- Frederick Pethick-Lawrence, 1st Baron Pethick-Lawrence
Born Frederick Lawrence in
London, he was the son of wealthy Unitarians who were members of the Liberal Party. He was educated at Eton Collegeand Trinity College, Cambridge, becoming a barrister.
Lawrence met and fell in love with Emmeline Pethick, an active
socialistand campaigner for women's votes. They finally married in 1901 after Lawrence converted to socialism and from then on Lawrence took part of his wife's name and was known as 'Pethick-Lawrence'. He published various left-wing newspapers and became involved in the Labour Party.
Pethick-Lawrence's involvement in the
Women's Social and Political Union(WSPU), on behalf of women's rights, led to him serving a nine-month prison sentence in 1912, following Christabel Pankhurst's window-smashing campaign, even though he had disagreed with that form of action; because of his disagreement, indeed, he was expelled from the WSPU by Emmeline Pankhurstand Christabel.
Early in the
First World WarPethick-Lawrence joined with others in founding the Union of Democratic Control(UDC), a leading anti-war organisation of which he became Treasurer. After acceptance by a Tribunal in Dorkingin 1918, he worked on a farm in Sussexas a conscientious objector.
In 1923 he was elected
Member of Parliamentfor Leicester West, and was Financial Secretary to the Treasuryfrom 1929 until the formation of the self-styled National Governmentin 1931; in the ensuing General Election and the rout of the Labour Party he lost his seat . He was elected for Edinburgh East in 1935, and from 1942 acted as Leader of the Opposition to the Coalition Government.
In 1945 Pethick-Lawrence was elevated to the peerage as Baron Pethick-Lawrence. From 1945 to 1947 he was
Secretary of State for Indiaand was involved in the negotiations that led to India's independence in 1947. The barony became extinct on his death in Hendonaged 89.
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