Sir Benjamin Hawes (1797-1862), Politician and advocate for the arts
Sitter in 2 portraits
Benjamin Hawes was Liberal MP for Lambeth from 1832 to 1847. A soap manufacturer and active parliamentary campaigner for medical reform, he introduced an unsuccessful bill in 1841 to establish collective regulation and qualification for the medical profession. He found favour with the Whigs when they came into office, and was appointed Under Secretary of the Colonies in 1846. In 1851, he was transferred to the War Department where he served as Under Secretary of State. In 1820, he married Sophia Macnamara, daughter of Marc Isambard Brunel, and supported the various engineering projects of his brother-in-law Isambard Kingdom Brunel.