Birth of Roderick Kedward, Wesleyan Minister and Liberal MP

Trained at Richmond College, Roderick Kedward became a Minister in 1903, serving in Hull where he fought his first election for the Liberals in 1918, contesting Central Hull which he lost to the Conservatives. He earned his nickname ‘the fighting parson’ while in Hull by physically defending a woman from her violent husband. He stood in Bermondsey West in 1922, losing to Labour. In a straight fight the following year Kedward was elected, only to lose again to Labour in 1924. At the following election in 1929 he contested Ashford, defeating the sitting Conservative with a swing of over 20%. In parliament Kedward campaigned against to collection of tithes by the Church of England. In 1931 Kedward threw in his lot with the Liberal Nationals and fought Ashford at the election later that year under his new colours. Most Liberal National candidates had no Conservative opponent but in Kedward’s case, perhaps because of his campaign against the Church of England, the Tories refused to stand aside and Kedward lost the seat to the Conservatives. He made one further, unsuccessful, attempt to get back into parliament before his death, aged 55, in 1937.