Herbert Asquith (1852-1928)
Herbert Henry Asquith, 1st Earl of Oxford and Asquith, KG, PC served as the Liberal Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1908 to 1916. His premiership is notable for major social changes, for example the National Insurance and pensions. He was the Prime Minister during the first two years of World War I and was replaced by David Lloyd George in 1916.
Before his term as Prime Minister he served as Chancellor of the Exchequer from 1905 to 1908 and as Home Secretary from 1892 to 1895.
He was born in Morley to Joseph Dixon Asquith and his wife Emily (née Willans). The Asquiths were a middle class family and members of the Congregational church. Joseph was a wool merchant and came to own his own wool mill.
Herbert was seven years old when his father died. Emily and her children moved to the house of her father William Willans, a wool-stapler of Huddersfield. Herbert received schooling there and was later sent to a Moravian boarding school at Fulneck, near Leeds.
In 1863, Herbert was sent to live with an uncle in London, where he entered the City of London School. He was educated there until 1870 when he won a classical scholarship to Balliol College, Oxford. After graduating, he became a barrister and prospered in the early 1880s from practising law.