Archibald James

Archibald James

Sir Archibald William Henry James (September 1893 – 5 May 1980) was a British Conservative Party politician and Air Force pioneer.

Born in Paddington, London, the son of H A James of Hurstmonceux Place, East Sussex, he was educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge.

He married twice, to Bridget Guthrie (1919) with whom he had one son David and one daughter, and to Eugenia Stirling (1940) with whom he had two sons.

From 1914-1926 he served with the 3rd Hussars, the Royal Flying Corps and the RAF, rising to the rank of Wing Commander.

At the 1929 general election, he stood as the Unionist candidate in the marginal constituency of Wellingborough in Northamptonshire, but lost to Labour's George Dallas.

He stood again in Wellingborough at the 1931 general election, when the Labour vote collapsed nationally after Labour Prime Minister Ramsay Macdonald split his party by forming a National Government, and James won the seat on a swing of 16.6% of the vote.

He was narrowly re-elected at the 1935 general election, when Dallas cut his majority to only 372 votes, and held the seat until 1945. In the Labour landslide at the 1945 general election, he lost to Labour's George Lindgren, who took the seat with a majority of 5,990.

Whilst in Parliament he held the following offices of state: PPS to R A Butler at the India Office and Ministry of Labour ('36-'38), Board of Education ('42) and Honorary First Secretary to the British Embassy in Madrid ('40-'41).

After his stint in parliament, James moved to Southern Rhodesia, where he owned land at Bita in the Marandellas district. He died in Worthing, West Sussex aged 86.

His son David followed in his footsteps as Conservative MP for Brighton Kemptown 1959-1964 and for North Dorset 1970-1979.


  • Leigh Rayment's Peerage Pages

External links

  • Hansard 1803–2005:
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
George Dallas
Member of Parliament for Wellingborough
Succeeded by
George Lindgren