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Bible Encyclopedias
Henry Du Pre Labouchere

1911 Encyclopedia Britannica

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"HENRY DU PRE LABOUCHERE (1831-1912), Radical politician and proprietor of Truth, was born in London Nov. 9 1831, the son of John Labouchere, of Broome Hall, and nephew of Lord Taunton ( see 26.453). He was educated at Eton, and, after spending a short time at Cambridge, entered the diplomatic service in 1854, becoming in 1863 second secretary to the British embassy at Constantinople. In 1864 he abandoned diplomacy for politics, and in 1865 was elected Liberal member for Windsor, but was unseated on petition. In 1866 he won a by-election for Middlesex, but failed to be reelected in 1868. In 1880 he again entered the House of Commons as Radical member for Northampton with Mr. Bradlaugh as his colleague, and this seat he retained until his retirement in 1905. He began his journalistic career with the Daily News, of which he became part proprietor just before the Franco-German War, and he was himself the author of the Letters of a Besieged Resident, sent to that newspaper from Paris by balloon post during the siege, addressed to his wife in London. In 1874 he became associated with Edmund Yates on the World (see 28.908); but two years later he started Truth as a rival society paper, destined, as he himself said, " to be another and a better World." It had a remarkable record in the exposure of shams and organized impostures, especially frauds on the charitable. Many libel actions were brought against it, but in 25 between 1897 and 1907 only three verdicts were given definitely against the paper. For many years Mr. Labouchere himself contributed racy articles and notes, and he was to the end popularly identified with Truth, though in fact he left the direction in later years first to Mr. Horace Voules and then to Mr. Bennett, and took no active part either in writing or editing. He was a thorough Bohemian, and after his death the whole story of his life connexion with Truth was very candidly told in a series of admirable articles in its columns. As a politician " Labby " was the chartered jester of the House of Commons, but his pungent and somewhat cynical speeches were the expression of highly independent democratic convictions, deeply opposed to all forms of social privilege or Jingo imperialism. He was a strenuous advocate of the abolition of the House of Lords ( see 20.845, 846); at the time of the Parnell Commission he had much to do with the unmasking of Pigott; and he was a member of the inquiry into the Jameson Raid, his hostility to Mr. Chamberlain being as pronounced as against Lord Rosebery when the latter became leader of the Liberal party. He considered himself entitled to office when his party was in power, and was decidedly mortified at not getting it from Mr. Gladstone. In 1868 he married Miss Henrietta Hodson, a popular actress. After 1903 he lived mainly in Italy, at a villa near Florence, where he died Jan. 15 1912. He left a fortune of some two millions sterling to his daughter, who married first a son of the Marquis di Rudini, and secondly Prince Gyalma Odescalchi.

See Algar Labouchere Thorold, Life of Henry Labouchere (1913).

Bibliography Information
Chisholm, Hugh, General Editor. Entry for 'Henry Du Pre Labouchere'. 1911 Encyclopedia Britanica. https://www.studylight.org/​encyclopedias/​eng/​bri/​h/henry-du-pre-labouchere.html. 1910.
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