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Sir John Benn, 1st Baronet

Sir John Benn, 1st Baronet

British politician
Sir John Benn, 1st Baronet
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro British politician
A.K.A. Sir John Williams Benn, 1st Baronet
Was Politician
From United Kingdom
Type Politics
Gender male
Birth 13 November 1850, Manchester, United Kingdom
Death 10 April 1922 (aged 71 years)
Star sign Scorpio
Politics Liberal Party
Mother: Ann Taylor
Father: Julius Benn
Children: William Wedgwood Benn, 1st Viscount StansgateErnest BennChristopher Julius BennLilian Margaret BennEliza Irene BennCaptain Oliver Williams Benn
The details (from wikipedia)


John Benn
Sir John Benn

Sir John Williams Benn, 1st Baronet, DL (13 November 1850 – 10 April 1922) was a British politician, particularly associated with London politics, and the grandfather of MP and Cabinet Minister Tony Benn.

Life and career

Benn was born in Manchester, to a middle-class family, the eldest son of a Congregationalist minister, the Reverend Julius Benn (c.1826-1883), and grandson of William Benn, but his parents moved the family to east London the following year, where they opened an institute for homeless boys. Benn was largely homeschooled and at the age of seventeen, he joined a furniture company. He later (1880) established a trade journal, The Cabinet Maker, which eventually became the furniture trade's leading publication: when politics became his main interest, the family's publishing business, Benn Brothers, was taken over by his eldest son Ernest Benn (1875–1954), who later renamed it Ernest Benn Limited. His niece was actress Margaret Rutherford; she was the daughter of Benn's younger brother William Rutherford Benn, who was put into a lunatic asylum following the murder of their father, the Rev. Julius Benn.

When the London County Council was established in January 1889, Benn accepted an invitation to stand as a Progressive Party candidate for East Finsbury and was elected. Like his contemporary Will Crooks, Benn was active in the London Dock Strike of 1889, and, as an increasingly prominent local politician, was invited in 1891 to stand for Parliament as the Liberal Party candidate for St George Division of Tower Hamlets. He won election from the constituency the following year.

He was later narrowly defeated at the general election in 1895, but he concentrated on his continuing work as a London councillor, helping introduce electric trams to London's streets in 1903. A year later, he returned to Parliament after winning a by-election at Devonport, a seat he retained until being defeated in 1910. In the meantime his son, 28-year-old William Wedgwood Benn, had also been elected to Parliament, winning Benn's former seat at St. George in 1906. Benn senior was appointed a deputy lieutenant of the County of London in February 1905.

For his work as an MP, he was knighted in 1906 and created a baronet in 1914. John Benn remained a member of the London County Council until his death in 1922, leading the Progressive Party until ill-health forced him to relinquish that role in 1918. In his final election campaign he was victorious, defeating the Labour Group Leader.

Kennington in the London County area 1918-49
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Municipal Reform Green tickY Harold Swann 5,728 31.8 +12.5
Progressive Green tickY John Benn 4,805 26.7 -4.6
Labour Harry Gosling 4,275 23.7 -7.9
Labour Charles Gibson 3,212 17.8 n/a
Majority 530 3.0 -9.0
Municipal Reform gain from Labour Swing
Progressive hold Swing
The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 12 Jun 2020. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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