Henry Broadhurst, Henry Broadhurst, M.P.: the story of his life from a stonemason's bench to the Treasury Bench

Picture of Henry Broadhurst

Henry Broadhurst was born at Littlemore, near Oxford, in 1840. At age 13 he was apprenticed to a stonemason, his father's trade. He travelled extensively during the 1850s. In 1865 he moved to London and worked on the rebuilding of the Houses of Parliament. He became involved in the campaign to extend the right to vote, leading up to the 1867 Reform Act, and from 1872 in the campaign to reduce working hours. He became an official of the Stonemasons' Union, and its delegate to the Trades Union Congress. In 1880 he was elected M.P. for Stoke-upon-Trent, later representing Birmingham Bordesley, Nottingham West and Leicester. He was briefly an Under-Secretary in the Home Office, but was criticised by Keir Hardie for failing to represent labour interests. He retired from Parliament in 1906, and died in 1911. We include here only the beginning of his autobiography, covering his early life and especially his experience as a 'tramping' stonemason.

The following sections are available:
Introduction, by August Birrell, K.C.
A Foreword
Blacksmith's Forge and Stonemason's Bench
In Journeyings Often