Harvey, William Edward

Primitive MethodistPrimitive Methodism local preacherLocal Preachers, from being twenty, coal miner, and Lib-Lab politician, the son of a shoemaker born at Haslan, Derbyshire, on 5 September 1852. His Sunday school teacher was Dr. George Booth Booth, Dr. George. From the age of ten worked at a coal pit and joined the South Yorkshire Miners Association in 1869 but was dismissed from the pit for his trade union activities, subsequently finding employment at Sheepbridge and then Morton.

When in 1880 the Derbyshire Miners Association separated from that of South Yorkshire, he was a founder member. He was its first Treasurer but resigned in 1882 as meetings clashed with the employer’s cricket matches. However, in 1891 he became the union’s Assistant Secretary and in 1892 was elected to the Miners Federation of Great Britain, followed by being the President of the Chesterfield Trades Council in 1894.

Appointed Financial and Correspondent Secretary of the union in 1906 raised his profile and enabled him to be the successful candidate in Derbyshire (North East) by-election in 1907. He had stood previously and unsuccessfully as an independent Lib-Lab candidate in 1885. As a Liberal he strongly opposed socialism and syndicalism. He was the Vice President of the Liberal’s Labour Electoral Association to secure workers’ votes. Reluctantly, under union instructions he joined the Labour Party in 1910. However, he became increasingly unhappy over the party’s treatment of miners representatives in March 1914 re-joining the Liberals but died soon afterwards at Chesterfield on 28 April 1914. He was succeeded in Parliament by another Primitive Methodist local preacher, Barnet *Kenyon Kenyon, Barnet.

Entry written by: DCD
Category: Person
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