Mawdsley, James

Trade unionist, born on 9 January 1848 at Preston and brought up in Primitive Methodism. At 9 he joined his father in the cotton factory, became involved in the local spinners' association and from 1878 was general secretary of the Amalgamated Association of Operative Cotton Spinners, showing himself to be 'a shrewd negotiator, an efficient administrator and a resourceful propagandist'. He was a prominent figure in the TUC and its parliamentary committee. When there were practical advantages, he was prepared to co-operate with any of the political parties, but failed to win a conservative parliamentary seat at Oldham in 1899. In later years he abandoned his PM roots for 'an easy-going Anglicanism' and was also a Freemason. He died at Ashton-under-Lyne on 4 February 1902.

  • Times, 5 February 1902
  • Guardian, 5 February 1902
  • Oxford DNB