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Llewellyn Archer Atherley-Jones QC (1851 – June 15, 1929) was a British politician and Barrister who eventually became a Judge.

Early career

Atherley-Jones was the son of Ernest Jones, a prominent Chartist leader who was also a Barrister (he adopted a hyphenated surname to include his mother's maiden name). He was educated at Manchester Grammar School, followed by Brasenose College, Oxford, and read for the Bar at the Inner Temple. He was called to the bar in 1875 and joined the North Eastern Circuit where he was initially involved in criminal defence work.

As a judge at the Old Bailey in the 1920s he acquired a reputation for dealing sysmpathetically with men charged with consensual homosexual offences.[1]

Sharing his father's radical politics, Atherley-Jones became hon. Secretary of the Westminster Committee which supported William Gladstone on the question of the Bulgarian atrocities. He was also taken on as the Barrister for the Miners' National Union, and represented the miners at an inquiry into a mining accident (an underground explosion) at Seaham, County Durham in 1880. This experience made him even more committed to the left-wing of the Liberal Party, although in 1881 he declined an invitation to fight a by-election in Leeds against Herbert Gladstone, son of the Liberal leader.

He was chosen as candidate for Ealing in 1884, but as the election approached, had a much better offer from North West Durham which was an area with a large number of miners and where a Liberal victory was much more likely. He was duly selected at the beginning of August 1885 and won the seat with 62% of the vote in the general election in November.


Perhaps his greatest contribution to the Liberal Party, however, was his description of New Liberalism, encouraging the Party to embrace the politics of mass working-class appeal, rather than being sidetracked by peripheral concerns.


  1. ^ Queer London by Matt Houlbrook ISBN 780226 354620

Entry on Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs

Parliament of the United Kingdom
New constituency Member of Parliament for North West Durham
Succeeded by
Aneurin Williams


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