Thomas Whittaker (politician)

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Thomas Whittaker Thomas Whittaker.jpg
Thomas Whittaker

Sir Thomas Palmer Whittaker PC (7 January 1850 9 November 1919) was a British businessman and Liberal Party politician. [1] [2]

Privy Council of the United Kingdom Formal body of advisers to the sovereign in the United Kingdom

Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, usually known simply as the Privy Council of the United Kingdom or just the Privy Council, is a formal body of advisers to the Sovereign of the United Kingdom. Its membership mainly comprises senior politicians, who are current or former members of either the House of Commons or the House of Lords.

British people citizens of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, British Overseas Territories, Crown Dependencies, and their descendants

The British people, or the Britons, are the citizens of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the British Overseas Territories, and the Crown dependencies. British nationality law governs modern British citizenship and nationality, which can be acquired, for instance, by descent from British nationals. When used in a historical context, "British" or "Britons" can refer to the Celtic Britons, the indigenous inhabitants of Great Britain and Brittany, whose surviving members are the modern Welsh people, Cornish people, and Bretons. It may also refer to citizens of the former British Empire.

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.


Funerary monument, Brompton Cemetery, London ThomasWhittakerBrompton01.jpg
Funerary monument, Brompton Cemetery, London

Early life

Whittaker was born in Scarborough, Yorkshire. [1] Following education at Huddersfield College he entered business at the age of 16, selling hardware and iron goods. [2] [3] In 1874 he married Emma Mary Theedham. [1] [2] In 1882 he became the editor of a number of newspapers, subsequently moving to the London area. [1] [4]

Scarborough, North Yorkshire town in North Yorkshire, England

Scarborough is a town on the North Sea coast of North Yorkshire, England. Historically part of the North Riding of Yorkshire, the town lies between 10–230 feet above sea level, rising steeply northward and westward from the harbour on to limestone cliffs. The older part of the town lies around the harbour and is protected by a rocky headland.

London Capital of the United Kingdom

London is the capital and largest city of the United Kingdom. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile (80 km) estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans. The City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles (2.9 km2) and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow closely its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is also an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.


At the 1892 general election Whittaker was elected to the Commons as Liberal member of parliament for the Spen Valley constituency in the West Riding of Yorkshire. He was re-elected at each subsequent election, holding the seat until his death. [2] [5] In parliament he was a committed advocate of the temperance movement and sought reform of the alcohol licensing laws. This led to his appointment as a member of the Royal Commission on Licensing of 18961899. [1] [2] Outside parliament Whittaker continued to have a number business interests including being chairman and managing director of the Life Assurance Institution. [2] He was knighted in 1906, and appointed to the privy council in 1908. [1] [2] He found himself criticising his own party's budget in 1909 as he felt the taxation measures would erode the savings of many small investors in industrial and provident societies. [2] He was appointed the chairman of the Select Committee on Parliamentary Procedure in 1914, immediately prior to World War I. During the war his connections with the newspaper industry led him to be named chairman in 1916 of the Royal Commission on the Importation of Paper, which attempted to tackle the problems of paper shortage. [1] [2] At the 1918 general election he received the "coupon" and was re-elected as a Coalition Liberal. [2]

Spen Valley was a parliamentary constituency in the valley of the River Spen in the West Riding of Yorkshire. It returned one Member of Parliament to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.

West Riding of Yorkshire one of the historic subdivisions of Yorkshire, England

The West Riding of Yorkshire is one of the three historic subdivisions of Yorkshire, England. From 1889 to 1974 the administrative county, County of York, West Riding, was based closely on the historic boundaries. The lieutenancy at that time included the City of York and as such was named West Riding of the County of York and the County of the City of York.

Whittaker died suddenly in November 1919 aged 69, while visiting Lady Hartington in Eastbourne, Sussex. [2] He is buried in Brompton Cemetery, London. [6]

Mary Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire Duchess of Devonshire

Mary Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire, was the Duchess of Devonshire from 1938 until her husband's death, and dowager duchess thereafter.

Brompton Cemetery cemetery near Earls Court in South West London, England

Brompton Cemetery is a London cemetery in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. It is managed by The Royal Parks, and is one of the Magnificent Seven cemeteries. Established by Act of Parliament and erected in 1839, it opened in 1840 and was originally known as the West of London and Westminster Cemetery.



  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 "WHITTAKER, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas Palmer". Who Was Who. Oxford University Press. December 2007. Retrieved 15 May 2011.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 "Death Of Sir Thomas Whittaker. Work For Temperance Reform". The Times . 10 November 1919. p. 20.
  3. 1881 Census RG11/4803 Folio 48, Page 49: Scarborough - 106 - 7, Westboro, Scarborough, Yorkshire (North Riding) (Names and Surname: Thomas P Whittaker, Relation to Head of Family: Head, Condition of Marriage: M, Age last Birthday: 31, Profession or Occupation: Iron Monger & Iron Founder (Master), Where Born: Scarborough, Yorkshire)
  4. 1891 Census RG12/1064 Folio 78, Page 27, Schedule 102: Edmonton - 14, Endymion Road, Hornsey, Middlesex (Names and Surname: Thomas P Whittaker, Relation to Head of Family: Head, Condition of Marriage: M, Age last Birthday: 41, Profession or Occupation: Editor of Newspaper, Where Born: Scarborough, Yorkshire)
  5. Craig, F. W. S. (1989) [1977]. British parliamentary election results 1832–1885 (2nd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. p. 528. ISBN   0-900178-26-4.
  6. "Sir Thomas P. Whittaker". Find A Grave. Retrieved 15 May 2011.
Internet Archive US non-profit organization founded in 1996 in San Francisco by Brewster Kahle

The Internet Archive is a San Francisco–based nonprofit digital library with the stated mission of "universal access to all knowledge." It provides free public access to collections of digitized materials, including websites, software applications/games, music, movies/videos, moving images, and nearly three million public-domain books. As of October 2016, its collection topped 15 petabytes. In addition to its archiving function, the Archive is an activist organization, advocating for a free and open Internet.

WorldCat is a union catalog that itemizes the collections of 72,000 libraries in 170 countries and territories that participate in the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) global cooperative. It is operated by OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc. The subscribing member libraries collectively maintain WorldCat's database, the world's largest bibliographic database. OCLC makes WorldCat itself available free to libraries, but the catalog is the foundation for other subscription OCLC services.

National Portrait Gallery, London Art museum in London

The National Portrait Gallery (NPG) is an art gallery in London housing a collection of portraits of historically important and famous British people. It was the first portrait gallery in the world when it opened in 1856. The gallery moved in 1896 to its current site at St Martin's Place, off Trafalgar Square, and adjoining the National Gallery. It has been expanded twice since then. The National Portrait Gallery also has regional outposts at Beningbrough Hall in Yorkshire and Montacute House in Somerset. It is unconnected to the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh, with which its remit overlaps. The gallery is a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Joseph Woodhead
Member of Parliament for Spen Valley
Succeeded by
Tom Myers

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