Herbert Asquith was born at Croft House in Morley on this day in 1852. He was the son of a middle class small mill owner and wool merchant. When his father died in 1859, he moved to Huddersfied, which is where he grew up and studied at the Moravian boarding school in Fulneck. Asquith was eventually sent down to London to live with his uncle. He attended Oxford University and became a QC barrister, before being elected to Parliament, representing the Scottish constituency of Fife in 1886. When the Liberals returned to power in 1892, Asquith became Home Secratary, before being in the shadow cabinet when the Liberal lost power in 1895.
In 1906 he returned to governement as Chancellor and his most notable achievements came with the introduction of old age pensions and reforms which would pave the way for the welfare state. In 1908, Herbert Asquith became Prime Minister, after the death of Henry Campbell-Bannerman. His most notable work in office was the introduction of free school meals for children, setting up the first “labour exchanges,” or job centres and the first National Insurance schemes for workers.
The latter years of his premiership, spent in a minority government, was dogged by the Suffragette movement and the outbreak of World War I. He spent eight years in office, which until 1988 was the longest time in office by a British Prime Minister.
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