Title page from Acton-Creighton Correspondence

Acton-Creighton Correspondence

In one of these 3 letters to Archbishop Creighton Lord Acton makes his famous statement about “power corrupts and absolute power absolutely”. He also makes other remarks about the proper role for moral judgments in history.

Key Quotes

Presidents, Kings, Tyrants, & Despots

I cannot accept your canon that we are to judge Pope and King unlike other men, with a favourable presumption that they did no wrong. If there is any presumption it is the other way against holders of power, increasing as the power increases. Historic responsibility has to make up for the want of…