Sir Wilfrid Lawson, 2nd
Baronet (4 September 1829 – 1 July 1906) was a British Liberal Party politician and temperance leader.
Statue of Sir Wilfrid
Son of the 1st baronet (d. 1867), he was always an enthusiast in the
cause of total abstinence and in Parliament, to which he was first elected in 1859 for Carlisle, he became its leading spokesman.
In 1864 he
first introduced his Permissive
Bill, giving to a two-thirds majority in any district a veto
upon the granting of licences for the sale of intoxicating liquors;
and though this principle failed to be embodied in any act, he had
the satisfaction of seeing a resolution on its lines accepted by a
majority in the House of Commons in 1880, 1881 and 1883. He lost his seat for
Carlisle in 1865, but in 1868 was again returned as a supporter of
Gladstone, and was member
till 1885; though defeated for the new Cockermouth
division of Cumberland in 1885, he won that seat in 1886, and he held it
till the election of 1900, when his violent opposition to the
Second Boer War caused his defeat,
but in 1903 he was returned for the Camborne division of
Cornwall and at the
general election of 1906 was once more elected for his old
constituency in Cumberland.
During all these years he was the champion of the United Kingdom Alliance
1853), of which he became president. An extreme Radical, he also supported disestablishment, abolition of the House of Lords, and disarmament.
Though violent in the expression of his opinions, Sir Wilfrid
Lawson remained very popular for his own sake both in and out of
the House of Commons; he became well known for his humorous vein,
his faculty for composing topical doggerel being often exercised on
questions of the day.
He served as President
second day of the 1887 Co-operative Congress
With F. C. Gould
he published Cartoons in
Rhyme and Line
- Sir Wilfred Lawson by W B Luke (Political Biography published
by Simpkin Marshall of London in 1900).