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Charles William Bowerman PC (22 January 1851 – 11 June 1947), often known as C. W. Bowerman, was a prominent British trade unionist and politician.

C. W. Bowerman
Charles William Bowerman in 1917 looking at camera.jpg
Bowerman in 1917
Member of Parliament
for Deptford
In office
8 February 1906 – 27 October 1931
Preceded byArthur Henry Aylmer Morton
Succeeded byDenis Augustine Hanley
1st General Secretary of the
Trades Union Congress
In office
AssistantFred Bramley
Preceded bynew office
Succeeded byFred Bramley
11th Secretary of the Parliamentary Committee of the Trades Union Congress
In office
Preceded byW. C. Steadman
Succeeded byoffice abolished
Alderman of the London County Council
In office
President of the Trades Union Congress
In office
SecretarySam Woods
Preceded byWilliam Pickles
Succeeded byW. C. Steadman
General Secretary of the
London Society of Compositors
In office
Preceded byC. J. Drummond
Succeeded byThomas Naylor
Personal details
Born(1851-01-22)22 January 1851
Honiton, Devon, England
Died11 June 1947(1947-06-11) (aged 96)
Highbury, London, England
Political party
OccupationTrade unionist, compositor, jeweller


Born in Honiton, Bowerman moved to Clerkenwell in London at an early age. On leaving education, he worked as a jeweller and then a compositor. In 1872 he briefly worked for Hour newspaper before moving to the Daily Telegraph. He joined the London Society of Compositors in 1873 and became its General Secretary in 1892, a post he held until 1906.

In 1893, Bowerman joined the Fabian Society, and in 1897, he was elected to the Parliamentary Committee of the Trades Union Congress, the body which later became the General Council. In 1901, was elected as a Progressive Party alderman on London County Council, a position he held until 1907.

Bowerman was the President of the TUC in 1901, and the Secretary of the Parliamentary Committee from 1911 until 1921, when he became the organisation's first General Secretary. He retired from the post in 1923.

In 1906, Bowerman was elected as the Labour Party Member of Parliament for Deptford, a post he retained until the 1931 general election, becoming a privy councillor in 1916.

In the years following his defeat, Bowerman joined the Next Five Years Group, the council of Ruskin College and the board of directors of the Co-operative Printing Society.

He died on 11 June 1947.


There is a plaque commemorating Bowerman on 4 Battledean Road, a house in London N5.[1]


  1. ^ "A-Z of Islington's Plaques". Islington Council. Archived from the original on 22 October 2014. Retrieved 11 November 2014.

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