Leeds MPs

JACKSON, William Lawies (1840–1917) Conservative. Tanner.

Taking over the family’s near bankrupt tanning business, he made it into one of the largest tanning concerns in the country. He developed an interest in politics in 1869, becoming a Conservative councillor for Headingley Ward. He was a powerful force on the council and it was his acumen that led to Conservatives taking control of the council in 1895, the year he was appointed mayor. In the general election of 1880, although polling more than 10,000 less than the Liberals Gladstone and Barran, he nevertheless won the third Leeds seat and thus entered Parliament. In 1885, with the town now divided into constituencies, he was chosen to stand for Leeds North. He did so successfully and was appointed Financial Secretary to the Treasury from 1885–1891 and then Chief Secretary for Ireland. He became a Privy Councillor in 1890. Although he rarely spoke in the chamber he did sterling work on various committees including those on Indian affairs, whilst he acted as chairman of both the Jameson Raid enquiry of 1896–1897 and the Royal Commission on the Coal Resources of the United Kingdom. A strong believer in Free Trade, he was well-respected by his opponents. He was ennobled as Baron Allerton in 1902. For further reading see Yorkshire Post, 5 April 1917; The Times, 5 April 1917.