Stanley Holmes, 1st Baron Dovercourt

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The Lord Dovercourt
Chairman of the National Liberal Party
In office
Preceded byJames Henderson-Stewart
Succeeded byJohn Maclay
Member of Parliament
for Harwich
In office
14 November 1935 – 18 January 1954
Preceded byJohn Pybus
Succeeded byJulian Ridsdale
Member of Parliament
for North East Derbyshire
In office
14 December 1918 – 26 October 1922
Preceded byGeorge Robert Harland Bowden
Succeeded byFrank Lee
Personal details
Joseph Stanley Holmes

31 October 1878
Marylebone, Middlesex
Died22 April 1961(1961-04-22) (aged 82)
Marylebone, London
Political partyNational Liberal
Other political
SpouseEva Gertrude
Alma materCity of London School

Joseph Stanley Holmes, 1st Baron Dovercourt (31 October 1878 – 22 April 1961) was a British chartered accountant, businessman and Liberal Party politician, who later served as a Liberal National Member of Parliament.

Background and education[edit]

Holmes was born in Marylebone, Middlesex, the son of Horace G. Holmes, JP. He was educated at the City of London School.[1]


Holmes was a chartered accountant and company director. He served as vice-president of the Building Societies Association and was a member of the London County Council 1910 to 1919. He was elected Liberal Member of Parliament for North East Derbyshire at the 1918 general election, but narrowly lost the seat at the 1922 general election.[2] The initially declared majority was only 5 votes, and an electoral petition was lodged. The petition was dismissed when a recount found a higher majority of 15.[2]

Holmes then stood unsuccessfully in Dunbartonshire at the 1923 general election,[3] and in Cheltenham at the 1924 election.[4] He finally returned to the House of Commons after a thirteen-year absence at the 1935 general election, when he was elected for Harwich as a Liberal National.[5] He held the seat until 1954, sitting later as a 'National Liberal and Conservative'. He introduced as Private Member's Bills the Inheritance (Family Provision) Act 1938 and the Coast Protection Act 1939. On 18 January 1954 he was elevated to the peerage as Baron Dovercourt, of Harwich in the County of Essex.[6]

Personal life[edit]

Lord Dovercourt married Eva Gertrude, daughter of William Thomas Rowley, in 1905. He died in Marylebone, London, in April 1961, aged 82. The barony became extinct on his death.[1]


  1. ^ a b Joseph Stanley Holmes, 1st and last Baron Dovercourt
  2. ^ a b Craig, F. W. S. (1983) [1969]. British parliamentary election results 1918–1949 (3rd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. p. 324. ISBN 0-900178-06-X.
  3. ^ Craig, op. cit., page 622
  4. ^ Craig, op. cit., page 115
  5. ^ Craig, op. cit., page 352
  6. ^ "No. 40078". The London Gazette. 19 January 1954. p. 447.

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by Chairman of the National Liberal Party
Succeeded by
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by Member of Parliament for North East Derbyshire
Succeeded by
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Harwich
Succeeded by
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Baron Dovercourt