John Emerich Edward Charles Dalberg Acton, 1st Baron Acton (1834-1902), was born in Naples on 10 January 1834, the son of Sir Ferdinand Richard Acton, 7th Baronet. He studied at the University of Munich under the church historian Ignaz von Dllinger. In 1859 he became Liberal MP for the Irish constituency of Carlow, and in 1869 accepted a peerage. During this time Acton acquired The Rambler and developed it as a liberal Catholic journal dedicated to discussing social, political and theological matters. He was engaged for many years in carrying out historical research on the continent. In 1895 he was appointed Regius Professor of Modern History at Cambridge University. He gave lectures on the French Revolution and Modern History, and was chiefly responsible for organising the Cambridge modern history . Acton died at Tegernsee, Bavaria, on 19 June 1902.
From the guide to the Letters to Lord Acton concerning the, Cambridge Modern History, 1896-1899, (Cambridge University Library, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives)