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William Adamson (1863-1936), Politician, Chairman of the Parliamentary Labour Party and Secretary of State for Scotland

Sitter in 14 portraits
The son of a coalminer, William Adamson was born in Dunfermline. He himself spent twenty-seven years from the age of eleven working in the mining industry. He joined the National Union of Mineworkers, first as a branch delegate, and rising through the ranks to become General Secretary by 1908. Adamson was elected to Parliament as a Labour Party MP in 1910. In 1917 he was elevated to the chairmanship of the Parliamentary Labour Party; he held this post until being replaced by J. R. Clynes in 1921. Throughout the 1920s Adamson remained a senior figure within the Parliamentary Labour Party. He headed the Scottish Office in both the 1924 and the 1929 governments until losing his seat in the 1931 election.

List Thumbnail

4529(1)

William Adamson

by Sir David Low
pencil, late 1920s-1936
NPG 4529(1)

x137724

William Adamson; Keir Hardie; Thomas Richardson

by Sir (John) Benjamin Stone
platinum print, 6 February 1911
NPG x137724

x22371

William Adamson

by Bassano Ltd
whole-plate glass negative, 14 March 1918
NPG x22371

x22372

William Adamson

by Bassano Ltd
whole-plate glass negative, 14 March 1918
NPG x22372

x22373

William Adamson

by Bassano Ltd
whole-plate glass negative, 2 February 1920
NPG x22373

x22374

William Adamson

by Bassano Ltd
whole-plate glass negative, 2 February 1920
NPG x22374

x22375

William Adamson

by Bassano Ltd
whole-plate glass negative, 2 February 1920
NPG x22375

x122825

William Adamson

by Bassano Ltd
whole-plate glass negative, 20 December 1923
NPG x122825

x182171

Ramsay MacDonald and his cabinet of 1924

by Elliott & Fry
12 x 10 inch glass plate negative, 1924
NPG x182171

x197884

'The Labour Cabinet, 1929'

by Barratt's
postcard print, 1929
NPG x197884

x67173

William Adamson

by Walter Stoneman
negative, 1920
NPG x67173

x67174

William Adamson

by Walter Stoneman
negative, 1920
NPG x67174

x67175

William Adamson

by Walter Stoneman
bromide print, 1920
NPG x67175

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