Harold Heathcote-Williams

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Harold Heathcote Williams QC (19 September 1896 – 15 August 1964), was a British Liberal Party politician and barrister.

Background[edit]

He was the 9th son of Joseph Ellis Williams and Martha Amelia Heathcote, of Abbotsfield, Chester. He was educated at The King's School, Chester and Brasenose College, Oxford (Hulme Scholar). He received an Honours in Jurisprudence in 1922. He married, in 1940, Margaret Julian Henley. They had one son and one daughter.[1]

Career[edit]

He served in the European War, 1914–19, in the Royal Artillery. He was Editor of Isis, 1922–23. He was a Barrister, having been Called to the Bar, Inner Temple, in 1923. He was appointed Recorder of Tiverton in 1947 serving for the next 4 years. He became a Queen's Counsel in 1949. He was Master of the Bench of The Inner Temple in 1957. He was Legal Member of Council of the Town Planning Institute[2]

Political career[edit]

Poplar South in the County of London

He first stood as Liberal candidate at South Poplar in 1923, the first of three attempts to win the seat.

General Election 1923: Poplar, South Poplar[3]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Samuel March 14,537 64.8
Liberal Harold Heathcote Williams 7,899 35.2
Majority 6,638 29.6
Turnout 37,681 59.5
Labour hold Swing N/A
General Election 1924: Poplar, South Poplar[4]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Samuel March 16,224 62.6
Liberal Harold Heathcote Williams 9,709 37.4
Majority 6,515 25.2
Turnout 38,336 67.6
Labour hold Swing -2.2
General Election 1929: Poplar, South Poplar[5]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Samuel March 19,696 64.8
Liberal Harold Heathcote Williams 7,185 23.6
Conservative Elliot Marcet Gorst 3,532 11.6
Majority 12,511 41.2
Turnout 47,845 63.6
Labour hold Swing +8.0

He then decided to seek election to parliament elsewhere and in June 1931 was chosen by Torquay Liberal Association as their prospective parliamentary candidate.[6] However, a National Government was formed and the party was reluctant to oppose the sitting Conservative MP. At the 1935 General Election, he did fight Knutsford, finishing second.

General Election 1935[7] Electorate 62,230
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Ernest Makins 30,252 63.7 n/a
Liberal Harold Heathcote Williams 17,253 36.3 n/a
Majority 12,999 27.4 n/a
Turnout 76.3 n/a
Conservative hold Swing n/a

A General Election was expected to take place in 1939 or 1940 and Williams was again chosen by Knutsford Liberal Association as their prospective parliamentary candidate. He was actively campaigning in Knutsford, right up to the moment when war broke out.[8] All party political activity was cut back during the war along with an Electoral truce that had been agreed by the main political parties. This meant that should their be a need to fill parliamentary vacancies, the encumbent party would not face opposition from the other parties. There was increasing dissatisfaction with this truce among both the Liberal and Labour parties which resulted in some Independent Labour or Independent Liberal candidates standing in by-elections against government candidates. Williams was one of these candidates. He contested the neighbouring Cheshire seat of Eddisbury, but polled poorly, as his own party leader Sir Archibald Sinclair publicly endorsed the government candidate;

Eddisbury by-election, 1943 [9] Electorate
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Common Wealth Warrant Off. John Eric Loverseed 8,023 43.7 n/a
Liberal National Thomas Peacock 7,537 41.0 n/a
Independent Liberal Harold Heathcote Williams 2,803 15.3 n/a
Majority 486 2.7 n/a
Turnout 18,363 56.1 n/a
Common Wealth gain from Liberal National Swing n/a

This was Williams final parliamentary electoral contest.

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.ukWhosWho.com
  2. ^ http://www.ukwhoswho.com
  3. ^ F W S Craig, British Parliamentary Election Results 1918-1949; Political Reference Publications, Glasgow 1949
  4. ^ F W S Craig, British Parliamentary Election Results 1918-1949; Political Reference Publications, Glasgow 1949
  5. ^ F W S Craig, British Parliamentary Election Results 1918-1949; Political Reference Publications, Glasgow 1949
  6. ^ Exeter and Plymouth Gazette, 2 June 1931
  7. ^ F W S Craig, British Parliamentary Election Results 1918-1949; Political Reference Publications, Glasgow 1949
  8. ^ The Liberal Magazine, 1939
  9. ^ F W S Craig, British Parliamentary Election Results 1918-1949; Political Reference Publications, Glasgow 1949