Robert Newbald Kay

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Sir Robert Newbald Kay (6 August 1869–24 February 1947) was an English solicitor and politician, based in York. He was also Liberal Member of Parliament for Elland from 1923 to 1924, and Lord Mayor of York in 1925.

The second of five children of William Kay and his wife Ann (née Newbald) of Bossall,[1] Kay passed his final Law Society examinations in 1892 and the next year he founded the law firm of Newbald Kay in York which had its offices at Lendal adjacent to the Mansion House where he lived as Lord Mayor.

Along with his wife Alice May, daughter of the Wesleyan Minister, Thomas Thornton Lambert, Kay was a prominent Methodist, being for a time a member of the Methodist Conference and funded the construction of a chapel in Acomb, North Yorkshire.[2]

For his wartime services as Sheriff of York, 1914–1915, and chairman of the local recruiting committee, he was knighted in the 1920 New Year Honours.[3]

Elmfield College and Kay's property speculation[edit]

Around 1929 he became a Governor of Elmfield College and was instrumental in closing the college down during the Great Depression. He bought the college estate, demolished the buildings, and sold off the estate off as building plots, having previously worked with H. B. Workman on managing the school's merger and decline.

He did something similar regarding the Hollybank Estate in South Bank, York, and the streets on that estate are actually named after his children and grandchildren.

Kay's maiden speech in the House of Commons also indicated Kay's interest in encouraging people to own their own houses.[4]

His brother Joseph Hudson Kay (1871-1919) was the Wesleyan Minister of Hoyland.


  1. ^ Re: William Lambert KAY, Bedale at
  2. ^ Yorkshire Gazette, 1 June 1934
  3. ^ "No. 31712". The London Gazette (Supplement). 30 December 1919. p. 3. 
  4. ^ <ll#S5CV0169P0_19240222_HOC_96


External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
William Cornforth Robinson
Member of Parliament for Elland
Succeeded by
William Cornforth Robinson