Born in Darlington into a prominent Liberal family (his father, uncle and brother were all Liberal MPs), Joseph Pease served as Liberal MP for Tyneside 1892-1900, Saffron Walden 1901-1910 and Rotherham 1910-17. After covering a number of junior posts, Pease was appointed Chief Whip in the Asquith Liberal government. In 1910 he joined the cabinet, serving in a number of posts including President of the Board of Education and Postmaster General. While a minister Pease kept a diary which offers some interesting insights into the operation of the Liberal government. Raised to the peerage in 1917, Pease was appointed the first Chairman of the British Broadcasting Company and served until 1926. He died in February 1943 aged 83.