Joseph Kenworthy, 10th Baron Strabolgi

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Joseph Kenworthy

Joseph Montague Kenworthy, 10th Baron Strabolgi (7 March 1886 – 8 October 1953), was a Liberal Member of Parliament and later a Labour Party politician in the United Kingdom.

Education and Naval Service[edit]

Strabolgi was born at Leamington in Warwickshire and educated at the Eastman's Royal Naval Academy in Winchester. He joined the Royal Navy in 1902 and left the service in 1920 with the rank of lieutenant-commander, after serving in the Admiralty war staff in London.


Kenworthy first tried to enter Parliament at the 1918 general election fighting Rotherham as a Liberal but came third. He was soon given another chance though when he was selected to contest Central Hull at a by-election in 1919. Anti-Coalition government sentiment was riding high and he was duly elected Member of Parliament for the Liberals. Kenworthy was one of the more energetic supporters of H H Asquith in Parliament and never lost his hostility to Lloyd George. During the 1924-29 parliament which was dominated by a Unionist majority, he worked closely with a group of radical Liberal MPs that included William Wedgwood Benn, Percy Harris, Frank Briant and Horace Crawfurd to provide opposition to the government.[1] When Lloyd George became leader of the Liberal Party in 1926, despite the party taking on a more radical hue, Kenworthy resigned from the party and joined Labour. He also resigned his Parliamentary seat and fought and won a by-election in Central Hull standing for Labour. He held the seat for Labour Labour Party until 1931. In 1934, he succeeded his father as Lord Strabolgi, and was the opposition (that is, Labour Party) chief whip in the House of Lords from 1938 to 1942.

He was disappointed not to be given a position in the post-war Labour government (1945–51).

When he died in 1953, he was succeeded by David Montague de Burgh Kenworthy, 11th Baron Strabolgi, another left-wing politician and member of the Labour Party.


Lord Strabolgi was an active supporter of the movement for the independence of India, and during the Second World War, he wrote numerous articles on the war, especially the war at sea. These include Secret Weapons in Modern World (27 April 1940) and What’s Wrong with the British Army? in Colliers magazine (22 August 1942).

Books by Lord Strabolgi[edit]

His books include –

  • Peace or war? (with a foreword by H.G. Wells, Boni & Liveright, New York, 1927)
  • India, A Warning (E. Mathews & Marrot, London, 1931)
  • The Campaign in the Low Countries: the first full-length account of the epic struggle in Holland and Belgium (London 1940)
  • The Battle of the River Plate (Hutchinson & Co., London, 1940)
  • Freedom of the Seas (jointly with Sir George Young)
  • Our Daily Pay: the Economics of Plenty
  • Sailors, Statesmen and Others: an Autobiography
  • The Real Navy
  • Narvik and After
  • From Gibraltar to Suez: a study of the Italian Campaign
  • Singapore and After
  • Sea Power in the Second World War



Entry by Eric J Grove in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, OUP 2004–08


  1. ^ Forty Years in and out of Parliament by Sir Percy Harris

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Mark Sykes
Member of Parliament for Kingston upon Hull Central
Succeeded by
Basil Kelsey Barton
Peerage of England
Preceded by
Cuthbert Matthias Kenworthy
Baron Strabolgi
Succeeded by
David Montague de Burgh Kenworthy