H. H. Asquith (Dictionary of World Biography: Twentieth Century)
Article abstract: Prime Minister of Great Britain from 1908 to 1916, Asquith steered the British government through a period of acute crisis which saw passage of major social reform legislation, legal alteration of the constitutional relationship between the two houses of Parliament, severe differences between parties regarding the future position of Ireland within the United Kingdom, and British entry into World War I.
Herbert Henry Asquith was born September 12, 1852, in Morley, Yorkshire, the second son of Joseph Dixon Asquith and Emily Willans Asquith. The security of Asquith’s middle-class youth was affected by his father’s death when he was eight and by his mother’s always precarious health. Sent with his elder brother to live in London, he was educated at the City of London School. Having gained a classical scholarship, he entered Balliol College, Oxford, in 1870. He obtained first-class degrees in both Classical Mods (1872) and Greats (1874) and was awarded the Craven Scholarship. He became president of the Oxford Union during his last term. He was elected a fellow of Balliol in 1874. In 1876, he was called to the Bar, but his interest in the law was always to be secondary to his commitment to politics. Asquith’s success at the Bar was not assured until 1888, when he served with distinction as junior counsel for Charles Stuart Parnell in clearing his name of charges which were brought in...
(The entire section is 2683 words.)
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