c1895 Unique Charles Harrison Plymouth MP Signed Photograph


An extremely rare, possibly unique hand signed in ink signature on his portrait photograph, of late 19th century Charles Harrison MP, who was a British Liberal Party politician and the Member of Parliament for Plymouth from 1895 until his death 2 years later.

The picture shows him as a half length study, looking very stylish and wearing a hat. It is signed underneath in black ink: ‘Yours sincerely Charles Harrison’. The photo was taken by R. Johnson at the Bruton Studio, 10 Bruton Street, Bond Street, W.1. Condition is good, with just a little bit of foxing above the image. Hardly any images exist of him (we found 2 others). This is the only one we have found of this example and the only one that is autographed. The NPG have no examples of him.

Charles Harrison (1835 - 1897) was born in Muswell Hill, Middlesex, and was the third son of Frederick Harrison, a stockbroker, and his wife, Jane Brice. He was educated at King's College School and King's College London. In 1858 he entered business as a solicitor at the firm of his uncle, also named Charles Harrison. He acquired a large practice in his own right, with major clients being the London Chatham and Dover Railway and the Law Fire Insurance Society. He became an advocate of the rights of tenants to purchase their properties and of the provision of housing for the working classes. In this, he was in agreement with the policies of the Radical wing of the Liberal Party. In 1886, he married Lady Harriet Barlow.

His active involvement with politics came with the creation of the London County Council in 1889. He was elected as one of the council's first members, representing Bethnal Green South West as a member of the Liberal-backed Progressive Party. He was a leading member of the council, and vice-chairman of the L.C.C. from 1892 – 1895. His interests in the government of the capital led him to call for the municipalisation of the London docks and the unification of the City of London with the county.

He stood for election as an MP on behalf of the Liberals. In 1892 he failed to be elected at Plymouth, but got in at the ensuing general election in 1895, and became one of the town's two members of parliament, while continuing to hold his seat on the London County Council.
Harrison became suddenly ill with inflammation of the throat at the funeral of Sir Frank Lockwood on 23 December 1897 and died at his London home on the following day from heart failure.

Size: 18 x 25.5 cm (7 x 10 inches)
Weight: 15 g