Radical Politicians in the North East

During the nineteenth and twentieth centuries the North-East of England produced members of both Houses of Parliament who campaigned for an extension of the right to vote as well as for other forms of social and economic reform.

In this section the lives of four of these individuals are explored: Charles, 2nd Earl Grey (1764-1845),  Joseph Cowen (1829-1900), Jack Lawson (1881-1965) and Ellen Wilkinson (1891-1947).

Case Study

Our case study explored radical politics in the north-east of England

Ellen Wilkinson

Ellen Wilkinson was a Labour politician and MP for Middlesborough East and Jarrow. Find out more about her life and career here.

Joseph Cowen

Joseph Cowen was a politician, journalist and printer. Find out more about his life and career here.

Earl Grey

Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey was Prime Minister between 1830 and 1834 and MP for Northumberland (1786-1807), Appleby (1807) and Tavistock (1807). Find out more about his life and career here.

Jack Lawson

Jack Lawson, later Baron Lawson of Beamish, was a trade unionist and MP for Chester-Le-Street between 1919 and 1949. Find out more about his life and career here.

Related information

The De Montfort Project is an outreach project run by the Parliamentary Archives which explores the life and impact of local MPs and Peers on both their local area and at Parliament.

Related information

Biographies of Ellen Wilkinson, Jack Lawson, Earl Grey and Joseph Cowen can be found on the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.