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7 November 2013

The Returning Officer: Sudbury

By Stephen Brasher

William Charlton Heaton-Armstrong was the Liberal MP for Sudbury (1906-10), having fought Mid-Tipperary in 1892 as a Tory. Born in Gmunden, Austria, in 1853, he married Baroness Bertha Maximiliana Zois-Edelstein in 1885.

As a member of the Royal Astronomical Society, he published the Calculation of the Sun’s Meridian Altitude. In 1914 his son Duncan became private secretary to the (German) king of Albania and a very early POW.

William Cuthbert Quilter had been elected the MP for Sudbury as a Liberal in 1885 but became a Liberal Unionist and then lost to Heaton-Armstrong in 1906. An art collector and founder of the National Telephone Company, which tested his parabolic double reflecting mouthpiece, he proposed a beer purity law in 1886. His eldest son, Cuthbert, regained the seat in 1910.

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