Winterbotham, Henry Selfe Page (DNB00)

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WINTERBOTHAM, HENRY SELFE PAGE (1837–1873), politician, born at Stroud on 2 March 1837, was second son of Lindsey Winterbotham, banker in that town, and grandson of William Winterbotham [q. v.], dissenting minister. He was educated at Amersham school, Buckinghamshire, and University College, London. His collegiate career was exceptionally brilliant. In 1856 he graduated with honours, and in 1859 became LL.D., and won in 1858 the Hume scholarship in jurisprudence, and in the following year the Hume scholarship in political economy and the university law scholarship. In 1860 he was called to the bar by the society of Lincoln's Inn, and speedily acquired a reputation in chancery practice. On 20 Aug. 1867 he was returned to represent Stroud, Gloucestershire, in the liberal interest, and, refusing to join the regular liberal party, took his seat among the more advanced politicians who then were sitting below the gangway. A speech which he shortly afterwards made on the abolition of university theological tests drew the attention of the house to his abilities, and from that day he was regarded as one of the coming leaders of his party. He was virtually the leader of the nonconformists in the House of Commons for some years, and took a prominent part in the education and other nonconformist movements. In March 1871 he joined the liberal ministry as under-secretary of state to the home department. His health was never robust, and the work of his office killed him. In the autumn of 1873 he fell seriously ill after addressing a meeting in Bristol, and went to Italy for a rest. He died at Rome on 13 Dec., and was buried in the protestant cemetery there. He was unmarried.

[Times, 15 and 22 Dec. 1873; Stroud Gazette; Independent; private information.]

J. R. M.