Thomas Ashton, 1st Baron Ashton of Hyde

Thomas Ashton, 1st Baron Ashton of Hyde bigraphy, stories - British politician

Thomas Ashton, 1st Baron Ashton of Hyde : biography

5 February 1855 – 1 May 1933

Thomas Gair Ashton, 1st Baron Ashton of Hyde (5 February 1855 – 1 May 1933) was a British industrialist, philanthropist, Liberal politician, and Peer.


He died in May 1933, aged 78, and was succeeded in the title by his second but eldest surviving son Thomas Henry Raymond Ashton. Lady Ashton of Hyde died in 1938.


Early life and career

Ashton was born at Fallowfield, Manchester, Lancashire, the son of Thomas Ashton and Elizabeth Gair, daughter of Samuel Stillman Gair of Rhode Island. The Ashton family had been prominent in the cotton and cloth manufacturing industry for many years. He was educated at Rugby and University College, Oxford, and later managed the family business. Ashton was elected to the House of Commons for Hyde in 1885, but lost his seat the following year. He unsuccessfully contested the same seat again in 1892, but in 1895 he was returned for Luton, seat he held until 1911. The latter year he was raised to the peerage as Baron Ashton of Hyde, in the County of Chester. During the First World War he served as Chairman of the Cotton Exports Committee. Apart from his political career Ashton was a Justice of the Peace for Cheshire and Sussex and was invested as an Honorary Fellow of Oxford University in 1923.


Ashton married Eva Margaret James, daughter of John Henry James and his wife Jane Ramsden Ashworth, in 1886. They had four children, two sons and two daughters:

  • Thomas Henry Ashton (8 October 1887 – 20 September 1897)
  • The Hon. Marion Evelyn Ashton (born 1890) – married Major Robert Wood
  • The Hon. Margaret Joan Ashton (born 1893) – married Hugh Whistler
  • Thomas Henry Raymond Ashton (2 October 1901 – 21 March 1983) – succeeded his father as 2nd Baron Ashton of Hyde