James Mawdsley (9 January 1848 – 4 February 1902) was an English trade unionist. Alongside Winston Churchill, he stood as a Conservative Party candidate in the double Oldham by-election of 1899. He was born in Preston, Lancashire, to cotton spinner James Mawdsley and his wife, Jane. 
From the age of 9, the young James worked in a cotton mill as a "half-timer" (he spent half the working day in the mill and half at school).  By the age of 16, he was working full-time.
In 1871, Mawdsley married Ann Wright, and they had seven children together. In 1878, he became the General Secretary of the Amalgamated Association of Operative Cotton Spinners.  At the time, cotton spinners were considered an elite group by other union factions.  Shortly after his appointment he led the operatives in south east Lancashire in a strike against a 20% reduction in wages, securing 5% of this back in early 1880. In 1885 south east Lancashire employers sought a 10% reduction in wages. Again compromise was reached and a 5% reduction imposed. 
In 1886, the Association worked with the Amalgamated Association of Card and Blowing Room Operatives and the Northern Counties Weavers Amalgamation to form the United Textile Factory Workers Association; the collaboration was brought about because the unions desired to promote legislation. Mawdsley became General Secretary. Under his leadership, the UTFWA was regarded as a sober and moderate union, which was opposed to socialism. 
Through much of the 1880s and 1890s, Mawdsley sat on the Trades Union Congress (TUC)'s parliamentary committee and was chairman of the TUC in 1885.  Mawdsley was politically active; in line with most other cotton workers but against the majority of trade unionists, Mawdsley was a supporter of the Conservative Party.
In 1895 there was a nascent plan for Mawdsley to stand for Parliament as a Conservative, in conjunction with David Holmes of the Weavers' union as a Liberal, both being regarded as Labour representatives. 
In 1899, a double by-election was held in Oldham. Mawdsley was chosen as a candidate, alongside future British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill. Mawdsley was unusual as a Conservative Party candidate, who was also heavily involved in trade unions.  He was also one of the first trade unionists to be associated with. 
Mawdsley died in 1902 at Taunton, Ashton-under-Lyne from complications following an accident. His injuries were sustained by sitting in a china bath and breaking it. 
He was buried at Christ Church, Ashton-under-Lyne. 
Sir David James Shackleton was a cotton worker and trade unionist who became the third Labour Member of Parliament in the United Kingdom, following the formation of the Labour Representation Committee. He later became a senior civil servant.
James Bell was a British trade unionist and Labour Party politician who represented Ormskirk from 1918–22. He was described by a fellow union official as "one of the shrewdest negotiators the trade unions in the cotton industry had ever had."
The 1899 Oldham by-election occurred in the summer of that year, and involved a by-election to fill both seats in the two-member Oldham Parliamentary borough. The block voting method allowed each elector to vote for two candidates.
The Amalgamated Association of Operative Cotton Spinners and Twiners, also known as the Amalgamation, was a trade union in the United Kingdom which existed between 1870 and 1970. It represented male mule spinners in the cotton industry.
Piece-rate lists were the ways of assessing a cotton operatives pay in Lancashire in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. They started as informal agreements made by one cotton master and their operatives then each cotton town developed their own list. Spinners merged all of these into two main lists which were used by all, while weavers used one 'unified' list.
The United Textile Factory Workers' Association (UTFWA) was a trade union federation in Great Britain. It was active from 1889 until 1975.
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James Crinion was a British trade unionist.
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The Oldham Provincial Card and Blowing Room and Ring Frame Operatives' Association was a trade union representing cotton industry workers in Oldham, Lancashire, in England. Long the largest union in the industry, it played a leading role in establishing a regional federation of cardroom workers.
The South East Lancashire Provincial Card and Blowing Room Operatives' Association was a trade union representing cotton industry workers in Ashton-under-Lyne and surrounding areas of Lancashire in England.
The Cotton Factory Times was a weekly British newspaper, aimed at cotton mill workers in Lancashire and Cheshire.
The Hyde and District Card, Blowing and Ring Frame Operatives' Association was a trade union representing cotton industry workers in Hyde and surrounding areas of Cheshire in England.
The Oldham Operative Cotton Spinners' Provincial Association was a trade union representing cotton spinners across eastern Lancashire, in England. It was often the large spinners' union, and provided much of the leadership of the Spinners' Amalgamation.
James William Whitworth was a British trade union leader and politician.