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British Prime Minister: 1906-1908

"Good government could never be a substitute for government by the people themselves."

Henry Campbell-Bannerman was born in 1836, the son of Lord Provost of Glasgow. Campbell-Bannerman (dubbed 'CB') was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge. He was born as Henry Campbell, but when his uncle died in 1871, Bannerman was appended to his name in accordance with his will.

He was elected as the Liberal MP for Stirling in 1868 (7th of September), and in 1884 he was appointed Chief Secretary for Ireland by William Gladstone. Two years later he was made War Secretary, and a further two years on he was appointed Leader of the House.

On the 1st July 1895, Campbell-Bannerman was awarded the title Knight of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath, ensuring that he be forever known as Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman. A rather formidable name.

His policies earned him the reputation as being one of the more progressive minded of his party, supporting Women's suffrage and speaking out against the treatment of prisoners during the Boer War. Upon the resignation of Arthur Balfour (and his government) in 1905 Edward VII asked Campbell-Bannerman to form a government. He accepted and he was appointed First Lord of the Treasury; interestingly it was 1905 that the first official use of the term Prime Minister is recorded, in a Royal Warrant. Campbell-Bannerman's Liberal Party won the 1906 General Election (Liberal 399, Conservative 156, Irish Nationalist 82, Labour 29, others 4).

"Personally I am an immense believer in bed, in constantly keeping horizontal: the heart and everything else goes slower, and the whole system is refreshed"

Whilst Prime Minister he passed such acts as the Trades Disputes Act and the Provision of School Meals Act. The Transvaal and the Orange River Colony were granted the right of self-government under him. Important note: he appointed David Lloyd George as President of the Board of Trade and Herbert Asquith as Chancellor of the Exchequer: two future Prime Ministers. Unfortunately Campbell-Bannerman suffered a series of heart attacks in 1907 and 1908 and was forced to resign. He died eighteen days later, on the 22nd of April 1908, at 10 Downing Street.

"There's the last kick. My dear fellow, I don't mind. I've been Prime Minister for longer than I deserve"

Sources:
http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk
"Facts About the British Prime Ministers", By Dermot Englefield, Janet Seaton, and Isobel White
Britannia.com
http://www.annualreport.gov.uk

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