May 11th Lord Courtney of Penwith (Death)

Penzance – born Leonard Henry Courtney, 1st Baron Courtney of Penwith, PC (1832 – 1918) was an academic and politician who was one of the earliest advocates of proportional representation and an opponent of imperialism and military action.

Educated at St John’s College, Cambridge, where he graduated second in his class in mathematics, he was called to the Bar (Lincoln’s Inn) in 1858 and was Professor of Political Economy at University College, London (1872 – 1875), President of the Royal Geological Society of Cornwall (February 11th) between 1881 and 1882) and President of the Royal Statistical Society (1897-1899).

Elected Member of Parliament for Liskeard in 1876, he represented the constituency until his enforced retirement in 1900, which was caused by his opposition to the Boer War.  In his Parliamentary career, Courtney became famous for his support for electoral reform and womens’ rights and suffrage.

In 1906 he contested Edinburgh West, unsuccessfully, and he was then elevated to the House of Lords as Baron Courtney of Penwith, in the County of Cornwall.  A huge supporter of Penzance he was a great friend of the Newlyn School artists Norman Garstin (22nd June) and Alethea Garstin (1st June).


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