Joseph Arch

(1826—1919) trade unionist and politician

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Trade unionist and politician. Arch was the son of a Warwickshire farm labourer and began work at the age of 9 scaring birds. He gained experience in public speaking as a primitive methodist lay preacher and in 1872 launched a National Agricultural Labourers' Union. Arch entered Parliament as a Liberal in 1885 but was defeated the following year: he served again from 1892 until 1900—the first farm labourer in the House of Commons.

Subjects: British History.

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