Kedward, Roderick Morris, MP
1881-1937; e.m. 1903

WM minister and Liberal politician, born on 14 September 1881 at Westwell, Kent, into a farming family originally from Kington, Herefordshire. After a pre-collegiate year in the Lydd Circuit he was at Richmond College from 1902 to 1904. and from 1905 to 1908 a Home Mission Connexional Evangelist From 1908 to 1915 he was at the HullMission where in 1910 he took charge of the newly opened King's Hall. Here he established the men's Brotherhood and gained a reputation for protecting women from domestic violence. In the First World War he served in Egypt and France, but was invalided out with trench fever in 0ctober 1916. In that year he went to Bermondsey Central Hall in the South London Mission, and remained there until his death on 5 March 1937.

Politically he first stood, unsuccessfully, for Kingston-upon-Hull Central in 1918 and then for West Bermondsey in 1922, but lost it to Alfred Salter in 1924. In Bermondsey Kedward served on the borough council and as a Poor Law Guardian. In 1929 he stood successfully for Ashford but, now as a National Liberal, lost the seat in 1931 and again stood there unsuccessfully in 1933.

He was one of four ministerial brothers, often referred to as 'the Kedward Quartet'. They included his older brother Thomas Herbert Kedward (1878-1966) who was born in Kington, entered the PM ministry in 1902 and had a ministerial son, Frederick Morris Kedward, 1914-1996; e.m. 1937, and two younger brothers who became Wesleyan ministers: William Kedward (e.m. 1908; died 1968) and Daniel Kedward (1885-1959; e.m. 1910).

The older of Roderick's sons, Neville Frederick Kedward (1908-1986; e.m. 1938), served in the South Yorkshire Coalfield Mission and was for twenty years a chaplain to the Navy, His Kingswood-educated son Roderick Kedward (b.1937) became Professor of History at the University of Sussex.

  • Methodist Recorder, 11 March 1937
  • J.D. Beasley, The Bitter Cry Heeded and Heard (1989)