Derwent Hall Caine

Sir Derwent Hall Caine, 1st Baronet (12 September 1891 – 2 December 1971) was a British actor, publisher and Labour politician.

Derwent Hall Caine

Sir Derwent Hall Caine, 1st Baronet in 1915.jpg
Hall Caine, 1915
Member of Parliament
for Liverpool Everton
In office
30 May 1929 – 27 October 1931
Preceded byHerbert Charles Woodcock
Succeeded byFrank Hornby
Personal details
Born(1891-08-12)12 August 1891
Keswick, Cumberland, England
Died2 December 1971(1971-12-02) (aged 80)
Miami, Florida, U.S.
Political partyLabour
RelativesGordon Hall Caine (brother)
ProfessionActor, filmmaker, publisher, businessperson


Caine was the son of British novelist Hall Caine and his wife Mary Chandler. He was born at Keswick in Cumberland, and so derived his name from the nearby lake of Derwent Water.[1] He was a sensitive child with asthma, and attended St Cyprian's School in Eastbourne for his health.[2] He became an actor, making his stage debut in 1906 in his father's adaptation of his novel, The Bondman.

His father went to America to encourage American involvement in World War I and had dramatic interests there. In 1915, Derwent Caine sailed to America to look after those interests. Although he was declared unfit for active service, he was nearly prevented from travelling because of a change of rules.[3]

In America, he starred in three films made by the Arrow Film Corporation. These were The Deemster (which had been written by his father), a version of Crime and Punishment by Dostoyevsky, and the propaganda film Huns Within Our Gates.[4]

Back in England, with his brother Gordon Ralph Hall Caine, he founded the publishing house The Reader's Library.[5]

In 1929, he stood for parliament as Labour candidate for Liverpool, Everton and was returned as Member of Parliament. In January 1931, he was charged with dangerous driving after colliding with a taxi in the early hours of the morning in Trafalgar Square, injuring the four taxi passengers (an army Major in the Scots Guards, his wife and two friends).[6] Caine was subsequently acquitted.[7]

When the Labour government collapsed in 1931, he carried on supporting Ramsay MacDonald as a National Labour MP. Hall Caine was the only sitting National Labour MP to be opposed by the Conservatives in the 1931 General Election. He lost his seat to Frank Hornby, and finished bottom of the poll. At the same election, his elder brother Gordon Hall Caine was elected Conservative member for East Dorset.

He was given a knighthood in 1935 and a baronetcy in 1937.[8][9]

Caine had at least three children out of wedlock,[10] and one of them, Elin, was adopted by Caine's parents as their own daughter in 1912.[2] He died in Miami.

Hall Caine AirportEdit

In 1935, Gordon Hall Caine and Derwent Hall Caine established the Hall Caine Airport on the Isle of Man.[11] Both Sir Thomas Henry Hall Caine's sons were particularly keen on the development of an aerodrome in the north of the Isle of Man, as they saw it as another bit of the Island as being associated with their late father.[12] They were said to be extremely interested in the progress of the Isle of Man and in particular its transport infrastructure. They also wished to include Ramsey's municipal authority in the project, as they were both of the opinion that the aerodrome would bring immense benefit to the town.[12]

Derwent Hall Caine pictured with his Leopard Moth at Close Lake Airfield, April 1935.

Amongst the ambitious plans envisaged by Derwent Hall Caine was the inclusion of the airfield as part of an air network running the length of the country from Jersey and staging through numerous destinations including Hall Caine Airport, terminating at Campbeltown.[12] In an interview with the Ramsey Courier Derwent Hall Caine stated that from the introduction of air services, the site was to be known as Hall Caine Manx Airport. This was subsequently changed to the Hall Caine Airport, Ramsey. With all parties duly satisfied, Hall Caine Airport officially came into being on 30 April 1935.

Hall Caine Airport flourished from 1935 until it ceased commercial operations in 1937.[13]



  1. ^ Isle of Man Community – Derwent Hall Caine biography[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ a b Vivien Allen Hall Caine: Portrait of a Victorian Romancer Continuum International Publishing Group 1997 ISBN 1-85075-809-3
  3. ^ New York Times Took Caine Off Ship Then Let Him Sail; Son of English Novelist Detained Because the Army Needed Him Monday 29 November, 1915
  4. ^ IMDB entry
  5. ^ Mary Hammond "Hall Caine and the Melodrama on Page, Stage and Screen" Journal: Nineteenth Century Theatre & Film ISSN 1748-3727 Volume 31 Issue 1, June 2004
  6. ^ "Charge of Dangerous Driving Summons Against M.P". The Times (45714). London. 7 January 1931. p. 9.
  7. ^ "M.P Exonerated". The Times (45727). London. 22 January 1931. p. 11.
  8. ^ Philip J. Waller Writers, Readers, and Reputations: Literary Life in Britain 1870–1918 2006
  9. ^ "No. 34409". The London Gazette. 18 June 1937. p. 3921.
  10. ^ "Hall Caine family history". Archived from the original on 23 July 2011. Retrieved 8 July 2008.
  11. ^ A. M. Goodwyn (Spring–Summer 1984). "Manx Electric Railway Society – History of Hall Caine Airport". Manx Transport Review No.42. Archived from the original on 21 November 2008. Retrieved 3 December 2008.
  12. ^ a b c Isle of Man Examiner. Friday March 1st, 1935 (p.10)
  13. ^ Ramsey Courier. Friday, April 10, 1953; Page: 4

External linksEdit

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Herbert Charles Woodcock
Member of Parliament for Liverpool, Everton
Succeeded by
Frank Hornby
Baronetage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
New creation
Caine baronets
(of Greeba Castle)
Succeeded by