Robert Parkinson Tomlinson
Family and education
Tomlinson was born at Poulton-le-Fylde in Lancashire, the son of William and Agnes Ormond Tomlinson. He was educated at Poulton-le-Fylde Grammar School and Claremont College, Blackpool. He never married. In religion Tomlinson was a Methodist. He was sometime President of the Methodist Local Preachers Mutual Aid Association  and in 1939 he served as Vice-President of Methodist Conference.
Tomlinson set himself up in business and founded Parkinson and Tomlinson, corn and oatmeal millers and seed merchants in the Fylde district. He was regarded as an expert on agricultural questions.
Perhaps drawn to Liberalism through his nonconformist religious beliefs, Tomlinson took an early interest in public affairs. At the age of just 24 years he was elected to Poulton-le-Fylde Urban District Council and remained a member until the time of his death. On six occasions he was Chairman of the Council and for thirty years was Chairman of the Finance Committee. He also sat on many other committees.
Other public appointments
Tomlinson served as a Justice of the Peace in Poulton-le-Fylde. He was sometime Vice-Chairman of Fylde Water Board, Chairman of Preston, Garstang and Fylde Joint Hospital Board, a member of Lancashire County Licensing Committee, a member of the Quarter Sessions Appeals Committee, and a member of the Lancashire Agricultural Wages Board.
He was next a candidate at a by-election at Lancaster on 9 February 1928 caused by elevation to peerage of Sir Gerald Strickland Tomlinson won by a majority of 1,829 over his Tory opponent Herwald Ramsbotham with Labour in third place. Turnout was 82% And Tomlinson overturned a Conservative majority from the previous election of 4,158.
Tomlinson was unable to hold the seat at the 1929 general election however, with Ramsbotham gaining it for the Conservatives, albeit by the small margin of 437 votes. Tomlinson did not contest the 1931 general election but did try again in 1935, this time finding himself again in second place although this time behind by 13,578.
- Who was Who, OUP 2007.
- The Times, 4 June 1943.
- F. W. S. Craig, British Parliamentary Election Results; Political Reference Publications, Glasgow 1949, p. 396.
- The Times, 11 February 1928.
- F. W. S. Craig, British Parliamentary Election Results; Political Reference Publications, Glasgow 1949, p. 399.
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Robert Parkinson Tomlinson
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
|Member of Parliament for Lancaster