Arthur Hobhouse

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This article is about the English politician. For the English judge, see Arthur Hobhouse, 1st Baron Hobhouse.
Sir Arthur Hobhouse
Arthur Hobhouse.jpg
Arthur Hobhouse
Born Arthur Lawrence Hobhouse
15 February 1886
Died 20 January 1965 (1965-01-21) (aged 78)
Nationality British
Education Eton College
Alma mater St Andrews University
Trinity College, Cambridge
Occupation solicitor, politician
Known for MP, Chairman, National Parks Committee
Spouse(s) Konradin Huth Jackson
Children Elizabeth Hobhouse
Henry Hobhouse (author)
Paul Hobhouse
Mary Hermione Hobhouse
Parent(s) Henry Hobhouse (MP)
Relatives Stephen Henry Hobhouse (brother)
Penelope Chichester-Clark (daughter-in-law)
Frederick Huth Jackson (father-in-law)

Sir Arthur Lawrence Hobhouse (15 February 1886 – 20 January 1965) was a long-serving English local government Liberal politician, who is best remembered as the architect of the system of National parks of England and Wales.

Early life[edit]

Hobhouse was the son of the prominent Liberal politician and MP Henry Hobhouse and the brother of peace activist, prison reformer, and religious writer Stephen Henry Hobhouse. Arthur Hobhouse was educated at Eton College, St Andrews University and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he graduated in Natural Sciences. At Cambridge, he was a Cambridge Apostle and a member of the Cambridge University Liberal Club, becoming Secretary in 1906[1] and was also the lover of John Maynard Keynes and Duncan Grant.[2][3]

Career[edit]

Hobhouse practised as a solicitor until the outbreak of World War I, when he joined the British Expeditionary Force. After the War he joined the Claims Commission, dealing with claims against Allied forces in the Abbeville area, and rose to the rank of Staff Captain. Returning to civilian life, Hobhouse took to farming on a family estate in Somerset.

Political career[edit]

He stood as Liberal candidate for Wells at the 1922 General Election when he finished a strong second. He was elected Member of Parliament for Wells at the 1923 General Election but lost the seat in 1924. He failed to regain Wells in 1929.[4]

Electoral record[edit]

General Election 1922: Wells
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Unionist Robert Bruford 10,210 47.7
Liberal Arthur Lawrence Hobhouse 7,156 33.4
Labour Leonard Smith 4,048 18.9
Majority 3,054 14.2
Turnout 77.8
Unionist hold Swing
General Election 1923: Wells
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Arthur Lawrence Hobhouse 10,818 48.2 +14.8
Unionist Robert Bruford 9,909 44.2 -3.5
Labour Charles Henry Whitlow 1,713 7.6 -11.3
Majority 909 4.0 18.3
Turnout 79.1 +1.3
Liberal gain from Unionist Swing +9.1
General Election 1924: Wells
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Unionist Rt Hon. Robert Arthur Sanders 12,642 52.6 +8.4
Liberal Arthur Lawrence Hobhouse 8,668 36.1 -12.1
Labour Wilfred Thomas Young 2,726 11.3 +3.7
Majority 16.5 20.5
Turnout 82.2 +3.1
Unionist gain from Liberal Swing +10.2
General Election 1929: Wells
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Unionist Anthony John Muirhead 13,026 43.6 -9.0
Liberal Arthur Lawrence Hobhouse 12,382 41.4 +5.3
Labour Mrs R D Q Davies 4,472 15.0 +3.7
Majority 644 2.2 -14.3
Turnout 82.5 +0.3
Unionist hold Swing -7.2

Local government[edit]

He was elected to Somerset County Council in 1925, became an alderman in 1934, and was chairman of the council from 1940 to 1947.

In 1945 he was appointed by Lewis Silkin, the Minister of Town and Country Planning, to chair the National Parks Committee. The resulting Hobhouse Report was the basis for the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949. Of the twelve parks it proposed, ten were implemented in the 1950s, while the remaining two, the New Forest and the South Downs, were proposed in 1999 and finally designated in 2005 and 2009 respectively.

Hobhouse was knighted in 1942. Sir Arthur also served as chair of the Rural Housing Committee 1942–1947, was pro-chancellor of Bristol University, and was both chairman and president of the County Councils Association (now part of the Local Government Association).

Personal life[edit]

Hobhouse married Konradin Huth Jackson, daughter of Frederick Huth Jackson, and they had four children together:

Hobhouse's eldest son, Henry, wrote Seeds of Change: Five Plants That Transformed Mankind. He was married three times, and had a daughter, Janet, who died in 1991.[5][6] A younger son, Paul, married Penelope Chichester-Clark.[7]

Sources[edit]

  • Obituary: 'Sir Arthur Hobhouse: A long record of public service', The Times, January 21, 1965
  1. ^ "Secretaries | Keynes Society". Keynessociety.wordpress.com. Retrieved 2015-05-22. 
  2. ^ "From Clapham to Bloomsbury: a genealogy of morals, by Gertrude Himmelfarb". Facingthechallenge.org. Retrieved 2015-05-22. 
  3. ^ Holroyd, Michael (1995). Lytton Strachey. Vintage. pp. 108–110. 
  4. ^ ‘HOBHOUSE, Sir Arthur Lawrence’, Who Was Who, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 1920–2016; online edn, Oxford University Press, 2014 ; online edn, April 2014 accessed 18 May 2016
  5. ^ "Janet Hobhouse, 42, A Novelist and Editor". New York Times. February 4, 1991. Retrieved April 10, 2016. 
  6. ^ Vidal, John (April 10, 2016). "Henry Hobhouse obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved April 10, 2016. 
  7. ^ "Henry Hobhouse, author - obituary". The Telegraph. 25 March 2016. Retrieved 10 April 2016. 

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Robert Bruford
Member of Parliament for Wells
19231924
Succeeded by
Robert Arthur Sanders