Biography of Sir Austen Chamberlain
Sir Austen Chamberlain
Sir (Joseph) Austen Chamberlain (1863-1937) was Rector of the University from 1925 until 1928.
The son of Joseph and half brother of future Prime Minister Neville, Chamberlain read History at Trinity College, Cambridge and became a Conservative MP in 1892. By the time he was elected Rector in 1925 he was Foreign Secretary. He won the Nobel Peace Prize and was made a Knight of the Order of the Garter for his role in negotiating the Locarno Pact, by which Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Belgium agreed to settle future differences by arbitration rather than resorting to war.
Chamberlain's opponents in the 1925 rectorial election were the novelist GK Chesterton and the Fabian Society's Sydney Webb. He famously wore a monocle, and hundreds of students (male and female) turned up at his installation ceremony wearing similar eye-pieces purchased at the University Union.