke out. in the library. The blaze was so strong that Queen Victoria, a good friend of the Duchess, noticed the smoke from Windsor Castle and sent the royal fire engines to help battle the fire. Unfortunately, they were too late and much of the original house was lost.

Blame for the blaze was assigned to poor workmanship on the previous rebuild, and architect Sir Charles Barry was called on to oversee a new Italianate building for the Duke and Duchess.

Barry's three-storey central block curves outward to join 18th-century wings designed by Thomas Archer. The interior was altered in the 1870s from Barry's design, and an ornate clock tower and stable block added in 1861. The water tower is one of Cliveden's most striking features designed by Henry Clutton and topped by a sculpture of the Spirit of Liberty.

In 1893 the estate was purchased by William Waldorf Astor, and the interior was remodelled yet again, to set off Astor's fine furniture and tapestries. In 1897 another of Cliveden's treasures, the Fountain of Love, was created, designed by Thomas Story from volcanic rock and marble.

During WWI the house and grounds were used as a Red Cross hospital, then between the two world wars Cliveden was at the centre of political and social activity, and the 2nd Viscount Astor and Nancy, Lady Astor made Cliveden a popular gathering place for influential people who became known as "the Cliveden set". In 1942 Viscount Astor gave Cliveden to the National Trust. The house eventually became a luxury hotel, though several rooms can be viewed at specified times.

In recent history, Cliveden has been involved in several episodes that made the news. In 1961 politician John Profumo met Christine Keeler here, and their affair would launch one of Britain's most newsworthy scandals. In 1965 the Beatles used Cliveden as a setting for scenes in their film Help. The band famously held foot races with the film crew on the parterre between takes in the filming.

The Gardens

The house is surrounded by 375 acres of superb landscape gardens, including a Rose Garden designed by noted English garden expert Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe. The gardens also feature the Canadian War Memorial Garden, the Ilex Grove, Amphitheatre, River Walk and the Yew Tree Walk.

One of the largest areas is a Water Garden, centred around an Oriental temple. Near the water garden is a hedge maze - always popular with younger visitors! The grounds are also notable for their delightful statuary, with the most prominent feature being the sculpted "Fountain of Love", which stands at the end of a broad entry avenue at the main approach to the house.

From there a path leads to the Long Garden, planted with thousands of daffodils in season. It is an amazing sight a sea of yellow and red! In a sea of trees closer to the house is a secret garden, and from there, paths lead along the Thames to a small War Memorial Garden. Beside the memorial garden is a striking monument known as the Octagon Temple (the Chapel). From the Chapel, there are wonderful views across the Thames.

From here a trail leads down 162 steps to one of the most wonderful little riverside spots you can imagine the Tortoise Fountain, rising like a mushroom from the wooded hillside, with utterly magical views along the river. It is almost worth coming to Cliveden just for the Tortoise Fountain!

If you are feeling energetic you can descend to the riverside boathouse, where boats can be hired for trips along the Thames. If you don't fancy a boat trip you can follow trails along the hillside to a stand of giant sequoia trees, and a viewpoint known as the Duke's Seat.

Perhaps the most popular garden area, and certainly the easiest to access, is the exceptionally large Parterre, with parallel areas of colourful flowers set off by hedges. At the far end of the Parterre, facing the house, is a striking classical monument, providing a punctuation mark to the garden vista. And it is indeed a vista Cliveden has been ranked among the top 10 British gardens it is a remarkable place, a mixture of formal and informal, in a magnificent riverside setting.

Parts of the gardens date back to the 16th century, though most are of more recent vintage, and much of the statuary was added by the Astors.

The house itself is now run as a hotel, and only three rooms are open to the public, but the gardens are maintained by the National Trust. There is also a full programme of events at Cliveden, including open-air theatre and children&rsquos theatre held throughout the season.

Brit History: Cliveden House – Scene of Family Triumph and Political Scandal

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Cliveden in Buckinghamshire is one those famed “stately homes of England” and has a rich history of glory and grandeur. It is also the scene of one of the most infamous scandals in British political history.

Set 40 meters above the banks of the Thames, Cliveden is a beautiful estate. The present house was designed by Sir Charles Barry in 1851 in the Palladian style with Italianate features. The current edifice replaced two earlier houses – the first built in 1666 for the 2nd Earl of Buckingham, which burned down in 1795 and the second, built in 1824, which burned down in 1849. Prior to the installation of the Astor family in the last decade of the 19th century, the estate belonged in succession to the Dukes of Orkney Sir George Warrender the 2nd Duke of Sunderland and the 1st Duke of Westminster. From 1737-1751, Frederick, Prince of Wales leased the house from Orkney.

In 1893, the estate was purchased by wealthy American William Waldorf Astor. Upwardly-mobile William Waldorf became a British citizen in 1899 and heavily supported charities like the Great Ormond Street Hospital University College, London Oxford and Cambridge Universities the British Red Cross the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children and many more. Such support does not go unnoticed or unrewarded and in 1916 he was offered a peerage, taking the title Baron Astor of Hever Castle. The following year, he was elevated to Viscount. This was quite controversial as many thought that a rich American had basically bought his way into the British Aristocracy.

William Waldorf himself lived at Cliveden for a very short time, preferring Hever Castle in Kent (the family home of Anne Boleyn) which he purchased and restored in 1903. (That said, he is currently spending eternity interred under the marble floor of Cliveden’s chapel.) Instead, he gave Cliveden to his son Waldorf as a wedding present upon his marriage to American socialite Nancy Witcher Langhorne in 1905. Waldorf and Nancy were famous for their lavish house parties and the “Cliveden Set” who used to frequent them. Regular guests included Charlie Chaplin, Winston Churchill, Gandhi, Joe Kennedy, Rudyard Kipling, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Edith Wharton, and more. Some of their most important guests were wounded servicemen as during both World Wars, the Astor’s had a military hospital built on the grounds of Cliveden.

Cliveden House from the Parterre Garden

Proud of her American heritage, the British aristocracy had no idea what they were in for in Nancy Astor. She was vivacious and witty, but very devout and came across as somewhat of a prude. In 1919, when her husband was elevated to the peerage upon the death of his father, and thus had to vacate his seat in the Commons, Nancy won the by-election becoming only the second woman to be elected as an MP, but the first to take a seat in the house. She was also the first American-born MP, and retained her seat until 1945. A fascinating new book about her has recently been published: Nancy: The Story of Lady Astor by Adrian Fort.

Parterre Gardens looking over the Buckinghamshire landscape.

In 1942, the Astor’s gave the property to the National Trust with the proviso that the family could live there as long as wished.

2013 marks the 50th “Anniversary” (if such a term can be coined) of the revelation of the Profumo Affair. Not one of the British Government’s most shining moments, but a landmark one, as it became one of the earliest scandals in British political history. It was at Cliveden in 1961 when John Profumo, Secretary of State for War in Harold MacMillan’s Government, first met Christine Keeler at the swimming pool on the estate where both were guests of the Astors at a weekend house party. Profumo embarked on a three-month affair with Keeler, the reputed mistress of an alleged Russian Spy. This was at the height of the Cold War and tensions ran high regarding national security. When questioned about the affair in the House of Commons, Profumo flatly denied any wrongdoing. The lie was exposed, which ultimately led to his resignation, saw the end of his marriage to the glamorous actress Valerie Hobson, and damaged the reputation of MacMillan’s government.

The Astors left Cliveden in 1968. During the 1970s the house became an overseas campus for Stanford University. The house is now a luxury hotel ( As part of the National Trust, visitors are welcome to walk in the footsteps of the rich and famous, visit the house and roam the over 375 acres of grounds which include lovely parterre gardens, a maze, woodland trails, a military cemetery and more (

The Fountain of Love at Cliveden

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About Dawn

A true Anglophile, Dawn Kellogg lived in the UK for over a decade where she was a marketing director and associate producer for a theatre company. She has degrees in Musical Theatre and Vocal Performance from SUNY Fredonia, the University of Illinois and Trinity College of Music in London respectively. She currently lives in Rochester, NY where she is the Communications Manager for Geva Theatre Center. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a Dame Chevalier in the L'Ordre de Coteaux des Champagne and a member of the Irving Society, the English Speaking Union and the Concert Artistes Association. She visits England regularly.

Great British Houses: Cliveden House – The House Made Notorious by Political Scandal

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Once home to one of the most famous cliques in British history, the ‘Cliveden Set’, Cliveden House is a country mansion that boasts some of the most impressive gardens in the country and a history peppered with political scandal. Built in a mixture of English Palladium and Italian Roman Cinquento style that overlooks the River Thames, Cliveden House is currently a very impressive, very exclusive hotel.

Brief Facts about the House

  • Cliveden Mansion and Estate is located at Taplow, Buckinghamshire, England.
  • The present house was built in 1851 by architect Charles Barry
  • There have been three houses built on this site, the first in 1666.
  • The present house was once home to Nancy Astor and the meeting place for the Cliveden Set in the 1920s and 1930s.

History of the House

Cliveden House is an Italianate mansion overlooking the mighty River Thames in Buckinghamshire in the South of England. In 1666, the first house was built on this site by architect William Wilde to specifications set by the 2 nd Duke of Buckingham, the main instruction being to capture the spectacular riverside view. This early house was destroyed by a fire in 1795 and, remarkably, so was the second house built on this site which lasted from 1824 until its demise in 1849.

Following the fire of 1849 the 2 nd Duke of Sutherland decided to rebuild the house with the help of architect Sir Charles Barry, best-known for his work on the British Houses of Parliament. The architectural design for Cliveden retained some elements of the first and second houses including a medieval hall and viewing platform that dates back to the seventeenth century. The mansion is built over three stories in a blend of English Palladian style and Roman Cinquecento with an exterior that resembles an Italianate villa. The roof of the mansion was designed to be walked upon affording spectacular views across Buckinghamshire and Berkshire. The later addition of a grand 100 foot clock tower was designed by Henry Clutton and is actually a water tower that is still in use today.

The gardens at Cliveden are some of the largest and most beautiful in the country. The formal Parterre is still one of the largest in Europe and dates back to 1723 when Cliveden was owned by the Earl of Orkney. The current gardens are based on the designs of head gardener John Fleming, who worked with the house’s architect Charles Barry to create a complex system of seasonal flower beds in the late 19 th century. As well as the grand Parterre, current visitors can enjoy Cliveden’s Rose Garden, Japanese Water Garden, Long Garden, Sculpture, Maze and Woodlands.

Located up river from Windsor Castle, Cliveden is said to have been frequented by Queen Victoria during the 1850s but in 1868, following the Duke’s death in 1861, Lady Sutherland passed away and the house was sold to the Duke of Westminister. In 1893 the Duke sold Cliveden to the wealthy American William Waldorf Astor. Following some incredible alterations, such as the installation of a Rococo French dining room from the Chateau d’Asnieres outside Paris and the addition of a complete balustrade from the Villa Borghese in Rome, Astor gave Cliveden to his son Waldorf 1906, on the event of his marriage to fellow American Nancy Shaw, and moved to Hever Castle.

During the years the young Astors owned and resided in Cliveden the house became notorious for the influential guests and lavish entertainment of the young couple’s regular house parties. The heyday of the Cliveden social scene was between the two world wars when the Astors were said to entertain some of the most famous and powerful entertainers, writers and politicians of the time. The ‘Cliveden set’ as the Astor’s more prominent, aristocratic guests became known were said to be politically influential and controversial advocates of the appeasement of Hitler’s Germany in the years leading up to World War Two.

During the First World War the grounds of Cliveden became home to the HRH Duchess of Connaught Hospital, a Canadian Red Cross hospital for the treatment of wounded soldiers. The hospital was dismantled in 1918 but rebuilt under the name of the Canadian Red Cross Memorial Hospital at the outbreak of World War Two. The hospital remained following the end of the war and was in use up until the 1980s focussing on maternity, nursing and rheumatology. The grounds of Cliveden are also home to Cliveden War Cemetery where 42 commonwealth citizens are buried.

Cliveden was gifted by the Astors to the National Trust in 1942 along with an endowment of £250,000 but the Astors continued to live there until 1968. Following Bill Astor’s death, Cliveden was let to Stanford University until, in 1985, it was restored, refurbished and re-opened as a luxury hotel. In the years from 1985 to today, Cliveden has passed through many hands and was most recently purchased in 2012 by London and Regional Properties.

What Makes This House Very Famous

Currently, the Cliveden Hotel’s motto is “Nothing ordinary ever happened here, nor could it.” Cliveden entered the collective consciousness of Britain, if not Europe, in the 1930s due to it being the setting of the famous social gatherings of the ‘Cliveden Set’. This group of aristocratic personalities, who included politician William Montagu, Lord Halifax, Lord Lothian and Geoffrey Dawson, editor of The Times newspaper, are said to have had an influential role in political decision-making in the lead up to the Second World War and have been accused of being allied to Nazism. The Profumo Scandal of 1963 lent even greater infamy to Cliveden after a cottage on the house’s estate was said to be the setting of Secretary of State for War, John Profumo’s ‘immoral’ relationship with 19 year old model Christine Keeler.

Cliveden in Film

Cliveden has been used as a location in the following films.

  • Sherlock Holmes (2009) Film
  • Made of Honour (2008) Film
  • Mrs Henderson Presents (2005) Film
  • Thunderbirds (2004) Film
  • Dead Man’s Folly (1986) Film
  • Death of the Nile (1978) Film
  • Help! (1965) Film
  • The Card (1952) Film

Further Research

Visitor Information

Cliveden’s gardens and woodlands, complete with various cafes and shops, are looked after by the National Trust and are open to the public from 10am to 5pm every day. Entrance fees are £9 per adult, £4.50 per child and £22.50 for a family ticket. Cliveden House is now a luxury hotel but tours of parts of the ground floor are available on Thursdays and Sundays between 3pm and 5.30pm April to October. For more information visit

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About Jonathan

Jonathan is a consummate Anglophile with an obsession for Britain that borders on psychosis. Anglotopia is his passionate side-gig and he's always dreaming of his next trip to England, wishing he lived there - specifically Dorset.

Cliveden House and the sordid love affairs that changed Britain

Cliveden House is a luxury hotel and spa nestled in Taplow, but the serene building near the River Thames was once the starting point of a scandal that would irreversibly change the course of British politics for generations.

In 1961 political leaders, wealthy magnates and the shining stars of the stage and screen gathered together under the sticky, summer sun at for a house party at Cliveden.

The Cold War was raging on between the Soviet Union and the United States, but in Taplow the A-listers were revelling.

One of the attendees was John Profumo, the Conservative Secretary of State for War. He was married to a well-known star of the stage and screen, Valerie Hobson.

Profumo had been invited to the stately home by Stephen Ward – a well-known socialite and osteopath that rubbed shoulders with the likes of Prince Philip and Princess Margaret.

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Also on the estate, a young mistress by the name of Christine Keeler was staying in Spring Cottage.

Profumo spotted Keeler swimming naked in the pool and the bare introduction sparked an affair that would go on to cause an outcry of epic proportions.

Although Profumo had a wife, it was actually Keeler’s relationship that was the main issue.

Christine was simultaneously having sexual relationship with a senior naval attaché at the Soviet Embassy, Yevgeny Ivanov, causing great concern to national security.

At first Profumo denied he had any relationship with Keeler, but the truth was soon unveiled and the scandal rocked Westminster, and is cited as one of the main reasons that the Labour Party won the following election.

The scandal was so catastrophic that the Prime Minister, Harold Macmillan, was encouraged to retire before the final report could be published.

The Profumo scandal wasn’t the first time the house was the backdrop for a sordid and scandalous affair – in the 1300s the Duke of Buckingham used the property to house his mistress, Anna, Countess of Shrewsbury.

It could be argued that this affair was far more dramatic than the events that would unfurl in Cliveden those hundreds of years later – the Duke’s relationship with the Countess resulted in him killing her husband in a bloody duel on the grounds of the home.

In 2018 Cliveden House became the centre of media sensation once again but for a very different reason. The world&aposs press descended on the luxury hotel when Meghan Markle and her mother, Doria Ragland, stayed at there on the eve of her marriage to Prince Harry.

The couple married at Windsor Castle on May 19 2018 in a ceremony watched by millions across the globe.

Over the years Cliveden has masqueraded as various other locations for the big screen. It was used as the set of a number of famous films, including Sherlock Holmes and the 2015 remake of Cinderella.

Watch the video: National Trust - Cliveden (June 2022).


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