Hudson Kearley, 1st Viscount Devonport
Hudson Ewbanke Kearley, 1st Viscount Devonport, British grocer and politician. He founded the International Tea Company's Stores, became the first chairman of the Port of London Authority, and served as Minister of Food Control during World War I.(1 September 1856 – 5 September 1934), styled Lord Devonport between 1910 and 1917, was a
The Viscount Devonport
Hudson Ewbanke Kearley
1 September 1856
Uxbridge, Middlesex, England
|Died||5 September 1934 78) (aged|
Dunkeld, Perthshire, Scotland
|Resting place||Hambleden, Buckinghamshire, England|
Early life and business career
Devonport was the tenth and youngest child of George Ewbanke Kearley (1814–1876) and his wife, Mary Ann Hudson. He studied at Surrey County School (now Cranleigh School) and joined Tetley & Sons in 1872. In 1876, Devonport founded a tea importing company, known as Kearley and Tonge from 1887, and began retailing his own goods in 1878. In 1890, he had over 200 branches trading as International Stores and in 1895, both companies were combined to form International Tea Company's Stores and shares were offered to the public.
Marriage and family
Devonport was elected as a Liberal Member of Parliament for Devonport in the 1892 general election. He was appointed a deputy lieutenant of Buckinghamshire in 1901. In 1903, he was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade, assisting the President of the Board of Trade, David Lloyd George. He was created a baronet, of Wittingham in the County of Buckingham, in 1908 and became a member of the Privy Council in 1909. He retired from the lower house after the January 1910 general election.
He was elevated to the peerage as Baron Devonport, of Wittington in the County of Buckingham, in July 1910. It was reported in The New York Times that he declined to contribute to party funds in turn for the peerage, feeling that his party contribution and unpaid services in relation to the Port of London were great enough to warrant the distinction without payment. After proposing to submit the related correspondence to the press, no money was exchanged.
The grocer Hudson Kearley, he
When purchasing his barony
Considered first, we understand,
The title of Lord Sugarsand,
Or then again he might have been
Lord Underweight of Margarine:
But being of the nobler sort
He took the title Devonport.
He was appointed as Minister of Food Control in December 1916 by Lloyd George and he submitted a proposal for compulsory rationing in May 1917, seemingly delayed as to protect the interests of retailers. He came under attack, particularly from Noel Pemberton Billing, with insinuations of war profiteering. On 1 June 1917 he resigned due to "ill health". He was then made Viscount Devonport, of Wittington in the County of Buckingham, in the 1917 Birthday Honours.
- "Sitter: Miss Beryl Kearley". Lafayette Negative Archive.
- "No. 27353". The London Gazette. 10 September 1901. p. 5983.
- Cunliffe-Owen, F (17 December 1916). "Britain's Food Dictator Made Fortune as Grocer" (PDF). The New York Times. Retrieved 9 August 2009.
- Devonport resigns due to 'ill-health' The Times 2 June 1917
- Davenport-Hines, Richard (January 2008). "Kearley, Hudson Ewbanke, first Viscount Devonport (1856–1934)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/34252. Retrieved 9 August 2009. (subscription or UK public library membership required)
- In the 1890s he built a shooting lodge called Gwylfa Hiraethog on the top of the Denbigh Moors. Although abandoned since the 1950s, its ruins are still a prominent landmark for miles around.
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by the Viscount Devonport
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
Sir John Henry Puleston
George Edward Price
| Member of Parliament for Devonport
With: E. J. C. Morton 1892–1902
John Lockie 1902–1906
John Benn 1906–1910
Sir John Jackson
Sir Clement Kinloch-Cooke
|New office|| Minister of Food Control
David Alfred Thomas
|Peerage of the United Kingdom|
|New creation|| Viscount Devonport
|New creation|| Baron Devonport|
|Baronetage of the United Kingdom|
|New creation|| Baronet