DEAD: H. H. Asquith

DEAD: ON THIS DATE

H. H. Asquith (aged 75)

Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

Herbert Henry Asquith, 1st Earl of Oxford and Asquith, (12 September 1852 – 15 February 1928), generally known as H. H. Asquith, was a British statesman and Liberal Party politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1908 to 1916. He was the last prime minister to lead a majority Liberal government, and he played a central role in the design and passage of major liberal legislation and a reduction of the power of the House of Lords. In August 1914, Asquith took Great Britain and the British Empire into the First World War. In 1915, his government was vigorously attacked for a shortage of munitions and the failure of the Gallipoli Campaign. He formed a coalition government with other parties, but failed to satisfy critics. As a result, he was forced to resign in December 1916, and he never regained power.

DEATH: Asquith died, aged 75, at The Wharf on the morning of 15 February 1928. “He was buried, at his own wish, with great simplicity,” in the churchyard of All Saints’ at Sutton Courtenay, his gravestone recording his name, title, and the dates of his birth and death. A blue plaque records his long residence at 20 Cavendish Square and a memorial tablet was subsequently erected in Westminster Abbey. Viscount Grey, with Haldane Asquith’s oldest political friends, wrote; “I have felt (his) death very much: it is true that his work was done but we were very close together for so many years. I saw the beginning of his Parliamentary life; and to witness the close is the end of a long chapter of my own.”

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