Leeds MPs

CAUTLEY, Henry Strother (1863–1946) Conservative. Barrister.

He followed his career as a barrister on the North Eastern Circuit and in East Sussex, all the time he was an MP. He was appointed Recorder for Sunderland in 1918 and a KC in 1919. He decided to enter Parliament but his first attempts to represent Dewsbury in 1892 and 1895 ended in failure. He then stood successfully for Leeds East against two Liberals in the ‘Khaki’ Election of 1900 and achieved a majority of 1,867. In the House of Commons he spoke with authority on agriculture drawing on his experience of owning estates in Yorkshire. He lost his Leeds seat in the Liberal landslide of 1906 when James O’Grady, of the Labour Representation Committee, registered a convincing 2,091 vote majority. Undeterred, in 1910 he was elected for East Grinstead, a seat he held continuously until he was elevated to the Lords in 1936. During World War I he was appointed Director of Pig Production and later chairman of the Select Committee on Racing. In 1919 he was asked to serve on the Ecclesiastical Committee of the House of Commons. It was said of him that ‘politically he was rather a statesman than a politician.’ For further reading see The Times, 24 September 1946.