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Henry Cecil Raikes PC (18 November 1838 – 24 August 1891) was a British Conservative Party politician. He was Chairman of Ways and Means between 1874 and 1880 and served as Postmaster General between 1886 and 1891.

Henry Cecil Raikes
Henry Raikes Vanity Fair 1875-04-17.jpg
"Order, order"
Raikes as caricatured by Ape (Carlo Pellegrini) in Vanity Fair, 17 April 1875
Chairman of Ways and Means
In office
SpeakerHenry Brand
Preceded byJohn Bonham-Carter
Succeeded byLyon Playfair
Postmaster General
In office
19 August 1886 – 24 August 1891
Prime MinisterThe Marquess of Salisbury
Preceded byThe Lord Wolverton
Succeeded bySir James Fergusson, Bt
Personal details
Born18 November 1838 (1838-11-18)
Chester, Cheshire
Died24 August 1891 (1891-08-25) (aged 52)
Political partyConservative
Spouse(s)Charlotte Trevor-Roper
(d. 1922)
Alma materTrinity College, Cambridge

Background and educationEdit

Born in Chester, Cheshire, Raikes was the grandson of Reverend Henry Raikes, Chancellor of the Diocese of Chester, and the great-grandson of Thomas Raikes, a merchant and banker in London, who was Governor of the Bank of England and a personal friend of prime minister William Pitt the Younger. He was educated at Shrewsbury School[citation needed] and Trinity College, Cambridge.[1]

Political careerEdit

Raikes was Member of Parliament for Chester between 1868 and 1880,[2] for Preston in 1882[3] and for Cambridge University between 1882 and 1891.[4] He served as Chairman of the National Union of Conservative and Constitutional Associations from 1869 to 1874.[5] In 1874 he was appointed Chairman of Ways and Means (Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons), a post he held until 1880, when he was sworn of the Privy Council.[6] He later returned to party political life when he served as Postmaster General under Lord Salisbury between 1886 and 1891.[7]

Raikes is one of the earliest British politicians to have had their voice recorded. George Edward Gouraud recorded him on behalf of Thomas Edison on the evening of 5 October 1888.[8]


Raikes married Charlotte Blanche, of Plas Teg, Mold, daughter of Charles Blayney Trevor-Roper, on 26 September 1861. They had several children, including Cecil Dacre Staveley Raikes (1874–1947), a Vice-Admiral in the Royal Navy, and Henry St John Digby Raikes, father of the Conservative politician Sir Victor Raikes. The family lived at Llwynegrin Hall, Wales. Raikes died on 24 August 1891, aged 52. Charlotte Raikes survived her husband by over 30 years and died in September 1922.[9]


  1. ^ "Raikes, Henry Cecil (RKS856HC)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  2. ^ House of Commons: Carmarthen East and Dinefwr to Chesterton
  3. ^ House of Commons: Plymouth to Putney
  4. ^ House of Commons: Caernarfon to Cambridgeshire South West
  5. ^ Cook & Keith, 'British Historical Facts 1830-1900', 1975 P.93
  6. ^ "No. 24824". The London Gazette. 19 March 1880. p. 2133.
  7. ^ "No. 25618". The London Gazette. 20 August 1886. p. 4067.
  8. ^ Recording of Henry Cecil Raikes made by George Edward Gouraud on behalf of Thomas Edison on 5 October 1888
  9. ^ Rt. Hon. Henry Cecil Raikes

External linksEdit