Friday, September 17, 2010

Sepia Saturday : The Funny Old World Of Sir Luke White MP


My Sepia Saturday offering this week marks a change from the usual family photo of Uncle Jim or Aunt Ruth-Annie in that the subject is no relation of mine. Just why a signed photograph of Luke White MP should have been amongst the photos and cards collected by my Great Uncle Fowler I have no idea. Whilst Sir Luke White - to give him his full title - was a Yorkshire Member of Parliament, he was from a very different part of the County. Luke White was born in, worked in, lived in and represented the East Riding of Yorkshire from his birth in 1845 to his death in 1920. He was a solicitor by training and from 1897 he served as the Coroner for the East Riding. He was first elected to Parliament as a Liberal Party Member in the 1900 election and re-elected in 1906, and the two elections of 1910. He served in Parliament until the end of the Great War when he announced that he would not be fighting the December 1918 election due to his declining health. He only had a short retirement, and not a particularly happy one. After the election it emerged that White had debts of over £21,000 (the equivalent to about £1,000,000 these days) and he was summonsed to attend Scarborough Bankruptcy Court. He didn't attend and initially a warrant was issued for his arrest but was later withdrawn given his declining mental and physical state. He died a few months later.

It's a simple little picture with a signature that looks as if it has been quickly added. You can almost imagine Sir Luke sat at his desk in the Palace of Westminster signing a pile of stock photos and sending them out to constituents and the like. Hoping it might bring a few more votes. Hoping it might cement his position in politics, his position in society, his position in history. He could never have imagined that 100 years later the same photograph would be flashed across the world as a Sepia Saturday post. But there again, he could never have imagined that he would end his days in the dock of the Bankruptcy Court. It's a funny old world.

Take a tour of the other Sepia Saturday posts by following the links from the Sepia Saturday Blog.

23 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. Sorry my comments was full of typos!
    This is an interesting post of a person who went from a high position to a sharp decline in both health and wealth.
    It's amazing how cyberspace allows instant global contact, such a change over the last 100 years.

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  3. I wonder if your Great Uncle Fowler actually knew Mr. White. It's a fascinating, albeit sad story.

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  4. Hmmm... I see that politicians haven't changed all that much in the intervening years. Heh, heh!

    Interesting post, Alan.

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  5. Yes I think this man would be amazed if he was to step into our world.. and see his photo whisked around the world instantly. I would love to spend a day in his.

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  6. He Looks A Proud Man. A Bitter End For Him.I wonder if he had a duck pond?

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  7. i love that signature on the photo. great post.

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  8. True about his pride and then the fall. Yes like today's politicians.LOL
    QMM

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  9. O Fortuna, imperatrix mundi! A fascinating slice of history as always.

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  10. Is MP an abbreviation for "Member of Parliament?" I'm sorry, I'm not familiar with British political abbreviations. It was a very interesting post. The history around that era is so intriguing. Thanks for sharing and thanks for visiting my blog.

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  11. Crazyas : Yes MP stands for Member of Parliament.

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  12. That's quite a debt he had. No wonder his eyebrows are so depressed.

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  13. well, he must have made some kind of impression, at some point of his career...
    :)~
    HUGZ

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  14. He doesb't look like the kind of man who'd be pursued for his autograph, either! :)

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  15. Interesting and pondering, the fall and decline unlike the ascent. I thought at first MP meant Military police as it does to us inthe states, then I read "Member of Parliament."

    I wonder what he would think being shared around the world today? Would that make him proud, boastful or would he shudder that we all know the story?

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  16. Interesting post. Looks very serious - perhaps had an idea of what was to come.

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  17. I'm enjoying meeting all the 'heavies' in your family! -J

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  18. My friend Alan, of course everyone does not know what ATC means, in fact I didn't either. Artist Trading Cards. LOL You know like baseball or football cards, but we cannot sell them just swap them. You are such a dear blogger friend.
    QMM

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  19. It must have been nearly unbearable for this politician to go from high up to the bottom. He looks quite proud and sure of himself. His illness had probably a lot to do with his disgrace in society.

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  20. Politicans seem to be a miserable lot sometimes..that is one thick tie he has on..:)

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  21. What a great photo of history to own. It is curious why he had it in the pile but at the time it made sense to your dad to have it.

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  22. This is my Great Great Grandfather! Amazing to put a face to the name!

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  23. This is my Great Great Grandfather! Amazing to be able to finally put a face to the name! Thank you!

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