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British Industrial History

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Charles Benjamin Bright McLaren

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Charles Benjamin Bright McLaren (1850-1934)

Born in Edinburgh, McLaren was the son of Duncan McLaren and Priscilla Bright, the sister of John Bright. McLaren was educated at the Heidelberg University, Bonn University and Edinburgh University, from which he graduated with the degree of Master of Arts.

He began his career in journalism, but turned to the law and in 1874, he was admitted to Lincoln's Inn as a barrister.

1877 married Laura Elizabeth Pochin (d. 1933), the daughter of Henry Davis Pochin, in Westminster. The couple had four children:

  • Henry Duncan McLaren (1879–1953), succeeded his father as 2nd Baron Aberconway
  • Hon. Florence Priscilla McLaren (1881–1964), married Sir Henry Norman, 1st Baronet
  • Hon. Elsie Dorothea McLaren (c.1884 – 15 May 1973), married Sir Edward Johnson-Ferguson, 2nd Baronet
  • Lt. Hon. Francis Walter Stafford McLaren (June 16, 1886 – 30 August 1917), married Barbara Jekyll and had issue.

1880 McLaren was elected to the House of Commons as MP for Stafford; he served that constituency until 1886.

1892 returned to the Commons as MP for Bosworth, which he represented until 1910.

McLaren's political career advanced during his second term.

1895 His father-in-law, a noted industrialist, died and McLaren became increasingly involved in the management of the companies inherited from him. He would become chairman of the Tredegar Iron and Coal Co and several others.

1897 appointed a Queen's Counsel

1902 became Sir Charles McLaren, Baronet of Bodnant, in the county of Denbigh.

1908 Appointed to the Privy Council, and held the office of Justice of the Peace in Middlesex, Flint, Denbighshire, and Surrey.

1911, a year after he left the Commons (his son replaced him), he was created Baron Aberconway in the Peerage of the United Kingdom.

He and his wife were friends of James McNeill Whistler and owned several of his works.

1927 Author of The Basic Industries of Great Britain

1934 On his death in Belgrave Square, London, the barony and baronetcy passed to his eldest son, Henry Duncan McLaren.

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