John Fletcher Moulton, Baron Moulton
He was born in Madeley, Shropshire, England as one of six children of a scholarly minister of the Wesleyan Methodist Church, James Egan Moulton. He was the brother of James Egan Moulton of Tonga and Newington College. He was sent to Kingswood School at the age of 11 where he excelled at academic subjects. He achieved the top marks in the Oxford and Cambridge Local Examinations and achieved a scholarship to St John's College, Cambridge, graduating Senior Wrangler in 1868 and winning the Smith's Prize. He was at one point judged to be one of the twelve most intelligent men in the United Kingdom.
A Fellow of the Royal Society, Moulton was a great advocate for medical research as well as being a practising London barrister. He was awarded the French Legion of Honour for his work in establishing international co-operation in terms of the measurement of electrical quantities.
Moulton became a Liberal Party Member of Parliament successively for Clapham 1885-86, South Hackney 1894-95, and the Launceston division of Cornwall, 1898-1906. He backed Gladstone attempts to solve difficulties in Ireland through Irish Home Rule. In 1906 Moulton was made Lord Justice on the Court of Appeal and Privy Counsellor. In 1912 he entered the House of Lords with a life peerage and the title Baron Moulton, of Bank in the County of Hampshire.
However it was with the outbreak of the First World War in 1914 that saw Lord Moulton achieve his greatest success. In 1914 he became chairman of a committee to advise on the supply of explosives and this soon became an integral part of the British war effort with Moulton eventually becoming Director-General of the Explosives Department. In 1917 Moulton was given the task of producing poisonous gasses. Although loyal to orders, Moulton often reflected that he believed such a mode of conflict to be a departure from civilised warfare.
Lord Moulton worked a ten-hour day and took less than ten days holiday throughout the entire four years of the war. He also personally visited every munitions factory. He was awarded the Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath in 1915, the Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire in 1917, the Etoile Noir of France, the Order of Leopold (Belgium) and was the last person to receive the Order of the White Eagle before the collapse of the Russian monarchy.
- Mr John Moulton (1844–1885)
- Mr John Moulton QC (1885–1906)
- Sir John Moulton QC (1906-1906)
- The Rt. Hon. Sir John Moulton QC (1906–1912)
- The Rt. Hon. The Lord Moulton QC PC (1912-1915)
- The Rt. Hon. The Lord Moulton KCB QC PC (1915-1917)
- The Rt. Hon. The Lord Moulton GBE KCB QC PC FRAS FRS (1917-1921)
- "Moulton, John Fletcher". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
- Darwin Correspondence Project
- "Death of Lord Moulton". The Times (London: The Times). 1921-03-10.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to John Fletcher Moulton.|
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by John Fletcher Moulton
- Speech, from John Silber about John Fletcher Moulton (1995)
- Notes Rec. R. Soc. 20 December 2009 vol. 63 no. 4 355-363, "John Fletcher Moulton and Guglielmo Marconi: bridging science, Law and industry
- Science and War (Rede Lecture, 1919)
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
|New constituency||Member of Parliament for Clapham
1885 – 1886
John Saunders Gilliat
Sir Charles Russell
|Member of Parliament for Hackney South
Thomas Herbert Robertson
|Member of Parliament for Launceston
Sir George Croydon Marks