Sir Alfred Pease, 2nd Baronet

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Sir Alfred Pease
Sir Alfred Pease (centre) in 1909, hunting with former US President Theodore Roosevelt (right) and Roosevelt's son Kermit
Member of Parliament
for York
In office
18 December 1885 – 26 July 1892
Serving with Frank Lockwood
Preceded byFrederick Milner
Ralph Creyke
Succeeded byJohn Butcher
Frank Lockwood
Personal details
Born(1857-06-29)29 June 1857
Died27 April 1939(1939-04-27) (aged 81)
Political partyLiberal

Sir Alfred Edward Pease, 2nd Baronet (29 June 1857 – 27 April 1939), was a British Liberal Party politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1885 and 1902 and who became a pioneer settler of British East Africa, now Kenya.

Early life[edit]

Alfred Pease was a member of the family of Quaker industrialists, known in Britain as the Darlington Peases. He was the elder son of Joseph W. Pease, 1st Bt and his wife Mary Fox. His younger and only brother, was to later in his own career, accept a peerage and become Joseph Albert Pease, 1st Baron Gainford.

Alfred was educated at Grove House School, Tottenham, and at Trinity College, Cambridge.[1]


He began his career in the family bank, J. & J. W. Pease, of which he later became both a director and partner. He held similar positions in Pease & Partners, whose subsidiary interests embraced collieries, Ironstone mines, limestone quarries, as well as iron manufacturing, fabrication and construction. In the course of his years, he served as managing director, Vice-Chairman (1907) and chairman (1927) of the Owners of the Middlesbrough Estate.

From 1885 until 1892 he was one of the two Liberal Members of Parliament returned for York, and then from 1897 until 1902 the Cleveland division of Yorkshire.[2]

During his years in parliament, he served as a J.P. and Alderman for the North Riding of Yorkshire, a Deputy Lieutenant for Cleveland division, as well as being appointed to the Lieutenancy for the City of London[3] He was also a founder and President of the Cleveland Bay Horse Society.

Pease had apparently indicated that he was in declining health before the general election of 1900 but was pressed by his local Liberal Association to contest that election. He did so on condition that if his condition made it impossible for him to sit for the whole Parliament he would be allowed to resign, and by September 1902 he referred to ill-health and asked to step down.[4] With the failure of the family business interests in 1902, he thus brought his political career to a close and amidst the wreckage sought out new opportunity, which was to take him to South Africa.[5]


Between 1903 and 1905, he served as a Resident Magistrate at Barberton in what was then the Transvaal Colony, but now Mpumalanga, in South Africa, before moving to the opposite end of the continent, to explore the Sudan, Somaliland, and the northern Sahara. During this time he continued to write of his travels and experiences; a habit that had begun with his "Biskra and Oases of the Zibans" (1893) and followed by "Hunting Reminiscences", (1898). "The Badger", (1898). "Horse Breeding for Farmers", (1902). and "Travels and Sport in Africa", (1902). "Rachel Gurney of the Grove", (1907). "The Diaries of Edward Pease", (1907). "The Book of the Lion", (1914) and "Memoir of Edmund Loder", (1922).

In 1906, he leased more than 6,000 acres (24 km2) of prairie land in the Athi Plains region of British East Africa, southwest of present-day Nairobi. There he founded an ostrich-ranch and hunted the game which was at that time plentiful on Kenya's high plateaus. The Pease property, Kitanga near Machakos was situated close to the Uganda Railway, and this enabled Sir Alfred to host a number of the famous travellers who hunted during the great age of safaris. As a result, he is mentioned in many of the personal accounts of the period.

Theodore Roosevelt, who enjoyed Pease's hospitality in 1909, with his son Kermit, at the start of his world-famous expedition to Africa, described Sir Alfred as 'a singularly good rider and one of the best game shots I have ever seen.'[6]

In 1909 he became one of the founder members of the Shikar Club formed to promote the activity of hunting and shooting Big Game animals. Specimens from Sir Alfred's animal collections can be seen at the Dorman Museum.


Sir Alfred's first cousin was Katherine Routledge, who visited him in Kenya in 1904. Later she and her husband led the Mana expedition to Easter Island from 1913–1915, during time which she carried out the pioneering excavations of the island's legendary monuments, and recorded the surviving oral history of the island's past.

Sir Alfred married three times. His first marriage in 1880, was to his first cousin, Helen Ann Fowler, third child of Sir Robert Fowler, 1st Baronet. The marriage produced two sons and a daughter. His second marriage, in 1912, was to Laure Marianne Sugnet de Montmagny and was childless. His last marriage, in 1922, was to Emily Elizabeth Smith and produced two more sons and two more daughters.

Sir Alfred's second son, Captain Christopher York Pease [1], was killed in the last year of the First World War, on 9 May 1918, and was buried in the Mazingarbe Communal Cemetery Extension. A cousin from what would become the Daryngton branch: Lt. Ronald Herbert Pike Pease of the Coldstream Guards, the Guards regiment for the North of England, had already been killed in 1916. Christopher Pease was serving in an appropriately Yorkshire unit: the Yorkshire Hussars. Mobilised as Yeomanry cavalry until it became clear there was little work for horsed units on the Western Front, the unit re-roled as infantry and merged with the remnants of a battalion of the West Yorkshire Regiment. The unit was now styled the 9th (Yorkshire Hussars) Bn. of the West Yorkshire Regiment and the uniform combined the cap badgeof the cavalry regiment with the collar-badges of the infantry regiment. Captain Pease was older than the norm and was 31 when he died. His son, Ingram, was then just 3 months old. When this grandson of Sir Alfred grew up, a new war was imminent and Ingram, like his father, joined the Armed Forces 'for the Duration'. In February 1939, Pilot Officer Ingram Pease of the RAFVR died in uniform, like his own father; killed in an accident, training to be a pilot. He was serving with 603 (City of Edinburgh) Squadron when he flew his Hawker Hind, in poor weather, into the summit of Bishop Hill in Kinross. Sir Alfred died, aged 81, a few weeks after this tragedy, and just before the anniversary of the death of his son Christopher. Just over a year later, Ingram's cousin Arthur – generally known as Peter – Pease, of the other Pease baronetcy, would also be killed: also as an airman, and also in 603 (City of Edinburgh) Squadron, now re-equipped with Spitfires, during the Battle of Britain; Peter is mentioned by Richard Hillary in the famous war memoir The Last Enemy.

The eldest son, Edward Pease (1880–1963), succeeded to the baronetcy and when the 3rd Baronet died, the title passed to his elder son by his third marriage, (Alfred) Vincent Pease (1926–2008), who died without issue. The baronetcy then passed in 2008, to Sir Alfred's youngest son, being the younger son of the third marriage, Joseph Gurney Pease, who became the 5th Baronet and is the current holder of the title.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Pease, Alfred Edward (PS876AE)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  2. ^ Hansard Millbank Systems – Alfred Pease
  3. ^ Debretts Guide to the House of Commons 1886
  4. ^ "Election intelligence". The Times (36873). London. 15 September 1902. p. 6.
  5. ^ A Wealth of Happiness and Many Bitter Trials. 1992.(Sir) Joseph Gurney Pease. ISBN 1-85072-107-6
  6. ^ Roosevelt, Theodore, African Game Trails, New York 1910, Charles Scribner's Sons, page 26

List of political families in the United Kingdom

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Sir Frederick George Milner
Ralph Creyke
Member of Parliament for York
With: Sir Frank Lockwood
Succeeded by
Sir Frank Lockwood
John George Butcher
Preceded by
Henry Fell Pease
Member of Parliament for Cleveland
Succeeded by
Herbert Samuel
Baronetage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Joseph Whitwell Pease
(of Hutton Lowcross and Pinchinthorpe)
Succeeded by
Edward Pease