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.
glass negative, 24 April 1919
- William Murdoch Adamson (son)
Become a Member
Enjoy access to special events, discounts on the Gallery online shop, supporters’ updates and much more
Bringing people together by sharing the portraits and stories of the men and women who have shaped our nation.
Sign up to receive information on exhibitions, collections and activities of the National Portrait Gallery, including special offers, shop products, and exclusive competitions.