The Returning Officer: City of London III

By 1874, three of the City’s four MPs were Conservatives.

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By 1874, three of the City’s four MPs were Conservatives. Between 1886 and 1906, the Tories were unopposed. The Liberals stood Felix Schuster and Joseph Ridgeway in 1906. Ridgeway was governor of Ceylon during the “MacDonald scandal” of 1902. Schuster was governor of the Union Bank of London; he had succeeded Charles Ritchie when the latter moved to the Board of Trade in 1895. Union absorbed Smith’s bank in 1902 and Prescott and Company in 1903.

Schuster was born in 1854 in Frankfurt. His family moved to Britain after the Prussians annexed Hesse in 1869. In 1905, a letter of support from the duke of Devonshire noted Schuster was opposed to Irish Home Rule and retained “a free hand on other questions”.

This article appears in the 04 June 2015 issue of the New Statesman, The myths of Magna Carta

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