Macpherson, John Thomas

First name/s: John
Last name: Macpherson
Known names / nicknames:
Date of birth: 10/10/1872
Year of birth: 1872

Life before Ruskin

Date and place of birth 10 October 1872, 4, Spring Gardens, Poplar
Family Father was Hugh Macpherson a steel worker; mother was Rebecca (nee Luke). There is mention of a younger brother and a sister.
Work For most of his life he worked as a steel smelter. For a few years in early life, when blacklisted for union activities, he served as a fireman on a ship.
Politics/Trade union activity His chief role was as Organising Secretary for the newly formed British Steel Smelters’ Association, helping to establish new branches. He was heavily involved in the protracted dispute at Mossend works, Lanarkshire, 1899 – 1901. In 1902, he was invited to act as the Labour Representation Committee parliamentary candidate for Preston, when he campaigned mainly on the issue of Free Trade.

Trade Union membership (at time of entry to Ruskin) ~ other Trade Union

Life at Ruskin

Dates at Ruskin January to December, 1903
Source of funding Union (not known which one)
Campaigns/political activity
Subjects studied at Ruskin Economics
Qualification Not known

Life after Ruskin

Education Strong supporter of the Central Labour College following the Ruskin strike

Work He continued to work as a steel smelter
Politics/trade union activity Macpherson was MP for Preston 1906 – 1910. He spoke in the House several times without making much impression. He lost the seat in 1910 and he resumed work as an organiser for the British Steel Smelters’ Association. Relationships between Macpherson and the Union’s executive committee deteriorated and when he was asked to take up work in a different region in 1916, he withdrew from Union activity

Family Married Catherine Ann MacArthur 1899
Place & date of death 2 July 1921 at Saltburn-on-Sea

Date of death: 02/07/1921
Year of death: 1921

Achievements / Publications

MP for Preston 1906 – 1910

‘How I got on’ Pearson’s Weekly 1st March 1906

Material in archives or already published articles

Entry by Margaret ‘Espinasse in J. M. Bellamy & J. Saville (eds), Dictionary of Labour Biography Vol. 5 (Macmillan, 1979)


Notes on Image/s

Comment of contributor/s and sources

Entry by Margaret ‘Espinasse in J. M. Bellamy & J. Saville (eds), Dictionary of Labour Biography Vol. 5 (Macmillan, 1979)


Keith Vernon

created 26/10/2013 at 12:29 pm, updated 13/10/2014 at 5:21 pm

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