Walter Runciman, 1st Baron Runciman

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For other people named Walter Runciman, see Walter Runciman (disambiguation).

Walter Runciman, 1st Baron Runciman (6 July 1847 – 13 August 1937) was an English shipping magnate. Referred to by his grandson Steven as "a Geordie of Scots descent who ran away to sea at 11, was a master mariner by 21 and founded a shipping line",[1] Runciman wrote several books based on his years at sea. He also served briefly as a Liberal Member of Parliament.

In 1889, Runciman founded the South Shields Shipping Company, based in the port of South Shields, on the south bank at the mouth of the River Tyne, which was then part of County Durham but now in Tyne and Wear. Walter Runciman was Managing Director and Secretary, and John Elliott was the chairman. In 1892 the company offices moved up the River Tyne to the city-port of Newcastle. In April 1897 the company changed its name to Moor Line Ltd. Runciman and his son, who had carried on business as partners in Runciman and Co, were appointed Managing Directors of Moor Line. Elliott died in 1898 and the elder Runciman held the position of Chairman until his death in 1937.[2]

Runciman was created a baronet in 1906, and served as Liberal MP for Hartlepool from 1914 to 1918. In 1910 he wrote "The Tragedy of St. Helena", an account of Napoleon Bonaparte's exile and death. In 1933, he was raised to the peerage as Baron Runciman of Shoreston. Four years later his son, the long-serving MP Walter Runciman (1870–1949), followed him into the House of Lords with the title Walter Runciman, 1st Viscount Runciman of Doxford.[3]

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Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Sir Stephen Furness, Bt
Member of Parliament for The Hartlepools
19141918
Succeeded by
William Gritten
Baronetage of the United Kingdom
New creation Baronet
(of Doxford)
1906–1937
Succeeded by
Walter Runciman
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Baron Runciman
1933–1937
Succeeded by
Walter Runciman