- Sir James Whitehead, 1st Baronet
Whitehead was born at
Bramhall, near Sedberghin Yorkshire. He was educated at the grammar schoolin Appleby-in-Westmorland, and was apprenticed as a draperin Kendal. He made his way to Bradfordand then London, and married Mercy Mildred Hinds in 1860. He established a business on Gresham Street.
Having made his fortune, he retired from business in 1881 and concentrated on civic service. He became
Aldermanfor Cheap ward in the City of Londonin 1882, and served as Sheriff that year. He was Master of the Worshipful Company of Fanmakersin 1884, and also served as Under-Sheriff of London and Middlesex that year. He was Lord Mayor of Londonin 1888-9. He replaced the circus-like Lord Mayor's Showwith a State Procession, and was arbitrator in the London Dock Strike of 1889. He also represented England at the Exposition Universelle in Parisin 1889. He was created a baroneton 26 November 1889, as Baronet Whitehead of Culham, Berkshire.
He also did charitable works. He erected a statue of Sir Rowland Hill in 1879, and established the
Rowland Hill Benevolent Fundfor aged and distressed Post Officeworkers. He also named his son Rowland. He was Chairman of the Visiting Justices of Holloway Prison, Visitor of the City of London Asylumat Stone, Buckinghamshire, a committee member of Christ's Hospital, a Governor of Queen Anne's Bounty, Lord Lieutenantfor the City of London, and a Justice of the Peacein Westmorelandand in Kent. He became an Honorary Visitor at Borstal Prisonin 1898.
He stood for Parliament in the Appleby division of Westmoreland in the general elections in 1885 and 1886. He was elected as
Member of Parliamentfor Leicester in the general election in 1892. He was a Liberal Party and supported William Gladstone. He was in favour of Irish home rule, reform of the House of Lords, and disestablishmentof the Church of England. He served only two years as MP, resigning by becoming Steward of the Manor of Northsteadin 1894.
He was also a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, the
Royal Historical Society, the Royal Statistical Society, and a member of the International Peace Associationand the Reform Club
Two of his sons,
Sir George Whitehead, 2nd Baronet, and Sir Rowland Whitehead, 3rd Baronet, inherited the baronetcy.
His papers are held by the archives of the
Houses of Parliament.
* [http://www.portcullis.parliament.uk/DServe/dserve.exe?dsqIni=Dserve.ini&dsqApp=Archive&dsqDb=Catalog&dsqCmd=Show.tcl&dsqSearch=(RefNo='WHD/2') The Whitehead Papers 1826-1953] held by Parliament
* [http://www.odwa.co.uk/archives/WilmingtonHallHistory.doc The History of Wilmington Hall]
* [http://www.london-city-history.org.uk/biography.htm Biography]
* [http://www.npg.org.uk/live/search/person.asp?desc=&grp=&lDate=&eDate=&occ=36%3BPhilanthropy&medium=photograph&name=&search=as&LinkID=mp56588 Portraits] at the
National Portrait Gallery
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
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