Colefax was born in Bradford, Yorkshire, and was the son of J S Colefax, a woollen merchant. He was initially educated at Bradford Grammar School before studying natural science and chemistry at the University of Strasbourg, and at Merton and Christ Church Colleges at the University of Oxford.
At the January 1910 general election he was elected as Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) for Manchester South West, benefiting from a split in anti-Conservative vote between the Social Democratic Federation and Liberal candidates. He held the seat for less than a year, and was defeated at ensuing election in December.
Much of his work was involved in Anglo-German patents, but this was ended by outbreak of the First World War. He became head of the scientific department of the Ministry of Munitions for the duration of the war. He was knighted for his wartime services in 1920.
In 1918 he was appointed as solicitor-general of the County Palatine of Durham, becoming Chancellor of the Chancery Court of the Palatine in 1930. These offices had been almost entirely ceremonial since 1837.
- Obituary: Sir Arthur Colfax K.C., The Times, 21 February 1936
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Arthur Colefax
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
George Davy Kelley
|Member of Parliament for Manchester South West
January 1910 – December 1910
Christopher Thomas Needham
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