Frederick Pethick-Lawrence, 1st Baron Pethick-Lawrence

Frederick William Pethick-Lawrence, 1st Baron Pethick-Lawrence, PC (28 December 1871 – 10 September 1961) was a British Labour politician, and campaigned for women’s suffrage.

The Lord Pethick-Lawrence

British Political Personalities 1936-1945 HU59768
Lord Pethick-Lawrence arriving at 10 Downing Street
Financial Secretary to the Treasury
In office
11 June 1929 – 24 August 1931
MonarchGeorge V
Prime MinisterRamsay MacDonald
Preceded byArthur Samuel
Succeeded byWalter Elliot
Secretary of State for India and Burma
In office
3 August 1945 – 1947
MonarchGeorge VI
Prime MinisterClement Attlee
Preceded byLeo Amery
Succeeded byThe Earl of Listowel
Personal details
Born28 December 1871
Died10 September 1961 (aged 89)
Hendon, London
Political partyLabour
Spouse(s)(1) Emmeline Pethick
(d. 1954)
(2) Helen Craggs
Alma materTrinity College, Cambridge

Background and education

Born Frederick Lawrence in London, he was the son of wealthy Unitarians who were members of the Liberal Party. Three of his father's brothers, William, James, and Edwin, were politically active in various roles, including as Lord Mayor of London and as members of parliament. Frederick was educated at Wixenford,[1] Eton, and Trinity College, Cambridge,[2] where he was a member of Cambridge University Liberal Club.[3] He then became a barrister.

Political career

Lord Pethic-Lawrence and Mahatma Gandhi
Lord Pethick-Lawrence with Gandhi in 1946

Lawrence met and fell in love with Emmeline Pethick, an active socialist and campaigner for women's votes. They finally married in 1901 after Lawrence converted to socialism. They kept separate bank accounts and they both took the surname 'Pethick Lawrence' (later Pethick-Lawrence).[4] He published various left-wing newspapers, including Votes for Women and became involved in the Labour Party. His involvement in the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU), on behalf of women's rights, led to him serving a nine-month prison sentence in 1912, following Christabel Pankhurst's window-smashing campaign, even though he had disagreed with that form of action; because of his disagreement, indeed, he was expelled from the WSPU by Emmeline Pankhurst and Christabel. On account of his prison sentence he was expelled from the Reform Club[5] Early in the First World War Pethick-Lawrence joined with others in founding the Union of Democratic Control (UDC), a leading anti-war organisation of which he became Treasurer. After acceptance by a Tribunal in Dorking in 1918, he worked on a farm in Sussex as a conscientious objector.

In 1923 Pethick-Lawrence was elected Member of Parliament (MP) for Leicester West, and was Financial Secretary to the Treasury from 1929 until the formation of the National Government in 1931; in the ensuing General Election and the rout of the Labour Party he lost his seat. He was elected for Edinburgh East in 1935 and sworn of the Privy Council in 1937.[6] From 1942 acted as Leader of the Opposition to the coalition government. In 1945 Pethick-Lawrence was elevated to the peerage as Baron Pethick-Lawrence, of Peaslake in the County of Surrey.[7] From 1945 to 1947 he was Secretary of State for India and Burma, with a seat in the cabinet, and was involved in the negotiations that led to India's independence in 1947. Prime Minister Clement Attlee, however, made all the government's major decisions regarding India.[8]

Personal life

His first wife, Emmeline, Lady Pethick-Lawrence, died in 1954. Lord Pethwick-Lawrence later married Helen Craggs. He died at Hendon, London, in September 1961, aged 89.

Posthumous recognition

His name and picture (and those of 58 other women's suffrage supporters) are on the plinth of the statue of Millicent Fawcett in Parliament Square, London, unveiled in 2018.[9][10][11]


  1. ^ Brian Harrison, ‘Lawrence, Frederick William Pethick-, Baron Pethick-Lawrence (1871–1961)’, in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online biography at, January 2011, accessed 4 September 2013 (subscription required)
  2. ^ "Lawrence [post Pethick-Lawrence], Frederick William (LWRN891FW)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  3. ^ "About us « Keynes Society". Retrieved 2012-01-27.
  4. ^ Brian Harrison, 'Lawrence, Emmeline Pethick-, Lady Pethick-Lawrence (1867–1954)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Sept 2004; online edn, May 2006 accessed 17 Nov 2007
  5. ^ Women, Clubs and Associations in Britain Doughan & Gordon, 2006, page 19
  6. ^ "No. 34407". The London Gazette. 11 June 1937. p. 3731.
  7. ^ "No. 37234". The London Gazette. 21 August 1945. p. 4227.
  8. ^ Kenneth Harris, Attlee (1982) p 362.
  9. ^ "Historic statue of suffragist leader Millicent Fawcett unveiled in Parliament Square". 24 April 2018. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  10. ^ Topping, Alexandra (24 April 2018). "First statue of a woman in Parliament Square unveiled". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  11. ^ "Millicent Fawcett statue unveiling: the women and men whose names will be on the plinth". iNews. Retrieved 2018-04-25.

External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Alfred Hill
Member of Parliament for Leicester West
Succeeded by
Ernest Harold Pickering
Preceded by
David Marshall Mason
Member of Parliament for Edinburgh East
Succeeded by
George Thomson
Political offices
Preceded by
Arthur Samuel
Financial Secretary to the Treasury
Succeeded by
Walter Elliot
Preceded by
Hastings Lees-Smith
Leader of the Opposition
Succeeded by
Arthur Greenwood
Preceded by
Leo Amery
Secretary of State for India and Burma
Succeeded by
The Earl of Listowel
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Baron Pethick-Lawrence
Adam Smith Prize

The Adam Smith Prize are two prizes for best performance in the Part IIB Economics Tripos examinations and dissertation at the University of Cambridge, Cambridge, England. Previously the prize, established in 1891 and named after Adam Smith, was awarded triennially for best submitted essay on a subject of the writer's choice.

Elizabeth Robins

Elizabeth Robins (August 6, 1862 – May 8, 1952) was an actress, playwright, novelist, and suffragette. She also wrote as C. E. Raimond.

Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence, Baroness Pethick-Lawrence

Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence, Lady Pethick-Lawrence (21 October 1867 – 11 March 1954) was a British women's rights activist and suffragette.

Frederick Lawrence

Frederick Lawrence may refer to:

Frederick G. Lawrence, American philosopher and theologian

Frederick Geoffrey Lawrence (1902–1967), British lawyer

Frederick M. Lawrence (born 1955), American legal scholar and former President of Brandeis University

Frederick Pethick-Lawrence, 1st Baron Pethick-Lawrence (1871–1961), British politician

Frederick William Lawrence (1890–?), Canadian/American airbrush painter

Hugh Law (Cumann na nGaedheal politician)

Hugh Alexander Law (1872 – 1 April 1943) was an Irish nationalist politician. He represented constituencies in County Donegal as a Member of Parliament (MP) in the United Kingdom House of Commons and later as a Teachta Dála (TD) in Dáil Éireann.

A barrister, Law was the second son of Hugh Law, who had been Lord Chancellor of Ireland from 1881 to 1883, and was educated in England at Wixenford School. He was returned as an Irish Parliamentary Party member of the Westminster parliament for Donegal West at an unopposed by-election in April 1902, and was unopposed at successive general elections until he stood down at the 1918 general election, when the seat was won by Joseph Sweeney of Sinn Féin.

At the 1923 Irish general election he was an unsuccessful Farmers' Party candidate for the 5th Dáil in the Donegal constituency. He stood again as a Cumann na nGaedheal candidate at the June 1927 general election and was elected to the 6th Dáil. Law was re-elected at the September 1927 general election, but lost his seat at the 1932 general election, and did not stand again.


Peaslake, Hoe and Colmar's Hill are in the centre of the Surrey Hills AONB and mid-west of the Greensand Ridge about 5 miles (8.0 km) ESE of the county town of Guildford, England point-to-point. Surrounded by denser pine and other coniferous forest-clad hills, the three conjoined settlements have a small core in Peaslake itself (also known as Peas-pottage-lake) with the amenities of a village but are otherwise lightly scattered settlements at a higher elevation than the centre of Shere, the civil parish.

The area referred to by the 2011 census covers 302 hectares (750 acres). Hurtwood Control maintains and coppices 3,000 acres (12 km2) of surrounding forest, the Hurtwood which comprises: Holmbury Hill, Pitch Hill, Winterfold, Shere Heath, Farley Heath and part of Blackheath Common. It is in the civil parish of Shere.

On similar terrain in the far east of the parish and borough is Holmbury St Mary which was used in the 2011 race London-Surrey Cycle Classic – both small villages are centres for hiking and mountain biking.


Pethick may refer to:

Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence (1867–1954), British women's rights activist

Frederick Pethick-Lawrence, 1st Baron Pethick-Lawrence, PC (1871–1961), British Labour politician

Robbie Pethick (born 1970), retired English football defender

R. C. Trevelyan

Robert Calverl(e)y Trevelyan (; 28 June 1872 – 21 March 1951) was an English poet and translator, of a traditionalist sort, and a follower of the lapidary style of Logan Pearsall Smith.

The Cloisters (Letchworth)

The Cloisters in Letchworth Garden City, Hertfordshire in the UK was built in 1905 as an open-air school dedicated to Psychology and where students were taught skills from the Arts and Crafts movement. After a period of neglect during World War II The Cloisters became the North Hertfordshire Masonic Centre in 1951.

Wixenford School

Wixenford School, also known as Wixenford Preparatory School and Wixenford-Eversley, was an independent preparatory school for boys near Wokingham, founded in 1869. A feeder school for Eton, after it closed in 1934 its former buildings were taken over by the present-day Ludgrove School.

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