Born in Toxteth, Liverpool in 1870, Samuel was first elected to Parliament in 1902 for the Cleveland Division of Yorkshire. On the left of the party, Samuel was prominent in the Rainbow Club of Liberals and Socialists which included future Labour Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald. Samuel was rapidly promoted, entering Asquith’s cabinet in 1909 as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, serving later as Postmaster General and Home Secretary. Samuel lost his seat in the ‘Coupon election’ of 1918. From 1920 – 25 Samuel served as High Commissioner for Palestine and then chaired a Royal Commission on the coal industry. In 1929 Samuel returned to the House of Commons as MP for Darwen. He played a key part in the formation of the National Government, returning to his old post of Home Secretary. Following his defeat in the 1935 election, Samuel went to the House of Lords, serving as Liberal leader there from 1944-55.