Friday, December 28, 2007

"He will let his bleeding heart run away with his bloody head!"

George Lansbury (1859-1940) MP for Bow and Bromley was the leader of the Labour Party between 1932 and 1935 and like Nye Bevan - although see below - his maternal roots are to be found in Radnorshire.

In Lansbury's case his mother Mary Ann Ferries was born and raised in a cottage called Dolly Dingle in the parish of Clyro, the daughter of a Gloucestershire born mole catcher Moses and his locally born wife Catherine Jenkins. The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography is wrong, by the way, to think that Mary Ann's father was called James. Perhaps the variant spellings of the surname in various records, Ferris and Ferriers as well as Ferries, has confused searchers.

Lansbury was the grandfather of actress Angela Lansbury and also of the animator Oliver Postgate, creator of the Clangers ( see photo)

Footnote I believe it was the Michael Foot biography which claimed that Aneurin Bevan's English speaking mother Phoebe Protheroe came from Radnorshire. In reality she was born in Tredegar. Her blacksmith father did however come from that part of the parish of Glasbury that lay south of the river Wye. Up until 1832 this was indeed part of Radnorshire, although after that date it was transferred to Breconshire. As Phoebe's father was born around 1818, he at least was a Radnorian.

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