David Lloyd George

Posted: August 1, 2013 in Historic People
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David Lloyd George was born in Chorlton-on-Medlock, Manchester on 17th January 1863. Due to ill health, his schoolmaster father, William George returned to his home town of Pembrokeshire in 1863, taking with him his wife Elizabeth and their young family, but the following year, suffering from pneumonia, his father died at just 44 years old.
Elizabeth George moved with her children to live with her brother, a shoemaker and Baptist Minister, Richard Lloyd, at Ty Newydd, Llanystumdwy, in Caernarfonshire.
Having been educated at the local Anglican school, followed by tutors, Lloyd George was greatly influenced by his uncle who encouraged him to enter a career in law and politics. His uncle continued to support him until his death in 1917, during the time of which saw Lloyd George as Prime Minister.
In 1884 Lloyd George set up his legal practice in a back room of his uncles house and as his company grew so too did his offices, where he opened branches in the surrounding towns and entered partnership with his brother William ,where Lloyd George then focussed on his political career campaigning for the Liberal Party in the 1885 election.
On 24th January 1888 he married Margaret Owen, and later that year he founded a monthly paper Udgorn Rhyddid, with fellow Welsh Liberals.
During 1890 he was elected Member of Parliament for the Caernarvon boroughs and continued serving his constituency for 55 years.
In 1905, although having been tainted as being a pro-Boer during the Boer War he became President of the Board of Trade.
1908 saw Lloyd George as Chancellor of the Exchequer, where his upbringing reflected within his political role, where he gave full support for the common man, the elderly and the poorest and vulnerable of those in society, by being associated with reforms such as the Old Age Pensions Act of 1908 and the National Health Insurance Act of 1911.
The peoples budget of 1908 was planned to introduce a tax of which would be inflicted on the rich to pay for more reforms in order to help the lifestyles of the poor. The Lords rejected the budget leading to a conflict between both parties which in the end saw the passing of the
Parliament Act of 1911 whereby the Lords only had the power to delay and could only reject a passed act by the commons three times before it would become law.
Remaining as Chancellor until 1915 he then went on as Minister of Munitions to deal with the lack of ammunition, shells and much needed equipment for those of the British Army fighting on the Western Front.
It was during 1916 that Lloyd George become Prime Minister, the first Welsh prime Minister, where he had taken over from Herbert Asquith.
Lloyd George resigned from his post as Prime Minister in 1922 when the conservatives withdrew their support after the humiliation of the Chanak Crisis.
He became Liberal Party Leader in 1926, mainly due to the retirement of Herbert Asquith, yet as the Liberals were no longer a political force, Lloyd George was seen as a solitary figure. There was bad feeling within his party, where he would be shunned and condemned by members, but in many parts of Wales he remained a heroic figure and maintained support from the Welsh public.
During September 1936 Lloyd George met with Adolf Hitler, and on his return he wrote in the Daily Express: “I have now seen the famous German leader and also something of the great change he has effected. Whatever one may think of his methods – and they are certainly not those of a Parliamentary country – there can be no doubt that he has achieved a marvellous transformation in the spirit of the people, in their attitude towards each other, and in their social and economic outlook. One man has accomplished this miracle. He is a born leader of men. A magnetic dynamic personality with a single-minded purpose, a resolute will, and a dauntless heart.”
In 1944 he was made Earl Lloyd George of Dwyfor.
David Lloyd George died on 26th March 1945 at Ty Newydd, Llanystumdwy, Wales.
On 25 October 2007 The Parliament Square memorial unveiled by the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall was the first to the “Welsh wizard” on the streets of London.
Prince Charles unveiled the statue as the then Prime Minister Gordon Brown and two former premiers – Baroness Thatcher and Sir John Major – looked on. The prince told invited guests, who included many descendants of the statesman: “I feel it’s wholly appropriate that David Lloyd George should be commemorated this way in Parliament Square. “In the course of a decade, beginning approximately a century ago, he established himself as one of the greatest social reformers and war leaders of the 20th Century.”


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