Harold Spender

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Harold Spender

Edward Harold Spender (22 June 1864 – 15 April 1926), was a British Liberal Party politician, author, journalist and lecturer.


He was the son of Dr John Kent Spender and his wife Lillian Spender, and John Alfred Spender was his brother. He was educated at Bath College where he was Head Boy from 1882–83. Exhibitioner of University College, Oxford. 1st in Mods. 1884; 1st. in Lit. Hum. 1887; MA. Harold was a friend of David Lloyd George, with whom he went hiking, and travelled to Germany. He married, in 1904, Violet Hilda Schuster. They had three sons, Michael, Stephen, Humphrey and one daughter, Christine. His wife died in 1921.[1] After his death Stephen and Christine were raised in Hampstead by a governess.

Professional career[edit]

He was on the staff of the Echo from 1887–89. He was Lecturer for Oxford University Extension Delegacy from 1889–92. He was on the staff of the Pall Mall Gazette from 1891–93, the Westminster Gazette from 1893–95, the Daily Chronicle from 1895–99, the Manchester Guardian from 1899–1900 and the Daily News from 1900–14. During the war he gave himself up to war savings propaganda, volunteering, and other war activities from 1914–18.

Political career[edit]

He was Liberal candidate for the Bath Division of Somerset at the 1922 General Election.

General Election 15 November 1922: Bath[2] Electorate 33,023
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Unionist Charles Talbot Foxcroft 13,666 50.2 -24.6
Liberal Edward Harold Spender 8,699 32.0 n/a
Labour Herbert Henry Elvin 4,849 17.8 -7.4
Turnout 82.4
Unionist hold Swing


He married Violet Hilda Schuster (1878–1921), daughter of Ernest Joseph Schuster (1850–1924), barrister, and his wife, Hilda Weber, daughter of Sir Herman Weber,[3] a German-born doctor who became a naturalised British subject. Harold and Violet's children included the poet Stephen, the explorer Michael, and Humphrey Spender, a photojournalist and artist.[4]


  • Story of the Home Rule Session, 1893
  • At the Sign of the Guillotine, 1895
  • Through the High Pyrenees, 1898
  • The Arena, 1906
  • Home Rule, 1912
  • In Praise of Switzerland, 1912
  • The Call of the Siren, 1913
  • One Man Returns, 1914
  • The Flame of Daring, 1915
  • The Dividing Sword, 1916
  • The Man Who Went, 1919
  • A Briton in America, 1921
  • Byron and Greece, 1924
  • Men and Mansions, 1924
  • The Cauldron of Europe, 1925

He had published three biographies;


  1. ^ ‘SPENDER, E. Harold’, Who Was Who, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 1920–2007; online edn, Oxford University Press, Dec 2007 accessed 29 Dec 2013
  2. ^ British Parliamentary Election Results 1918-1949, Craig, F.W.S.
  3. ^ Sutherland, John (2004). "Spender, Sir Stephen Harold (1909–1995), poet". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/57986. ISBN 9780198614128. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  4. ^ May, Alex (6 January 2011). "Spender, (John) Humphrey". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/97623. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)

External links[edit]