John Miller Andrews

John Miller Andrews

Infobox Officeholder
name= The Right Honourable John M. Andrews CH

order=2nd Prime Minister of Northern Ireland
term_start =1940
term_end =1943
predecessor =Lord Craigavon
successor =Lord Brookeborough
birth_date =birth date|1871|7|17
birth_place =Comber, Ireland
death_date =death date and age|1956|8|5|1871|7|17
party= Ulster Unionist Party

John Miller Andrews, CH (July 17, 1871 – August 5, 1956) was the second Prime Minister of Northern Ireland.

Family life

Andrews was born in Comber, County Down, Ireland in 1871,cite book | last=Lalor | first=Brian (ed) | year=2003 |title=The Encyclopaedia of Ireland | publisher=Gill & Macmillan | location=Dublin, Ireland | isbn=0-7171-3000-2 | pages=p 23-24] the eldest child in the family of four sons and one daughter of Thomas Andrews DL, flax spinner, and his wife Eliza Pirrie, sister of Viscount Pirrie.

He was educated at the Royal Belfast Academical Institution and became a director of his family linen-bleaching company and of the Belfast Ropeworks, as well as a wealthy landowner. His brother, Thomas Andrews, was managing director of the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast and died in the sinking of the "Titanic" in 1912, another brother Sir James Andrews, 1st Baronet was Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland.

In 1902 he married Jessie (d. 1950), eldest daughter of Bolton stockbroker Joseph Ormrod at the Presbyterian Chapel at Rivington, near Bolton. They had one son and two daughters. His younger brother James married Jessie's sister.

Political career

Andrews served as a MP in the Northern Ireland Parliament from 1921 until 1953 (for County Down constituency from 1921-29 and for Mid-Down from 1929-1953). He was a founder member of the Ulster Unionist Labour Association, which he chaired, and was Minister of Labour from 1921 to 1937. He was Minister of Finance from 1937 to 1940, when on the death of Lord Craigavon, he became the second Prime Minister of Northern Ireland.

In 1943 backbench dissent forced him from office, to be replaced as Prime Minister by Basil Brooke, however he remained the recognised leader of the Party for a further three years. Five years later he became the Grand Master of the Orange Order. From 1949, he was the last parliamentary survivor of the original 1921 Northern Ireland Parliament, and as such was recognised as the Father of the House. He was the only Prime Minister of Northern Ireland not to have been elevated to the peerage.

Throughout his life he was deeply involved in the Orange Order and was grand master of County Down from 1941, grand master of Ireland (1948-1954) and a member of the Imperial Grand Council of the World (1949-1954).John Millar Andrews was a committed and active member of the Non-subscribing Presbyterian Church of Ireland. [ Plantation of Ulster - Religious Legacy] — from the BBC History website, retrieved 28 November 2006.] He regularly attended Sunday worship in the church built on land donated by his Great-grandfather (James Andrews) in his home town Comber. John Miller Andrews served on the Comber Congregational Committee from 1896 until his death in 1956 (holding the position of Chairman from 1935 onwards). He is buried in the small graveyard adjoining the Church.

He was named after his maternal great-uncle, John Miller of Comber (1795 - 1883).


* [ Prominent Persons Index card from the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland]
* [ History of Party leaders at the Ulster Unionist Party website]
* [ The National Archives of the United Kingdom] , with reference to the Public Records Office of Northern Ireland and containing a link to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (for subscribers only)
* Scoular, Clive (2004). "John M. Andrews: Northern Ireland's Wartime Prime Minister" by Clive Scoular. Printed by W & G Baird Ltd. An online review can be found at [] .

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