35 Facts About Arthur Henderson


Arthur Henderson was a British iron moulder and Labour politician.


Arthur Henderson was the first Labour cabinet minister, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1934 and, uniquely, served three separate terms as Leader of the Labour Party in three different decades.


Arthur Henderson was popular among his colleagues, who called him "Uncle Arthur" in acknowledgement of his integrity, his devotion to the cause and his imperturbability.


Arthur Henderson was a transitional figure whose policies were, at first, close to those of the Liberal Party.


Arthur Henderson was born at 10 Paterson Street, Anderston, Glasgow, Scotland, in 1863, the son of Agnes, a domestic servant, and David Henderson, a textile worker who died when Arthur was ten years old.


Arthur Henderson worked at Robert Stephenson and Sons' General Foundry Works from the age of twelve.


Arthur Henderson became a Methodist in 1879 and became a Local Preacher.

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In 1892, Arthur Henderson entered the complex world of trade union politics when he was elected as a paid organiser for the Friendly Society of Iron Founders.


Arthur Henderson became a representative on the North East Conciliation Board.


Arthur Henderson believed that strikes caused more harm than they were worth and tried to avoid them whenever he could.


In 1900 Arthur Henderson was one of the 129 trade union and socialist delegates who passed Keir Hardie's motion to create the Labour Representation Committee.


In 1903, Arthur Henderson was elected Treasurer of the LRC and was elected as Member of Parliament for Barnard Castle at a by-election.


From 1903 to 1904, Arthur Henderson served as mayor of Darlington, County Durham.


In 1908, when Hardie resigned as Leader of the Labour Party, Arthur Henderson was elected to replace him.


Arthur Henderson remained Leader until his own resignation two years later, in 1910.


Arthur Henderson became a member of the small War Cabinet with the post of Minister without Portfolio on 9 December 1916.


Arthur Henderson resigned on 11 August 1917 after his proposal for an international conference on the war was rejected by the rest of the Cabinet.


The Labour National Executive Committee had rejected the Second International's request for a meeting of European socialist parties on the war in Stockholm, but after Arthur Henderson convinced it to give provisional support after visiting the Russian Republic as an envoy and recognizing that the Russian Provisional Government would collapse if the war continued.


Arthur Henderson turned his attention to building a strong constituency-based support network for the Labour Party.


Secondly, Arthur Henderson secured the adoption of a comprehensive statement of party policies, as drafted by Sidney Webb.


Arthur Henderson lost his seat in the "Coupon Election" of 14 December 1918, which had been announced within twenty-four hours of the end of hostilities and which resulted in a landslide victory for a coalition formed by Lloyd George.


Arthur Henderson returned to Parliament in 1919 after winning a by-election in Widnes.


Arthur Henderson lost his seat again, at the general election of 1922.


Arthur Henderson returned to Parliament via another by-election, this time representing Newcastle East, but again, he was unseated at the general election of 1923.


Arthur Henderson returned to Parliament just two months later after winning another by-election in Burnley.

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In 1924, Arthur Henderson was appointed as Home Secretary in the first-ever Labour government, led by MacDonald.


Diplomatic relations were re-established with the USSR and Arthur Henderson guaranteed Britain's full support to the League of Nations.


Arthur Henderson rejected that solution and became the leader of nearly half the Cabinet.


Arthur Henderson returned to Parliament after winning a by-election at Clay Cross, achieving the unique feat of being elected a total of five times at by-elections in constituencies where he had not previously been the MP.


Arthur Henderson holds the record for the greatest number of comebacks from losing a previous seat.


Arthur Henderson spent the rest of his life trying to halt the gathering storm of World War II.


Arthur Henderson worked with the World League of Peace and chaired the Geneva Disarmament Conference, and in 1934 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.


Arthur Henderson died in 1935, aged 72, and was cremated at Golders Green Crematorium.


All three of Arthur Henderson's sons saw military service during the Great War, the eldest, David, being killed in action in 1916 whilst serving as a Captain with the Middlesex Regiment.


Arthur Henderson's surviving sons became Labour politicians: second son William was granted the title of Baron Henderson in 1945, while his third son, Arthur, was created Baron Rowley in 1966.