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Anthony John Mundella 

In office
17 February 1886 – 20 July 1886
Monarch Victoria
Prime Minister William Gladstone
Preceded by Hon. Edward Stanhope
Succeeded by Hon. Frederick Stanley
In office
18 August 1892 – 28 May 1894
Monarch Victoria
Prime Minister William Gladstone
The Earl of Rosebery
Preceded by Sir Michael Hicks Beach, Bt
Succeeded by James Bryce

Born 1825 (1825)
Leicester, Leicestershire
Died 21 July 1897 (1897-07-22)
Nationality British
Political party Liberal

Anthony John Mundella PC (28 March 1825 – 21 July 1897) was an English manufacturer, reformer and Liberal Party politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1868 to 1897.



Mundella was born in Leicester, the son of Antonio Mundella, an Italian refugee ad his wife Rebecca Allsop of Leicester. He worked in the hosiery trade and became a partner in the firm of Hine and Mundella, manufacturers of Nottingham, Loughborough, and elsewhere. He was Sheriff of Nottingham in 1852. In 1859 Mundella originated and organized the first Courts of Conciliation and Arbitration to settle disputes between capital and labour. He was a J.P. for Middlesex and for Nottingham Borough and was an Alderman, President of the Chamber of Commerce, and president of the Board of Arbitration for Nottingham.[1]

Political career

Mundella was elected as Member of Parliament for Sheffield in the 1868 general election. He had been asked to stand by trade unionist William Dronfield, to defend the interests of labour in the wake of the Sheffield Outrages. He served as President of the second day of the first ever Co-operative Congress in 1869.[2] When the Sheffield constituency was divided under the Redistribution of Seats Act 1885, he was elected as MP for Sheffield Brightside, a seat he held until his death. [3]

Mundella served under William Gladstone as Vice-President of the Committee on Education between 1880 and 1885. He then served under Gladstone and later Lord Rosbery as President of the Board of Trade (with a seat in the cabinet) in 1886 and between 1892 and 1894. In 1880 he was sworn of the Privy Council.[4]

The system of price regulation, which, as President of the Board of Trade he imposed upon rail freight, was a disaster for the railways and, in the longer term, for the railways' customers. It was based on the fallacious, but widely held assumption, that the cost of moving a ton of freight was proportional to the distance moved. In fact, the cost per ton mile depends mainly on the number of tons being carried and the amount of loading and unloading involved. It does not cost very much more to move 100 tons 100 miles than to move them 1 mile. The practical consequence was that the railways had to turn away traffic that could be efficiently and profitably moved by rail whilst they were not permitted to raise prices for unprofitable traffic.

Personal life

Mundella died in July 1897.


External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
John Arthur Roebuck
George Hadfield
Member of Parliament for Sheffield
With: Charles Stuart-Wortley, 1880–1885
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament for Sheffield Brightside
Succeeded by
Frederick Maddison
Political offices
Preceded by
Lord George Hamilton
Vice-President of the Committe on Education
Succeeded by
Hon. Edward Stanhope
Preceded by
Hon. Edward Stanhope
President of the Board of Trade
Succeeded by
Hon. Frederick Stanley
Preceded by
Sir Michael Hicks Beach, Bt
President of the Board of Trade
Succeeded by
James Bryce

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
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From LoveToKnow 1911

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