Chamberlain, Joseph (Joe)

BORN 8 Jul 1836, Camberwell, South London - DIED 2 Jul 1914, Highbury, Birmingham
GRAVE LOCATION Birmingham, West Midlands: Key Hill Cemetery, Icknield Street, Hockley (610.K)

Joseph Chamberlain made a career as a businessman in Birmingham by manufacturing of screws. In 1861 he married Harriet Kendrick. They had two children before she died in 1863. In 1868 Harriet's cousin Florence Kenrick (1847-1875) became his second wife and with her he had four children. In 1873 he was elected mayor of Birmingham.

He entered the House of Commons when he was almost fourty years old and resigned as mayor of Birmingham afer his election. During William Gladstone's second government (1880-1885) he was President of the Board of Trade. During that time he frequently attacked Lord Salisbury, the leader of the Conservatives. He resigned during Chamberlain's third government because he opposed Irish Home Rule. In 1888 he married for a third time. His new wife was Mary Crowninshield Endicott (1864-1957), a daughter of the US Secretary of War.

He became a Liberal Unionist and in 1895 his party allied with the conservatives. He became Secretary of State for the Colonies under his old enemy Lord Salisbury. In 1903 he resigned. In 1906 he suffered a stroke and afterwards he was unable to continue an active political career. He died in 1914 and his family refused an offer for a burial in Westminster Abbey. He was buried in Key Hill Cemetery in Birmingham in the same grave as his first two wives and not far from the grave of his father.

Allthough he was never prime minister he was regarded as one of the most powerful politicians of his era. His son Neville Chamberlain did become prime minister in later years.

• Son: Chamberlain, Austen


The grave of Joseph Chamberlain (1836-1914) at Key Hill Cemetery, Birmingham.
Picture by Androom (11 Aug 2011)


The grave of Joseph Chamberlain (1836-1914) at Key Hill Cemetery, Birmingham.
Picture by Androom (11 Aug 2011)


• Adler, Josef, Handbuch der Grabstätten, 2. Band, Die Grabstätte der Europäer, Deutsches Kunstverlag, München, 1986
Joseph Chamberlain - Wikipedia
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Chambrelent, Jules

Published: 22 Sep 2013
Last update: 22 Sep 2013