John Burns House

John Burns House

Labour MP John Burns lived here.

Location: 110 Clapham Common North Side, Clapham

Description: John Elliot Burns (18581943) was an English trade unionist and Labour politician, strongly associated with London-based politics and Battersea.

He first used the phrase The Thames is liquid history, when comparing with others The St Lawrence is water, the Mississippi is muddy water, but the Thames is liquid history.

He was a teetotaller and avid cricket enthusiast even though he sustained injuries after being hit in the face by a cricket ball while watching a match in 1894.

In 1914, two days before Britain declared war on Germany, signalling the start of the First World War, Burns resigned from the government in protest.

A blue plaque was erected here in 1950 by London County Council, and he has a school, a housing estate, a road (John Burns Drive in Barking) and one of the Woolwich Ferry boats, named after him.

Historically he is quoted critising Jews on many occasions. Yet as historian GDH Cole said with all his faults Burns did big things in his day. The Great Dock Strike of 1889 would almost certainly have been lost had he not been there to lead it.

Themes: PoliticsPolitics Theme  HistoricalHistorical Theme
John Burns House

Labour MP John Burns lived here.

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