John Lister (British politician)

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John Lister (8 March 1847 - 12 October 1933) was an English philanthropist and politician.

John Lister was born in Marylebone, Middlesex to John and Louisa Ann (née Grant) Lister.[1] He had two younger siblings named Charles and Anne. They were related to nineteenth century diarist Anne Lister. Lister grew up in Sandown on the Isle of Wight and Halifax in the West Riding of Yorkshire. He attended Winchester College, then Brasenose College at the University of Oxford and finally Inner Temple, where he qualified as a barrister.

Lister was influenced by the Oxford Movement and in 1871 joined the Roman Catholic Church. In 1873, he was elected to Halifax Town Council for the Liberal Party. In 1882, he founded the Catholic Working Men's Association.

Increasingly influenced by Christian socialism, Lister joined the Fabian Society in 1891. He was a founder member of the Halifax Labour Union, for which he was re-elected to the Town Council in 1892. He joined the Independent Labour Party (ILP) on its formation the following year, becoming its first treasurer. Lister stood for the group at the Halifax by-election, 1893, taking 25% of the votes cast. He again stood for Halifax at the 1895 general election, but fared less well, and left the ILP and his elected posts in 1895.

In his remaining years, Lister focussed on managing his estate and on local history.


  1. ^ Hargreaves, John A. (September 2004), "Lister, John (1847–1933)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/37678, retrieved 10 June 2010 
Party political offices
Preceded by
New post
Treasurer of the Independent Labour Party
Succeeded by
France Littlewood
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