Audley Bowdler

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Audley Bowdler

William Audley Bowdler (7 September 1884 – 20 February 1969)[1][2] was a Liberal Party politician in England who served briefly as a Member of Parliament (MP) in the early 1920s.


He was born in Kirkham, Lancashire, the son of W. H. Bowdler and E. A. Richards, of Clifton, Lancashire. He was educated at Rossall School. In 1918 he married Marguerite Parkes, of Woldingham. They had one son and three daughters.[3]

Political career[edit]

He started his parliamentary career in March 1922 when he was selected as the Liberal prospective parliamentary candidate for the Holderness division of East Yorkshire.[4] As a Lancastrian, he was an outsider to the constituency not expected to defeat the sitting Unionist MP Arthur Wilson who had held the seat for 22 years. During the 1922 general election campaign held in November, The Times were happy to write off his prospects of victory; "The Conservatives hold on Holderness is not believed to be seriously endangered. The farmers may be cross, but many of them have voted Conservative all their lives, and will not easily break with their political traditions."[5] His victory, on a swing of 16% was therefore a surprise;

United Kingdom general election, 1922: Holderness[6] Electorate 27,421
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal William Audley Bowdler 11,479 52.9 +15.9
Conservative Arthur Stanley Wilson 10,200 47.1 -15.9
Majority 1,279 5.8 31.8
Turnout 79.1 +21.2

Another General Election came around a year later and despite the Liberal Party experiencing something of a revival, Bowdler lost his seat in the House of Commons at the 1923 general election, to a new Conservative candidate Samuel Savery,

United Kingdom general election, 1923: Holderness[7] Electorate 28,085
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Samuel Servington Savery 11,099 50.6 +3.5
Liberal William Audley Bowdler 10,846 49.4 -3.5
Majority 253 1.2 7.0
Turnout 78.1

He did not stand again.[8]


  1. ^ "House of Commons constituencies beginning with H (part 3)". Leigh Rayment's House of Commons pages. Retrieved 2009-03-31. 
  2. ^ "Mr William Bowdler". Hansard 1803-2005. Retrieved 2009-03-31. 
  3. ^ ‘BOWDLER, (William) Audley’, Who Was Who, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 1920–2014; online edn, Oxford University Press, 2014 ; online edn, April 2014 accessed 8 Aug 2014
  4. ^ Hull Daily Mail, 7 Mar 1922
  5. ^ "Col. F. S. Jackson Opposed." Times [London, England] 2 Nov. 1922: 12. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 10 Aug. 2014.
  6. ^ British parliamentary election results 1918-1949, Craig, F.W.S.
  7. ^ British parliamentary election results 1918-1949, Craig, F.W.S.
  8. ^ Craig, F. W. S. (1983) [1969]. British parliamentary election results 1918–1949 (3rd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. p. 505. ISBN 0-900178-06-X. 
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Arthur Wilson
Member of Parliament for Holderness
Succeeded by
Samuel Savery