Andrew Bonar Law
(1858-1923)

Lord Privy Seal (1919-1921) and 53rd Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (1922-1923)

Died aged c. 65

(In this name, the family name is Law, not Bonar Law.) Andrew Bonar Law (16 September 1858 – 30 October 1923), commonly called Bonar Law (), was a British Conservative Party statesman and Prime Minister. Born in the colony of New Brunswick (now in Canada), he is the only British Prime Minister to have been born outside the British Isles. Law was of Scottish and Ulster Scots descent, and having moved back to Scotland in 1870, he left school aged sixteen to work in the iron industry, becoming a wealthy man by the age of thirty. He entered Parliament at the 1900 general election, relatively late in life for a front-rank politician, and was made a junior minister, Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade, in 1902. Law joined the Shadow Cabinet in opposition after the 1906 election. In 1911 he was appointed a Privy Councillor, and stood for the vacant party leadership. Despite never having served in the Cabinet, and despite trailing third after Walter Long and Austen Chamberlain, Law became leader when the two frontrunners withdrew rather than risk a draw splitting the party. As Leader of the Conservative Party and Leader of the Opposition, Law focused his attentions in favour of tariff reform and against Irish Home Rule. His campaigning helped turn Liberal attempts to pass the Third Home Rule Bill into a three-year struggle eventually halted by the start of the First World War, with much argument over the status of the six predominantly Protestant counties which would later become Northern Ireland. Law first held Cabinet office as Secretary of State for the Colonies in Asquith's Coalition Government (May 1915-December 1916). On Asquith's fall from power he declined to form a government, instead serving as Chancellor of the Exchequer in Lloyd George's Coalition Government. He resigned on grounds of ill-health early in 1921. In October 1922, with Lloyd George's Coalition having become unpopular with Conservatives, he wrote an anonymous letter to the press giving only lukewarm support to the Government's actions over Chanak. After Conservative MPs voted to end the Coalition, he again became Party Leader and, this time, Prime Minister. In November he won a clear majority at the 1922 general election. His brief premiership saw negotiation with the USA over Britain's war loans. Seriously ill with throat cancer, Law resigned in May 1923 and died later that year. He was the shortest-serving Prime Minister of the 20th century (211 days in office) and is sometimes called "The Unknown Prime Minister".

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Commemorated on 1 plaque

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Andrew Bonar Law 1858-1923 Prime Minister lived here

24 Onslow Gardens, Kensington and Chelsea, SW7, London, United Kingdom where they lived