Thomas Summerbell

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Thomas Summerbell (10 August 1861 – 10 February 1910) was an early British Labour Party Member of Parliament.

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.

Born at Seaham Harbour in County Durham, Summerball worked from the age of twelve in a variety of jobs before becoming an apprentice printer with the Seaham Weekly News. He was laid off at the end of his apprenticeship, and moved to Felling, Jarrow, South Shields and finally Sunderland to find work. There, he worked for the Daily Post before starting his own printing firm. [1]

County Durham County of England

County Durham is a county in North East England. The county town is Durham, a cathedral city. The largest settlement is Darlington, closely followed by Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees. It borders Tyne and Wear to the north east, Northumberland to the north, Cumbria to the west and North Yorkshire to the south. The county's historic boundaries stretch between the rivers Tyne and Tees, thus including places such as Gateshead, Jarrow, South Shields and Sunderland.

Printer (publishing) company or manufacturing facility for printed products

In publishing, printers are both companies providing printing services and individuals who directly operate printing presses.

Felling, Tyne and Wear urban area in the metropolitan borough of Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, England

Felling is an eastern suburb of Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, England. The town was formed when three villages coalesced in the 19th century. Historically part of County Durham, the town was subsumed into the metropolitan borough of Gateshead in 1974. It lies on the B1426 Sunderland Road and the A184 Felling bypass, less than 1 mile (1.6 km) east of Gateshead town centre, 1 mile (1.6 km) south east of Newcastle-upon-Tyne and 10 miles north west of the City of Sunderland. In 2011, Felling had a population of 8,908.

Summerbell was active in the Typographical Association and became a supporter of Joseph Cowen. He was also involved with Sunderland Trades Council, of which he was secretary from 1888, and was a founder of the Tyneside and District Labourers Union. Initially a supporter of the Liberal Party, he was elected to Sunderland Borough Council in 1892, remaining a member until his death. In this role, his major achievement was arranging the municipalisation of the tramways and subsequently electrifying the system. Around the mid-1890s, he became a socialist and joined the Independent Labour Party (ILP). He was also the secretary of the National League of the Blind and was active in the Foresters' Friendly Society. [1]

The Typographical Association (TA) was a trade union representing typographers in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Joseph Cowen British politician

Joseph Cowen, Jr., was an English radical Liberal politician and journalist. He was a firm friend to Anglo-Jewry, and an early advocate of Jewish emancipation, regularly contributing to the Jewish Chronicle.

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-supporting Peelites and the reformist Radicals 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.

At the 1906 general election, Summerbell was elected for the Labour Representation Committee in Sunderland, with the support of the ILP. Although there were two MPs for the town, he took up the entirety of local issues, and also became known for his interest in reforms to the indentured labour system in the West Indies. Work in Trinidad contributed to his campaign for the renamed Labour Party at the January 1910 general election, but he lost his seat. He died suddenly the following month during a council meeting. [1]

1906 United Kingdom general election

The 1906 United Kingdom general election was held from 12 January to 8 February 1906.

Labour Representation Committee (1900) pressure group founded in 1900 as an alliance of socialist organisations and trade unions, aimed at increasing representation for labour interests in the Parliament of the United Kingdom

The Labour Representation Committee (LRC) was a pressure group founded in 1900 as an alliance of socialist organisations and trade unions, aimed at increasing representation for labour interests in the Parliament of the United Kingdom. The Labour Party traces its origin to the LRC's foundation.

Sunderland was a borough constituency of the House of Commons, created by the Reform Act 1832 for the 1832 general election. It elected two Members of Parliament (MP) by the bloc vote system of election until it was split into single-member seats of Sunderland North and Sunderland South for the 1950 general election.

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  1. 1 2 3 Margaret 'Espinasse, Dictionary of Labour Biography, vol.IV, pp. 165–166
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Theodore Doxford
John Stapylton Grey Pemberton
Member of Parliament for Sunderland
1906January 1910
With: James Stuart
Succeeded by
Samuel Storey
James Knott