Walter McLaren

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Walter McLaren MP, circa 1910
The Mclaren monument, St Cuthberts, Edinburgh
Footnote to Walter Stowe Bright McLaren, St Cuthberts

Walter Stowe Bright McLaren (17 April 1853 – 29 June 1912)[1] was a British Liberal Party politician who was Member of Parliament (MP) for the Crewe division of Cheshire for a total of 11 years between 1886 and 1912.

He was the youngest child of the Liberal MP Duncan McLaren (1800–1886) and his third wife Priscilla Bright, a sister of the Radical MP John Bright. Two of his brothers, Charles McLaren, 1st Baron Aberconway and John also became Liberal Members of Parliament. Walter Mclaren was married in April 1883 to Eva Muller.[2] They became a powerful pair of women's rights advocates with Eva calling herself Mrs Eva McLaren and not the expected Mrs Walter McLaren. Eva stood successfully for public office as far as it was permitted at the time. She campaigned for further rights as treasurer of the Society for Promoting the Return of Women as County Councillors and Walter served on its successor organisation the Women's Local Government Society. Walter introduced a clause to the 1894 Local Government Act which extended the voting rights of married women.[3]

McLaren first stood for election to the House of Commons at the 1885 general election, when he stood as an "independent liberal" candidate for the Inverness district of Burghs, in Scotland. He had been nominated by the Free Church Constitutional Party, and polled strongly against the official Liberal Party candidate, taking 47.5% of the votes.[4]

At the 1886 general election he was elected in Crewe, where the sitting Liberal MP George Latham had not sought re-election. McLaren was re-elected in 1892, but lost his seat at the 1895 general election.He did not stand in 1900, when the seat was regained for the Liberals by James Tomkinson, but when Tomkinson died shortly after being re-elected at the January 1910 election, McLaren was the successful Liberal candidate in the resulting by-election.[5] He held the seat until his own death in 1912, aged 59.[4]

Walter is buried with his parents in St Cuthberts Churchyard in Edinburgh. Although the monument, lying on the east wall of the first south section under Edinburgh Castle, is huge, Walter is relegated to a simple footnote at the base of the stone.


  1. ^ "House of Commons constituencies beginning with "C" (part 6)". Leigh Rayment's House of Commons pages. Retrieved 2009-05-05. 
  2. ^ "Walter Stowe Bright McLaren". Retrieved 2009-05-07. 
  3. ^ Linda Walker, ‘McLaren , Eva Maria (1852/3–1921)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, Oct 2009 accessed 12 Jan 2017
  4. ^ a b Craig, F. W. S. (1989) [1974]. British parliamentary election results 1885–1918 (2nd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. pp. 231, 512. ISBN 0-900178-27-2. 
  5. ^ "THE CREWE ELECTION - BIG LIBERAL MAJORITY". Derby Daily Telegraph. British Newspaper Archive. 2 May 1910. Retrieved 24 March 2015. (Subscription required (help)). 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
George William Latham
Member of Parliament for Crewe
Succeeded by
Robert Ward
Preceded by
James Tomkinson
Member of Parliament for Crewe
April 19101912
Succeeded by
Ernest Craig