Lamb, Ernest Henry, MP, Lord Rochester

Businessman and politician, born at Hornsea, Yorks, on 4 September 1876. He grew up in Dulwich, where his family attended Barry Road WM Church. He was the oldest son of Benjamin and Mrs. Lamb; two brothers became local preachers and two sisters served on the mission field. In his early years he came under the influence of Hugh Price Hughes. Educated at Wycliffe College and Dulwich College, he entered business in 1892 as a transport contractor and became an adviser to the Ministry of Transport. After retirement in 1920 he gave himself to public service and Christian work.

In 1903 he became the youngest member of the Common Council of the City of London, chairing the Schools Committee, Police Committee etc. and serving until 1931. He had a particular concern for housing and unemployment and led a successful opposition to the introduction of greyhound racing at the Crystal Palace. In 1906 he was elected Liberal MP for Rochester and held the seat until 1918, except for one brief interval in 1910 when he was defeated over the temperance issue. He became a County Magistrate in 1907 and was made a Companion of the Order of St. Michael and St. George and one of His Majesty's Lieutenants for the City of London. He was knighted in 1913, and elevated top the peerage in 1931, serving as Paymaster-General until 1935.

He held many offices in the Methodist Church, including membership of a number of connexional and other committees. He was treasurer of the Temperance and Social Welfare Department for 22 years and a member of Conference for 36 consecutive years from 1906, serving as Vice-President in 1941. He gave active support to James Butterworth in the building of Clubland and was a circuit steward in theWest London Mission and the Croydon Circuit. He was Vice-President of the National Children's Home and of the British and Foreign Bible Society. He died on 13 January 1955.

His second son, the Hon. Roland Hurst Lowry Lamb (born on 27 October 1917; e.m. 1940), was educated at Mill Hill and Jesus College, Cambridge. He trained for the ministry at Didsbury College and became an IVF travelling secretary. He was opposed to 'Separated' Chairmen', left the ministry in 1965 and became General Secretary of the British Evangelical Council.

His third son, the Hon Kenneth Henry Lowry Lamb, CBE (23 December 1923 - 21 June 1995), educated at Harrow and Trinity College, Oxford, was secretary to the Church Commissioners 1980-1985, then joined the BBC as Talks Producer and from 1963 to 1966 was Head of Religious Broadcasting.

  • Methodist Recorder, 17 July 1941; 20 January 1955
  • Conference Handbook, 1941