Harold Tennant

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Harold Tennant
Harold J. Tennant o.jpg
Harold Tennant, from photo in Scotland Office
Secretary for Scotland
In office
9 July 1916 5 December 1916
Monarch George V
Prime Minister H. H. Asquith
Preceded by Thomas McKinnon Wood
Succeeded by Robert Munro
Personal details
Born18 November 1865 (1865-11-18)
The Glen, Innerleithen, Peeblesshire, Scotland
Died9 December 1935(1935-12-09) (aged 69)
Nationality British
Political party Liberal
Alma mater Trinity College, Cambridge

Harold John Tennant PC (18 November 1865 – 9 November 1935), often known as Jack Tennant, was a Scottish Liberal politician. He served as Secretary for Scotland under his brother-in-law H. H. Asquith between July and December 1916.

Scotland Country in Europe, part of the United Kingdom

Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Sharing a border with England to the southeast, Scotland is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, the North Sea to the northeast, the Irish Sea to the south, and the North Channel to the southwest. In addition to the mainland, situated on the northern third of the island of Great Britain, Scotland has over 790 islands, including the Northern Isles and the Hebrides.

Liberal Party (UK) political party of the United Kingdom, 1859–1988

The Liberal Party was one of the two major parties in the United Kingdom with the opposing Conservative Party in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The party arose from an alliance of Whigs and free trade Peelites and Radicals favourable to the ideals of the American and French Revolutions in the 1850s. By the end of the 19th century, it had formed four governments under William Gladstone. Despite being divided over the issue of Irish Home Rule, the party returned to government in 1905 and then won a landslide victory in the following year's general election.

Secretary of State for Scotland United Kingdom government cabinet minister with responsibilities for Scotland

Her Majesty's Principal Secretary of State for Scotland is the principal minister of Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland representing Scotland. They head the Scotland Office, a government department based in London and Edinburgh.

Contents

Background and education

Born at The Glen, Innerleithen, Peeblesshire, [1] Tennant was a younger son of Sir Charles Tennant, 1st Baronet, by his first wife Emma, daughter of Richard Winsloe. He was the brother of Edward Tennant, 1st Baron Glenconner and Margot Asquith (and hence the brother-in-law of H. H. Asquith) and the half-brother of Baroness Elliot of Harwood. [2] He was educated at Eton and at Trinity College, Cambridge. [3]

Innerleithen town

Innerleithen is a civil parish and a small town in the committee area of Tweeddale, in the Scottish Borders. It was formerly in the historic county of Peeblesshire or Tweeddale.

Peeblesshire Historic county in Scotland

Peeblesshire, the County of Peebles or Tweeddale is a historic county of Scotland. Its county town is Peebles, and it borders Midlothian to the north, Selkirkshire to the east, Dumfriesshire to the south, and Lanarkshire to the west.

Sir Charles Tennant, 1st Baronet British politician

Sir Charles Clow Tennant, 1st Baronet was a Scottish businessman, industrialist and Liberal politician.

Political career

Tennant caricatured by Spy for Vanity Fair, 1909 Sir Harold John Tennant. Colour lithograph by Sir L. Ward (S Wellcome V0005756.jpg
Tennant caricatured by Spy for Vanity Fair , 1909

Tennant was Assistant Private Secretary to his brother-in-law H. H. Asquith while the latter was Home Secretary between 1892 and 1895. [4] In 1894 he was elected Member of Parliament for Berwickshire. [5] Asquith became Prime Minister in 1908 and in January 1909 he appointed Tennant Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade. Tennant remained in this office until 1911, and then served under Asquith as Financial Secretary to the War Office from 1911 to 1912 and as Under-Secretary of State for War from 1912 to 1916. In 1914 he was sworn of the Privy Council. [6] He entered the cabinet as Secretary for Scotland under Asquith in July 1916, [7] a post he held until Asquith was ousted as Prime Minister in December 1916. Tennant did not serve under David Lloyd George.

H. H. Asquith former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

Herbert Henry Asquith, 1st Earl of Oxford and Asquith,, generally known as H. H. Asquith, was a British statesman and Liberal Party politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1908 to 1916. He was the last prime minister to lead a majority Liberal government, and he played a central role in the design and passage of major liberal legislation and a reduction of the power of the House of Lords. In August 1914, Asquith took Great Britain and the British Empire into the First World War. In 1915, his government was vigorously attacked for a shortage of munitions and the failure of the Gallipoli Campaign. He formed a coalition government with other parties, but failed to satisfy critics. As a result, he was forced to resign in December 1916, and he never regained power.

Berwickshire was a county constituency of the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom from 1708 to 1918, when it was amalgamated with neighbouring Haddington(shire) to form a new Berwick and Haddington constituency.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade in the United Kingdom was a member of Parliament assigned to assist the Board of Trade and its President with administration and liaison with Parliament. It replaced the Vice-President of the Board of Trade.

At the 1918 general election, the Berwickshire constituency was abolished, and Tennant contested the new Berwickshire and Haddingtonshire constituency. He faced two opponents: R. W. Foulis of the Labour Party, and the 1911–1918 Haddingtonshire MP John Deans Hope. With two incumbent Liberal MPs contesting one seat, Hope's receipt of the coalition coupon secured his victory, with 54% of the votes. Tennant came a poor third, with only 16% of the votes. [8]

1918 United Kingdom general election

The 1918 United Kingdom general election was called immediately after the Armistice with Germany which ended the First World War, and was held on Saturday, 14 December 1918. The governing coalition, under Prime Minister David Lloyd George, sent letters of endorsement to candidates who supported the coalition government. These were nicknamed ‘Coalition Coupons’, and led to the election being known as the ‘coupon election’. The result was a massive landslide in favour of the coalition, comprising primarily the Conservatives and Coalition Liberals, with massive losses for Liberals who were not endorsed. Nearly all the Liberal MPs without coupons were defeated, although party leader H. H. Asquith managed to return to Parliament in a by-election.

The Labour Party is a centre-left political party in the United Kingdom that has been described as an alliance of social democrats, democratic socialists and trade unionists. The party's platform emphasises greater state intervention, social justice and strengthening workers' rights.

Haddingtonshire was a county constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom from 1708-1918.

He also unsuccessfully contested Glasgow Central in 1923 [9] but never returned to the House of Commons.

Glasgow Central (UK Parliament constituency) Parliamentary constituency in the United Kingdom, 2005 onwards

Glasgow Central is a constituency of the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. In its current form, the constituency was first used at the 2005 general election, but there was also a Glasgow Central constituency that existed from 1885-1997. The sitting MP is Alison Thewliss of the Scottish National Party, who was first elected in May 2015. This constituency was also the former seat of the former Conservative Prime Minister Andrew Bonar Law; who was the shortest-serving UK Prime Minister of the twentieth century.

House of Commons of the United Kingdom Lower house in the Parliament of the United Kingdom

The House of Commons, officially the Honourable the Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled, is the lower house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Like the upper house, the House of Lords, it meets in the Palace of Westminster. Owing to shortage of space, its office accommodation extends into Portcullis House.

During his time in Parliament, Tennant supported a number of progressive measures such as worker’s compensation, [10] minimum wage provisions, [11] school medical inspections, [12] factory inspections, and unemployment insurance.

Personal life

Harold Tennant c.1895 Harold Tennant.jpg
Harold Tennant c.1895

He married factory inspector May Abraham in 1896. Tennant bought Great Maytham Hall, Rolvenden, Kent in 1910. He commissioned Edwin Lutyens to rebuild the hall at a cost of £24,000. [13] As leader of the war memorial committee, he also engaged Lutyens to design the Rolvenden War Memorial, erected in 1922. [14]

Tennant died in November 1935, aged 70.

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References

  1. "Tennant, Harold John [Jack] (1865-1935), politician". www.oxforddnb.com. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/58263 . Retrieved 27 January 2019.
  2. thepeerage.com Rt. Hon. Harold John Tennant
  3. "Tennant, Harold John (TNNT885HJ)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  4. Betts, Robin (1999). Doctor Macnamara, 1861-1931. Liverpool University Press. p. 385 (endnote). ISBN   0853238634 . Retrieved 29 June 2015.
  5. leighrayment.com Bedford to Berwick upon Tweed
  6. leighrayment.com Privy Counsellors 1836-1914
  7. "No. 29667". The London Gazette . 14 July 1916. p. 6975.
  8. Craig, F. W. S. (1983) [1969]. British parliamentary election results 1918–1949 (3rd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. p. 629. ISBN   0-900178-06-X.
  9. The Times, 8 December 1923
  10. http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1906/mar/26/workmens-compensation-bill-1#S4V0154P0_19060326_HOC_300
  11. http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1909/apr/28/trade-boards-bill#S5CV0004P0_19090428_HOC_188
  12. http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1908/jul/06/medical-inspection-of-children#S4V0191P0_19080706_HOC_236
  13. Tyzack, Anna (1 July 2009). "The Secret Garden for sale". London: Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 23 November 2010.
  14. Historic England. "Rolvenden War Memorial (1381140)". National Heritage List for England . Retrieved 11 September 2016.
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Hon. Edward Marjoribanks
Member of Parliament for Berwickshire
1894–1918
Constituency renamed
Berwick and Haddington
Political offices
Preceded by
Hudson Kearley
Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade
1909–1911
Succeeded by
J. M. Robertson
Preceded by
Francis Dyke Acland
Financial Secretary to the War Office
1911–1912
Succeeded by
Harold Baker
Preceded by
J. E. B. Seely
Under-Secretary of State for War
1912–1916
Succeeded by
The Earl of Derby
Preceded by
Thomas McKinnon Wood
Secretary for Scotland
July - December 1916
Succeeded by
Robert Munro