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MACCLESFIELD'S FIGHTING MEMBER. I MAJOR BROMLEY DAVENPORT, M.P. I SECOND IN COMMAND OF THE IMPERIAL YEOMANRY. Much gratification has been created in Macclesfield Division by the an- nouncement in "The Gazette" that Mr. W. Bromley-Davenport, M.P., who just twelve months ago left for South Africa in com- mand of the Staffordshire Yeomanry, has been made second in command of the Imperial Yeo- manry, with the temporary rank of major in the Army. Mr. William Bromley-Davenport, of Capesthorne Hall, Cheshire, and 1, Belgrave- place, who was elected to the new Parliament without opposition as member for the Maccles- field Division of the Cheese County, may be fittingly described as a "young old member" of the House, for a member is no longer young in experience who, says a writer in the "Manchester Courier," has entered upon the teens of years as a legislator. Mr. Bromley-Davenport, who was born in 1863, was first returned for Maccles- field Division in 1886, before he was 24 years of age, and was. consequently, one of the youngest members in that Parliament, his victory for the Unionist party being one of the most noted of that famous general election. HARKING BACK. The old town of Macclesfield had, since the Reform Bill of 1832, sent two members to the House of Commons, and from that date up to 1880 (when the town was disfranchised for certain electoral sins, in common with several other places) one of the members who had been the head of the world-renowned silk-manufacturing firm of J. and T. Brocklehurst and Sons—from which family, by the way, comes General Brocklehurst, who has done such good work in South Africa. In the Redistribution Act of the eighties Macclesfield was made a county division, incorporating part of the old East Cheshire Con- stituency (so long represented by the late Col. Legh, afterwards Lord Newton of Lyme, and Mr. (afterwards Sir William) Cunliffe Brooks, and at the 1885 election the late Mr. William Coare Brocklehurst, who had represented the borough from 1868, was returned the first member for the new division, defeating Mr. Wm. Cunliffe Brooks (part of whose East Cheshire constituency had been merged into the Macclesfield Division) by 500 votes. AT THE 1886 ELECTION I Mr. Bromley-Davenport was Mr. Brocklehurst's opponent. It was a stiff fight. His Cheshire estate is but five miles from the famous silk town" —for Macclesfield is the centre of the English silk trade-and the idea of the young squire of Capesthorne" challenging the veteran Parliamentarian, and the largest employer of labour in the town, brought a smile to many faces and caused many wise heads to wag. But it is a truism that the unexpected often hap- pens," especially in politics. The old party lines had got torn up through the Gladstonian Home Rule proposals. r. Brocklehurst had all his life been an ardent supporter of "the grand old man," and he nailed his colours to the mast as a Home Ruler, though many who have known the family for years believed, and still believe, that Mr. Brocklehurst sacrificed his real con- victions to personal admiration for the man who was his political ideal. Be that how it may, "the boy candidate," as he was contemptuously styled by his opponents, defeated the veteran by nearly 50Q votes. FRIENDS YET FOES. I This was the one defeat the Brocklehurst family had sustained in the constituency since 1832. And no man ever bore & reverse with more self- control and gentlemanly forbearance than did Mr. Brocklehurst, whose death, in his 84th year, took place a few months ago, to the great regret of men of all parties, for no man was more de- servedly honoured for his good works in a long and well-spent life. I stood within a yard of him on the balcony of the Town Hall in 1886 when the fated figures were declared, and witnessed the tears of experienced public men who had been his supporters, and the supporters of his father before him for 50 years, yet "Macclesfield's grand old man" was unmoved. He shook his "young friend" warmly by the hand, compli- mented him on the thoroughly plucky and gentlemanly way in which he had conducted the fight, and wished him good health to enjoy his well-worn honour, adding that if he, with his long experience of Macclesfield's staple trade, and her affairs generally, could render him any help, he would most gladly do so. And the old man and the young shook hands again, amid the cheers of the victors and the vanquished alike. No more pathetic scene ever took place 0,1 an electoral platform. Mr. Bromley-Davenport is exceedingly popular in his constituency; he was opposed in 1892 by Mr. J. M'Coan, of London, who was defeated by close on 1,000 votes, and at the 1895 and at the present election he was elected without opposi- tion. He is a good landlord-no Cheshire land- lord has done more for his tenantry, and this is saying a great deal-and takes a deep and generous interest in everything concerning the welfare of his constituents generally, who see him often when he is at home. From the be- ginning of the year just closed he has been in South Africa in command of the Staffordshire Yeomanry, in which he is major, and from the letters sent home by troopers and others the hon. member is as popular as a soldier as he is a politician. The eldest son of the late Mr. Bromley-Davenport, over 20 years a member for North Warwickshire (the author of "Sport" and kindred works, not to mention many clever poetical political sarcasms), the member for Macclesfield comes of a good stock, and is as well known in society as he is in the world of sport, or in the House of Commons, which he has several times addressed, always making an ex- cellent impression on the House. He has estates in Cheshire and Warwickshire, and another in Norway, his town house being 1, Belgrave-place. His great-grandfather, Mr. Davies Davenport, represented the county ot Uhester trom ISUo to 1830; his great-uncle, Mr. Edward Davies Davenport, of Capesthorne, was M.P. for Shaftes- bury, and other members of his family have also had seats in the House, including the ex-Home Secretary, Sir Matthew White Ridley. A PROMISING CAREER Mr. Bromley-Davenport had a brilliant career at college, and in Cheshire, it is believed that he will one day take a prominent part in the nation's affairs at Westminster, though up to the present he has not shewn any great desire to push on." He is an able and attractive speaker, and, whilst he is a staunch Churchman and Conservative, he is greatly respected in his constituency for his breadth of mind and toleration of the views of those who oppose his own. He is as much at home in the saddle as he was in the cricket and football field at college, and he is an excellent shot, fond of fishing, and all kinds of sport, and has frequently taken part in the Parliamentary Steeplechase, once successfully. He was for two years Parliamentary secretary to his relative, the Home Secretary (Sir Matthew White Ridley). His sisters are Lady Newton, of Lyme, Lady Ridley, and Mrs. Kinloch (wife of Col. Kinloch, of the 2nd Grenadier Guards, who, in the early battles in South Africa, rendered distinguished service). Let me add one more qualification, the member for Macclesfield is an accomplished amateur theatrical; one of his younger brothers is on the stage, whilst another is the well-known cricketer. A











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