John Richards Kelly

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John Richards Kelly (28 February 1844 – 20 July 1922)[1] was a British barrister and Conservative Party politician.

He was the second son of Frederic Festus Kelly of Chessington, Surrey and his wife Harriet née Richards.[2] At the time of his birth his father was the Inspector of Letter Carriers for the General Post Office.[3] He was also in charge of producing the Post Office Directory which he subsequently refounded as a private publication.[3]

John attended Eton College and went up to Trinity Hall, Cambridge in 1862 from where he graduated with a B.A. in 1870.[3] In the same year he began studying law at the Inner Temple and was called to the bar in 1878. He practiced on the South Eastern Circuit.[3] He worked for a time as a Law Times reporter in the High Court of Justice.[3] In 1879 he married his cousin, Fanny Lydia Kelly.[2]

In 1883 he inherited his father's interests in Kelly's Directories Ltd., and became a director of the company.

In 1886, he was selected as Conservative Party candidate to contest the constituency of Camberwell North at the general election. His elder brother was well known in the area as vicar of Camberwell, and Kelly benefited from a split in the Liberal Party over Irish Home Rule, with two rival Liberal candidates in the field.[4] He succeeded in winning the seat for the Conservatives, but proved to be unpopular with a section of his own party, and it came as little surprise when he was defeated at the next general election in 1892.[5][6][7] He did not stand for Parliament again.[7]

He died at his home in Worplesdon, Surrey in July 1922 aged 78.[8]


  1. ^ Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "C" (part 1)
  2. ^ a b "Biographies of Candidates". The Times. 30 June 1886. p. 6. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "Kelly, John Richards (KLY862JR)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge. 
  4. ^ "Election Intelligence". The Times. 18 June 1886. p. 10. 
  5. ^ "The General Election. The Polls". The Times. 8 July 1886. p. 6. 
  6. ^ "The Approaching General Election". The Times. 30 October 1891. p. 8. 
  7. ^ a b Craig, F. W. S. (1989) [1974]. British parliamentary election results 1885–1918 (2nd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. p. 8. ISBN 0-900178-27-2. 
  8. ^ "Deaths". The Times. 21 July 1922. p. 1. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Richard Strong
Member of Parliament for Camberwell North
Succeeded by
Edward Hodson Bayley