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Frederick William Grafton (1816 - 27 January 1890) was a British industrialist and Liberal politician.

He was the eldest son of Joseph Smith Grafton, a Manchester merchant.[1] Following a private education he obtained employment at a calico printing works. He subsequently established his own calico printing business, F.W. Grafton and Company, with premises in at Broad Oak Works, Accrington and Manchester.[2] He was a major employer in the area and was selected as a parliamentary candidate by the Liberal Party at the 1880 general election. He was felt to represent the "commercial class" and was elected to represent North East Lancashire along with Lord Hartington.[1]

When the North East Lancashire seat was split into four divisions by the Redistribution of Seats Act 1885, Grafton was chosen to contest the new Accrington constituency. Although elected as a Liberal, he voted against the government's First Home Rule Bill and joined the Unionist Party.[3] The rejection of the bill led to the dissolution of parliament, and Grafton announced that he would not be standing due to ill health.[4]

Grafton lived at Heysham Hall, Lancaster and Hope Hall, Manchester.[2] He married Emily Sophia Howard in 1850. Frederick Grafton died at his London residence, 7 Kensington Palace Gardens in January 1890, aged 74.[3]


  1. ^ a b Mair, Robert Henry (1881). Debrett's Illustrated House of Commons and the Judicial Bench. London: Dean & Son. p. 96. Retrieved 12 May 2009. 
  2. ^ a b Biographies of Candidates, The Times, November 26, 1885, p.3
  3. ^ a b Obituary, The Times, January 28, 1890, p.9
  4. ^ The Political Situation, May 14, 1886, p.10

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Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
James Maden Holt
John Pierce Chamberlain Starkie
Member of Parliament for North East Lancashire
With: Spencer Cavendish, Marquess of Hartington
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament for Accrington
Succeeded by
Robert Hodge


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