Charles Summersby

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Charles Harold Summersby (1882 – 13 August 1961) was a British draper and Liberal National politician.

Family and education[edit]

Summersby was the son of the Reverend B J Summersby, a Congregational minister from Oxfordshire. He was educated locally until the age of fourteen when he left school and moved to London to serve a four-year apprenticeship in the drapery business.[1] He and his wife had two sons and a daughter.[2]


After his apprenticeship Summersby became a buyer for the Derry & Toms department store in Kensington and in 1912 started his own business. By 1931 he was the owner of large shop in Muswell Hill.[1]


Local politics[edit]

Summersby was elected to Hornsey Borough Council in 1921 [1] and was Mayor of Hornsey from 1930-1931 [3] He was also later a member of Middlesex County Council for Harringay. He won a by-election there on 28 January 1936 standing as a Municipal Reform Party candidate by 485 votes to the 327 gained by his Labour opponent Samuel Campbell. There was only a small turnout because the date coincided with the funeral of King George V who had died on 20 January.[4] Summersby also served as Justice of the Peace.[2]


Summersby was selected to fight Shoreditch at the 1931 general election as a Liberal National and defeated the sitting Labour MP, Ernest Thurtle.[5] While in the House of Commons Summersby served as a member of the Parliamentary Air Committee.[6] He did not seek re-election at the 1935 general election and was replaced as National Liberal candidate by Mr Somerset Stopford Brooke,[7] a stock broker, and former Liberal candidate for Guildford in 1929, who was the son of the Liberal MP for Bow and Bromley from 1906-1910.[8] Summersby must have known that without the effect of the crisis of 1931 which had helped propel him into Parliament, his seat would be highly vulnerable to Labour [9] and Stopford Brooke, could not hold the seat against Ernest Thurtle’s renewed challenge.[8]


  1. ^ a b c The Times House of Commons 1931; Politico’s Publishing 2003, p 26
  2. ^ a b Who was Who, OUP 2007
  3. ^ Who was Who, OUP 2007
  4. ^ The Times, 30 January 1936
  5. ^ The Times House of Commons 1931; Politico’s Publishing 2003, p 26
  6. ^
  7. ^ The Times, 23 October 1935, p16
  8. ^ a b The Times House of Commons 1935; Politico’s Publishing 2003, p42
  9. ^ Tom Stannage, Baldwin Thwarts the Opposition: The British General Election of 1935; Routledge, 1980 p223

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Ernest Thurtle
Member of Parliament for Shoreditch
Succeeded by
Ernest Thurtle