Leeds MPs

BAINES, Edward Jr (1800–1890) Liberal. Editor.

The second son of Edward Baines. He trained on his father’s paper the Leeds Mercury with his greatest journalistic experience being an eyewitness to the Peterloo Massacre of 1819. It is accepted that the letter from ‘Leodiensian’ in the paper was by him and led to the establishment of the Leeds Philosophical & Literary Society. He took over as editor of the paper when his father was elected to Parliament n 1834. He held the same Whig beliefs as his father and led the campaign for voluntaryism. He was elected MP for Leeds from 1859–1874. In Parliament, where he unsuccessfully introduced bills regarding an extension of the franchise, he supported the abolition of compulsory church rates and the abolition of university tests, spoke out strongly on Nonconformists issues and the disestablishment of the Church of Ireland. He did not stand again for Parliament after his defeat in the 1874 election. He was knighted in 1880. For further reading see J. R. Lowerson, ‘The Political Career of Sir Edward Baines (1800–1890)’ (unpublished MA thesis, Leeds Univ.1965); Leeds Mercury, 3 March 1890.

His personal life