Fred Henderson

James Frederick "Fred" Henderson (February 1867-18 July 1957) was a British socialist writer and Labour Party politician.

Born in Norwich, he was the son of James Alexander Henderson, a clothier. He was educated at the city's Old Presbyterian School, the Belfast Mercantile Academy and Owens College, Manchester. He first worked as a journalist for ''The Star'' newspaper in London, where he met T. P. O'Connor, George Bernard Shaw and William Morris, and became a committed socialist.

Returning to Norwich, he founded a branch of the Socialist League there in 1886. In the following year he was sentenced to four months imprisonment for incitement to riot after groups of unemployed workers looted food shops. He was detained in Norwich Gaol where he was one of the last prisoners in England to be put to work on the treadmill.

Henderson began publishing poetry at the age of 16, and following his release from prison he wrote ''Echoes of the Coming Day: Socialist Songs and Rhymes''.

He entered local politics in 1890 when he was elected to the Norwich Board of Guardians. By 1892 he had returned to London, where he founded the Clapham Labour League. He was one of six candidates supported by the Labour Representation League who were elected to the London County Council, representing Clapham. These "Lib-Lab" councillors formed part of the majority Liberal-backed Progressive Party that controlled the council. His membership of the council was to last only a year, however: on 9 March 1893 he was found guilty of stealing three shillings from a prostitute, and he was sentenced to four months imprisonment with hard labour. Although he protested his innocence, his resignation from the council was accepted on 28 March.

Henderson returned to Norwich, working as a journalist. In 1902 he was the first socialist to be elected to the city council, and he remained a member of the council until his death, from 1923 as an alderman. He served as Lord Mayor of the city in 1939–1940. He was granted the freedom of the city in 1947.

Henderson was an active public speaker and lecturer, and a book based on his speeches was published by the Independent Labour Party as ''The Case for Socialism'' in 1911. The book was highly influential and was translated into several languages. This was followed by ''The New Faith: A Study of Party Politics and the War'' (1915), ''The Economic Consequences of Power Production'' (1931), ''Money Power and Human Life'' (1932) and ''Capitalism and the Consumer'' (1935). Provided by Wikipedia
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