John Elliott Burns(1858-1943), Trade unionist and Liberal politician; MP for Battersea
Sitter in 30 portraits
Burns rose from a humble background to become a politician and champion of the labour movement. He began working as an apprentice engineer aged ten and he was largely self-educated. He joined the Social Democratic Foundation in 1885 and was elected MP in 1892, but refused to join the Independent Labour Party and moved towards the Liberals. He became a member of the cabinet as President of the Local Government Board 1905-14, and of the Board of Trade, 1914. Burns resigned in opposition to the war and took no further part in public life.
Watch a film clip on the sitter from the BBC Archive in the Media section below