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Sir (Joseph Percival) William Mallalieu (18 June 1908 – 13 March 1980) was a British Labour Party politician, journalist and author.

Sir William Mallalieu
Member of Parliament for Huddersfield East
In office
23 February 1950 – 3 May 1979
Preceded byNew constituency
Succeeded byBarry Sheerman
Member of Parliament for Huddersfield
In office
5 July 1945 – 23 February 1950
Preceded byWilliam Mabane
Succeeded byConstituency abolished
Personal details
Joseph Percival William Mallalieu

(1908-06-18)18 June 1908
Delph, Saddleworth, Oldham, Greater Manchester
Died13 March 1980(1980-03-13) (aged 71)
Political partyLabour
Harriet Rita Riddle Tinn (m. 1945)
RelationsLance Mallalieu (brother)
ParentsFrederick Mallalieu
Alma materTrinity College, Oxford
University of Chicago
Nickname(s)J. P. W.; Bill; Curly

Of Huguenot origin, a son of Frederick Mallalieu, a Member of Parliament, Mallalieu's ancestors had settled at Saddleworth in the early 1600s, where they lived in humble circumstances working as weavers. Frederick Mallalieu's father, Henry (1831-1902), was a self-made businessman, at the age of twelve a hand-loom weaver, but becoming a woollen manufacturer, chairman of ironworks companies, and magistrate.[1][2][3][4]

Mallalieu was educated at the Dragon School in Oxford, Cheltenham College, Trinity College, Oxford and the University of Chicago. He was President of the Oxford Union in 1930 and a Rugby blue. He served in the Royal Navy 1942-45, joining as an ordinary seaman and later being commissioned and promoted to lieutenant. His novel, Very Ordinary Seaman, is based on his experiences in the navy.[5]

Mallalieu was Member of Parliament for Huddersfield from 1945 to 1950, and for Huddersfield East after boundary changes from 1950 to 1979.[6] He had various ministerial positions under Harold Wilson, including Defence for the Royal Navy (1964–1967), the Board of Trade (1967–1968) and Technology (1968–1969).

In 1945, Mallalieu married Harriet Rita Riddle Tinn, daughter of Jack Tinn, manager of Portsmouth F.C. from 1927 to 1947.[7][8] Their daughter, Ann, is a Labour peer. Mallalieu's brother Lance was also a Member of Parliament. His uncle, Albert Henry Mallalieu, was head of that family of Tan-y-Marian, Llandudno.[9][10]

Mallalieu is the author of Rats! (Left Book Club, 1941) under the pseudonym 'The Pied Piper'. A collection of his writing on various sports, mostly written for The Spectator magazine, was published as Sporting Days (The Sportsmans Book Club, 1957).

He was given the Freedom of Kirklees in West Yorkshire on 27 January 1980.[11][12]


  1. ^ The Huguenot Ancestry of the Mallalieus of Saddleworth, D. F. E. Sykes, 1920, pp. 45, 146
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ The Journal of the Iron and Steel Institute, vol. 61, issue 1, Iron and Steel Institute, 1902, p. 391, Obituary- Henry Mallalieu
  5. ^ "'Curly' Mallalieu – Author, Naval Officer, Journalist, Freeman of Kirklees & Huddersfield MP of 34 years!". Heritage Quay. 29 May 2015. Retrieved 23 April 2017.
  6. ^ Craig, F.W.S., ed. (1969). British parliamentary election results 1918-1949. Glasgow: Political Reference Publications. p. 149. ISBN 0-900178-01-9.
  7. ^ The Socialist Leader: The Weekly Paper of the Independent Labour Party, vol. 43, New Leader Ltd, 1951, p. 94
  8. ^ J. P. W. Mallalieu archive, University of Huddersfield URL= Date accessed= 3 February 2019
  9. ^ Burke's Landed Gentry, 15th edition, 1937, Mallalieu of Tan-y-Marian pedigree
  10. ^ On Larkhill, J. P. W. Mallalieu, Allison & Busby, 1983, p. 21
  11. ^ "Freedom of Kirklees... for a French town!". Huddersfield Examiner. 1 April 2005. Retrieved 23 April 2017.
  12. ^ "Honorary Graduates". University of Huddersfield. Retrieved 23 April 2017.

External linksEdit

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
William Mabane
Member of Parliament for Huddersfield
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament for Huddersfield East
Succeeded by
Barry Sheerman