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British Industrial History

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William Sproston Caine

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William Sproston Caine (c1842-1903)


1903 Obituary [1]

WILLIAM SPROSTON CAINE died suddenly on March 17, 1903, at his house in Grosvenor Road, Westminster, at the age of sixty-one. His father was an iron merchant at Liverpool, and the son was sent to the Birkenhead Park School.

Early in life he entered his father's business; but he found time, while still a very young man, to exercise his religious zeal by preaching in a great number of places throughout the Liverpool district. A Radical in politics, he first attempted to enter Parliament in 1873, at a by-election for Liverpool.

In 1880 he became M.P. for Scarborough; and in 1884 Mr. Gladstone made him Civil Lord of the Admiralty. In 1885, however, when he stood for the Tottenham division of Middlesex, he was defeated. A vacancy occurring early in 1886 at Barrow-in-Furness, he contested that seat, with a success which was repeated at the general election later in the year. In 1889 he resigned his seat.

In 1900 he came back to the House, having defeated the Unionist candidate for the Camborne division of Cornwall by a small majority. He retired in 1893 from his position as senior partner in the Shaw's Brow Iron Company, Liverpool.

At different times he held directorships in George Routledge & Sons (Limited), the Hodbarrow Mining Company (Limited), the New River Company, and the Central Cyclone Company (Limited) - of which he was chairman until 1901; and at the time of his death he was chairman of the United Kingdom Temperance and General Provident Institution.

In 1893 he was President of the British Iron Trade Association. He was elected a member of the Iron and Steel Institute in 1892.


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