Alfred Emmott, 1st Baron Emmott

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The Right Honourable
The Lord Emmott
File:Alfred Emmott.jpg
circa 1905
Chairman of Ways and Means
In office
Monarch Edward VII
[George V]]
Preceded by Sir John Grant Lawson, 1st Baronet
Succeeded by John Henry Whitley
Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies
In office
23 October 1911 – 6 August 1914
Monarch George V
Prime Minister H. H. Asquith
Preceded by The Lord Lucas of Crudwell
Succeeded by The Lord Islington
First Commissioner of Works
In office
6 August 1914 – 25 May 1915
Monarch George V
Prime Minister H. H. Asquith
Preceded by The Earl Beauchamp
Succeeded by Lewis Vernon Harcourt
Personal details
Born 8 May 1858 (1858-05-08)
Died 13 December 1926 (1926-12-14)
Nationality British
Political party Liberal
Spouse(s) Mary Lees
Alma mater University of London

Alfred Emmott, 1st Baron Emmott GCMG GBE PC (8 May 1858 - 13 December 1926) was a British businessman and Liberal Party politician.

Background and education

The eldest surviving son of Thomas Emmott, of Brookfield, Oldham, he was educated at Grove House, Tottenham, and at the University of London. He became a partner in Emmott and Walshall, cotton spinners, of Oldham.[1]

Political career

In 1881, Emmott entered the Oldham Municipal Borough Council and was mayor of the town between 1891 and 1892.[1] In 1899 he was elected Liberal Member of Parliament for Oldham, a seat he held until 1911.[2] It was a two-member seat, and Winston Churchill, who started his political career there, was the other MP from 1900 to 1906.[2]

File:Alfred Emmott.JPG
"The Deputy Speaker"
As depicted in Vanity Fair, 19 October 1910

He served as Chairman of Ways and Means (Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons) from 1906 to 1911[citation needed] and was sworn of the Privy Council in 1908.[1][3] In October 1911 he was appointed Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies by H. H. Asquith[1] and the following month he was raised to the peerage as Baron Emmott, of Oldham in the County Palatine of Lancaster.[4] He remained at the Colonial Office until 1914 and was then a member of Asquith's cabinet as First Commissioner of Works between 1914 and 1915.[1]

Emmott was also Director of the War Trade Department between 1915 and 1919, chaired the Royal Commission on Decimal Coinage between 1918 and 1920 and was President of the Royal Statistical Society between 1922 and 1924.[1] He was a churchman, but his education at the Friends' School and his ancestry led him to sympathize with nonconformists.[citation needed] He was appointed a GCMG in 1914 and a GBE in 1917.[1]

In his approach to politics, Emmott was a strong supporter of the government's social reforms.[5] This was arguably reflected in 1910 when Emmott, in response to Conservative critics who attacked the Liberals as “socialistic,” retorted

“so far as we have gone in the direction of Socialism, so-called, whether it be in regard to free and compulsory education, whether it be in regard to old age pensions, or in respect of any other reform, we have not diminished, but rather added to the liberty of the individual.”[6]


Lord Emmott married Mary Gertrude, daughter of J. W. Lees, in 1887. They had two daughters. Lady Emmott was a Justice of the Peace for London. Lord Emmott died very suddenly in February 1926, aged 67,[1] from angina pectoris, at his home in London, the day on which he was engaged to speak at a Liberal Party rally.[citation needed] The barony became extinct on his death as he had no male issue.[1]


External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Robert Ascroft
James Francis Oswald
Member of Parliament for Oldham
With: Walter Runciman 1899–1900
Winston Churchill 1900–1906
John Albert Bright 1906–1910
Andrew Barton 1910–1911
Succeeded by
Edmund Bartley-Denniss
Andrew Barton
Preceded by
Sir John Grant Lawson, Bt
Chairman of Ways and Means
Succeeded by
John Henry Whitley
Political offices
Preceded by
The Lord Lucas of Crudwell
Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies
Succeeded by
The Lord Islington
Preceded by
The Earl Beauchamp
First Commissioner of Works
Succeeded by
Lewis Vernon Harcourt
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Baron Emmott